Ram Puniyani: Why haul Shinde on Hindutva Terror?

January 28, 2013 by  
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Shinde on Hindutva Terror: Terminological Confusions

 Hindus against Sushil Kumar ShindeProtests are being organized and threats to stall the proceedings of next Lok Sabha session are being dished out to oppose the Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s statement about the Hindu terrorism, its links with BJP and RSS. (23 Jan 2013). There are two major components of this statement. One is the use of the prefix Hindu for terrorism, and two about RSS-BJP links with terror training camps. What Shinde called Hindu terrorism has also been called Saffron terrorism or Hindutva terrorism. This prefix is to point out to acts of terror indulged in by the likes of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swami Aseemanand, Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Kalsangara, Sunil Joshi and many like them who were either actively associated with the ideology of Hindutva, or even were organizationally associated with RSS. Others were at that time or previously linked with some progeny of RSS like ABVP, Bajrang Dal etc. Many of them were part of organizations like Sanatan Sanstha, Abhinav Bhararat, who again aim at the goal of Hindu Naion or are ideologically inspired by the agenda of RSS.

The home minister’s remarks are based on investigations done Anti Terror Squads of different states and by National Investigation Agency. Earlier the announcement was made by the former Union home minister P. Chidambaram, in July 2010, to Parliament that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the terrorist attacks on the Samjhauta Express and examine the conspiracy behind the attack, including the links of the accused in terrorist attacks at Malegaon (September 8, 2006), Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad (May 18, 2007) and at the Ajmer dargah (October 11, 2007). He had used the word Saffron terror.

Various such acts of terror in which these people have been involved have been coming to light from last ten years or so. In 2003, in Parbani, Jalna and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; in 2005, in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh; in 2006, in Nanded; in January 2008, at the RSS office in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli; in August 2008, in Kanpur etc. Few of the details of some of these acts are very revealing

1, On 6th April 2006 two Bajrang Dal workers died when making the bombs. The place where they died belonged to the RSS worker and saffron flag was hoisted atop the hose. There was also a board of Bajrang Dal Nanded Branch on the wall of the house.

2 ,In Thane on 4th June 2008, two Hindu Jagran Samiti workers were arrested for planting the bombs in the basement of Gadkari Rangayatan, due to which 7 people got injured. The same group was involved in the blasts in Vashi, Panvel also.

3, In Goa a bomb kept in a scooter went off on the eve of Divali (17th Oct 2009) in Margao. It killed Malgonda Patil and seriously injured Yogesh Naik. Another bomb was detected in Sancoale in a truck carrying 40 youth for Narkasur competition. Both the activists belonged to Sanatan Sanstha. The second aim of this blast was to create communal tension in Margao, which has a history of communal violence. This group takes inspiration from Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha) and Hedgewar (RSS) and indoctrinates its members into hating Christians and Muslims.

4,On 24th August 2008 two Bajrang Dal activists died in Kanpur, while making bombs. The Kanpur zone IGP S.N. Singh stated that their investigations have revealed that this group was planning massive explosions all over the state.

5, Indian Express, 23 Oct 2008 reports that those involved in the bomb blast in Malegaon and Modasa (Sept 2008) had links with Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Similarly in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu pipe bomb attack on RSS office (Jan.2008) was projected to have been done by Jehadi Muslims.

The common pattern of these acts of terror has been twofold. One, that in few of such cases the activists related to Bajrang Dal or fellow travellers were killed while making the bombs. Second these acts of terror were targeted to kill the Muslims, so these acts were organized at times when the Muslims congregations take place, at the time of namaz or festivals like Shab-e-Barat in Malegaon, or in Ajmer Sharif where they come in large numbers or Samjhauta express where the major number of travellers is Muslims.

While in the initial phase police authorities working under the prejudice that ‘all terrorists are Muslims’ misdirected their probe, the probe came on the proper track after the Malegaon blasts when the motor cycle of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the former activist of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a wing of RSS, came under the scanner and her links with many of those who have been named above and are currently in jail, came to the surface. These facts came to light due to the initiative and immaculate investigation done by the then chief of Maharashtra ATS, Hemant Karkare. Karkare pursued the investigation professionally putting together the threads due to which today most of them are in jails. While pursuing these investigations Karkare came under immense pressure from the politicians belonging to BJP and its close cousin, Shiv Sena. During this time Narendra Modi said that Hemant Karkare is an anti National, (Deshdrohi) and Bal Thackeray in his Saamana wrote that’ we spit on the face of Karkare.’ Later Karkare got killed in the Mumbai terror attack of 26/11, 2006.

The people involved in some way were associated to the affiliates of RSS or RSS itself. Mr. Singh, Home secretary has given some of the names from RSS stable who have been allegedly involved in acts of terror

1. Sunil Joshi (dead), he was an “activist of RSS” in dewas and Mhow from 1990s to 2003.

2. Sandeep Dange (absconding), He was “RSS pracharak” in Mhow, Indore, Uttarkashi and Sajhapur from 1990s to 2006.

3. Lokesh Sharma (arrested) He was RSS ‘nagar karyavahak’ in Deogarh.

4. Swami Assemanand (arrested), He was “associated with RSS wing Vanavashi Kalyan Parishad” in Dang, Gujarat in 1990s to 2007.

5. Rajender alias Samunder (arrested), He was “RSS Varg Vistarak.”

6. Mukesh Vasani (arrested), He was an “activist of RSS” in Godhra.

7. Devender Gupta (arrested), was a “RSS pracharak” in Mhow and Indore.

8. Chandrasekhar Leve (arrested), was a “RSS pracharak” in Shajhanpur in 2007.

9. Kamal Chouhan (arrested), was a “RSS activist.”

10. Ramji Kalsangra (absconding), was a “RSS associate”.

This is in addition to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swami Dayanand Pandey, Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Retd Major Upadhyay, who have been close to them.

While some beans were spilled by many of these accused the whole picture was pieced together by Swami Aseemanand, when he decided to confess in front of the magistrate. In his confession Swami gave the details of the whole set up raised under his coordination and involving many RSS workers and their associates. The major reason for this whole planning as per him was to counter the Islamic terrorism as witnessed in Sankat Mochan temple etc. and second goal of theirs’ was to pave the path of Hindu nation.

The later investigation of ATS and now NIA has unearthed the linkages due to which these activists are cooling their heels in jails. Meanwhile in the wake of most of these terror blasts many a Muslim youth were arrested, some of whom were later released for the lack of any credible evidence. So this whole series of terrorists are Hindus. Does this then justify to label this type of terrorism as Hindu terrorism? By no means! Shinde is wrong to label this terrorism as Hindu terrorism.

Is the term ‘saffron terrorism’ correct? No way. This term was used by many including the then Home minister P. Chidambaram in the wake of the investigations done by Hemant Karkar in the case of Malegaon blasts. While one does not approve the term Hindu terrorism or saffron terrorism at all, one will like to see the background in which this term came to be used.

The RSS routinely adopts resolutions seeking to “curb Islamic terrorism with an iron hand”. The term Islamic terrorism was first coined by American media in the light of 9/11 act of terror. This was the first major attempt to label an act of terror with religion. This became the most popular word and all and sundry resorted to this word time and over again. This was a deliberate mischief by US to target the Muslims and thereby get legitimacy to launch attacks in the West Asia to control over the oil resources. In India also large section of media picked it up. RSS and its progeny in particular highlighted the religious nature of this terrorism, and the word Jehadi terrorism was the common one to be used. In a way associating terrorism with religion became a dominant norm and it became part of popular perception.

In this backdrop when the acts of terror done by many Hindus came to light, it somehow came to be labelled with prefix Hindu or Saffron. Term Islamic terrorism and Jehadi terrorism is as much wrong as the term Hindu or saffron terror. The right word for first one may be Al Qaeda type of terrorism and for the second, Hindutva terrorism. Here again using Hindutva terrorism is fraught with some misunderstanding. As such Hindutva is a politics aiming at creation of a Hindu nation but due to its containing the word Hindu in it, it is also taken to be a religion in popular understanding. So the dilemma for Shinde! How to label this group of terror deeds? Probably one will like to make it clear that it is Hindutva terrorism, it has nothing to do with Hindu religion and the difference between the terms Hindu (a religion) and Hindutva (a politics) needs to be made clear in popular parlance.

So it’s hypocritical to make the intense noise while the word Hindu-saffron terrorism is used. Same set of people are using the word Islamic terrorism, Jehadi terrorism and propagating that all terrorists are Muslims. One has to know that the phenomenon of terror has been promoted in the Madrassas specially set up by America in Pakistan to indoctrinate the Muslim youth and bring up Al Qaeda type formations. So why demonize Islam, Muslims and use the term Jehadi terrorism? Both such abuses of religion run parallel to each other.

What about the statement that training camps run by RSS and BJP? In all fairness one conceded that the training camps run by RSS have gone to give the training in rifles but the training centres of bomb making and use are not directly conducted by RSS-BJP. Surely these activities are done by those associated with RSS-BJP. One can’t take lightly the picture making rounds on social media, which shows Rajnath Singh and Shivrajsingh Chowhan with Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. One also can’t dismiss the fact that Lal Krishna Advani and Sushma Swaraj had gone to see the prime minister to plead the case of Pragya Singh Thakur in particular. One cant ignore that those running these training camps had or were associated with RSS in some way, actively at that time or in the past.

So all this protests and threats of BJP, threats to disrupt the session of Parliament are their usual political tactics and do not have any meaning, as their indirect or direct association with the terrorists is so much obvious. What Shinde is stating is factual but terminology is confused, and that’s not due to his own fault. We as a society have not been able to come to coin correct terminologies for different acts of terror anyway, so why get away with using the word Jehadi terrorism and haul Mr. Shinde to the coals for such a use of the term.?

– ram puniyani

CBCI calls for action on violence against women

January 26, 2013 by  
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CBCI Calls for Government and Public Action on Violence Against WomenThe Office Bearers of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, recently gathered in a special session in Mumbai, profoundly shared the concerns and distress of the people across the nation over the recent developments seen at our society. Instances of sexual violence against women and children have increased in an alarming rate, the most shockingly being the sexual gang rape and murder of a young medical student in the capital city of Delhi. This dastardly act of violence had evoked unprecedented protest and anger from all well-meaning people, cutting across all barriers. But the fact remains that this is not an isolated incident. Besides, according to sources, hundreds of rape cases are being reported everyday across the nation and female feticide, infanticide, molestation, kidnapping, abduction, dowry deaths, trafficking for sex and slavery continue to be perpetrated in several parts of the country. This is indeed a very alarming situation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India urges the Union Government and the State Governments to address these issues without delay, mindful of the fact that violence against women and children will crumble the pillars of our society and eventually cripple the nation in its march towards peace and prosperity. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is happy that the Central Government, the Judiciary and some State Governments have already initiated some strong and stringent measures to curb the violence on women and children. We hope that this awakening should not be momentary, but it should result in evolving and implementing comprehensive laws and effective measures to ensure the security and safety of women in our metropolitan cities and in villages as well.

Different views were expressed from different quarters, suggesting ways and means to curb this type of incidents. Capital punishment, Chemical castration were some of the means suggested. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India feels that while dealing with such issues, emotions should give way to wisdom, and desire for vengeance should give way to forgiveness. Any punishment meted out to the culprits is expected to be deterrent of such evil practices in the future.

The Church has a clear stand on the capital punishment. Life is a precious gift of God and no one has the right to take away that life. Chemical castration is a dehumanising act and an assault on the dignity of the human person. We feel that the Church, society and the nation should address these problems at their roots. In the overall formation of a person, the parents, teachers, elders, spiritual leaders, people in authority, all have their role to play. Social conscience when well formed, all citizens will be guardians of law.  Gang-rape or any such deviations in human behaviour are disorders and social diseases. Let us all come together as a nation and put in all our efforts to guard against any such horrendous incident and irresponsible behaviour, totally inconsistent with our lofty ethos and age-old cultures and traditions. We need to bring God and spiritual values back to the centre of our lives.

As the nation is getting ready to celebrate its 64th Republic Day, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India appeals to all people of good will to take up this confidence and hope our responsibilities as citizens of India to guard against all such evil forces that weaken the moral and ethical fibre of our nation and to rediscover fundamental values on which to build a better India.

– Archbishop Albert D’Souza,
Secretary General, CBCI

Pune Catholic Priest ‘Rape’ Case: Intervention called for

January 26, 2013 by  
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CAP calls for squashing rape case & false charges against Pune priest
CSF: Police actions suspect and communal political forces at work
CSF: Need to subject the ‘victim’ to narco or lie-detector tests
Many discrepancies & false charges, while priest held

students and parents came out to support Vice Principal Fr FalcaoHere is yet another case of allegations of communal bias on behalf of the police. This time in Pune, where Fr. Egidius Falcao, vice principal of Don Bosco Open School at Yerawada was falsely accused and humiliated by the police without not only proper investigations, but also grossly violating his human rights.
The Catholic Association of Poona has sent a memorandum signed by Diago Almeida (President) and Judith Menezes (secretary), calling for urgent corrective action by the authorities. However, The CSF investigations also briefly reveals as follow:

1. Two Catholic priests, Fr Egidius Falcao and Fr Anton D’Souza were both taken from the premises of the Sacred Heart Church, Yerawada, on Monday 21st January at 8.30pm, without a warrant, notice or explanation of why they were being taken to the police station. Many students and parents came out in support of the priests.

2.  They were illegally confined for hours and were not even allowed to use their mobile phones to get legal assistance. The police told them that solely on the basis of the ‘victims’ complaint they filed the case and some friends who testified. However, one of the girls clearly denied making any such allegations and said she was being pressurized.

3. The ‘victim’s’ statement at the most molestation and not rape or an attempt to do so. Hence, section 376 and 511 have been wrongfully applied on Fr Egidius and need to be immediately struck off. The incident is taking a communal and political turn, with the ABVP and others demonstrating outside the school premises and threatening Christians…

4. On the date the girl ‘victim’ was supposed to have been raped, she was marked absent in the school register. The vice-principal’s office is made of glass and any attempt to molest or rape, would be clearly visible, as many adults are seen around. It is indeed surprising that none did intervene, if such an incident took place. Further why the delay of over two weeks in complaining.

5. The police have taken advantage of the fact that Fr. Egidius is a Catholic priest and not part of the clergy of any other religion and is suspect to be working in tandem with unknown forces and for reasons, which call for an investigation. The ‘victim’, whose character is being suspected or her mother could have easily contacted senior Church authorities, any NGO or confronted the priest, if they were not comfortable going to the police, but did not do so.

We also call for the ‘victim’ to be subjected to a narco-analysis or lie-detector test, as her statement is the only evidence the police are going by. In view of the above, may we may seek your assistance in getting justice for a priest wrongly condemned.

For more info, contact:

Joseph Dias, The CSF Gen. Sec.
+91 9769555657 csfpost@gmail.com

Film makers in legal trouble for defaming Catholic Church

January 26, 2013 by  
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Film makers in legal trouble for defaming Catholic ChurchKerala, January 24, 2013: The makers of a comedy about two petty criminals who dress up as Catholic priests will be charged with defamation, a Kerala court ruled yesterday.

Two actors, along with the director, the producer and the screenwriter of the local hit movie “Romans”, which was released last week, are all named in the suit, brought by a Catholic youth leader in the Kottayam district of the state.

“The movie has hurt the sentiments of the faithful,” said petitioner Boban T. Thekkel. “There is a limit to freedom of expression. I can’t tolerate such things.”

The story is about two petty criminals who escape from police custody and end up in a village where they are welcomed as priests.

The men face up to nine years in prison for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling” and other charges.

The Church is not involved in the case, said Father Mani Puthiyidom, official spokesperson of Changanassery archdiocese. “We don’t want to stir up a controversy over the film. We prefer to ignore it,” he said.

Jomy Thomas, a Catholic who saw the movie, agreed that it is better for the Church to ignore the issue. He pointed out that one of the actors in the movie is a Catholic legislator.

Director Boban Samuel told ucanews.com he never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings or to portray priests in a derogatory manner.

“It is a comedy thriller,” he said.

The movie was released on January 17 and has been declared a mega hit in the state, earning more than 20 million rupees (US$372,000) so far.

– ucanews

Outrage over plans for Malaysian Bible burning festival

January 26, 2013 by  
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The country has seen an alarming new outbreak of anti-Christian sentiment.

 The country has seen an alarming new outbreak of anti-Christian sentimentMalaysia, January 24, 2013: Leaflets inviting people to a “Bible-burning festival” have stirred outrage in Malaysia. This coincided with a nationalist group leader urging to “seize and burn” Malay-language Bibles, prompting calls for his prosecution.

The flyers, issued by a previously unknown group, promised mass Bible-burning in the Malaysian state of Penang on Sunday. The incident has fueled the flames in an ongoing nationwide debate over the use of the word “Allah” for “God” in Jawi-scripted Christian holy texts.

“To Muslims who have copies of al-Kitab, bring them over to make our Bible-burning session merrier,” the text on the flyers said as published on Malaysiakini web portal. It added that the act should “teach them [Christians] a lesson.”

Such statements should be charged under various Malaysian Penal Code sections, including “incitement or abetment to commit criminal offence,” if not under the government’s Sedition Act, Malaysian Bar council president Lim Chee Wee said in a statement.

Wee has also backed the Malaysian opposition demands that charges should be brought against MP Ibrahim Ali, the founder of Malay supremacy group Perkasa, who is said to have made similar remarks recently.

Ibrahim Ali, who advocates for Malay Muslim majority dominance, is notoriously known for threatening Christians with a “holy war” and speaking against Malay-language Bibles containing the word “Allah.”

Opposition-ruled Penang state chief minister Lim Guan, also spoke out against the remarks, urging that authorities “impose stringent measures to prevent such abhorrent and vile acts that would endanger national harmony and heighten religious tensions,” referring to the calls for Bible-burning.

Perkasa has responded to the heightened criticism by claiming they have nothing to do with plans to burn Malay Bibles, with the groups secretary-general stating “That is not Perkasa’s program,” adding that they will “leave this event to the police.”

Religious tensions once again flared in Malaysia recently, after the sultan of Selangor state issued a decree banning the word “Allah” from being used by non-.Muslims.

The word has appeared in Malaysia’s, as well as neighboring Indonesia’s Christian texts for centuries due to the language peculiarities. There is no other word for “God” in the Malay language.

The struggle comes on the eve of tight Malaysian elections, where the ruling coalition and the opposition candidates will be running in a close race according to the polls.

– rt.com

Should UK aid go to where Christians are persecuted?

January 26, 2013 by  
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United Kingdom, January 24, 2013: The UK government gives hundreds of millions of pounds in aid to countries where Christians are grossly and systematically persecuted. It says that the partner government’s commitment to respecting human rights is “robustly assessed” when the provision or withdrawal of financial aid is being considered. So how do countries such as Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea,Pakistan and Sudan qualify, and should the British government exert more pressure on those regimes to which it sends money?

In the last financial year (2011-12), the UK sent vast sums to some of the very worst countries in which to be a Christian:

Afghanistan £ 146,131,000
Burma (Myanmar) £ 36,150,000
Eritrea £ 3,686,000
Iraq £ 3,087,000
Nigeria £ 161,789,000
Pakistan £ 211,682,000
Somalia £ 101,483,000
Sudan £ 32,607,000
Vietnam £ 37,413,000

In some cases, such as Northern and central Nigeria, Iraq and Somalia, most Christian suffering is at the hands of Islamist militants, and while the governments of these nations could be accused of weakness in defending their vulnerable citizens, the persecution is not directly state-sponsored.

But the same cannot be said of some other regimes on the list. Eritrea is perhaps the very worst. The latest US State Department International Religious Freedom Report says ofEritrea:

The government demonstrated a trend toward deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom. The government continued to harass and detain members of registered and unregistered religious groups, some of whom reportedly died as a result of torture and lack of medical treatment while in detention… Many places of worship had to close because of government intimidation and the mass conscription of religious workers and parishioners.

The wreckage of a demolished church and its medical clinic in Khartoum

The wreckage of a demolished church and its medical clinic in Khartoum

Thousands of Christians are believed to be imprisoned in Eritrea’s notoriously cruel detention system; they are held in metal shipping containers with extreme temperature changes and tortured in an effort to make them recant their faith.

The government of Sudan is another extreme persecutor of Christians, and since the secession of South Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear that Christians are not welcome in the country. Reinforcing earlier pronouncements, he said in July 2012:

We want to present a constitution that serves as a template to those around us. And our template is clear, a 100 per cent Islamic constitution, without communism or secularism or Western [influences].

A number of churches and other Christian buildings have been destroyed. On Monday (21 January), Barnabas Fund received a report of a church and its medical clinic in Khartoum being flattened (pictured).

Afghanistan is similarly governed on the basis of sharia law, and, in accordance with its tenets, the government threatens to wield the death penalty against those who convert from Islam.

In Pakistan, the notorious “blasphemy laws” continue to cause grave problems for Christians and other non-Muslims. “Defiling the name of Muhammad” carries a mandatory death penalty, and though nobody has yet been executed for this offence, those accused can spend years languishing in prison while their cases grind through the Pakistani justice system at a painfully slow pace. Christians are particularly vulnerable to malicious, false accusation.

The funeral of three Kachin boys killed in a bombing by the Burmese military

The funeral of three Kachin boys killed in a bombing by the Burmese military

Another problem that besets the Christian community inPakistan is the abduction of Christian women by Muslim men; the women are forcibly converted to Islam and married against their will to their captors. In both cases of this kind and the aforementioned blasphemy accusations, the police and lower courts often do little to protect Christians or grant them justice.

The Burmese military’s violent campaign against the country’s ethnic minorities, the majority of whom are Christians, shows no signs of abating; the groups are targeted for both their ethnicity and their faith. The military launched an offensive in Kachin state in June 2011 and has been brutally attacking the predominantly Christian population ever since. On 15 January, three boys, aged 11, 12 and 13, were killed in a bombing; they were buried alive when the bunker in which they were sheltering collapsed on them.

GOVERNMENT “ROBUSTLY ASSESSES” HUMAN RIGHTS

The UK government gave over £4 billion in bilateral aid last yearThese are examples of just some of the gross human rights violations suffered by Christians in a number of the countries to which the UK government gives substantial aid.

Barnabas Fund asked the Department for International Development (DFID) whether the human rights record, particularly the treatment of Christians, of an individual country is a factor in determining the level of aid the country receives, and whether the UK government would consider withdrawing aid from certain countries where Christians are systematically persecuted.

In response, DFID said that it “robustly assesses” partner governments’ commitment to four key areas, one of which is “respecting human rights”, before providing or withdrawing financial aid. It said:

We only consider providing financial aid to a government when these criteria are met, based on evidence and analysis.

When we have specific concerns about a government’s failure to protect its citizens’ rights, we raise these either directly or in conjunction with international partners at the highest levels of government concerned. We may judge that specific human rights concerns are sufficiently serious to merit a suspension of our financial aid to that government. If financial aid is suspended, we make sure those funds are provided in alternative ways so that the poorest do not suffer as a result.

Barnabas Fund then questioned how some of the previously mentioned countries qualified for UK aid, given the substantial evidence of state-sponsored human rights violations in respect of religious freedom and other rights.

A DFID source explained that the UK does not provide direct budget support to the governments of certain countries, including Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan and Burma; bilateral programmes there are delivered via partners on the ground, such as the UN or NGOs. In the case of other countries such as Pakistan and Vietnam, however, the UK does provide “a small amount of budget support”, based on “progress that has been made against specific criteria and credible commitment to reform”.

The relationship between the payment of aid and human rights is certainly a complex one. The total withdrawal of UK aid from countries where Christians are persecuted may worsen the plight of the most disadvantaged and marginalised; yet propping up regimes that abuse their most vulnerable citizens hardly encourages change.

Barnabas Fund’s 2012 campaign, Proclaim Freedom, called upon governments to, among other things, promote freedom of religion for all, using diplomatic relations, bi-lateral ties, aid and agreed international obligations on core human rights. Over 53,000 people signed our petition.

While the UK government pays lip service to the importance of human rights, it is questionable whether it is truly putting its money where its mouth is in the payment of aid to countries that persecute Christians.

– barnabas edit

EWS Bangalore: Christians, Muslims, Dalits… cold, sick, dying, fleeing & homeless

January 26, 2013 by  
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Thousands of Christians, Muslims, Dalits... cold, sick, dying, fleeing homeless

EWS Bangalore Then: Now Below: Religious, Casteist & Ethnic Cleansing csfpost@gmail.com
The Union Government, Governor & NGOs Must Move on Humanitarian Grounds
What is the Administration, MP / MLA doing about Egipura & EWS Quarters?

Thousands of Christians, Muslims, Dalits… cold, sick, dying, fleeing homeless
Race, Caste, Politics, Business, Hindutva, Bureucracy, Communalism…

Thousands of Christians, Muslims, Dalits... cold, sick, dying, fleeing homeless

Their houses have been demolished by the government without any alternative arrangements, leaving them out in the cold. The hundreds of families with a large number of school-going children and casual and domestic workers are still on the site of the demolitions, braving goons who are threatening them, facing night temperatures of 12 degrees in the open… some are injured, most traumatised. The victims – mostly women and children – need immediate protection from the severe cold. One lady, Rosemary, in her 60s died of cold and starvation at the site. She was so traumatised by the events that she refused to eat and lay down saying she would die there, and did, two or three days later.

The Karnataka government must be dismissed for failing to care for its citizens and for the inhuman action taken on over 1600 slums, largely comprising of Christian (75%) and Muslim (25%) appoximately, leaving thousands out in the cold on the streets. But whose going to do something about it? The Congress and political parties are waiting for the elections, while the BJP rules the roost in league with politicians and bureaucrats of all hues and shades. It is a national shame that the BJP is being allowed to run roughshod on not only the religious minorities, but also the linguistic and regional ones for in this case, most of the thousands affected are Tamilians settled in the settlement. Are the Union, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments and Oppositions listening? What has been the role of the Church (Catholic & Protestant) that are often seen rushing to the aid of various emergencies. Are they facing such a plight because they are minorities or or a lower caste of a different race?, asks The CSF, which will try to do its little bit.

It has been left to the likes of Dr. Sylvia and Kaveri, besides some students and dalit activists, like Cynthia Stephen who are rushing to their aid. We salute them. Presented below are some inputs we received from some of them:

Another mother of three small children has nowhere to go with them, the father left them months ago. Gracie, a grandmother, suffered lathi blows on her hand and was in great pain. Dr. Sylvia says that many of them are suffering from stress-related syndromes like high BP, diabetes, etc, and have not been able to take their medicines. Children are suffering from diarrhoea. They are at the mercy of charitable people for water and food – which they await and may not get.

The majority of those left – about 350 families, have taken refuge in some huge cement pipes lying in the area, but the police have said they well not be allowed to stay there either and will have to leave. The government have said in public that they might allow them to stay till the children’s exams are over, but nothing concrete has emerged from the promises yet, and the local ruffians – and the police – continue to stalk the area, intimidatingly.

The CSF urges you to write to the concerned authorities ASAP by copying and emailing the draft as below. Please also do your bit.

Email to: rajbhavan.karnataka@gmail.com, pmosb@pmo.nic.in, office@rahulgandhi.in, hm@nic.in, chiefminister@karnataka.gov.in, cmcell@tn.gov.in


Dear Decision-maker,

Sub: Rush Aid SOS to Karnataka: Religious, Casteist & Ethnic Cleansing
Ref: Thousands of Minorities & Tamilian Houses Demolished at Egipura & EWS Quarters
It is unfortunate that this is happening in India. The international community cries SHAME ! The CSF may be contacted for more details. However, we urge you to rush humanitarian aid to the above who are living in sub-human conditions, thanks to action by the Karnataka government and authorities against the Christian and Muslim Minorities, many of whom are Dalits and Tamilians…
The following link will give you more info.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hundreds-rendered-homeless-in-ejipura-colony/article4323730.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/more-houses-razed-at-ejipura-in-bangalore/article4326566.ece

Please act urgently, as even now, minorities and dalits are dying and suffering.

Urgently Yours
(Your Name)

 

Please find below some more pics and do send us your feedback.

We will keep you briefed on the developments.

Your brother in Christ,

GB – Joseph Dias +91 9769555657
csfpost@gmail.com

Thousands of Christians, Muslims, Dalits... cold, sick, dying, fleeing homeless

 

Change your vision – Think simple, live simple

January 26, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

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Think Simple, Live Simple

– fwd: tarun kumar

Something to think about

January 24, 2013 by  
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Jesus is like a computer

– fwd: allen johannes

God gave you a gift of 86,400 Seconds

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.

Have you used one to say “thank you?”

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath,

Until you forgive someone, your mind won’t rest”

 

– menino martis

Christian convert family jailed over id card changes in Egypt

January 24, 2013 by  
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The family had been living in the city of Beni SuefEgypt, January 21, 2013:  A Christian mother and her seven children have been jailed for 15 years in Egypt for changing their religious affiliation on their identity cards after they left Islam.

Nadia Ali Mohamed and her family returned to Christianity in 2004 having previously converted to Islam; they subsequently replaced their Muslim names on their identity cards with their Christian names.

Two years later, one of the boys, Bishoy Malak Abdel-Massih, was arrested in an information centre in Beni Suef, where the family live. Police were suspicious of the young man’s documents and interrogated him for hours until he confessed his conversion to Christianity.

Charges were subsequently brought for violating Egyptian laws governing name changes against Nadia, her seven children and the seven clerks from the registration office who had amended the family’s documents.

Last week, the criminal court in Beni Suef sentenced each member of the family to 15 years in prison and the clerks to five years behind bars.

It is not possible for converts from Islam to Christianity to change their religious affiliation on their identity cards in Egypt. There is, however, precedent for Christians who converted to Islam and later returned to Christianity being permitted to change their documents back to their original status. But this is an extremely difficult process.

Converts from Christianity to Islam, however, can change their identity cards without hindrance.

CHURCH-OWNED BUILDING DEMOLISHED

In a separate incident that also demonstrates the vulnerability of Christians in Egypt, a church-owned community building was destroyed by Muslims, who feared it was going to be turned into a place of worship.

The centre in the village of Fanous, Fayoum province, consisted of a reception hall on the first floor and a kindergarten on the second.

On 16 January, hundreds of Muslims came out of the mosques carrying hammers and chanting Islamic slogans, having been rallied to go and help fellow Muslims in Fanous, where Christians were said to be “building a church”.

They demolished the centre, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”). The security forces failed to intervene, and nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Local Muslims had previously raised objections to the building, despite its having all the necessary government permits. A meeting had taken place between the village mayor and elders from both the Muslim and Christian communities; it was agreed that only the first floor would remain and the second be demolished, but this agreement was not honoured by the Muslim vigilantes.

–  barnabas team

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