Amnesty slams India for increased religion-based violence

February 23, 2018 by  
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New Delhi, February 23, 2018: India’s religious minority groups, particularly Muslims, face increasing demonization by hard-line Hindu groups, pro-government media and state officials, says the annual report of rights watchdog Amnesty International.

India’s coalition government led by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using laws to suppress freedom of expression, the report released on Feb. 22 in New Delhi said.

“At least 10 Muslim men were lynched and many injured by vigilante cow protection groups, many of which seemed to operate with the support” of the BJP, it added. Some arrests were made but no convictions were reported.

The report also highlighted that India’s indigenous communities continue to suffer displacement because of industrial projects, while hate crimes against Dalits remain widespread.

More than 6,500 crimes were committed against indigenous people in 2016 and their communities continued to face displacement as the government acquired land for projects such as mining, the report said.

In September 2017, activists protested Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat state, saying it had displaced some 40,000 families without paying adequate reparation.

“Authorities were openly critical of human rights defenders and organizations, contributing to a climate of hostility against them,” the report said.

The report titled “The State of the World’s Human Rights 2017-18” covers 159 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia director, told reporters that South Asia in 2017 remained one of the “most dangerous regions” to be a member of a religious minority.

“Muslims in India and Sri Lanka, Shias in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Hindus in Bangladesh have all come under attack over the past year. In each case, the governments have either failed to protect them, been indifferent to their fate or even encouraged a climate of hostility,” Patnaik said.

The 409-page report also highlighted the issue of Rohingya immigrants living in India.

It noted that in September 2017 India’s government said that all Rohingya in India were “illegal immigrants” and claimed to have evidence that some Rohingya had ties to terrorist organizations. In October, in response to a petition filed by two Rohingya refugees, the Supreme Court temporarily deferred expulsions.

In contrast, India’s government in September said it would grant citizenship to about 100,000 Chakma, predominantly Buddhists, and Hindu Hajong refugees who had fled to India from Bangladesh in the 1960s, the report claimed.

The report was critical of security measures in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state bordering Pakistan, where it said rights violations continue with impunity.

“Security forces continued to use inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns during protests [in Kashmir], blinding and injuring several people. Authorities frequently shut down internet services, citing public order concerns,” the report said.

The Indian-administered area of Kashmir has suffered increased violence since 1989 after militants stepped up armed action to free the region from India. Rights groups say an estimated 100,000 people have been killed, although official records say about 47,000 people have perished.

Even by official records, an average of 1,560 people have been killed each year over the last 30 years in Kashmir, compared with the annual average of 1,200 killed in the Israeli-Palestine conflict since 1920.

The growing intolerance toward minority groups in India has been raised time and again by rights groups. The country secured 42th place in the 2017 Global Democracy Index, 10 places below its 2016 ranking.

A major reason for the poor rating was the strengthening of nationalist Hindu forces in an otherwise secular country, leading to a rise in vigilantism and violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims.

Even government records, presented Feb. 6 in parliament, show increased sectarian violence. In 2017, 111 persons were killed and at least 2,384 injured in 822 communal clashes reported across the country.

In 2016, 86 persons were killed and 2,321 injured in 703 incidents. In 2015, there were 751 incidents.

– ucan

India slips again in Transparency International’s corrupt nations list

February 23, 2018 by  
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New Delhi, February 23, 2018: Slipping two ranks since the previous year, India ranked 81st in 2017 among the 180 nations surveyed for the level of corruption, according to global anti-graft watchdog Transparency International (TI)’s corruption perceptions index.

India slipped two ranks in the index since 2016 and five ranks since 2015 — when it was placed 76th on the index, released on Wednesday.

“Philippines, India and the Maldives are among the worst regional offenders in this respect. These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths,” said Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation publishing the index for countries since 1995.

“The analysis, which incorporates data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, shows that in the last six years, more than nine out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the index,” it said.

At 81, India shared the same rank and points (40) as were secured by Ghana, Morocco and Turkey.

The body ranks countries on a scale of 0-100, where 0 represents highly corrupt and 100 very clean. To construct the index for this year, it collated datasets (surveys, ratings) from 13 sources.

“This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88, respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9, respectively.

“The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34),” the global corruption watchdog said.

Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong are the only Asian countries — discounting Australia and New Zealand– which figured in the top 20 nations on the index.

In a comment which appeared in the NGO’s website, an official of the body condemned violence against journalists as one of the flagrant indicators of the corruption level in a country and called for a condemnation of such acts.

“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption. Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up,” Patricia Moreira, Managing Director, Transparency International, said.

Reducing impunity for the corrupt, encouragement to free speech, political dissent and improving space for civil society to speak out, are some of the measures suggested by the international body as ways to stem the corrupting elements.

– ians

India’s indigenous people still out in the cold

February 23, 2018 by  
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New Delhi, February 23, 2018: A decade after the United Nations made a declaration on the rights of indigenous people, India has yet to recognize its tribal people as indigenous, effectively depriving mostly impoverished people of their basic rights.

But India needs no new laws and its legal systems are enough to protect the rights of its 104 million indigenous people, who are locally called tribal or adivasis (original inhabitants), according to UN official Phoolman Chaudhary.

The UN general assembly in 2007 adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples however India has yet to recognize tribal people as indigenous, said Chaudhary, vice-chairman and Asia representative on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“Until and unless the country recognizes the tribal communities as indigenous peoples, the tribal population will continue to suffer as their rights can’t be ensured according to the UN declaration,” he told a Feb. 16-17 seminar involving tribal leaders in New Delhi.

The first meeting of 40 medical doctors and 20 lawyers discussed issues like sustainable health care and the constitutional rights of tribal communities in India. Two tribal bodies based in New Delhi — Adivasi Ekta Parisad (indigenous unity forum) and Adivasi Samanweye Front, Bharat (indigenous coordination front, India) — organized the event.

Chaudhary, also chairman of the Asian Indigenous International Network, said India should first recognize tribal people as indigenous to effectively implement the UN declaration.

He told ucanews that the UN declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument as it establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples.

Chaudhary said he could not comment on why India failed to recognize tribal people as indigenous but said India will have to update its progress in July at UN headquarters.

Ashok Bhai Chaudhari, an organizer of the seminar, said they decided to discuss the legal and health rights of tribal people because “ignorance of tribal people on these two has cost them much.”

He said the doctor-lawyer team will work to widen their network at national as well as state level and meet when convenient to “sensitize themselves” about tribal rights.

They also plan to improve understanding among government officials, teachers and political leaders about tribal rights.

Father Nicholas Barla, secretary of the Indian Catholic bishops’ Commission for Tribal Affairs, told ucanews that hundreds of cases are “pending against tribal people in courts … even petty cases because of lack of legal awareness.”

The Oraon tribal priest added: “This forum will have a great impact as tribal lawyers have agreed to work closely for the welfare of tribal people.”

– ucan

Petition seeks criminal proceedings against Cardinal Alencherry

February 22, 2018 by  
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Kochi, February 20, 2018: A second petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court, seeking criminal proceedings against Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church, over alleged irregularities in land deals, causing loss to his Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.

The court, when taking up the petition Feb. 19 asked for the state government’s its views on the cases..

It will now be heard on Feb. 22, the New Indian Express reported.

This is the second petition against the Cardinal on the issue in the same case.

The petitions are based on the compliant and reports of the presbyteral council, a canonical representative body of priests in the archdiocese. The priests hold two senior priests and Cardinal Alencherry responsible for the deals, which they say bypassed canonical bodies and financial advisors in the archdiocese.

They allege in a series of transactions over the past two years the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese has incurred a liability of about 800 million Indian rupees in terms of missing money and bank loans.

The second petitioner Shine Varghese said the property belonged to a trust.

Cardinal Alencherry claimed that the land belonged to the archdiocese and a third party cannot complain against loss in the sale of private property.

The Cardinal cannot be charged with breach of trust, his counsel submitted.

The court had last week issued notice to the Cardinal and three others on a petition seeking a police probe into alleged irregularities in the land deals involving the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.

The Syro-Malabar Church has over 30 dioceses in the country and four outside – in the US, Canada, Australia and Britain – serving over 5 million faithful.

– ucan

Visa row threatens state poll backlash

February 22, 2018 by  
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New Delhi, February 22, 2018: Refusing to grant a visa to a Protestant leader wanting to visit northeastern India may negatively affect the prospects of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next week’s state election, a leading political figure in Christian-dominated Meghalaya state says.

Vincent H. Pala, a Catholic and the state’s ruling Congress party leader was commenting on the BJP-led federal government earlier this month refusing a visa for Baptist World Alliance chief Reverend Paul Msiza to attend a celebration marking 150 years of Christianity in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region.

“This could cost the BJP and its allies dearly” in the Feb. 27 state election Pala said, Feb. 21.

More than 75 percent of the state’s 3 million people are Christians.

The BJP holds just two seats in the 60-seat state legislature and is working with the local National People’s Party to try and garner Christian votes to defeat the Congress government, which is facing allegations of corruption.

When Reverend Msiza last visited the region he was under surveillance and was accused of violating visa guidelines and blacklisted, Pala said.

The Garo Baptist Convention was celebrating the 150-year anniversary at Rajasimla in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills from Feb. 8-11. The Baptist Church first arrived in the Garo Hills in Rajasimla in 1867.

Another leading Catholic figure in the state who requested anonymity said the “visa denial has hurt the feelings of people who now question whether the BJP is for inclusion of all the people.”

– ucan

Church appeal on elections

February 22, 2018 by  
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Dimapur, February 22, 2018: Two affiliates of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), the Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) and the Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC), have issued statements reiterating support to the NBCC’s call for clean election.

The Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) has appealed to the people of Nagaland to listen to God’s voice and have the courage to do the right thing.

ABCC executive director Rev. Dr V. Atsi Dolie, in a communiqué, said the church for some years has been trying its best to educate the people for a clean election.

The NBCC has asked voters to elect “god-fearing” leaders.

“…it is a time to choose our future with Christian and Naga identity and encourages its members to have allegiance towards one’s faith, rather than by going with any communal party,” the statement read. It also advised the candidates “not to buttress the voters by money power nor to be threatened by development”.The CBCC stated that clean election campaign was not only “against buying or selling of votes, proxy voting, drinking and distribution of liquor” but also about being cautious with words, “for with words we hurt each other”.

Responding to the allegations that NDPP-BJP alliance was a threat to the Christian faith, Neiphiu Rio thanked the church leaders for being the watchdog of the Naga society and said there was nothing to worry about as the NDPP elected legislators will not compromise on any issue concerning the Christian faith.

“We are happy that the church leaders have come up their concerns. However, there is nothing to worry about. Our rights to freedom of religion have been enshrined in the Constitution,” Rio said.

– telegraph india

Hindu extremists try to burn husband along with body of deceased wife

February 14, 2018 by  
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Punjab, February 8, 2018: Pastor Jeewer Joeswa wasn’t sure what to think when a massive, chanting Hindu throng in northern India brought the corpse of a Christian woman to his church site – then set the building on fire.

Seema Devi, 23, had put her faith in Christ several months before, after the pastor had offered up healing prayer for her. Now, on Jan. 16, Pastor Joeswa was surrounded by a Hindu mob administering last rites and burning her body on church premises in Sehal Village, in Jammu and Kashmir state.

“A mob of men and women, at least 1,000 in number shouting, ‘Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram [Hail Lord Ram],’ brought Seema’s body to the church,” Pastor Joeswa told Morning Star News.

The mob alleged that Pastor Joeswa had prayed for Devi and so was responsible for her death, Chittaranjan Tandy, secretary of the Friends Missionary Prayer Band, Jammu Region, told Morning Star News. He said that her husband, Rinku Kumar, was kept in police custody for his own security after the mob tried to burn him alive alongside his deceased wife.

“The police from Nowshera police station tried to control the mob, but they put fire on the church building, vehicles of believers parked near the church, church equipment, furniture and every object in sight, including the food grains,” Tandy said.

In the violence at the village in Rajouri District, the mob alleged that Devi and her husband had been forcibly converted, he said.

“There was no forced conversion,” Tandy said. “The couple voluntarily attended the church and accepted Christ. In fact, they had experienced the healing and were strong in faith.”

Superintendent of Police Popsi Malik told Morning Star News that Devi and her husband had been attending church but were still practicing some Hindu rituals.

“They were in the rudimentary phase, thinking whether to continue as Hindu or Christian,” Malik said. “It was the assumption of the mob that the couple got converted by force. Before her death, the couple were attending their church in Punjab state. People have presumed that he was converted to Christianity forcefully. But that was not true.”

Malik said police brought the mob under control, though not before both Christians and Hindus were injured in the altercation.

Prayer and Witchcraft

Pastor Joeswa said his congregation had prayed for Devi long before she died on Jan. 15.

“It was months ago, when her mental health was degrading, the church prayed for her and she got healed completely,” he said. “She became an active believer who would never miss a prayer meeting, whether it be on Sunday or weekdays.”

When there was a need to pray for the sick, she would accompany the pastor, his wife and others to pay home visits, he said.

After attending the Christmas Day service, she had gone to her mother’s house, he said.

“After she went to her maternal house, we heard that they forced her to join them in idol worship,” Pastor Joeswa said. “Now I can recall Seema telling me often, ‘Pastor, I share the gospel with my parents. My mum shows little interest, but my papa never listens. Please pray for him. My family worships idols, I want them to know Jesus Christ.”’

Tandy said that during her previous illness, her husband refused to take her to a witchdoctor, known locally as a tantric. Her parents tied her hands and legs with ropes and took her to Pouni village, Reasi District, for treatment from the witchdoctor, he said.

“The driver of the auto rickshaw, a resident of Kangri village, stands as eyewitness to this,” Tandy told Morning Star News. “Our church members were moved hearing the news of Seema being taken to religious places and to a tantric for treatment; many of them tried to go to Pouni village to pray for her.”

Devi’s parents did not allow them in to pray for her, Pastor Joeswa said.

“The tantric had beaten her brutally,” the pastor said. “Ten days after realizing the witchdoctor’s treatment was not working, the parents gave up. They handed Seema to her husband Rinku. Finally, Rinku moved with his wife to Jalandhar [Punjab state] for treatment. She was already in the worst health condition.”

She and her husband had enjoyed fellowship with Pastor Joeswa’s church for nearly eight months, he said. They were visiting the church anew from Jalandhar when he last saw her on Christmas Day.

Quest for Justice

For four days after the Hindu mob descended on the church property, Christians in Sehal village stayed in relatives’ houses fearing for their lives, Tandy said.

“There was a threat to their lives also,” he told Morning Star News. “With the help of Christian advocacy groups, we joined together as 25 pastors from Jammu region and represented the matter before the chief minister of the state, Mehmooba Mufti. We are praying and hoping for funds to be released for the construction of the church.”

The total loss has been estimated as 2.5 million rupees (US$38,850), he said.

“As pastors in Jammu and Kashmir region, we go through many difficult situations, but God has always made a way,” Tandy said. “It is only by His grace that our people came out alive from the burning church building. We request for prayers. We are hoping our Lord will do a massive work, that He will shake Jammu and save the unbelieving.”

Kumar is safe but in hiding as his life is under threat, according to Police Superintendent Malik.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered at Nowshera Police Station against the assailants – who came from Kangri, Bhajwal, Sunderbani and Sehal villages – upon receiving a complaint from Pastor Joeswa.

“The police took into custody some eight assailants, but they were released on the same day,” Tandy told Morning Star News.

The cause of Devi’s death has not been revealed, as no one has yet received a post-mortem report, he said.

Area residents said that on Jan. 15 in Jalandhar, she woke up early and completed chores, then suddenly, at 7:30 a.m., she fainted and collapsed to the floor.

“Rinku and their neighbors in Jalandhar thought Seema might have slipped into coma, at first, but she passed away,” Pastor Joeswa said. “She was put through a lot.”

Tandy said local politicians are trying to politicize her death by announcing compensation of 200,000 rupees (US$3,108) to Girdhari Lal, Seema’s father, and a government job for Devi’s sister.

The assailants’ allegations were baseless, he said.

“We prayed as a church for Seema when she was sick, and we are still praying as a chain – hundreds of us have begun praying for the revival of the church, and for safety of Seema’s husband, Rinku, also,” he said.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 11th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution, up from 15th the previous year, and ahead of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Egypt.

– morning star news

Hindu hardliners attack Indian Christian schools

February 14, 2018 by  
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Madhya Pradesh, February 13, 2018: Hindu hardliners have stepped up intimidation of Christian educational institutions in India, not least Catholic colleges.

In one recent case, sheer numbers were used to break through a security cordon with the aim of performing a nationalistic ritual.

Braving wintry early January winds, armed police guarded St. Mary’s College in Vidisha of Madhya Pradesh state in central India.

Some 800 young Hindu men entered the campus, some by scaling walls, but police managed to stop them performing a purportedly patriotic ritual in front of students.

The Bharat Mata Aarti ritual can entail a personification of Mother India represented by the Hindu goddess Durga.

However, Archbishop Leo Cornelio, head of the Catholic Church in the troubled state, said the attempt really had nothing to do with patriotism.

Attempts to discredit church institutions were aimed at gaining control over them, he warned.

The archbishop noted that Catholic schools and colleges run on secular lines are allowed under the nation’s constitution.

“No one can take that right from us,” Archbishop Cornelio said.

Hindu militants were trying to impose their own distorted version of nationalism on others in order to create social rifts for political gain, he told ucanews

On Jan. 16, nearly 200 police stood guard at St. Joseph Convent School in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh in the face of threatened protest action.

Hindu activists had accused the school of suspending students for chanting the patriotic slogan “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (Hail Mother India).

The school maintained that the students were only asked not to chant slogans in an inappropriate manner and had not been barred from attending classes.

In recent months there have been a series of attacks on Christian schools across northern India as well as those in the central region.

Christian leaders see the trend as part of a Hindu strategy to portray Christians as lawbreakers who do not respect Indian traditions.

Militants have alleged that Hindu students, who are a majority at church-run schools, are not able to worship the goddess of learning, Saraswati.

G.S. Markam, a leader of indigenous minority people in Madhya Pradesh, said Christians constitute soft targets in divisive communal politics.

He said hard-line groups sought to split Christians and non-Christians to ensure that upper-caste Hindus continue to live in luxury.

Hindu groups, guided by their umbrella organization RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps), sought total Hindu domination, he said.

The RSS is the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules most northern Indian states, including Madhya Pradesh, as well as nationally.

The BJP has been accused of endorsing various pro-Hindu fanatics.

Fight to block empowerment of poor

Bishop Anthony Chirayath of the Syro-Malabar Eastern Catholic Church said Hindu hardliners do not believe in equal treatment for poor tribal people or Dalits, formerly known as untouchables.

So they sought to destroy or tarnish the image of educational institutions that increased awareness of the needs of the poor, he added.

The Catholic Church runs nearly 15,000 colleges and schools in India, more than 40 percent of the total provided by all Christian denominations.

Christians are also widely engaged in the provision of medical services and social welfare.

“If these institutions are tarnished, Christians can be tainted,” Bishop Chirayath explained.

An ecumenical forum called Persecution Relief says that 736 hate crimes were recorded against Christians in India in 2017.

Christian institutions were targeted in at least 10 percent of these cases, said the forum’s founder, Shibu Thomas.

Hindu fundamentalists had been working to “grab land” and other property from various church groups, Thomas added.

Another trend was for “fringe elements” to gain publicity by attacking Christians in order to advance their state or national political ambitions.

Thomas complained that hooligans masquerading as patriots are protected by law enforcement agencies when they demonize minority religions.

– ucan

After stopping Haj subsidy, BJP offers to send Christians to Jerusalem — for free

February 14, 2018 by  
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New Delhi, February 14, 2018: Just about a month after canceling government subsidised Haj pilgrimages+ , the BJP is offering Christians free trips to Jerusalem if elected to power in Nagaland, reported northeastern news outlets.

It’s unclear if the BJP is offering this to all of India’s Christians, or only to Christians in the northeast, or only to Christians in Nagaland.

The BJP’s offer comes in the run-up to elections in three northeastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura – later this month. In Meghalaya, almost 75 percent of the population is Christian. In Nagaland, 88 percent of the population is Christian.

“The BJP has made an election promise to send Christians to Jerusalem on a free trip, if elected to power in Nagaland,” tweeted news outlet WeTheNagas. UNI news agency reported that the free Jerusalem trip has only been offered to Christians in Nagaland.

The BJP’s offer, some said, smacked of hypocrisy and opportunism, especially considering the cancellation of Haj subsidies.

“BJP promise to send Christians on a free trip. I was right, BJP continues with subsidy if it suits its electoral needs. This is (what BJP means by) ‘India first’ “, tweeted AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

When announcing the end of haj subsidies last month, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the BJP-led Centre believes in empowering the minority community with dignity and not appeasement.

“We believe in empowerment without appeasement…Development with dignity is what we believe in. The haj subsidy will be used for educating girls,” said Naqvi.

After this decision was announced, Left party CPM said that they were in principle opposed to subsidies for all religious pilgrimages, but were not in favour of the government abruptly stopping the haj subsidy, considering the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that it should be phased out over a 10-year period.

AIMIM MP Owaisi said he had always been in favour of ending the haj subsidy but sought parity in norms for pilgrims of all religions. The Hyderabad MP lashed out at the government for its discriminatory decision, ending Haj subsidy but allowing subsidies to continue for Hindu pilgrimages like the Mansarovar Yatra.

The Israeli press was a tad amused by the BJP’s offer to send Christians on a free trip to Jerusalem. It called the BJP’s announcement a campaign promise and alluded such promises were often overblown.

“Campaign promises around the world are legendary, from ‘a roast in every pot,’ to ‘I’ll cut your taxes,’ to ‘vote for me, and I’ll set you free’ “, wrote The Jerusalem Post.

– times of india

RSS frowns at proposal for Christian University in Kerala

February 12, 2018 by  
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Thrissur, February 13, 2018: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has raised objection to a proposal put forth by the National Commission for Minorities to establish a Christian University with headquarters in Kerala.

The Sangh Parivar organisation is learnt to have expressed its resentment over the move of the Commission which comprises of BJP-nominated members.

The Kerala state unit of the RSS has hinted that they may intervene at national level if the Commission goes ahead with its proposal. They are of the opinion that there is no need for a university with a religious tag, either in Kerala or in India.

RSS Prantha Karyavahak P Gopalankutty alleged the country had witnessed the Aligarh University, which was established for minority community, later turning into a centre of anti-national activities. The law of the country provides freedom to individuals to study in any educational institution of their choice, he added.

He said there is no discrimination existing in the country as to forbid any minority community member from studying in educational institutions where majority community studies.

The Minority Commission floated the idea of Christian University in Kerala in the wake of the Centre’s decision to establish universities in regions where the minority population dominates.

– mathrubhumi

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