ASIA/INDIA - Christians: for a prosperous future, the new government has to limit Hindu extremist groups

Friday, 16 May 2014

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - While the official outcome of the Indian elections marked the victory of the nationalist "Bharatiya Janata Party" (BJP), its leader Narendra Modi, likely to become the next Prime Minister, announced "a new era for India, free from corruption and a strong economic recovery". Modi has urged unity for the entire Indian population: "We put the people above politics, we prevail hope over despair, healing over evil, inclusion over exclusion, development over divisions".
In a note sent to Fides Agency, the Christians of the "Global Council of Indian Chrsitians" (GCIC), an organization that includes believers of different faiths, note that this will be possible if the government limits the violent action of Hindu extremist groups". For example - it says - the fanatic movement Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has already stated that, from a government led by Modi, one expects the repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution (which gives autonomy to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, ed); the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of Ayodhya, disputed between Hindus and Muslims; the introduction of only one Civil Code (while today, matters such as marriage, inheritance, etc. . different laws are applied depending on your religious communities ed)".
"These statements are worrying for the future. India is a responsible, democratic nation, respectful of minorities. India has a huge potential for growth and influence in the world. This rhetoric, fraught with divisions, instead threatens to distract the nation from its path of growth and development".
All Indian citizens are hoping for a prosperous future for the coming years. In order to start this path, Christians suggest some priorities for the next government: to maintain and strengthen the unity of the diversity of races, cultures and religions which is essential for the common welfare; reduce the gap between rich and poor, to begin a period of peace and harmony; ensure and protect the rights of Dalits and minorities enshrined in the Constitution; combat violence against women. To achieve these goals, concludes the GCIC, we need "forward-looking, transparent men, with a noble and clean heart". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2014)