The shocking incident of rape of a 29 year old Catholic nun allegedly by a Hindu fanatical group in the sectarian violence in Orissa has made every patriotic Indian hang their head in utter shame. Ironically this dreadful news comes just a day after the nation celebrated Gandhi Jayanthi, the preacher of non-violence and tolerance to all faiths. Whenever there is sectarian or communal outbreak in the country unfortunately, it is the women folk who have to bear the maximum brunt of mindless violence, often becoming victims of rape and killing. It has happened before like in the Gujarat communal riots and it would continue to occur, sadly in future.
The reaction that follows after such an incident is that there would be huge hue and cry in the media, the NGOs resort to filing petitions, the politicians besides offering lip service, at times politicize the whole incident and the common person would remain mute spectators. After a lapse of time, everything gets forgotten till the country is jolted with one more such incident of rape and communal violence. Seldom does the incident of rape come to light in our country, though in this case it came out 38 days later, because the police in connivance with the politicians do their best to suppress such incidents.
The Hindu fanatical groups like Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Sangh Parivar have let loose a reign of terror in BJP-ruled States, destroying churches, killing innocent people and raping women. What would happen in the event of the BJP coming to power in the country? People like Pravin Tagodia would have a free run spreading hatred and inciting sectarian and communal riots. The recent communal attacks on the Christian community by the outfits like Bajrang Dal clearly exposes the hidden ( one can no more say hidden as it is out in the open) agenda of Hindutva, that is to make India a Hindu nation in which only the voice of the brute majority of the Hindus would prevail in the society.
The Muslims and Christian minorities, if they don’t adhere or indigenize their faith to Hindutva Brand of doctrine, they would be bullied and punished. In short the minorities would be treated like second class citizens. The Sangh Parivar would not fall short of realizing its goal of Hindutva even if the country is under siege by spate of bomb blasts allegedly triggered by the Indian Mujahideen. The Hindutva brigade, Bajrang Dal and VHP, who were instrumental in Babri Masjid fall, has once again raised its ugly head to destroy the secular fabric of our multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The BJP by remaining silent to the Christian atrocities is only playing the Hindu card for electorate gains. That is what they are doing right now in Orissa and Karnataka of polarizing the society on communal lines.
The Bajrang Dal and VHP are no different from the SIMI and Indian Mujahideen terrorist organizations - both aim to terrorize the society. The former goes about its business by destroying churches and killing Christians and the latter plant bombs that kills innocent victims. It is time that the Centre intervenes to stop this carnage against the Christians.
The nation is reeling under home grown terrorist acts, in part, thanks to demolition of Babri Masjid, Mumbai and Gujarat riots, the last thing the country wants is for some misguided boys from the Christian community taking up arms. So it calls for stringent action by the central government of arresting the Bajrang dal and VHP goons under non-bailable warrant and then convicting them by having fast track courts. Yet if that does not deter arsonist from indulging in further violence then the government may ban Bajrang Dal.
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Interview with Father Bernard Digel on Religous violence in Orissa published in Guardian Weekly-