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Why target Christians?

There is a tendency by Hindu fundamentalist groups to consider Islam and Christianity as alien faiths that make the nation-building project difficult. The insinuation is that Christianity and Islam did not originate from India and therefore its adherents owe their allegiance elsewhere and not to India. The Hindu fringe elements have been raising their ugly heads since the BJP-led NDA Government came to power in 2014. Recently the Madhya Pradesh police detained a group of Catholic seminarians and priests for Christmas caroling in Satna. The carolers were accused of outraging the religious feelings of non-Christians. They were charged under the anti-conversion law. The carolers’ car was set aflame and the carolers assaulted. When some priests later went to the police station to enquire into the matter they too were detained. It appears that Christians and Muslims have to live as underdogs in this country. The central government turns the other way each time such incidents flare up.       

In Uttar Pradesh the Hindu Jagran Manch another Hindu fringe group warned all Christian schools in Aligarh not to celebrate Christmas because it is not an “Indian” festival. One of the leaders of the HJM was on national television saying he would not allow Christmas to be celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, come what may. We can be sure he has the support of Yogi Adityanath the Chief Minister and a former temple priest. There is something sinister in the manner in which Christians and Muslims are attacked and made to feel they don’t belong in India. That Prime Minister, Narendra Modi chooses to remain silent instead of castigating the loudmouths who bring discredit to his Party, the BJP, makes us wonder whose side he is on. As Prime Minister he is to serve a cross section of constituents and India is a country of many religions, races and ethnicities.  If this is the trend in which India is moving then right thinking, liberal Hindus should speak up and reclaim their real faith from the tentacles of Hindutva.  


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