Skip to main content

351 incidents of anti-Christian violence in India, 2017 was "most traumatic" after 2007-08 Kamdhamal pogrom

By Our Representative
In a strong critique of the Narendra Modi government, which is likely to have a major impact on the so-called Christian world, India's national alliance of evangelical Christians has qualified the year 2017 "one of the most traumatic for the Christian community in India since the mass targeted violence of the Kandhamal pogrom in 2007 and 2008" in Odisha.
A 58-page report, prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFIRLC), which has documented 351 cases of violence in 2017, regrets, however, it is "by no means an exhaustive compilation as it is based on voluntary reporting and civil society investigations, adding, "Most cases go unreported either because the victim is terrified or the police, especially in the northern states, just turn a blind eye and refuse to record the mandatory First Information Report."
EFIRLC says, as part of the preparations for the 2019 elections, "foot soldiers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, collectively called the Sangh Parivar, have shifted into high gear in hate campaigns and targeted violence against individuals and groups, mainly religious minorities and Dalits."
"They have been assisted with government announcing strict laws against cow slaughter and even a carrying of beef, and the formation of quasi-official vigilante squads to monitor beef and cow transport and marriages between Hindu girls and men from other religions", the report adds.
Quoting Indian government figures, EFIRLC says, “communal violence”, the term used to define clashes between religious groups, increased 28% over three years to 2017, adding, "Issues of cow, caste and attempts to force Hindu religious codes on schools also impact the Christian community".
EFIRLC's analysis of the 2017 data shows Tamil Nadu has emerged as "the most hostile state where Christian are concerned, with 52 cases. Uttar Pradesh with 50, is a close second, and Chhattisgarh, 43, Madhya Pradesh, 36, Maharashtra, 38, are bunched together. The National Capital of Delhi, its police controlled by the national government, recorded 6 cases."
"Barring Tamil Nadu, the other states are either ruled by the BJP directly or in collation with other parties, and the Sangh cadres have free hand with the police and administration either looking the other way, or complicit", the report says, adding, *The Tamil Nadu violence has a disturbing overlay of caste discrimination, and the victims largely come from the so called lower castes in villages where the dominant groups object to prayer houses and even the entry of missionaries."
Particularly taking note of the Satna incident in Madhya Pradesh, where carol singers were arrested, after a man accused them of trying to convert him to Christianity, EFIRLC says, "The state is one of six others with strict anti-conversion laws in India", adding, one of those arrested, a professor at a Catholic theological college, and others had to spend several days in jail before they were let out on bail.
"In what seems to be a misuse of the provisions of the Freedom of Religion Act in Madhya Pradesh, at least three incidents (during the months of May, June and October) were reported from Madhya Pradesh where Christian children travelling for church related functions and their leaders were taken into custody on alleged charges of kidnapping and conversion", the report says.
Demanding the enact a comprehensive national legislation against targeted and communal violence, the report wants the government to enforce rule of law and arrest members of groups promoting sectarian hate and violence and others who attack persons on mere suspicion of consumption / storage of beef or on alleged charges of forced or fraudulent conversions, and to take stringent action against them as per law of the land.
At the same time, it wants the state governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand to repeal their anti-conversion laws known as Freedom of Religion Acts as well as abandon efforts towards a national anti-conversion law which would only curb the fundamental right to freedom of religion or belief, particularly of religious minorities in India.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.