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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 04/10/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    Archbishop of Orissa: Today's vote "worries Christians. But we believe in democracy"

    Nirmala Carvalho

    In 2008, the area was hit by violent anti-Christian pogroms carried out by radical Hindus. Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack -Bhubaneshwar, tells AsiaNews: "We hope that the new government will give justice to the victims of the carnage". Today sees the third phase of the general elections, one of the most important.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Christians in Kandhamal are concerned about who will win this election, but they believe in democracy and the power of the vote", Msgr. John Barwa, Archbishop of Cuttack -Bhubaneshwar, Kandhamal district (Orissa) tells AsiaNews. Today, more than 13 million people will go to vote in 10 districts of Orissa, in the third stage - nine in total - of the 2014general elections.

    Today's round of voting is considered crucial because it affects 91 constituencies spread out among 14 states. Among them, some of the country's most important Uttar Pradesh , Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa and Delhi, the capital. Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of members in the Lok Sabha ("House of the People"), the lower house of parliament. The Lok Sabha can have a maximum of 552 members; of these, 530 represent the population of the States, 20 the population of the Territories of the Union, 2 may be appointed by the President of the country on behalf of the Anglo-Indian community. Each elected member represents a single geographic constituency.

    For 11 years (1998-2009) Orissa was ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in alliance with Biju Janata Dal (BJD). It was under this leadership, that the most violent anti-Christian pogroms ever to take place in India occurred in 2008, at the hands of Hindu fundamentalist groups close to the BJP.

    "This community - Msgr. Barwa tells AsiaNews - want a peaceful life, a life of equality and harmonious coexistence, without anyone disturbing their daily life, work, or religious practice". For this reason, "we hope that the new government to give justice to the victims of the carnage of 2008. Justice is the right of every individual. For the betterment of the state and peoples and for the progress and development of all peoples, where all people enjoy the same rights and privileges and freedom and dignity irrespective of majority or minority community or Faith".

    Montfort Brother  KJ Markose who is also a lawyer told AsiaNews: "The BJP will not get any seat in Kandhamal, because the Christian communities appear to tactfully vote".

    Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC ), reveals AsiaNews that "GCIC prays that the administration will ensure the safety  and protection of the Kandhamal people as they go to cast their ballots today.  GCIC prays for an election candidate who upholds the Constitution of India and Promises to ensure religious freedom for the vulnerable minority Christian community, our Kandhamal Christian has suffered  inhuman violence, and the elected representative should ensure and guarantee that this carnage is never repeated again".

    GCIC is seriously concerned about Gender Violence especially for our vulnerable Christian Dalit and Tribal women of our community.  Christians have been particular targets. In the 2007-2008 attacks, women and girls were targeted for sexual violence, humiliation, brutal physical assaults and threats.

     

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    See also

    07/04/2009 INDIA
    Hindu nationalists: if we win the elections, we will dialogue with the Christians
    The Bharatiya Janata Party pledges that it wants to institute "a permanent inter-faith consultative mechanism" for discussions with Christians, including "the issue of religious conversions." The secretary of the Indian bishops' conference: "I pray they mean what they say."

    26/06/2012 INDIA
    Raghuvanshi: BJP manipulates Christian candidate for president
    PA Sangma, tribal Catholic of Congress Party, states there is"no evidence" to say that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Hindu radical party) is responsible for the anti-Christian pogrom in Kandhamal. According to Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights activist, the BJP is exploiting the politician to get the tribal votes.

    16/05/2009 INDIA
    Elections in Kerala: collapse of the Marxists
    Congress wins in a stronghold of the left. Fr. Paul Thelakat, spokesman for the Syro-Malabar Church: it’s a vote against those seeking to divide society along class lines. Bjp and Marxists represent the same fundamentalist ideology “contrary to a secular democracy”.

    24/03/2006 INDIA
    50,000 quit BJP to protest discrimination against minorities

    A clear protest against the "ignorance and insults" leveled at minorities by leaders of the nationalist party, the largest in the country.



    25/10/2012 INDIA
    Signs of peace between Hindus and Christians in Kandhamal thanks to Church
    In the village of Bodimunda, Hindu merchants and taxi drivers would refuse Christian customers for fear of penalties. Now Christians are no longer ostracised. In Dodobali, five Christian families were able to rebuild their homes and are now represented on the village council.



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