Saturday, January 21, 2012

Violence against Christians:A letter to the Chief Minister


Shri D V Sadananda Gowda
Chief Minister of Karnataka

Respected Chief Minister

Alleged Persecution of Christians in Karnataka

Permit me to bring the following facts for your kind notice.

I have been a freelance journalist writing regularly for several newspapers for the past thirty five years. Like most of those who have to regularly write for newspapers I need factual information. So, I diligently file press clippings so that I don't slip up on accuracy.

I am the founder and coordinator of the Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD), promoting pluralism, tolerance and understanding for a society, free of all prejudices. It provides a platform for addressing issues which are causes for religious/communal tension/resentment by inviting people of all faiths to share through it the richness of their various religious traditions and experiences.

In addition, I am at present a member of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission, representing the Christian community in the State. As a member of the Commission I have visited several places where alleged attacks against Christians took place and interacted with the victims of the alleged violence and also government officials to find out the facts behind attacks.

As far back as 2002, I was part of a fact finding team that enquired into the attack on the Holy Family Church at Hinkal in Mysore. Its report is available on the internet. In the same manner, I was a member of another fact-finding team that exposed the political conspiracy behind the Mangalore incidents of violence against Christians in 2008.

Provocative statement

A retired judge of Karnataka High Court, M.F.Saldanha has recently said that Christians in Karnataka State are under an unprecedented wave of persecution. He has also termed Karnataka as “the Rogue State No.1”. Unfortunately for Saldanha, he himself admits that the State has not recorded any killing in this season of “persecution”.

Despite the horror stories trotted out by Saldanha and his friends about the unprecedented “persecution of Christians in Karnataka” it is interesting to not that there has not been a single instance of Christians fleeing the State and migrating to neighboring states!

The same retired judge had alleged last year that there were 1,000 attacks against Christians in Karnataka at that time. . Asked for the details of the attacks, Saldanha failed to provide me with the list of names of churches and even dates of attacks. Thus, his baseless charges against the State government now also reflect his shocking ignorance of the real religious situation in Karnataka.

Intriguing silence

It is unfortunate despite such provocative statements and spreading hatred against Hindus, people like Saldanha and his supporters go scot free. The Bharatya Janata Party and the State Government have not been able to counter their propaganda effectively and stop them in their tracks with facts and figures.

As a friend and well-wisher of BJP and the government, I have been trying my best in my own limited way to expose the nefarious activities of many Christian leaders and their foreign-funded organisations to destabilize the BJP government in our State. This is a fact well known to most of the national and state leaders of Sangh Pariwar.

Be that as it may, at the request of Shri Ram Madhav – RSS leader – I have written a reply to the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and a booklet entitled “A Tale of Three Reports -Facts, Fiction & Politics behind the incidents of violence against Christians in Karnataka”.

It is time the government and the Party came out strongly and openly against their enemies – the aggressive Christian evangelists- and countered their vilification campaign against the Hindu community. I assure you of my fullest support in this battle against evil forces in the form of mobilizing public opinion through my writings.

I am sure the spokesmen of the government and the Party will at least now show some interest in reading the materials I have produced (written) on the subject and understand the facts of the tension between Christians and Hindus in the State.

I am attaching the following documents for your information which can be used for effectively countering the Christian leaders’ propaganda next time against your
Government and BJP.

1) Aggressive faith-marketing
2) BIRD-RSS report Hinkal Church attack 2002
3) Report on Mangalore violence 2008
4) Rebuttal of USCIRF Report- 2010 on Karnataka
5) An open letter to retd justice Saldanaha

Looking forward to a line in reply

Yours truly

501, Indira Residency
167 Hennur Road
Bangalore 560 043
Cell: 9731182308
21 Jan. 2012

1 comment:

G.S.kamath said...

Thank you for the article sir.
It is acceptable that certain fanatics exist in Hindu as in everyone, but the RSS we aren't taught to massacre Christian, muslim or any other. I agree, lots of ideological differences do exist, but these can be sorted out by peacefull talks.
A religion which allows 33crore forms of god, what change would it make if Jesus is seen as one.
The fake campaign Directed at RSS, isn't at hindus but at the secular fabrics of our nation. Against peaceful co-existance.
I believe the division of Indian into Minority and Majority should be stopped.