Ongoing attack on Christians is attack on Indian secularism and democracy

By Madhu Chandra,

“The expertise to read the signpost of the attack on secularism and democracy in India and monitor accordingly is the need of the hour,” said, Ms. Asma Jahangir, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief at her concluding press conference after a three-week mission trip to find the religious intolerance in India early this year.

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“The Fascism will come to India, in the form of communalism,” warned, Jawaharlal Nehru, first Indian Prime Minister.

The Independent People’s Tribunal conducted a jury hearing of victims of communal violence in different parts of the country in March 2007 and its report is out. The tribunal testified the rise of fascist forces is the attack on Indian secularism and democracy.

The ongoing and uncontrolled attack on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and now spreading to other parts of India is the clear signpost of Saffron fascist forces involved in religious ethnic cleansing. Most of the churches, Christian homes and Christian villages in Kandhamal and 14 other district of Orissa are vandalized. A single Hindu temple is not attacked in whole of the state. What signpost does it give to the eyes of every Indian civil society?

The attack on Christians in India is crystal clear of attack on Indian secularism and democracy. India is proud of claiming of being world’s largest democracy, and now every Indian civil society must know the truth of the saffron fascist forces’ attack on India secularism and democracy! It must be stopped, sooner is the better, procrastinating will become harder to break later.

Fascism has its different colors and forms in different parts of the world including India, the world’s largest secular and democratic nation. Definitely for India, the saffron fascist forces are most dangerous like any other terror fascist forces.

The rise of militancy in different parts of the country and their characteristics of operation are the signpost of the fascist forces. Communal violence’s base of race, tribe, caste and religions is the neo face of fascism. It is the fascism between religious majority and minority, seen in Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984, Anti-Christian Riots of 1998 in Gujarat, the Gujarat Carnage of 2002, a black Christmas episode of 2007 in Orissa and over 4000 recorded attacks on Indian Christians in 2008.

To cover up its true color of saffron fascism, the saffron brigade has materialized the allegation to establish two “greatest enemies” of the country: Terrorism to Muslims and Conversion to Christians.

The rise of religious intolerance in the last 10 years in India and the media campaign of saffron forces have intoxicated the public mind that Christians are deeply involved in conversion. This has yet to be proven and no Indian court has found it to be true.

With a selective definition of their enemies, it’s easy for Hindutva forces to establish Islam, Christians and Communists as enemies of the nation for the crime of not subscribing the neo-fascist movement of Hindutva.

Saffron fascist forces have selected the soft target of Christians after years of attacking Muslims. Selecting Christians as the next target is much more than just the allegation of proselytisation. Dalits and tribes empowered educationally and economically through Christian missions are seen as a threat to Saffron brigades.

These educated and economically empowered Dalits and tribals break the caste structure established by Brahminical heads. The saffron brigade has formed neo-fascist forces to stop minority religious missions from further empowering Dalits and tribals of the country.

Tribal Christians of the Dang district of Gujarat, Jhabua of Madhya Pradesh, and Kandhamal of Orissa are major victims of the organized attack by Hindutva forces. The episode of Black Christmas in the Kandhamal district of Orissa in 2007 and the ongoing attack in different parts of the country are the latest signposts of the attack on Indian secularism and democracy. In Black Christmas, the media reported nine Christians killed, over 90 churches and Christian institutions and over 700 Christian homes burnt and over 7000 lives affected. The economic system of tribal Christians was destroyed to ashes.

The ongoing and uncontrolled communal violence on Christians has left over 30 deaths, over 100 churches, 300 Christian villages, 4000 Christian homes burnt down and 50000 Dalit Christians made refugees in forest.

These neo-fascist tactics often go untold and unreported. No political party and very few human rights agencies have tried to identify these signposts of attacking Indian secularism and democracy. The young generations particularly of tribal backgrounds are indoctrinated with the neo Hindutva form of fascism in saffron-sponsored schools and institutions.

The open acclaim of the Hindutva laboratory of Gujarat in 2002 and its success being announced to apply in all the states is a threatening signpost of the rise of fascism, of which, no one seems to be bothered.

The Black Christmas of Orissa incident in 2007 and Kandhamal Violence 2008 and the ongoing violence are the recent signposts, in making Orissa into Gujarat II in the wake of upcoming state elections and general election due in 2009.

The national law makers have two eyes on dealing the threatening issues caused by the terror forces and they have achieved in terming the bomb blasters as terrorist.

The mob terrors caused by the saffron fascist forces like Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh on Muslim minorities earlier and now on Christians are left out. The mob terror of Hindutva fascist forces caused the damage and lost of lives and properties as much or more as caused by bomb terrors.

The bomb terror must be condemned and banned, then what about the same nature of mob terror caused by the Hindutva fascist forces of which Orissa state government and alike the central have failed to take any major steps to curve the uncontrolled religious ethnic cleansing of Christians in Kandhamal district of Orissa.

What can be said about the steps that should be taken to stop the rise of fascism and the attacks on Indian secularism and democracy?

Have equal eyes on all the fascist forces, that has attacked on Indian secularism and bring them all equally under the law of the nation, whether they be of SIMI or Bajrang Dal.

The legislators are introducing bills to curb the force, fraud and fraudulent conversion while saffron sponsored force (re)conversion is never considered as crime.

The preamble of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the fundamental rights of every Indian citizen, will be under threat, if the rise of fascism and attacks on Indian secularism and democracy are left uncontrolled. Time is now for experts to monitor and identify the signpost.


Madhu Chandra is with All India Christian Council and can be reached at [email protected]