This post was on the statements of Church leaders on BJP’s victory in the past Parliament election
You have an exceptional wisdom to discern the worldly wisdom and spiritual matter. Thanking you.
with love & prayer
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:28 AM, Yuhanon Meletius firstname.lastname@example.org [Synod] <Synod@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Dear Metropolitan Yuhanon
That is what I expected from you: a passionate and fearless exposition of your position. And your reservations on the Modi Hype.
I wish every Bishop did the same
There would then be no need to differ with the Hierarchy on issues of what is good for the nation, and good for the community. The Hierarchy must march with the people, not desert them just to save a few institutions
God bless you
I am not referring to any one of the post, rather just want to express my opinion on the whole issue.
But before that let me address two issues. One is, the commonly interpreted saying of Jesus “what is to Caesar, let it be to Caesar and what is to God let it be to God” can not be quoted to say that Church and politics are two entirely different entities. This is the way the western political world interpreted it to keep the Church away from its activities (of course for obvious reasons). This does not do justice to the passage. Jesus was simply trying to reply to the Jewish leaders who wanted to trap him in his comment. Jesus was saying that what he was given was a coin with the image and writing of Caesar and hence it should go to Casear. We may be reminded that there were coins that had to be used in the temple which may go to the temple only.
Second, I take strong exception to the comment that ‘ecclesiastical persons can not deal with political issues’. I do not think that any individual can ever be distanced from political issues. This is because politics decides the kind of life a person may have in this world. Religion is concerned of human’s welfare which is in fact decided by the kind of political philosophy in practice. If it does not guarantee a just and peaceful social life for people and the rest of the creation, religion has to deal with it. If Jesus could call Herod ‘fox’ we ecclesiastical personal need to call a fox a fox and a sheep a sheep. This is what we saw in Latin America and in South Africa with Bishop Tutu. Of course it can be done only after in depth and thorough study of the matter and situation. If not, not only those individuals but also the whole community will become a laughing stock.
Now coming to my comment on the issue before us: I do not believe that Mr. Narendra Modi will be able to take the country to a better future. Judging from his past history in politics and in power along with the kind of support he gets from RSS and other hard core religious fundamentalist groups, he will not be able to see India as a country of plurality in any shape. The kind of public announcements we heard during the time of election from some of his close associates made this matter very clear. Again the team of ministers he has also support my theory. May be for a while he will act as if he is the guardian of secular fabric of the nation. This is just to eye wash those who are not in full support and also to get a second term in office. Gradually he will make his roots running deep and then will come out with his real agenda which, to me, is upper class Hindu India catering to the interests of the national and foreign corporates. Of course I accept the fact that he was elected by the people and he is now the prime minister of India. But I will not believe for any reason that he will respect the spirit of Indian democracy. In matter of development he has been projecting as the best for the nation, I have strong reservation on that too.
Metropolitan Yuhanon Mor Meletius, Diocese of Thrissur, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Sent from Meletius’ iPad
On 12-Jun-2014, at 2:40, “Yesunatha Das email@example.com [Synod]” <Synod@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Most of our Church leaders are typical representatives of High Priests like Annas and Caiaphas who were only bothered about their own fortunes and favours than the community.
On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 7:26 PM, Joseph Mattam firstname.lastname@example.org [Synod] <Synod@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Church leaders need to consult competent and knowledgeable Christians who are more competent than the Church leaders in political matters; I am afraid, often they do not do this.
On 12 June 2014 05:49, ‘Ral0ph Coelho G’ email@example.com [Synod] <Synod@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
As Christians we give to Caesar what is Caesar. One of these is allegiance to the leader chosen by the people.
Christians however do not acknowledge Caesar even though it only requires one to throw a pinch of incense into the brazier when passing before him!
Church leaders are believed to be well read in the Gospels and hence their example is important. They, and all Indians, find it difficult to believe that democracy is not just the anti-thesis of traditional master-slave, squire-peasant relationship and feel compelled to acknowledge their subservience.
They have a responsibility to express the acceptance of the chosen lead but there is no need to praise them for their actions. No doubt this lack of praise will be noted and someone loyal to the leader will do something about it. But that is the essence of being a Christian of being the light, the salt, the leaven – to be in the world and not of the world.
Modi campaigned on his past success, not future ways. He cannot be unaware that the Gujarat model cannot work for the country. His “loyal” followers trumpet it. They even make much publicised visits to study Gujarat in an age when one can get anything on a desk top.
It would take a different person to say that he brings a bigger message. How many believed this of Christ- and then make their own interpretations.
—– Original Message —–
From: John Dayal-catholicunion firstname.lastname@example.org [Synod]
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:21 PM
Subject: [Synod] A Statement by Senior Christian leaders [5 Attachments]
WE BEG TO DIFFER
FROM OFFICIAL CHURCH LEADERS ON NARENDRA MODI
We, the Christian Social Activists, Theologians, Academics, Church Lay-leaders and priests, etc., beg to differ from Official Church Leaders, including the NCCI* & the CBCI** ( Please see Annexure II) on their position on and attitude towards Sri Narendra Modi, newly elected Prime Minister of the BJP-led NDA.
While we have no problems with the Official Church Leaders in congratulating Sri Modi on becoming the Prime Minister of India, we have serious reservations and objections on their assessment of the so-called Gujarat Model of Development, and their expectations from Sri Modi to build a just-India and a secular-India, based on such a Development Model.
We also realize that in making such public statements, the Official Church leaders/organisations are misleading the public in general, and the BJP-led NDA Government leaders in particular, about representing the voices of Christians as a whole. Such opinions and views expressed by the Official Church Leaders/Organisations have not taken into consideration the voices of dissent and democracy within the Churches and their various bodies which do not subscribe to their position on Sri Modi and BJP-led NDA Government, on serious ideological and theological considerations.
We realize that the majority of the Official Church leadership has been carried away by the myth of Development Model of Gujarat created mostly by media, without referring to the stark human reality of Gujarat which totally negates the tall claims of the campaign carried out by the corporate world projecting Gujarat as a Model of Development. A few facts separated from myths would bring home the point, as detailed in the Annexure here.
Against the backdrop of the facts of ground-level reality of human development in Gujarat, it would be naïve to expect that Modi-led Government at the Centre would pursue the goals of the Welfare State as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Ironically, such doubts have also been expressed by Modi-supporters both within and outside the BJP-led NDA.
We also consider it to be either a naivety or ignorance of the Official Church Leaders to expect that the Modi-led NDA government with BJP in absolute majority would pursue the goals and practice the values of secularism as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Historical reality has established without doubt that BJP is fully under
* NCCI : The National Council of Churches in India, an ecumenical forum of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in the country
** CBCI: the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)
the control of Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), which is out-and-out to pursue and realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra, as projected in their ideological documents written by their founders. It is no secret that the election campaign for the 16th Lok Sabha was openly orchestrated by the RSS and its cadres, which see in Modi a hard-core Hindutva-vadi who would rule with an iron-fist to realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra. In this regard, one cannot ignore the violent history of communal forces in India since Independence, more so the genocide in Gujarat under Sri Narendra Modi, (including recent incidents at Muzaffarpur in UP and Assam just prior to and during the elections), and rule out the inherent potentiality of its repeat under the autocratic control of State machinery by BJP.
We would like to raise our voices here and now to caution the Official Church Leaders and organisations to be wary of the bogey of development of a New India, and “good times ahead” under the leadership of Sri Modi. It is crystal clear that the BJP-led NDA Government would pursue the goals of globalization serving the interests of the Corporate World, by putting the natural and human resources into their hands for profit-making, privatization and liberalization at the cost of vast majority of marginalized masses being systematically and deliberately thrown out of the periphery of so-called development of capital, consumers and colonies. That too ruthlessly by an autocratic leadership with scant regard for the human rights and democratic values enshrined in the Indian Constitution!
We would also like to appeal to the Official Church leadership to discern the Kairos (the critical decisive time), and face the threats and challenges unitedly with other secular, socialist and democratic forces in the country, and call for a systematic analysis and interpretation of the current political developments arising out of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. And, in turn, shape their responses based on values and principles of Christianity as laid down in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Rajendra K Sail,
Dr. K C Abraham Paul Siromoni Bishop Dr A G Ninan Philip Mathew Shashi Sail
Dr. Satish D Gyan
Human Rights Defender, Chhattisgarh Theologian & Church Leader, Bangalore
Trainer, Counsellor & Church Leader, Chennai Founder of BUILD, Mumbai & Ecumenical Leader Communication Person, Bangalore
Woman Rights Activist, Chhattisgarh Theologian & Church Leader, Dehradun
We remain yours in Jesus Christ – the Liberator Lord, And in Service to the People, the Indian Citizens,
June 5, 2014
Contact: Adv Rajendra K Sail, Shashi Krishi Farm, Tumgaon P.O. Mahasamund, Pin-code: 493445 (Chhattisgarh): India : E-mail: <email@example.com>
ANNEXURE: A FEW FACTS & MYTHS ABOUT GUJRAT MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT
(Based on an in-depth analysis by HEMANTKUMAR SHAH, a leading economist in Gujarat, which have neither been refuted nor challenged)
A- According to the Planning Commission’s National Human Development Report of 2001, Gujarat ranked 10th among all states. Its rank is 11th, according to the India Human Development Report of 2011. Nowhere does Gujarat stand first in the indices of human development. Itsrank is 26th in the category of undernourished women and children.
In 1999, there were 26.19 lakh BPL families. At present the number stands at 40 lakh according to the government advertisement on Mukhyamantri Amritam (MA) Yojana aired on almost all FM channels in Gujarat during last December and
B- According to the BJP manifesto for the assembly elections in December 2012, 50 lakh families were to be provided affordable and decent housing. This would mean that 2.5 crore people (43 per cent) live in poverty because good housing is one of the indicators for the measurement of poverty. According to the UNDP criteria of Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI-2010), Gujarat has 41.5 per cent people in poverty. Gujarat ranks 8th in terms of poverty among 20 Indian states according to the research study made by Oxford Human Development Initiative in 2011.
C- There are around 16 lakh educated unemployed youth in Gujarat according to the state government’s publication ~ Socio-Economic Review, 2012-13. Recently, 8.8 lakh applications were filed with the government for the post of talatis i.e. secretary of the village panchayat. The figures point to rampant unemployment. The promise to generate jobs for 1.02 crore people was made during the first five Vibrant Gujarat summits. But till March 2012, only 2.99 lakh jobs were generated from the investment made till that time. Another 2.70 lakh jobs were to be generated from the rest of the investment. Thus, a total of only 5.69 lakh jobs
were generated from the industrial investment that was promised during these summits.
D- There has been a 7.75-time increase in VAT revenue, a 2.5-time increase in electricity duty and a 6.5-time increase in overall tax revenue of the state government. And yet the debt burden of the government has gone up from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 1,46,000 crore. The net per capita debt burden is Rs 26,000, the highest in India. And the reason is complete mismanagement of the state government’s finances.
|E- There are 47,000 vacancies of teachers in primary and secondary schools and around 5,000 vacancies in colleges and universities. Universities are being run
|without regular appointments of Vice-Chancellors for months together. All the 30 universities, opened in Gujarat over the past 12 years, are in the private sector or are being run on a self-finance basis. Many universities run on only paper or with just 100 or 200 students, e.g. Children’s University and Indian Institute of Teachers’ Education at Gandhinagar. The dropout ratio after 5th standard is 29.5 per cent and before 10th standard it is 43 per cent.
F- Forty-three per cent of children in the below-5 category are undernourished. Gujarat has 47 per cent undernourished women. And still the state has a wide gap of anganwadis. It requires 72,000 anganwadis, but makes do with 54,000. The state does not have enough primary health centres and community health
The Sixth Pay Commission Report has not been fully implemented. The arrears were paid in instalments. Professors of colleges and universities are yet to get their arrears. More than 4.5 lakh employees are appointed on a contractual basis. The state government went to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the High Court which directed regular appointment to these employees. The police was allowed to form a trade union, in complete violation of constitutional provisions.
G- Around 6000 children have been reported missing over the past five years. In many cases, those who kill children are not arrested; as often as not, the accused are protected by their political mentors in Gandhinagar. More than 11,000 cases
of atrocities against women have been registered in the last five years, let alone the unregistered crimes. More than 5,500 farmers have committed suicide and the police have been instructed not to register the cases as suicide. Ahmedabad and Surat have the dubious distinction of having recorded the country’s highest crime rate.
These facts and figures do not share the special prejudicial subsidies given to the giant industrial houses and corporate sector by Gujarat Government under the Chief Ministership of Narendra Modi. To quote only a few:
a) TATA’s NANO factory and its related projects were given a huge sum of Rs. 9,570 crores as subsidy over against an investment of Rs. 2,900 crores. That too at a paltry interest rate of 0.1 percent, payable only after twenty years in instalments. Land was provided at a throw-away price, and the stamp duty, registration and electricity expenses are being borne by the Government.
- b) ADANI Group has been given the contract of power supply for 25 years, which has brought a huge expense of Rs. 23,625 crores on the government exchequer.
- c) RELIANCE Industries, ESSAR STEEL and other companies have been given huge concessions and profits through illegal means; that is why the entire CorporateWorldisgoinggagaatthevictoryofModi.Nowtheycanexpecta rich harvest nationally on similar lines or promoting progress of corporate sector.
The price paid by the people for so-called Gujarat’s Industrial Progress is to be seen in the Environmental degradation and pollution it has caused.
- § The Central Pollution Control Board of India declared Gujarat to be the most polluted state in 2010
- § Due to critical levels of pollution, the central government’s Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2010 banned all new projects and expansion of existing ones in the industrial cluster of Vapi in Southern Gujarat
- § The Central Pollution Control Board in 2012 declared three Gujarat rivers to be the most polluted in India