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Socio-spiritual concern

10 Feb. 2018 11:40 PM IST

What the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has done in reminding people about the anti-religious minority concept and actions of the Hinduvta forces does not escape attention. NBCC has decided to ring alarm bells about various acts of persecutions faced by Christians at the hands of Hindutva forces. In August 2017, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. In the past six years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 11 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity. In 2014 the Ministry of Home Affairs reported a “steep 30 per cent rise in the number of communal violence incidents in 2013 as compared to 2012, with the maximum number of cases being reported from Uttar Pradesh.” Reported incidents of abuse carried out against Christians in India went up to 177 in 2015, and escalated to 300 in 2016 the Evangelical Fellowship of India reported. The persecution of Christians in India increased sharply in the year 2016, according to a report by Open Doors India was ranked 15th in the word in terms of danger to Christians, up from 31st four years earlier. On the point of making a strong pitch against politics espoused under the ideology of Hindutva, the NBCC made no bones that the BJP, the political wing under Hindutva should not be given the benefit of doubt since the saffron party cared only about implementing its agenda of majoritarianism. The strong appeal made by the NBCC is surely not going unnoticed since there is electioneering as the entire state will be going to the polls on February 27, 2018. The Hindutva ideology of Bharat as one nation, one people, one culture and one religion is essentially fascism. The hyper nationalist fervor is militarily ensconced and like Nazi Germany, fascism is also strongly embedded in a ‘strong leader’ (dictator). The ideology would spell the end of special protective privileges enjoyed so far by minority communities like Nagas and other tribals under Article 371A or Kashimiris under Article 370. In the past, there was reason to argue that the ascendancy of the BJP to relative supremacy in Indian politics over the course of the last few years bears a direct relationship to the considerable, even dramatic, increase in violence against Christians and other minorities in India. The militant Hindus have spread a canard that the Christian population is increasing rapidly in India, and they have attempted to create the widespread impression that lower-caste Hindus are being forcibly converted in large numbers to Christianity. The Census of India, which remains the most authoritative source for population statistics, clearly shows that the Christian community has stagnated and even registered a small decline in recent years. The most common rationale offered for violence against Christians in India, namely that the community is growing at an alarming rate through forced conversions, is absurd and has been decisively rejected by the print media and the world of scholarship. On this scale, what NBCC needs to also do is to focus on reformation and bring qualitative spiritual changes especially against corruption and the easy money syndrome. On this, the BJP is the least of the problems if people learn to say ‘No’ to allurements.

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