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  • » 09/18/2008, 00.00


    Archbishop of Delhi: Violence against Christians shows crisis of Indian democracy

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Archbishop Vincent Concessao emphasizes that Hindu extremism does not only deny minority rights, but also co-existence and respect for human rights, bringing the constitutional pillars of the country into crisis. In Delhi, Hindu radicals occupy the garden of the Catholic church of Trilokpuri, because they want to build a temple there.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The "violence and terror" underway in Orissa and in other states in India are not only a problem of "respect for the minorities", but also involve the future of "India's democracy". This is affirmed by the archbishop of the capital, Vincent Concessao, in an interview with AsiaNews. "India, the world’s largest democracy, was recognised as a vibrant multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual democracy. Sadly, today the image of ‘democratic India’ is at stake".

    In addition to the violence taking place in Orissa, Karnataka, Madya Pradesh, and Kerala, Archbishop Concessao also cites abuses by Hindu fundamentalists in Delhi. Just yesterday, a Hindutva group occupied the property in front of the church of Prabhu Prakash Girija, in Trilokpuri, in the eastern part of Delhi. The property is used as a garden by the Catholics, and the city authorities have placed limitations on construction on the spot. The church has been maintaining the garden since 1991. But the extremist group has threatened to build a temple there. Last week, they placed statues of Hindu divinities in a niche set up against the wall of the church.

    In the past, there have been many clashes between Hindus and Muslims because of attempts by radical Hindus to take possession of Islamic places of worship.

    "This is another incident of the growing anti-Christian wave that is spreading its evil tentacles all over our beloved country and sadly, it will have long-term disastrous consequences on secular democracy. These misguided extremists are indoctrinated with the Hinduvta ideology and their methodology and strategy is ‘muscle power’, they do not respond to either reason or dialogue. It is very much like Nazism, they are brainwashed into believing that India should be exclusively Hindu, they do not believe in secular democracy".

    "This is very unfortunate, on the one hand on the global stage, India is emerging as a world power in the 21st century, while in our own country, there is growing religious intolerance and human rights and freedom of faith are blatantly violated. The international community and the world leaders who believe in secular democracy must oppose and condemn this gross violation of constitutional rights in India. It is much larger than ‘minority rights’, it is a question of the future of democracy in India".

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    See also

    04/09/2008 INDIA
    Fr Edward, survivor of arson in Orissa: the Hindu radicals are terrorists
    Fr Edward Sequeira is among the victims of fundamentalist violence in Orissa. It was only by a miracle that he escaped from the burning of his orphanage, where his co-worker Rajni Majhi was burned to death. Now hospitalized in Mumbai, in intensive care, he agreed to talk with AsiaNews. For the priest, there needs to be international condemnation of the lack of respect for human rights and religious freedom that dominates rural India.

    05/09/2008 INDIA - VATICAN
    Bishop Dabre: stop fundamentalism with dialogue, following example of Mother Teresa
    Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the model for bringing encounter and collaboration among the religions and cultures of our time: a clear Catholic identity, and an openness without barriers of race or religion. Only dialogue will stop the violence and lies of religious fanaticism. A reflection by Thomas Dabre, bishop of Vasai and a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    20/09/2008 INDIA
    Witnesses of the Cross of Christ also make India more free
    Cardinal Toppo talks about the persecution of Christians in many parts of India. The work of Mahatma Gandhi must be completed, and hatred and terrorism must be overcome with the nonviolence and forgiveness of Christ. Because in reality, "truth alone triumphs".

    02/04/2009 INDIA
    Bishop of Orissa: let Christians in refugee camps vote
    At least 70,000 Christians are not registered on the voter lists. Hindu extremists burned their identification documents in the pogroms in August and September. There are more than 3,000 people still living in the refugee camps. At least 18,000 have moved to other cities out of fear of violence. For the Global Council of Indian Christians, "depriving someone of their voting right is a way to disenfranchise and stifle the Christian minority."

    07/10/2008 INDIA
    Hindu radicals continue to accuse Christians. The police begin arrests in Orissa
    Even after the Maoists claimed responsibility for the killing of Swami Laxmanananda, groups of fundamentalists affirm that his killing was decided "during a pastoral council," to offer "a sacrifice to God." Diocese of Bhubaneshwar: the lies are increasing the persecution.

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