20 September 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 12/29/2010, 00.00

    INDIA

    Pope is correct on religious freedom, Indian activist says

    Lenin Raghuvanshi

    Human rights activist Lenin Raghuvanshi talks to AsiaNews about Benedict XVI’s message for World Peace Day in which the Pontiff said that “religious freedom is the path towards peace”. He illustrates the issue by discussing the case of India, caught up in the turmoil of Hindu fundamentalist nationalism.
    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “His Holiness the Pope is absolutely correct in stating that religious freedom is the path to peace”. Wherever this right is not respected,  you have the bases of Fascism, said Lenin Raghuvanshi, executive director of the Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) as he spoke to AsiaNews about the need to respect religious freedom as the stepping stone to build just and peaceful coexistence. Dr Raghuvanshi won the 2010 Weimar Human Rights Award and the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

    If a society wants sustainable peace, there should be religious freedom and freedom of conscience. The absence of religious freedom leads to intolerance, hostilities and tensions.

    Religious freedom presupposes freedom from the state in the sphere of religion and freedom from state control over conscience. All democracies in the world must ensure and guarantee freedom of religion. The progress and development of a democracy will be the result of a peaceful and tolerant society.

    When everyone, including linguistic and ethnic minorities, has the freedom to practice their religion, rituals and religious expressions, society will be more harmonious and cohesive. This creates an enabling environment for the progress and prosperity of a nation.

    Any society that does not guarantee religious freedom breeds and engenders communal Fascism.  Political communalism is a preliminary to political Fascism. Communal Fascism is the abuse of religious fundamentalist philosophy for political advantages and the usurpation of political power in order to establish supremacy in society.

    For example in India, Hindu Fascist forces abuse the Hindu religion for electoral politics.  Yet, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sangh Parivar are not daunted by this frightening prospect. On the contrary, there is no effort to solve the basic problems of the people like poverty, unemployment, health or justice.

    In India today, it is not just a matter of political communalism but rather of state Fascism under the Hindutva (Hindu religious right) brigade. The Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) is a Hindu Fascist force founded in 1925. The RSS chief organiser Guru Golwalker, who held Hitler and Mussolini in very high esteem, described India as a purely Hindu country with Muslims as second-class citizens.  The Gujarat massacre of 2002 and the carnage in Kandhamal (Orissa) embody this evil. Polarisation and partisanship are examples what communal Fascist forces can do.

    Destruction of secular democracy in India means the destruction of its unity and integrity. Hence, it was most urgent that His Holiness the Pope, who is a most revered spiritual leader and a respected   and ardent advocate of peace and human rights in the world, make his prophetic call on World Day of Peace indicating that religious freedom is the path to peace.

    The danger faced by India’s caste dictatorship created a new link between communal Hinduism and Fascism, a structure based on exclusion. Until all progressive powers join hand in hand to crush Brahminism at its roots, the Manu’s patriarchal dictatorship will persist and flourish. Little can be attained quickly until such time that communal Fascism is not crushed. The danger for the world from Indian Hindu communal Fascism is that every fifth person in the world is Indian.

    The same is true of the communal Fascist forces in Pakistan, where the majority want to usurp political power and marginalise minorities, exposing them to violence and subjugation and second-class status.

    Hence, religious freedom is the basis for democracy.  Political forces use the absence of religious freedom to marginalise vulnerable minority groups.  The politicisation of religion is due to absence of religious freedom in a society, and this results in communal Fascism.

    It is most urgent that world leaders take seriously the message of His Holiness the Pope that religious freedom is the path to peace, if they want to foster sustainable peace in the world.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    31/01/2006 INDIA – VATICAN
    "Deus caritas est": Christians help in disguise to avoid persecution

    Msgr Barwa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Ranchi, shares his comments on the encyclical: "The Pope's letter explains the mainspring that inspires us to good, despite the violence of Hindu nationalist."



    26/02/2016 18:11:00 INDIA
    For Indian activist, Hindu radicals slam anti-nationalism to crush democracy

    Ram Puniyani is the president of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. He writes about the ongoing university student protest in favour of freedom of thought who are accused of anti-nationalism by Hindu radicals. Modi has targeted Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University because it reflects a “democratic spirit, freedom of thought, and progressive values”.



    24/08/2004 INDIA
    Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church


    04/11/2010 INDIA
    Nationalism and fanaticism the biggest challenges in India
    The Congress Party identifies extreme nationalism, fanaticism and excessive claims of autonomy the greatest dangers that India is facing today. Father Prakash: The government should promote religious tolerance.

    20/06/2013 INDIA
    For Christian leader, Hindutva does not represent hope for India
    For the head of the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu radical ideology is "the only way to change the country." President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) says that Hindu extremists "have always opposed social equality". For him, support for the caste system goes against the positive change.



    Editor's choices

    JAPAN - VATICAN
    Archbishop Kikuchi: In tune with the Pope and Card. Filoni for mission in Japan

    Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    The bishop of Niigata and President of Caritas Japan comments on yesterday’s papal message sent to the bishops of Japan. The journey stages of Card. Filoni, which will also touch Fukushima. The question of the relationship with the Neocatechumenal Way is still "unresolved".


    VATICAN - JAPAN
    Pope to Japanese Bishops: Be the salt and light of society, even going against the trends



    During the pastoral visit of Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide, to the Land of the Rising Sun, Pope Francis urges the bishops and the Japanese Church to renew their missionary commitment to society, marked by suicides, divorces, religious formalism, material and spiritual poverty. The request to collaborate with ecclesial movements, perhaps in memory of the controversy with the Neocatechumenal Way.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®