Friday, September 19, 2008

Home made terror on a platter

If the fall of Lehman Brothers & the bomb blasts in Delhi weren't enough, there was more drama unfolding since Sunday in the form of Christians being attacked & churches being vandalized in Karnataka. Bajrang Dal activists have claimed responsibility for these shameful attacks, justifying themselves by saying that forcible conversions were being carried out in these churches.

For those not in the know, the Bajrang Dal is a youth organization of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Some say they look out for the best interests of the Hindu community in India while moderate Hindu groups accuse them of using violence in their war against Islamist fundamentalists. Even former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP has reportedly criticized them. The BJP (one of India’s big 2 political parties, having been the previous central government) has very strong ties with the VHP & the Bajrang Dal. Come Valentines Day and Bajrang Dal activists are out in their full force as they threaten couples and beat them up for going against our Indian values as well as attack shops selling Valentines Day cards. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind of their involvement in the Gujarat carnage (an article on this can be found elsewhere in this blog). I just came across a couple of articles that talked about Bajrang Dal activists being involved in bomb making accidents, the latest one as near as the 24th of August 2008. Sinners or saints, you decide.

Back to the topic at hand, the state convenor for the Bajrang Dal, Mahendra Kumar, has said that New Life (one of the churches that were attacked) was into conversions, which was why they had acted against them. And yet their leaders roam around threatening to make further attacks if the conversions continue. The BJP Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa says that action will be taken against those who attacked the churches but they should also desist from conversions. These attacks on Christians have begun only since the BJP has come to power in Karnataka in the last couple of months. The issue of conversions is a constantly simmering topic in India but these unprovoked attacks are despicable.

The most saddening part of these attacks is that these hooligans attacked at the Adoration Monastry in Mangalore where there were 10 cloistered nuns. Cloistered nuns shun the outside world and pray for the world. How is it possible that nuns who don’t meet people from the outside world are involved in conversions?
Mangalore is a wonderful little city which you fall in love with almost instantaneously.These attacks have understandably shaken the city & the damage can’t be undone. The BJPs policy of divide and rule albeit on the basis of religion is not new to them and in fact has been highly successful for them. Its time we take a decision on who we vote to power. Do we want a Congress led government which has numerable faults of its own? Or do we want a BJP government that is going to turn friend into foe and neighbour into hater?

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