R.L. Francis resides in India and is the President of the Poor Christian Liberation Movement. You can reach him at
Vatican’s thinking about Indian Christians is not based on facts and that is why Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of Pope has issued a message on the eve of Dipawali for Hindus.
In this message, Hindus have been told to fight against anti-Christian propaganda in the country. The appeal says Dipawali is the festival of conquer of light over dark.
It again says that Hindus and Christian should jointly fight and pave the way for religious freedom. The Vatican’s appeal is very shrewd as it is trying to justify Conversion.
Vatican should know that Catholic Church enjoys equal freedom as Hindus do. Representative of Pope Benedict XVI Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio is directly appointing Bishops in India without any problem. They are building new churches and schools in the name of minority rights. How much more freedom Vatican needs?
The way allied parties opposed bill on communal violence; government should have recalled it to set the things right. However, government is firm to pass the bill ignoring views of Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal. Union Minister Veerappa Moili has given firm indication about the tough posture of the government.
Indian constitution does not give permission on the basis of such discriminatory things. Despite that government is trying to give legal sanctity to such things. It clearly polarizes society in Hindu and Muslim. Surprisingly, the draft bill has been prepared by Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council.
Recently, Prime Minister had said during the peak Anna Hazare movement that making laws is the duty of Parliament. But, ''Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011'' talks vividly about has been made by extra-governmental body. Most of the representatives of the state has outrightly dismissed it. This does not encroach the sovereignty of parliament! The law has been designed to get Muslim votes as it will consolidate Muslim-Christian vote bank.
Indigenous people are in crisis. They are facing threat of extinction. This fear, long expressed by experts around the world, has at last been proved true when United Nations confirmed this in its latest report ‘The state of the world's indigenous people.
These people are on the verge of losing their resources and land. They are being displaced from their own land. Report mentions explicitly about India. It says that due to various projects being run in the name of development, the tribal are losing their habitat. Poverty, ailments, unemployment and illiteracy have moved them away from their own culture. They are at crossroads from where they are neither able to save their own culture nor accept the popular culture.
Agony of being dislocated from the roots is evident on the faces of representative of tribal society. These representatives have come to the national capital to participate in a public hearing and workshop to study the impact of evangelism on the social, religious and economic life of tribes.
A jury comprising 14 members which includes former justice in the Gujarat High Court Suresh Soni, Justice D S Tevatia, Justice V. K Gupta, former Police Chief KPS Gill and former ambassador Prabhat Shukla.
The Christian society has been at the receiving end due to the ongoing bitter fight between Hindu and Christian organizations for the last one decade. Church has used them as a safety jacket and despite lot of problems it has not deviated from the core agenda.
Foreign grant to the Church has enormously increased over the said period and Church has used this fund to set- up new Churches, schools and convents in various states. In order to influence media, they have established separate media wings in their diocese.
The Church intends to use this platform to highlight the issue at the national and international level in order to help them. Their tussle with the anti-conversion organizations has increased in Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had asked the people of the deprived section to have a good education to cut the social slavery, to gain social staus, for economic betterment and political freedom. But, the post-globalisation process has dampened the spirit of the deprived section to get a good education as it has excluded them from the education system. It has strengthened the Brahminical social order and Elite culture in the education sector specially in the professional collages of the country.
The globalization has weakened the state finances of the country. More than 70% of the state exchequer goes for meeting the administrative expenses. This situation has been further worsened with the implementation of the sixth pay commission in the year 2008. The weak state finances has forced the various states to spend less money on the higher education. Very few state owned professional collages – Engineering, Medical and Management – have been opened since the New Economic Policy has been introduced in the country in May, 1991. Instead, the government has adopted a policy to allow the private players to open new collages in these professional streams.
Supreme Court has dealt a body blow to central government by quashing the appointment of P. J. Thomas. The Catholic Church is highly perturbed from this verdict. Same Catholic Church had termed appointment of Thomas as matter of pride for them.
When opposition leader Sushma Swaraj had put a dissent note on the appointment of Thomas even then a certain section had tried to portray it in communalist colour.
Though, Sushma Swaraj had opposed due to fact that Thomas was involved in Palmolin Oil scam while he was food and civil supply secretary in Kerala. Government had completely ignored her suggestion showing arrogance and gave logics to defend their decision. Centre had even made this issue as matter of prestige for them.
People even raised fingers on the decision of BJP to boycott oath ceremony of P. J. Thomas. People even said since Thomas is Christian so BJP is not able to digest it.