02 November 2015, The Tablet

Letter - Indian Christians Condemn Growing Intolerance in the Country

We the undersigned Indian Christians as citizens of our country India and as Christians in unequivocal terms denounce the growing intolerance in the country. We also denounce the sinister attempts to do away with reservation policy and ultimately the attempt to undermine the Constitution of India; we denounce the planned move to utilize religion for politico-economic benefits; we denounce the well orchestrated efforts to use government machinery to achieve ones evil ends;  we denounce all the efforts to divide the nation into fiefdom of some elements.

We denounce all the attempts to erode scientific temper and scholarship by meddling with the education system of the country. We are in  special way concerned at how the Indigenous Adivasi People in our country are being coerced to leave their traditional nature-based religious beliefs and practices and are subjected to so-called ‘ghar vapsi’ by some hindutva elements thus ushering in disharmony within their communities. Under this pretext, they are being alienated from their natural habitat and resources.

As citizens, we uphold the democratic, secular and socialist principles and practices of our mother country; we uphold the basic foundations of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in our Constitution for all the citizens of the country; we uphold the right to freedom of different cultures, religions, ways of life, beliefs, traditions, practices, customs and orientations; we uphold the right of the citizens to live a life without any intimidation by anyone; we uphold the age old tradition of living in harmony and unity by all the citizens of this country; we uphold the value of rural reconstruction and nation building.

Further, we stand in solidarity with all victims of targeted violence against Adivasis, Dalits, Women, religious minorities and people of other orientations. We uphold freedom of expression and ways of life. We are in defence of human rights defenders and advocacy groups.

We stand in solidarity with all those from various walks of life, faiths, traditions, backgrounds, cultures, communities, professions and orientations who have raised voice against the growing intolerance in the country and call upon all the citizens to resist every move to create crisis and conflict by some vested interests.

We invite others too to stand up at this time and express concern and do whatever is needed to uphold inclusive development, peace, unity, integrity, sovereignty and harmony in our Country India.

Citizens of India

Mr. Francis Colaco – Former DGP Karnataka

John Dayal – Member, National Integration Council, Writer and Activist

Archbishop Thomas Macwan, Archbishop of Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Henri Tiphagne–Secretary, Human Rights Defenders Alert (HRDA, New Delhi)

Ms.Virginia Saldanha - Secretary, Indian Christian Women's Movement, Mumbai

Darryl  D'Monte  – Journalist, Maharashtra                  

Dr. Walter Fernandes – Social Scientist, Guwahati

Cedric Prakash – Human Rights Activist , Ahmedabad                       

A.C. Michael – Former Minority Commission Member, Govt of Delhi

Lukose Vallatharai IAS (Rtd) – Bengaluru

Philomena Fernandez – Goans in Gulf

Dolphy Dsouza - Police Reforms Watch, Mumbai

Eugene Culas, Director, Voice of Dalit International, UK

Dr. Kochurani Abraham - Indian Women Theologians Forum, Kottayam

Managing Committee Members of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, Kalina Unit

BG Koshy - The Rainbow Forum, Bengaluru

Margaret Gonsalves - ANNNI Charitable Trust, Maharashtra

Mary Alfred, International Travel House, Mumbai

Fr. Dominic Emmanuel – Media Person, Delhi    

Dr. Fr. Felix Raj – Principal, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

Dr. Hazel D'Lima - Mumbai

Aasha Ramesh – Bengaluru                      

Deepak Mukarji – Delhi                            

Clement Periera – Bengaluru                     

Alana Golmei – Manipur                         

Ajaya Singh – Bhubaneswar                  

Manju Tirkey – Rourkela                          

Harvey Hoddings – Bengaluru                            

Cynthia Stephen – Bengaluru                         

Dr. Keith D Cunha – Bengaluru                          

Helen Saldanha – New York                  

Alex Ekka – Ranchi                                   

Marie Charmaine  Lamount -  Bengaluru  

Rajesh M Singh – Bengaluru                     

Dr. Goldy George – Raipur                       

R. Viegas – Mumbai                                  

Gracias C – Bengaluru                                    

Benny Chiramel – Trivandrum                           

Venus Mario John – Bengaluru                       

Lynette Gomes – Mumbai                         

Sebastian Poomattam – Chattisgarh         

Harry Pereira – Bengaluru                         

Anthony Dias – Mumbai                                    

Santona Das – Bengaluru                                    

M. Shimray – Manipur                       

A R F Viegas – Mumbai                                     

Fredrick Francis – Bengaluru                          

Rebecca Kurian – Bengaluru                          

Angela L Viegas – Mumbai                       

Omena Matthan – Bengaluru                    

Eldred Tellis – Mumbai                      

Loyola Azavedo – Mumbai                          

Fulgence Lakra – Jashpur                         

Sannybhai – Surat                                              

Mario Jason Braganza – Thane                           

Prasanna Thomas – Mumbai              

Aloysius Irudayam - Madurai,                            

Joe Mattam – Vadodara

Joe Xavier – Madurai                                

Rosely Cheeramkunnel – Mumbai             

Sr Mariola BS – Mangalaru                      

Velangani Sinnamuthu – Kalol, Gujarat

Stan Swamy - Ranchi

A.J. Philip - Delhi

Stanley H Mark - Bengaluru

Jothi – Kolkata

Alwyn D’Souza – Bangkok

Julius Gonsalves - Bengaluru

Dorothy D'Souza - Pune

Manu Alphonse – Chennai

Fredrick Francis - Bengaluru

Ruth D’Souza - Maharashtra

Benedict Joy -  Bengaluru

R. Viegas – Mumbai

Philu Thomas, Pune

Rapheal  RSM - Bengaluru

Xavier Jeyaraj - Kolkatta

William Stanley – Vizag

Lewis James – Bengaluru

Dr. Rudi Heredia - Mumbai    

Bobby – Delhi

K.M. Selvaraj – Ooty

Freda Coelho -  Ahmedabad

Anoushka Viegas - Mumbai

Ruby – Jammu

James Pochury - Nagaland

Xavier Manjooran – Songad, Gujarat

Shanta Mathai – Bengaluru    

Nithiya Sagayam – Trichy

Apem Shangh - Manipur

Premalatha  Kumar – Bengaluru      

Lydia Fernandez – Bengaluru

Mathai Kocuparampil – Ahmedabad        

Prashant Olalekar – Lonavala

Valerian Mendonca - Belgium

Rita Puthenkalam – Bihar

Leela Jose -  Kochi

Enid Fernandes – Mumbai

Antony Arulraj - New Delhi

Dinesh Braganza – Mumbai

Mathew AJ – Trichy

Rohit James Joseph – Mumbai

Sr Jessy Leena BS - Mangalaru

Velangani Sinnamuthu – Kalol, Gujarat

Lynette Viegas – Lector, Our Lady of Egypt Church, Mumbai

Praxedes Gomes – Senior Citizen, Mumbai

Sahaya Philomin Raj – Tamil Nadu

Owen Chourappa – Kohima

David Solomon - Dumka

Varkey Perekkatt - Delhi        

Jacob Kujur – Pathalgaon

Lilly Pereira BS - Austria

Lourdu Raju.D.Joy – Khammam, Telangana

Dr. Pius Kizha - Kerala

Nestor J Rodrigues - Bengaluru

Samuel Kapani - Austria

Vedanayagam – Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu

Arockiasamy Arulandu - Madurai

Dr. Prakash Louis – Patna

What do you think?


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User comments (1)

Posted: 13/11/2015 15:33:48

The entire Christian population of this country now is only nearly 8 million. equal to less than 3 per cent of the total population of the country.

Still Christians own and operate thousands of schools, colleges, hospitals, old age homes etc etc.

The main problem here is "conversion" against which the local people in each area object. In some states there isw anti-conversion law in force.

The present National Govt. is backed by BHP/RSS and other fringe groups supporting anti conversion activities. In the past Christian missionaries converted some people especially the "adivasis".

Christians started schools and provided free education to the locals and today they demand proper wages/treatment etc. They are demanding to dismantle the "bonded labor" practice etc.

The rich high caste people unable to stand/face the situation where their labours on a fine morning demanding just wages or in many cases refusing to work as bonded labors. This creates the whole situation difficult for Christians.

The easiest way is to cry hoarse about religious conversion.

We Christians enjoy freedom - Indian freedom - which is not the case the world over. Stray incidents happen here and there, India is a very big country. Please note to get excited about it.

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