Pastors pledge – uphold & sustain Indian constitution

June 11, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Pastors Pledge to Uphold & Sustain the Indian Constitution
Issue a Statement on Church & the State Power in Chhattisgarh

We the PeopleMahasamund, 20th May, 2015: About 64 pastors and lay leaders, mostly drawn from the district of Mahsamund in Chhattisgarh issued a statement on Church & the State Power in Chhattisgarh at the end of three-day Workshop on: Indian Constitution – Liberty, Rights and Duties from 18th to 20th of May, 2015 at Mahasamund, organized by the Raipur Churches Development & Relief Committee (RCDRC).

Meeting against the backdrop of growing violence and hostility against the Christians by the Hindu Communal forces in Chhattisgarh, this Workshop aimed at equipping the pastors and lay leaders with basic understanding about the Indian Constitution, principles, rights and duties enshrined in it and, in turn, renew their commitment to uphold and sustain the Indian Constitution in words and deeds.

The Workshop began with a presentation on the theme by Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj, leading woman lawyer at the Chhattisgarh High Court and also the General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh unit of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (CC PUCL). It was followed by Biblical Reflections on The Church & the State by Rev. Akhilesh Edgar, Manager, Church & Community Relations, Alliance Defending Freedom, New Delhi. Thereafter, there was sharing by participants as to what was the form and content of the communal violence against the Church and Christians.

In the afternoon of 19th May, Rajendra K Sail, a human rights defender and a Christian social activist working in Chhattisgarh for the past 40 years presented the History, Ideology and Agenda of the Fascist Forces in Indian in general, and in Chhattisgarh in particular. He presented various questionnaires for group exercise, which enabled the participants to relate the concepts to their ground level reality. Thereafter, the discussed focussed on: Attacks on Minorities, Dalits, Adivasis & Women in Chhattisgarh – How, Why & By Whom?

The opening and closing Worship Services were led by Rev. Suresh Samuel Deep, who was also the convener of the Workshop.

Spending almost a full day on sharing, reflections and planning resulted in issuing a statement entitled: CHURCH & THE STATE POWER IN CHHATTISGARH which boldly stated that “The State of Chhattisgarh, along with many other states in India, has witnessed an escalation in the violent attacks on Christian community,…..which are part and parcel of an agenda for creating ‘Hindu Rashtra’. With the Bhartiya Janta Party and its allies in power at the Centre since May 2014, the state machinery is openly and blatantly being used to pursue this agenda with utter disregard to the Constitution of India. And with the BJP rule in Chhattisgarh for more than a decade now, it’s dangerous and decadent form is being expressed in growing communalisation of politics at all levels.”

Describing in detail the form and content of such communal violence and hate campaign against Church and Christians, referring to independent reports, the Statement gives a call to the Church and Christians that “Against this backdrop, the secular-democratic forces have no other option but to galvanize their own resources – both ideological and organisational – and forge a broad-based alliance to combat communalism and defend democracy. The basic purpose should be to uphold and sustain the basic principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.” The statement will be widely circulated for debate both within and outside the Churches in Chhattisgarh.

The organizers, RCDRC, have prepared a systematic training Workshops in three-tiers, which aim to sensitize the pastors and lay leaders to the basic structure and principles of the Indian Constitution and, in turn, shape up their won responses based on biblical understanding of the role and place of the Church and State. The same group of pastors and lay leaders would journey through the process spread for six months. The Second Workshop will be on: The Secular-Democratic Movements in Chhattisgarh & the Christian Participation, and the Third Workshop on : Peace & Justice Concerns in Chhattisgarh & the Christian Response.

With a history of social activism and development with social justice, the RCDRC is well equipped to conscientize various constituencies to strengthen the secular-democratic polity in India. Similar Workshops will be held in various other parts of Chhattisgarh in joint collaboration with progressive Christian Institutions and NGOs.

Though the results of the Workshop are yet to be seen, the message carried forward from here is loud and clear: The Church and Christians have to reaffirm their commitment to the Indian Constitution as its upholders and sustainers.

– rev suresh samuel deep

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!