This Christmas season, like for the past three and a half years, the minute Indian Christian minority was again made to cringe, feel fear and insecurity. In Satna, carol singing priests were attacked, clearly influenced by a majoritarian and supremacist woldview today in power in 19 states of the country. On December 15, a mob-linked to extremist Hindu groups attacked Catholic carol singers in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district and set a priest’s car ablaze. Instead of taking action against the attackers, the police detained the singers on suspicion that they were carrying out conversions. On December 17, Christian schools in Aligarh, UP, were issued a warning by right-wing groups-not to celebrate Christmas in schools as it would “lure” students into the faith. In Pratapgarh, Rajasthan too there was vandalisation of simple posters of Jesus Christ and carol singers material.
What India is witnessing is the violent fringe of Hindutva supremacists becoming the mainstream. It is not the India we have known, it is not the India as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
This Video captures it all and sends out a powerful message
Spread Joy Not Fear This Christmas
As human rights activist and senior member of the Christian community Dr. John Dayal, says this is the “new normal”. In a damning indictment of how the present dispensation appears reluctant to check the increasing acts of violence against minorities, Dayal says, “With impunity at its peak, and much of the young cadres of the police force indoctrinated in the Hindutva theology, it is the Dalit, the Muslim and the Christian victim of violence who finds himself in jail.” He adds, “Churches across the countries now have more closed circuit TV and long lengths of bared or blade wire on their high walls. Police, many armed, will be deployed in front of major churches in the National Capital, and elsewhere. It is the new normal.”
As Saba Naqvi points out in The Times of India on Christmas Eve, something in India has fundamentally changed. Wherein those in power, in Constitutional posts are shunning the minorities. “President Ram Nath Kovind will not hear carol singers on the eve of Christmas as has been the tradition with former presidents. Choirs and carol singers who had expected to perform for India’s first citizen have not been given time. The spokesperson of Rashtrapati Bhavan says a decision has been taken to have no religious ceremonies inside the building as India is a “secular state”(sic).”
“One may ask if carols (or even qawwalis) can be boxed under religion or is there not a cultural dimension to them? Apparently, the President did not do anything special for Diwali inside his majestic home either, although ANI reported that Rashtrapati Bhavan was lit up this year with a special multi-coloured light display on the eve of Diwali. US president Donald Trump meanwhile celebrated Diwali inside the White House (although he cancelled the Eid dinner that predecessor Barack Obama would host besides lighting lamps inside the White House on Diwali).”
Commentators have pointed out that 2017 has been one of the worst years in terms of anti-Christian violence in India and apparently, there is to be no comfort or let-up. An influential global charity that monitors the treatment of Christians worldwide to produce a list of the 50 most difficult countries for them to live in (carried by all Western media), writes that in the first six months of 2017, Indian Christians were harassed or attacked in as many incidents as in the whole of 2016.
CJP reiterates its commitment to the Constitutional ideal and ends with an appeal to all right thinking Indians.
To actively involve themselves in spreading the Constitutional values of Equality for all and Discrimination to None.