Skip to main content

Support to BJP? Church in India 'isn't playing prophetic role' for the sake of truth, justice

Counterview Desk 

In a strongly worded statement, the Executive Committee of Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, a Christian civil rights group, has taken exception to a recent utterance of Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry, who declared his support to BJP in Kerala to overcome the situation of the party not having an MP from the state.
The statement said, “Coming from a member of the hierarchy, such ‘assurances’ are unacceptable, deeply regrettable and bound to have serious long-term repercussions”, underlining, support to “fascist, fundamentalist and fanatic forces” inimical to the Constitution of India suggests a large section of the Church hierarchy “frightened to take a stand for truth and justice.”


We, the Executive Committee members of the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace met at the Divyakarunyashram, from 23- 25 March 2023.
During the course of a highly participative meeting, we took stock of the many different involvements and other interventions of the Forum – nationally and regionally -- since the last Executive Committee meeting which held at Hyderabad in September 2022.
We deliberated and discerned on several critical issues which currently affect the Country and the Church! We are shocked by the recent statement made by Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry, given wide coverage by all sections of the media. According to media reports:
“Archbishop Pamplany assured to extend support to BJP if the union government raises the price of rubber to Rs 300. Addressing the protest rally of the Catholic Congress at Alakode in Kannur, the bishop said that the archdiocese would help the BJP in Kerala and will overcome the situation of the BJP not having an MP from the state.”
Coming from a member of the hierarchy, such ‘assurances’ are unacceptable, deeply regrettable and bound to have serious long-term repercussions. Fascist, fundamentalist and fanatic forces are inimical to the Constitution of India, to the intrinsic values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, to its democratic ethos and to the secular fabric of the country. Through its insidious divide-and-rule strategies, BJP makes inroads into all sections of society, including among the Christians. This was experienced recently in the elections held in three North Eastern States and earlier, in Goa. Its blatant posturing and preparations for forthcoming elections in Karnataka and other states and the National elections of 2024, are indicative of its goal: the establishment of a state based on the ‘Hindutva’ ideology.
The reality is grim! For those espoused to the Hindutva ideology, any citizen who stands up for truth and justice, including human rights defenders and media personnel are, regarded as ‘anti- national’, hounded and harassed, incarcerated and killed; minorities (particularly the Muslims and Christians) are demonized and denigrated, attacked and jailed. This has been the cruel experience every Sunday for the evangelists and followers of evangelist Christian communities in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka etc.; at the receiving end of a brutal and unjust system are the Adivasis and Dalits, fisher-folk, small farmers, migrant workers and the unemployed, the poor and other vulnerable sections of society.
Sadly, in these troubled times the Church in India does not play the prophetic role which is expected from her on behalf of the suffering in our country; a large section of the hierarchy, clergy and religious are frightened to take a stand for truth and justice.



'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Corporatizing Indian agriculture 'to enhance' farmer efficiency, market competitiveness

By Shashank Shukla*  Today, amidst the ongoing farmers' protest, one of the key demands raised is for India to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Let us delve into the feasibility of such a move and explore its historical context within India's globalization trajectory.

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Livelihood issues return to national agenda ahead of LS polls: SKM on Bharat Bandh

Counterview Desk  Top farmers' network, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed big success of Grameen Bharat Bandh and industrial /sectoral strikes, stating, the “struggle reflected anger of farmers, workers and rural people across India”, adding, the move on February 16 succeeded in bringing back peoples’ livelihood issues in the national agenda just ahead of the general election to the Lok Sabha.

How retraints were imposed on academic freedom on the IIM-Ahmedabad campus

By Sandeep Pandey*  This is the seventh consecutive academic year when I would have gone as a visiting faculty member to the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad to teach an Elective course on Transformational Social Movements to the second year of Post Graduate Programme students. But the invitation has not come so far and it looks like it is the end of my teaching stint at IIM, at least, so long as the Bhartiya Janata Party remains in power at the centre.

Supreme Court Bar Association letter to CJI 'meant to defame' protesting farmers

By Prem Singh*  Have we ceased to be a wakeful and sensitive civil society and instead have become the horns of parties, leaders and governments? Whatever profession we are in, have we lost all respect for our responsibility and dignity?  It is understandable that a pro-corporate government should launch a campaign to defame the farmers from the very first day of its agitation against the government's apathy to their long-pending demands. Because it considers the people of the country, especially the hardworking farmers, labourers, artisans, unemployed and underemployed, not as citizens but as subjects who live at the mercy of the government.  But the professional noblemen of the civil society should defame the farmers in an organizational manner -- this explains our fall as a civil society.  It is a matter of utmost regret that the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association has written a letter to the Chief Justice demanding that he take suo motu cognizance of the “erring” far