01/31/2013, 00.00
INDIA
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Karnataka, Hindu fundamentalists convention: the fears of Christians

by Nirmala Carvalho
100 thousand activists of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to gather in Mangalore, the group behind anti-Christian violence in the country. The Global Council of Indian Christians demands State protection for places of worship and life of the minority.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - There is great concern among the Christian community in Karnataka for the forthcoming meeting of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu ultranationalist group chiefly responsible for violence towards ethnic and religious minorities in India. The convention will be held in Mangalore on 3rd February and Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), has asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the chief minister of the state "to ensure special protection for Christians: their lives, their property and freedom of worship, in public and in private. "

Since 2008, Karnataka has been governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a party close to ultra-nationalist Hindu groups such as the RSS, which are often behins violence and persecution against the Christian minority. In three months the people are due to vote to elect a new government, and according to Sajan George "the BJP wants to use the conference to consolidate its electoral base and reassert its nationalist identity."

"In Karnataka - says the GCIC president - there are already attempts to inculcate Hindutva [Hindu ideology], from textbooks. at least 100 thousand followers Rss are expected at the conference: this mobilization could turn into attacks on Christians".

In 2008, coinciding with the anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa, Karnataka registered attacks on churches and local communities, and has long been one of the most "dangerous" states for the minority. According to a report by GCIC on data relating to anti-Christian persecution, Karnataka has "excelled" in 2012, with 41 cases of violence out of a total 135 attacks across India.

 

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