09/20/2008, 00.00
INDIA

Witnesses of the Cross of Christ also make India more free

Telesphore P. Toppo
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".

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "The father of the nation brought freedom to India, freedom from British rule. Sadly, however, Mahatma’s struggle for liberation in India is not complete". AsiaNews presents an exclusive reflection given by Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, to correspondent Nirmala Carvalho. In it, the cardinal explains how the anti-Christian violence underway  in many parts of the country is an attempt to keep India in the slavery of discrimination and caste division, and to block its complete liberation.

"Gandhi always preached equality", he recalls, "he never tired of saying, 'We are all children of God', and those blinded – who were unable to understand him - killed him".

"The work of Gandhiji is not complete. Today, our beloved motherland India is in a certain sense in a worse situation than in the days under the British regime. India has to be liberated from these forces - the forces of darkness which are burning Christians, raping nuns, killing innocent Christians, destroying and desecrating churches - India has to be liberated from them. These forces instigate others to choose to live their lives in the way of darkness and their deeds are death, division and destruction".

"The central government is taking certain steps in the right direction, and invoked article 355 of the constitution. The opposition to this article 355 is also politically motivated. God writes straight even on crooked lines, and something good will come out of this, truth shall prevail".

"In the words of our Mahatma: 'They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me - then they will have my dead body, not my obedience'. And in Orissa, our priests, religious and lay people have endured this, and they are witnesses of the light of Christ".

"We are only instrument of the Risen Lord, we must look at Jesus on the Cross, forgive our enemies, and we shall see that these enemies will be defeated, overcome. The Cross is our strength, we are elected to be witnesses of the Resurrected Christ, and this has a very strong link to our symbol of freedom 'Satya Meva Jayate', meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', which is written below our national emblem - one of the national symbols of our freedom".

"No one lives in a vacuum, we are proud Indians. Gandhi lived the Gospel values, he conquered the British empire, so our ancestors immortalised for all eternity on the national symbol of our freedom the line 'Satya Meva Jayate'. Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi fought against the power of force. In Orissa and the other states ravaged by certain extremists forces, forceful powers were unleashed on the innocent Chrsitians, causing death and destruction for the minority Christian community".

"Gandhiji’s work his work is yet to be completed. His struggle was for liberty for India and it will be this strength of courage in self-sacrifice and forgiveness that will be for the benefit of all. This is the beginning of something new, for India, for the Church and for the world. Violence, terrorism and hate will be overcome: Truth Will Prevail - Satya Meva Jayate".

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