Attacks on churches: PM, please speak out
I was deeply pained and would like to express my anguish over the news reports of vandals launching heinous attacks on a Catholic church in south Delhi on February 2. The goons broke open the tabernacle, walked away with the sacred chalice and threw the consecrated hosts (bread) on the floor and defiled the altar.
This was the fifth attack on a church in New Delhi over the past two months. Archdiocese of Delhi expressed shock at the ‘deafening silence’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister, we are immensely impressed by your Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (clean India campaign) and Beti bachao-Beti padhao (save girls, educate girls) campaigns. You took the pledge of making India clean by 2019 to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Kudos to you. If you can do this happen, you’ll have immortality within us.
Some critics are saying that your ‘Clean India’ campaign is nothing unique. They refer to Sant Gadge (1876-1956), a saint from Amravati district, Maharashtra who used to promote public hygiene and cleanliness. The revered Baba started revolution in the state by going from village to village, cleaning and preaching hygiene much before these issues became a part of government and UN programmes. True, his reforms and visions for villages are still a source of inspiration for various political parties and non-government organizations. We also know that Babasaheb Ambedkar was very impressed by Sant Gadge’s social service.
There will always be small-minded nitpickers who’d like to find fault with your sincere efforts. Don’t give a damn. Go ahead with your pledge and commitments.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental freedom, and that a nation becomes stronger when people of all faiths are free to practice their religion free of persecution and fear and discrimination.
You wanted to be a monk, you once said. You are charged with Swami Vivekanada’s ideals and philosophy.
I understand there’s no silver bullet against this; But, let our ancient and age-old tradition of religious harmony and universal brotherhood stand out victorious amid all this frenzy and fanaticism.
Prime Minister, don’t remain silent on these despicable attempts to desecrate the churches. Please speak out against these acts of intolerance and condemn the swivel-eyed loons.