Mr PN Benjamin's appeal from Bangalore: Restore peace in Kandhamal
The democratic process can only solve any controversial problem like Kandhamal. People across the religions and communities are trying hard to bring peace in the disturbed area.
Interestingly, the Christian community is also divided on conversion and other similar issues. One section of the minority is saying that the Hindu fundamentalists like VHP is responsible for the violence in Kandhamal.
Whereas, the other section of Christian community is saying: Let us first set our house in order ; work for peace and amity. Mr PN Benjamin, head of Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD), falls in this categoy. I have received a mail from him with the title: An open letter to Mr John Dayal on Orissa inquiry. Mr Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Mr Benjamin's appeal to bring peace in Orissa is important.
An open letter to John Dayal October 2008
Dear Mr. John Dayal
Why bother about your security? You and I are Christians. And we have His assurance: Fear not, when I am with you. However, is your life more precious to you than the 'Christian' cause you are fighting for? Haven't nearly sixty Christians, according to you died in Orissa for fighting your cause? Haven't they been pawns in the hands of Christian jehadis like you?
Thanks for the offer to hold my hand and take care of my taxi fare from Bhuvaneswar. But, I am a retired bank employee, existing on a pittance as pension. So, please find a good Christian to take care of my medical needs, travel, board and lodge.
I need regular supply of the following medicines; Plendil-5mg , Lodoze 5 mg twice daily, Ramace 5mg, (morning –evening), Natrilik SR- one daily andClonotril,5mg in the night. These are for my BP. Then, human insulin Lille (30/70) 40 units in the morning and 15 in the night, Tab.Glucobay-50mg, morning and night, Riomet500GF, one in the morning for diabetes. These are the medicines I take every day. Hope you'll be kind enough to stock them for me, not forgetting an ice bag (small) to keep the insulin cool.
Looks like you have no faith in the good old Bible and the power of Jesus, our Defender and Saviour! There's no mention about it in your reply. That's why you're more concerned about your personal safety.
You refer only good old Gandhi and say you cannot be compared with him. No wonder. I respect your honesty because Gandhi never bore false witness against anyone, though he was not a Christian. But, the John Dayal, I know of dishes that out (falsehood) profusely especially when he goes to the US and appears before USCIRF and his Christian evangelist friends there who ostensibly bank-roll his activities both in the US and in India.
"There are no Christian assailants" in the Orissa incident"? That is quite a stretch when everyone who is familiar with the tribals in Orissa knows that many Maoists are converts to Christianity. Besides, to claim that there are no Christian assailants...that is another instance of bearing false witness when an 80 year old Hindu mendicant and his four associates were killed by assailants whose Christian identity is cleverly camouflaged under the guile of their being Maoists. There are Maoists who are not atheists, but still go to their respective places of worship.
Incidentally, I understand from my friends in the US, that whenever you go there and appear before the USCIRF, all the secular Indian Christians there hang their heads in shame for the presence of such a man in the US who does not seem to have an iota of national pride or is willing to credit India's 2000 plus years of history with Hinduism that has tolerated the fundamentalist preaching of the mis-quided Mullahs and the ilk of Benny Hinn (Bunny Henn?) types.
I need some clarifications. The inquiry Commission has invited you to Bhubaneshwar and not to Kandanmhal. Orissa State government to probe Dec 2007 appointed Justice Panigrahi Commission anti-Christian violence. You first boycotted it as he was not a sitting judge and then asked for extension of time. You had placed your demands before the commission before the killing of Swami Lakhmanand. Some disconnect somewhere?
Be that as it may, there can be a funeral in Bhubeneshwar for a Christian priest killed in the aftermath of the murder of Swami Laksmananda. And 3000 people can attend it. But John Dayal says that he cannot come to Bhubeneshwar to give evidence to the commission set up to inquire into many aspects surrounding the issues in Kandhamal, because he fears for his safety.
It is not only the Christian priests and bishops who are out to demonise Hindu organisations. Various laity leaders like you, who see an opportunity to make money, egg them on. It is unfortunate the John Dayals of India like the Taliban want to "Christianize" Asia because they still toe the line of the late John Paul II's Ecclesia in Asia
However, May God bless you abundantly to spread continuously hatred like butter on hot bread. In the meantime, I accept your invitation/offer/challenge to visit Orissa along with you to spread the message of peace and amity, provided you take care of the above mentioned requirements. Please do bring along with you the Bibles you promised. May be a hymnbook tooto help us sing the old-weird-colonial song: Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war…."