Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Indian Christian elite condemn 'sinister discrimination'
Sean Smith The Tablet November 2, 2015 Christian leaders in India have strongly condemned growing intolerance in the country towards non Hindus and “sinister attempts” to abolish positive discrimination policies that reserved jobs and services for those from lower castes. “[We] as Christians in unequivocal terms denounce the growing intolerance in the country,” the statement signed by influential educators, clergy, a former police chief and the archbishop of Gujarat. “We also denounce the sinister attempts to do away with reservation policy and ultimately the attempt to undermine the Constitution of India; we denounce the planned move to utilise religion for politico-economic benefits; we denounce the well orchestrated efforts to use government machinery to achieve ones evil ends; we denounce all the efforts to divide the nation into fiefdom of some elements.” “We denounce all the attempts to erode scientific temper and scholarship by meddling with the education system of the country,” the letter said. “We are in a special way concerned at how the Indigenous Adivasi People in our country are being coerced to leave their traditional nature-based religious beliefs and practices and are subjected to so-called ‘ghar vapsi’ by some hindutva elements thus ushering in disharmony within their communities. Under this pretext, they are being alienated from their natural habitat and resources.” The ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has denied that it has any intention of abolishing the reservation policy of the country, which since 1950 has seeked to address the rampant discrimination there is in the country. But a number of senior politicians have called for positive discrimination to end. The statement was signed by the Principal of St. Xavier's College, in Kolkata, Fr. Felix Raj, along with a former police chief of Karnataka Francis Colaso, Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and writer and Christian activist John Dayal.