Christians, Clergy, the Media and India
Disclaimer : I am not writing this as a Modi Bhakt. I am not writing this as a person who leans to the right. My aim is not to insult any particular religion or person. If there are attacks based on religion or religious belief, I would be the first person to condemn it. Here I am trying to provide an objective analysis of the things that happened in New Delhi and the aftermath of it.
A few months ago, a few unfortunate incidents rocked the Churches in the National Capital. There was a huge hue and cry when these things happened. Some Christian leaders said that there was a pattern to these attacks. A few men from the Clergy and a lot of people in the media opined that the country under Modi is unsafe for minorities. Some went on to say that the secularism was under threat because of Modi and BJP. Many others attributed these attacks to some of the Hindu groups. They said that the Hindutva forces are going unchecked in Modi’s Regime. These voices were so loud that the visiting US President chose to make a remark about the religious intolerance in the country.
However, when the investigation began a lot of truths started coming out. Here is what the investigation on these incidents revealed.
1. The first of these attacks is about the fire in the St.Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden. This is currently under investigation by the SIT. The Home ministry constituted an SIT almost immediately after the incident. The SIT is yet to submit its report.
2. This was an incident in Jasola where a window pane was broken. The investigation revealed that a group of kids were playing in the vicinity of the Church . A stone landed in the Church because of those games. There is no communal angle again.
3. The Christmas Crib that was charred in Rohini. Police after their investigation found that this was due to a short circuit.
4. Vandalizing a Church in Vikaspuri. The CCTV footage and Police investigation found that this was an act of Drunken Dare. Again no communal angle. These guys were caught by the Police and they did confess about this.
5. The Vasant Kunj Burglary is still under investigation by the police.
6. The Vasant Vihar Theft : The school and Police have accepted that this is a case of theft anf Rs.8000 are missing.
Source : An Article by Rupa Subramanya on First post . This article is the bedrock for the facts I presented above. http://www.firstpost.com/india/crying-wolf-the-narrative-of-the-delhi-church-attacks-flies-in-the-face-of-facts-2101105.html
Now, which of these acts stand out as an attack on Christianity and the Christian beliefs ? Why was there so much ruckus when there was no communal angle in the first place. Again these crimes (like burglary etc..) are not limited to Churches alone. According to the Delhi police, atleast 206 Temples and some 30 Gurudwaras were victims of burglary and other thefts. Here is the link that gives the stats for the same.
Some of the Bishops and some in the Clergy cried foul when the incidents took place. There was a feeling that these were deliberate attacks against the community. They went on to issue statements back then and even gave calls for protests. Now that the truth is out, shouldn’t these big wigs come out and say that these attacks have got nothing to do with communalism? The media has raised a hue and cry when the incidents happened. I feel that the same media did not give enough coverage when the truth was out.
It is normally accused that Hindus and right wing are working for BJP. One fact that we ought to remember here is that some Christian biggies overtly support Congress and oppose BJP. Here is a video of J.D. Seelam (Currently a member of Rajya Sabha) who was openly saying in a public meeting that strengthening Congress is strengthning Christianity. Here is the video for this.
The fact that this man made such statement in a public meeting speaks volumes. Mr. J.D. Seelam did issue a clarification later on this. However, to me, he was never able to convince people on why he chose to say that strengthening Congress is strengthening Christianity and did not say that strengthening Congress is strengthening secularism in the country. To be correct on the facts Shri J.D. Seelam is an Ex. IAS officer and a former Union Minister. Do those statements reflect his learnedness and his stature ? No .
Then, we have the principal Xavier’s college who was in news for wrong reasons. This man wrote an e-mail to his students asking them to be careful as to whom they vote. He praises UPA in that letter and criticizes the Gujarat Model. Here is a link that has the contents of letter written by that learned Father Masceranhas to his students.
Mr. Seelam can have his political loyalties, he is a politician and he is entitled for that. But then, isn’t a principal supposed to be apolitical while dealing with his students. Again we have only questions and not answers. I am not saying that the respectable man should not have an opinion. All I am saying that he must be apolitical when speaking to students.
Many Christians and Christian leaders might want Indian National Congress or some other party to rule India. It is their choice and their opinion, we ought to respect that. But then, they should not cry foul and create trouble when some one else is elected to power right. There is some evidence that suggests that some people with Vested interests are in fact are doing this and are instigating people. Here is an interesting video
There was an attack on a Church in Udipi . Initially many people thought that this was the act of Hindu fundamentalists. The truth came to light later. The news item below gives us a different picture altogether.
There was this attack on a Church in Agra. Many people thought of it as an attack by Hindu Fundamentalists. Here is the truth about the attack
The aim of this article is not to show Christians in poor light. I would never do that. I have some good Christian friends and I know how peace loving people they are. I studied for sometime in Christian Missionary schools and know how some of them operate. Hindus and Christians have lived together and I wish we all live together peacefully. I am not taking out my anger at the clergy or any one else. What would I gain by doing that? I respect the people with good intentions. There are many Christians who want to do some genuine good to the nation. My only aim is to say that, some Christians out of their hatred for a party, are trying to create a narrative that says that India is unsafe for Christians . This narrative that they are creating is totally wrong. Misleading the people and the nation is incorrect. One might have his preferences when it comes to politics. However, that should not make him/her mislead people and the nation. This sort of attitude is only going to do bad to country in the long run. Something that hurts the nation is bound to hurt all its citizens irrespective of the religion caste and creed. Hope the leaders who are trying to spread the narrative that India is unsafe for Christians realize this very soon.