April 12, 2003
Against the Targeting of Christians, Again In Gujarat
BJP government has once more, begun the systematic targeting of
Christian Institutions in Gujarat. Details of earlier attacks
against Christians and Christian Institutions in the state can be
had from www. sabrang.com (see accompanying articles below). Before
the Gujarat Genocide and targeting of Muslims, the BJP’s Hindutva
plan had begun with the brutal and systematic targeting of
Christians and Christian Institutions in the State. It is therefore
important that we realise and understand the pattern and immediatley
respond, in one voice against these attacks whenever and wherever
they take place.
A Christian Health Care Centre set up with the support of the
All India Christian Council was gleefully attacked by members of the
VHP and Bajrang Dal. A month ago an insiduous survey of Christian
Institutions has begun (see articles below also see Communalism
Combat-April 2003—Gujarat One Year Later)
is important that NATIONAL LEVEL protests are heard on every
incident of this kind that takes place.
State Protection for Christian Missionaries
letters to the President of India
Union Home Minister
Chief Minister of your State
DG, Police of
§ Police Commissioner of your city
President of India
Minister of India
Home Minister of India
of Home Affairs,Govt of India
TIMES OF INDIA 12 APRIL 2002
LIMDI/SURENDRANAGAR: This was the day Ishwar Patel was eagerly looking forward to. Patel, who is the president of Limdi Nagarpalika, had made all arrangements to inaugurate the new building of the municipality-run health-care centre near Azad Chowk, which collapsed during the quake over two years back. Former minister Kirtisinh Rana was to be the chief guest for the function.
However, disaster struck again. Some people had reservations against the Christian organisation, the All India Christian Council (AICC), which had donated money to rebuild the complex.
Late on Thursday, miscreants ransacked the building, pulled down the boards listing the names of donors and management and brought down the mandap erected for the inaugural ceremony. The graffiti in red paint on the door of the building proclaimed — ‘Jai Shree Ram; jo Hindu hit ki baat karega wohi desh par raj karega’ ; ‘Jai Shree Ram!, ho gaya kaam’ and ‘Ram ka nahin voh kisi kaam ka nahin’.
There were notice boards put up at various cross-roads of the town which said “Hindu youth of Limdi have taught the nagarpalika a lesson. Despite the fact that there were several Hindu organisations willing to donate for the construction of the centre, the nagarpalika chose a Christian organisation. Most of these organisations work to divide the country and destroy Hindu religion. Jai Shree Ram: VHP!”
Friday morning, a rally was taken out in the town by workers owing
allegiance to a particular ideology. Sensing trouble, the function
was cancelled. Kirtisinh Rana was informed over the phone and so
were some of the Christian donors who were heading for the function.
“What happened is bad. But I don’t know the exact details,” Rana told TNN. Patel, on the other hand was very upset. “What is the point in bringing politics here. Everyone knew who had donated money. Then why create disturbance now,” he said. “Going by the slogans, you know whose handiwork it is. But what can we do unless a complaint is filed,” said a police official.
Christian, the state AICC convenor, said “We plan to lodge a
complaint shortly, we have already spoken to the superintendent of
However, Bakul Khakhi, general secretary of Saurashtra VHP, was elated. “We did call up Ishwar Patel yesterday (Wednesday) to inform him that we are not happy with what has been going on. We also called up all the corporators who were to attend the function. We told them that if they attend the function, we will understand that they are not with the VHP ideology,” says Khakhi.
According to Khakhi, no RSS or VHP leader was extended an invitation for the function. “Why were no leaders from the RSS and VHP invited for the function? Also, what was the point in inviting a Christian priest to bless the occasion? Couldn’t they find a single Hindu saint ? This is pseudo-secularism and we won’t tolerate it,” he said.
Asked whether VHP ransacked the building, he said “The youngsters in the organisation were upset over religious conversions in this area. Maybe, this was the last straw, but this doesn’t mean the VHP did it”. (P5)
10 March 2003
Prakash, Director, PRASHANT - Centre for human rights, justice and
peace Spokesperson - Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights
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