ASIA/INDIA - Christian philosophers: "Pluralism and Inclusion in Indian Society"

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 philosophy   violence   dialogue   human rights   evangelization   intollerance   religious freedom   freedom of conscience   religious minorities   ethnic minorities   culture  

Guwahati (Agenzia Fides) - "The diversity and pluralism of cultures and religions in India are not a problem, but an opportunity. Even those who live in the suburbs or are minority groups have a role and to allow them to prosper becomes the true test of freedom. Authentic progress is the result of the alliance of civilizations and not of a clash between civilizations": says the Association of Christian Philosophers of India (ACPI) who held a seminar in past days in Guwahati (North East India), comparing themselves on the theme: "The hermeneutics of suspicion in India".
In the final document of the seminar, sent to Agenzia Fides, the philosophers denounce the growth of an ideology based on a paradigm of exclusivity and intolerance and invite institutions, social and religious organizations to build an authentically pluralist society enriched by various cultural and religious contributions.
"India is a land that promotes the peaceful coexistence of cultures, religions, communities, and peoples. Our heritage reveals the ability to absorb and assimilate different ideologies and philosophies, even when they seem to contradict each other.
Indians are known for their openness, tolerance and respect towards everyone", notes the final text. "However, Christian philosophers continue - in recent times, we see intolerance and violence towards those belonging to minority communities, Dalit, tribals and people expressing any form of dissent. Fundamentalist and 'communitarism' tendencies, which are increasing, lead to a sort of totalitarianism, which controls what is eaten, thought, believed, professed".
Philosophers see "a powerful attempt to control and manipulate the truth by folding it according to their own interests. Those who challenge the totalizing tendencies of the powerful are ignored, controlled, silenced or even assassinated", denounces the text, citing some"Indian masters" such as Ambedkar, Periyar, Narayana Guru, Pandita Ramabai, who fought against beliefs, traditions and ideologies that perpetuate fear, division and violence.
The text challenges Indian philosophers, belonging to every religious belief, to "honestly engage in the critique of perpetrators of divisive ideologies and false propaganda", expressing the will to "promote openness and tolerance to other points of view, engaging ourselves in a fruitful dialogue that will help us to reach the truth". "Inclusion, transparency, liberal thinking, openness to review are some of the key principles", he says.
" We denounce communitarianism and religious fundamentalism that are rooted in fear, greed and hatred and destroy the secular fabric of our nation. The dignity of every man must be firmly established and not sacrificed on any altar, whether political, religious, cultural or economic", notes the final document.
"We continue to support the constitutional right to freedom of expression and our freedom to express dissent in a peaceful way. We support the media right to be independent of all types of coercion and to denounce according to the principles of freedom and justice".
Finally, by saying they are "rooted in a culture of trust, with freedom and justice as wings", Christian philosophers are committed to the elaboration of ideas and actions "for an egalitarian society. through inclusive development, giving voice to those who have no voice". (PA-NC) (Agenzia Fides, 31/10/2017)




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