India never fails to gloat over its secular credentials and how deftly it has managed to secure a semblance of unity amongst its ultra-diversified cultural milieu in international diplomatic missions outside. The recent spate of unfortunate incidents with regard to the persecution of the Christian community quite blatantly makes a mockery of the sacred principles of secularism enshrined in our constitution and it leaves me pondering over the validity of a constitution in our 21st century India, where the citizenry believes in makes its own rules to suit its petty interest. Insecurity and envy has replaced a sense of fear and discipline. Respect for the constitution is as good as anathema and a basic conscience which every individual is gifted with, is like a grossly underutilized resource, abandoned to decay and perish. It is high time; we discard this deceptive mask of liberalism and tackle some of the real issues plaguing our country more realistically.
As if the Kandhamal episode in Orissa was not enough to victimize and persecute a relatively docile and a peaceful community, the Christians is Karnataka are yet again embroiled in a sinister game being played by fanatical political outfits, where these depraved extremists vandalized close to 20 churches, indulged in Bible-burning, broke musical instruments and furniture. The most appalling feature of this assault was the beating up of nuns by the law-enforcement agencies in a bid to disperse the protesting mobs. If I get started on the staggering list of atrocities inflicted on the Christian community residing in the tribal areas of orrissa, unnerving nightmares for days to come would haunt conscientious readers of this article. The fact that the epicenter of the communal flashpoint in Orissa was 6 to 7 kilometers away from a district police station raises a number of uncomfortable questions. Mr. Patnaik’s abysmal rehabilitation programmes and apparent inability to find any concrete solutions is making the Christian brethren pay a very heavy price. Anti-Christian rioters are individually hauling up the missionaries and threatening them to either “convert or die”. Insecurity and apprehension still prevails, with people living in dread of imminent attacks. All this for sincerely endeavouring to educate and empower certain marginalized sections of the society.
We are perennially flooded with news items with relation to Hindu Muslim riots, Hindu Sikh riots and now hindu-Christian riots. Hindus constitute close 80 percent of our population and therefore it automatically becomes their duty to behave responsibly, by virtue of constituting the majority. Certain sections of our ubiquitous Hindu populace have been trying to subdue the already suppressed since time immemorial and tragically enough they have been successful at it. If they think that by resorting to such primitive techniques of coercion, they can perpetuate their ancient hegemony, then they are mighty wrong. As for the tribals, SC’S, ST’S and the like, even if they are being made to convert to Christianity, it’s actually a much safer and a sensible bet. It might just be able to release them from the stifling oligarchic tendencies of the Hindu caste system and confer a sense of dignity and self-esteem.