AICC urgent press statement

All India Christian Council

P. O. Box 2174, Secunderabad – 500003, Andhra Pradesh, India

Dr. John Dayal
Secretary General: All India Christian Council

505 Link, 18 IP Extension, Delhi 110092 India

Email: johndayal@vsnl. com

Phone: 91-11-22722262 Mobile 09811021072



Religious minorities played significant role in Freedom Struggle,
Nation Building; their uplift is critical for an India really
shining in future

[The following is the text of the Press Statement issued by Dr John

The statements being made against the Muslim and Christian
population of India at the national conclave of the Bharatiya Janata
Party in New Delhi in the last three days by its top political
hierarchy does not surprise the people – be they Religious
Minorities or members of the majority Hindu community, whose natural
piety and strong commitment to secularism ensures the unity and
integrity of our motherland.

The paranoia and bigotry of the BJP increases in direct proportion
to its perception that is coming closer to capturing political power
in the Union government in New Delhi, either alone or with allies
who are willing to give up all pretence of decency and commitment to
the secular foundations of modern India in their lust for the
benefits that presumably follow a place in government.. Whether the
BJP likes to acknowledge it or no, Religious minorities, and
linguistic minorities in the matter of formation of States, have
been legally defined and the definition is universally accepted. The
Sangh Parivar understandably prefers convenient and nebulous
definitions for the majority community so as to absorb Tribals and
others, and to deny many other communities their very identity.

The BJP's verbal assault on the minorities is a more virulent
political obscenity because it is being made even as Christians are
facing the worst ever physical violence they have suffered in
recorded history – and at the hands of the members of the Sangh
Parivar, the ideological masters of the BJP.

The National Commission for Minorities has in its report identified
the VHP as the font of the anti-Christian violence in the
Kanchanalak hills district of Orissa where a complacent or conniving
police, bureaucratic and political apparatus watched in silence. In
Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and other States, there
has again been a rash of anti Christian violence. In 2007, there
were close to 200 incidents of serious anti-Christian violence, even
before the Christmas week 2007 viciousness in Orissa. [Close to a
hundred churches and institutions were burnt and looted, more than a
thousand houses torched, several thousands Christians rendered
homeless and driven into refugee camps not even fit to host animals
in those mad seven days between 24th and 30th December 2007].

Behind the verbal assault of the BJP and its Sangh Parivar lies a
sinister conspiracy to de-nationalise Christians, after the attempt
made from 1969 to 2002 to denationalize Muslims, which directly lead
to the genocide in Gujarat in 2002.

I fear that unless the Central Government acts now to stop this
hate – and unless the BJP leaders, such as the now retired former
Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, counsel their partymen to
remain within the law and within civilisational values – the lunatic
fringe of the Sangh Parivar could unleash a bloodbath against
Christians. This may sound ominous and possibly even an
overreaction, but having seen and felt the utter absence of
governance and law and order systems in rural India, I know how easy
it is for a spark to become a conflagration. It takes a long time
for a single policeman to come to the scene of a crime, and more
often than not, he is utterly helpless in the face of the Sangh mob,
even if he himself is not a member of it.

[Union Home Minster Shivraj Patil told me and the Delhi Archbishop
in a meeting on 27th December 2007 that there are a mere 40,000
Police Stations to take care of a rural reality of almost 400,000
villages and hamlets.]

There is no appeasement of the minorities in India. That Dalit
Christians remain the poorest of the poor, that Muslims remain
deprived is an unfortunate historical reality, and a blot on the
fair name of India. It exposes lopsided development that leaves all
marginalized groups even more marginalized including Hindu farmers
forced to commit suicide, abort the female fetus, or sell their

Religious minorities and other deprived communities – sections of
the Dalit and OBCs, Tribals and people displaced by EPZs, super
dams, express high ways and green-field airfields, for instance --
need preferential and urgent development. That some of them belong
to a different religious persuasion may or may not be incidental.
But these people are citizens of a free NS democratic India, and
have a right, and a demand, on the national resources which are part
of their patrimony. Let no one forget that Muslims, Christians,
Sikhs, Jains, Dalits and Tribals have fought for Independence as
much as anyone else, and certainly more than the former landlords
and others who were always with the ruling elite, and are once again
ruling in default and design..

India's citizens are asking for their birthright – good education,
shelter, a quality of life denied them out of hate, bigotry,
cronyism, corruption, elitism, or plain indifference. It is not
appeasement to give them good. It is not appeasement to give them
freedom of faith Dalit Human rights and basic benefits of a
civilized society.

The BJP leadership does not even serve itself in its hate speech,
disguised as an attack on its political adversaries such as the
Congress or the Left. Hate speech fuels violence. Communal violence
against religious minorities does a disservice to the Idea of India.

Released by

Mr. Madhu Chandra
Regional Secretary