Amid the raging debate over rising intolerance and a spate of award wapasi, an RSS-backed think tank has come out with a publication debunking the story of Christian persecution in India. It concludes that the alleged attacks on churches in the national capital were hyped beyond proportion and the attack of leaders of the Christian community on the Modi government over this was without any basis.
Premeditated reaction of the church authorities on the alleged attacks in Delhi and the low profile maintained by them after the investigations, the publication says, raises questions on the ethics and integrity of the Catholic Church in targeting Hindu organisations. It adds that even before the police reports came out, anti-India propaganda was spread by the Indian and foreign media. It finds it of significance that the occurrence of these incidents as a chain of incidents came close to the Delhi assembly elections.
The 48-page booklet, Big Lies, with a subtitle ‘Investigation exposes vilification campaign of Christian persecution in India’, is prepared by the India Policy Foundation. It was presented at the recent RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal meet.
It quotes the statement of a number of senior Catholic clerics to substantiate its point. Delhi Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, for instance, is quoted as saying after the declaration of the Delhi assembly election results in February 2015 - “in a statement released by Vatican Radio” - that people of Delhi voted against BJP and its attempts to polarise voters in name of religion. “The result of these elections is a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He should think seriously about his behaviour,” he is quoted.
It makes a detailed narration, citing police investigation and some statements by Christian priests, about alleged attacks on St Sebastian’s church at Dilshad Garden, Church of Our Lady at Vikaspuri, Blessed St Alphonsa’s Church at Vasant Kunj, Cyro Malabar Church at Jasola, Church of Resurrection Rohini, Child Auxilium Convent school at Vasant Vihar and Believer’s Church at Hisar in Haryana and concludes that these incidents had no direct or indirect linkage any Hindu organisation.
The report goes at length talking about earlier incidents like Jhabua rape case, rape of a septuagenarian nun at Ranahgat, blasts in Karnataka churches and so on, which were initially blamed at Hindutava elements but investigations revealed something else.
The timing of the publication of `Big Lies’ is interesting as it coincides with writers and filmmakers with liberal, Left and Congress leaning returning their awards and blaming the Modi government and Hindutava outfits for intolerance. All this happens around the time the Bihar election is in progress. Perhaps the booklet wants to send a message across to the Sangh Parivar workers at large that they need not be defensive on the `intolerance’ issue.
Rakesh Sinha, director of India Policy Foundation, says: “Intellectuals of the country are predominantly neo-colonialists. They pursue, propagate and campaign for selective secularism. This report is an eye-opener. It also shows how many columnists, reporters and editors are always waiting to use incidents to attack majoritarianism which does not exit either in theory or in practice in cotemporary India.”
Published Date: Nov 07, 2015 10:49 am | Updated Date: Nov 07, 2015 11:33 am