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Is Modi government responsible for the rising religious intolerance in India?

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By Anurag Paul

In a few weeks Narendra Modi completes 300 days as the Prime Minister of India. He came into office riding a promise of development. But his term so far has been marred with the rise of incidents against the minorities in the country.

During his term, the incidents of communal violence have gone up, nearly 600 during last eight months. The associates of BJP have become more assertive and the intimidation of the religious minorities has gone up.

“The rape of the 70 year old catholic nun in Bengal two days ago and the vandalisation of a church being built in Hissar in Haryana, not very far from the national capital, New Delhi, are horrific incidents that need urgent intervention by the state governments,” Dr. John  Dayal, spokesman, United Christian Forum for Human Rights told NewsGram.

“What is happening in Pakistan has shocked the world, and the Pope has spoken against the persecution of Christians in that country. India is NOT Pakistan, and it is the duty of the elected governments to assure security.  It is scandalous that in Haryana, the local people are reported to be saying they will not tolerate a church in their locality. Freedom of faith is an important constitutional guarantee  for democracy in India. The community, and in fact any religious community for that matter, have a right to construct a place of worship in conformity with the rules and regulations,” he further added.

THERE WERE ABOUT 150 INCIDENTS OF ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE IN 2014, INCLUDING TWO MURDERS.

There is patently a great chasm and disconnect between political pronouncements of religious freedom and protection of institutions and places of worship, and the reality on the ground,  both in cities, town and urban areas and in the villages. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke at a Christian meeting reassuring religious minorities of their rights and security, has so far chosen not to comment or even identify the Ghar Wapsi, coercion and hostility to Christian worship and prayer services specially in rural areas in most parts of India. In the absence of a categorical denunciation of such acts, hate speeches and identifying those responsible, these elements who have powerful political support, enjoy immunity from police action.

“The constant attack on Christian minorities in India parallels the attacks on Christian minorities in Pakistan. What is the difference between Pakistan and India, when in both the countries, the Christian minorities are the targets of the majority,” said Father Dominic Emmanuel, Spokesperson, Delhi Church.

“All these incidents only points to targeting minority that is known for its services. Therefore We condemn all such atrocious activities,” he further added.

What happened actually in Hissar, Haryana?- NewsGram Investigation

Subhash Chand was pastoring a church in Kaimri village in Hissar districit of Haryana. Since February, this year they were constantly disturbed by the activists of Bajrang Dal. They used to come, knock the door, jump the wall in order to frighten Subhash Chand and his wife. Since the couple has no children, both of them were silently suffering the oppression. In order the avoid the constant attack by these Hindu extremists, they went for a while to Ambala.

The whole incident of placement of Hanuman idol in the church, theft and vandalisation of church property happened in the absence of the church priest.

Haryana has a BJP government since October last year. Local residents in the village alleged that the priest was trying to construct the church despite the fact that there was no Christian in the entire village.

 Subhash Chand lodged a complaint against 14 people, following which a case was registered by police under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 295 (destroying, damaging a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons), 380 (theft in a building), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The idol of Hanuman and the red flag has been confiscated by the Police.

Growing religious intolerance

Religious intolerance is growing ever since this government has come in to power, said Rev. Sunil Sardar, Convener, Satya Sodhak Samaaj Antarrashtriya.

“The ruling government has not been able to control the extremist Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal. Government’s silence on these issues and delayed response is frightening”, he added.

“We call upon the central and state governments to act in unison to identify communal elements, investigate this gang rape and all other cases expeditiously. Law and Order is a State subject,” said Mr Anurag Mishra, Chief Executive Officer, AMMI.

“It is therefore all the more necessary to expeditiously enact a law to prevent communal and targetted Violence.  Such a bill has been on the table of the Parliament since 2005.  Its enactment into law will go a long way in strengthening the secular ethos of India, and peace and harmony across the wonderful God-given diversity of the country.”, he added further.

Mr Dilip Mandal, Former Managing Editor of “India Today Magazine” accepted that the incidents of religious intolerance is the worst form of hegemony in which the quotient of the coercion is very high.

“It is problematic for me because it affects all religious lower caste Hindus, dalits, OBCs,  tribals, women, farmers and all marginalised sections of the society. Such incidents are against the pluralistic democratic ethos of the Indian Constitution drafted by the great visionary of our time, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar,” he told NewsGram.

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Glory to PM Modi and Country Angers Certain Forces

A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor

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A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor.

By: Salil Gewali

Many will not disagree that the PM Modi is fairly unpopular among a certain popular elite within the country. However, he has earned an immeasurable number of admirers outside the country. The fact why he is an eyesore for certain groups of people and celebrities while they are bowled over and ever supportive of specific dull-witted and inexperienced leaders is something very weird and contrasting. This phenomenon defies the long-held assumption that “education” makes one rational and free from the psychological shortfall. Nevertheless, PM Modi is least bothered what his smart detractors think and do against him.  He hardly wishes evil upon anyone. He has multiple of reasons to stay buoyed and cheery. The flood of praises coming from outside the country has always swelled PM Modi’s chest. Therefore, even in the foreign soil he goes, without a hitch, shouting at full throttle —‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.  

Truly, it’s totally wrong to ignore many achievements associated with PM Modi. Yes, he has been chosen to be honored with the highest civilian award – Order of Zayed by the UAE government.  Not just that, the countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Palestine also have come forward to honor the Indian PM with their respective highest awards. A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor. His unfaltering dedication and devotion to execute formulated policies and planes have yielded positive results, though some section of powerful people try to undermine and demean them all.

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Modi government has been able to pull off many thorny external affairs and issues too quickly.

What is most attractive in PM Modi is that he is smartly clever to strike the personal kinship with any individual foreign leaders and diplomats. Yes, due to his personal touch and warmth, the Modi government has been able to pull off many thorny external affairs and issues too quickly. Of course, this is doubtlessly praiseworthy. Yes, good truths should be not suppressed and falsehood should not be exaggerated.

However, a very strange vibe is noticed in the country. It is nothing but an unenthusiastic silence maintained by the popular media when Modi receives some accolades and appreciation. Many choose not to mention it at all, not even as news-item. This all makes everything all the more conspicuous. Well, this, in fact, only prompts the swarm of netizens to be more active in social media, their battlefields. They are seen furiously vocal. The ranting, raving, and name-calling against the backdrop of the importance given to a certain class of leaders make the situation less pleasant and logical. Not just that people in the social media are quick to throw up contrasting examples citing how media goes gaga over a “less intelligent lot” while keeping deafening silence over things that bring glory and fame to the nation. This is doubtlessly a bizarre development. This way the detractors or opponents always run the risk of losing their own integrity.

ALSO READ: Modi Suggests Pakistan to Stop Exporting Terror for Peace

A business done by sacrificing integrity ends up in disaster. Opposition to ideas and political parties is always welcome, which is democratic, but the biased attitude against the “truth” and positivity can only dilute the sanctity of the enterprise and professionalism. As concerned citizens, should we not first want that the light of glory and joy dispel the gloom of darkness and despair in the country? Let’s not waste our precious life by struggling to call the untruth as truth and vice versa. This exercise only contributes to polluting our mindset and the country becomes less peaceful and more vulnerable.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great Minds on India’.

Twitter:  @SGewali