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Lepers protest Gujarat (India) decision to stop Catholic sisters from running hospital
Asia News ^ | March 21, 2006

Posted on 03/21/2006 10:38:57 AM PST by NYer

Ahmedabad (AsiaNews/UCAN) – The nationalist Hindu government of Gujarat has decided to stop sisters from working in a hospital for lepers, terminating a contract that has lasted for more than 60 years.

But the decision has been opposed by patients. Many of the sick people said they will follow the sisters wherever they go. “They are everything for us,” Babban Sitapur. "Not even our family members take such care of us."

The Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate took up the administration of the Leprosy Hospital in 1949. Gujarat then was part of Bombay state, which was later divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat. The government invited the nuns to run the hospital in Ahmedabad after many criticisms labelling it one of the country's worst-run institutions for leprosy patients.

The government used to renew the five-year contract routinely, but things began to change in 2001, soon after a government led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the state.

Fr Cedric Prakash, the Jesuit who helped the sisters to renew the contract in 2001, said they managed to do so only with “great difficulty”. Already then, he could discern what the government intentions were. The renewal of the contact became a “vague and remote possibility”. On 21 February, the government announced it would not renew the contract with the sisters, which expires on 1 April.

The hospital stretches across a 10-hectare plot of government-owned land and houses some 40 inpatients while treating hundreds of outpatients. The nuns' residence is on the premises.

Fr Prakash said the decision to send the sisters away came from the state Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Ashok Bhatt, both known for their anti-Christian stance.

As news of the government decision spread, the patients gathered under a tree to discuss what to do. "We will go to the government and plead," said one of them, but another waved him down with his bandaged hand and said, "They will not allow us to even enter the compound."

Joseph John, a Catholic patient, suggested they go on a hunger strike, but that too was turned down. Sister Karuna, who is in charge of the hospital, stood at a distance; she said what the patients feared most was the discrimination they may face in contrast to the welcome they experienced within the premises. "People come here hesitatingly, but would not leave this place afterward. Back home they are hated, isolated and some are even thrown out.”

Chinga Powar came from a government hospital in neighbouring Maharashtra. In that hospital, he said, doctors would "not even come near us. The nurses would give out tablets in a plastic bag tied to a stick. The toilets were never cleaned, because lepers used it. We were treated worse than animals."

Eventually someone told him about the Ahmedabad hospital. "I didn't know the place, but I knew it was managed by Christian nuns, which was enough inspiration to come here," he continued. One night he left the Maharashtra hospital. He covered all his wounds, used a shawl to hide his face and rode in the back of a bus to Ahmedabad. He later helped two other patients from the hospital in Maharashtra to come to Ahmedabad.

Cinga Powar said he would not know where to go if the nuns left. He said the best thing to do would to request the government to allow the nuns to stay.

Minaben Patel, 81 years and a Hindu, has worked with the sisters for the past 50 years. She said the "real aim" of not renewing the nuns' contract could be to take over the land. Thanks to the development of the city, the value of the property has increased. She said there was no one ready to replace the sisters.  "The government may gain some land, but they will lose these wardens of the poor permanently,” she said.

The secretary of the state's Health Department, S.R. Rao, said the decision not to renew the contract was “purely administrative”. The government owned the hospital, he continued, and was thus free "to decide whom to hand over the administration”.

The Health Minister said the government had plans to expand the institution's services and the termination of the sisters’ contract had nothing to do with ideology.

The contract stipulated that the sisters should shall not “do any preaching of the Bible or carry on any proselytizing activities among patients of the hospital as well as on the premises”. The sisters said they have never violated these stipulations.

Almost a year ago the government permitted them to start a house for HIV-positive patients in the same compound. Christians saw this decision as an expression of the government's appreciation for the sisters' service. Today, some HIV-positive people live in the hospital and around 500 receive medicines and treatment.

So far, the sisters have not yet received any official communication from the district health commissioner. They have only received some information from the Health and Family Welfare Department. (www.ucan.com)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholic; christian; india; leprosy; nuns; religious

1 posted on 03/21/2006 10:39:01 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 03/21/2006 10:39:30 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

Compared to Islam, Hinduism is much less of a threat. For one thing, it's basically limited to India and has no expansionist ambitions.

But the Hindu religion is not pretty. The caste system makes any of the western class systems, no matter how obnoxious, look tame by comparison. Hindu literature is fascinating, but I would not want to live under a Hindu regime.


3 posted on 03/21/2006 10:43:55 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NYer
“They are everything for us,” Babban Sitapur. "Not even our family members take such care of us."

Christ's love at work. We will know the believers by their fruit.
4 posted on 03/21/2006 10:47:16 AM PST by JamesP81
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To: Cicero
My daughter is hoping to go to India later this year to work at an orphanage run by a Christian organization. She tells me that two of the leaders of the organization, Hopegivers, were recently arrested there. One has since been released. Without these orphanages, the children would be on the street. Perhaps it is also a case of the Hindu government wanting the land. It is terribly sad, though. Wonder what Human Rights Watch is going to do about it? Or the UN?
5 posted on 03/21/2006 10:53:44 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: NYer
Fr Prakash said the decision to send the sisters away came from the state Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Ashok Bhatt, both known for their anti-Christian stance.

So that's the reason.

Those nuns are saints, in my opinion. Christians of whom we can all be very proud. You can bet this won't make the MSM news.

6 posted on 03/21/2006 11:07:56 AM PST by American Quilter
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To: NYer

We can be sure God is watching. "For whatever you did or didn't do to the least of my people, you did to me."


7 posted on 03/21/2006 11:21:57 AM PST by Integrityrocks
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To: Cicero

The caste system isn't a part of the Hindu religion. It is a cultural issue.


8 posted on 03/21/2006 11:30:46 AM PST by iPod Shuffle
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To: iPod Shuffle; Cicero

If the caste system isn't part of the Hindu religion, then how does a slave of the culture escape such oppression...without having to be an illegal alien?


9 posted on 03/21/2006 11:57:46 AM PST by SaltyJoe (A mother's sorrowful heart and personal sacrifice redeems her lost child's soul.)
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To: SaltyJoe

Caste discrimination in India is, like racial discrimination in the US, against the law. India also has a quota system for employment and university spots for the "untouchables."


10 posted on 03/21/2006 12:01:23 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
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To: iPod Shuffle

Sounds like time must heal this wound and it will disappear only through generations of "equal opportunity".


11 posted on 03/21/2006 12:18:51 PM PST by SaltyJoe (A mother's sorrowful heart and personal sacrifice redeems her lost child's soul.)
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To: iPod Shuffle

The caste system was inextricable from Indian religion in earlier days. The castes were connected with the divine order of things and with reincarnation. The Brits managed to cut back on some of the established customs, like suttee. And Ghandi's movement led to freeing the Untouchables.

But the strict, fanatical Hindus who go around murdering Christians and burning churches would pretty certainly like to restore the caste system if they had the power to do so. And probably burn widows, too. The question is, do they have the power to turn back the clock on things like that? Hopefully not. The leaders of Hindu nationalism are pretty ruthless, but they just don't have the kind of following any more that the Muslim leaders have.


12 posted on 03/21/2006 12:33:49 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: iPod Shuffle
The caste system isn't a part of the Hindu religion. It is a cultural issue.

Well, if it's a cultural issue (as you claim), how do you explain that their society--stratified by cast--fairly well mimics the Hindu relgion (Eastern Pantheistic Monism) in which life (Atman/Brahman) is reincarnated--get this--8.4M times before reaching Braham?

Stratifed social structure...stratified reincarnative religion...go figure. I can see the connection.

Sauron

13 posted on 03/21/2006 12:43:00 PM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: iPod Shuffle; NYer; Cicero; SaltyJoe; All
Dear Friends in Christ and Fellow Freepers,

I find this very strange and unbelievable what iPod Shuffle had to say about the Caste System in India -- that it is not part of Hinduism and that there is reservation for Low Caste Hindus/Untouchables in Government Jobs as well as at State Universities.

There may be reservation in Government jobs and in State Universities for Low Caste Hindus but often "Upper Caste Hindus" take advantage of these reservations fraudulently by declaring themselves as "Low Caste Hindus" -- thus these unfortunate folks are prevented from taking advantage of reservations meant for them in the first place.

This is because for more than a 1000 years, the Caste system has existed in India. The Caste System definitely existed in India prior to the advent of Christianity and Islam in India.

Christianity did not bring the caste system to India at all.

In many states of India, Low Caste Hindus specially in many parts of South India cannot draw water from Public wells, neither can they eat a meal at a Public Restaurant and most importantly most of them are Landless Laborers throughout the Length and Breadth of India.

"Inter Caste Marriages" are still frowned upon by Upper Caste Hindus and they often end up in the murder of Low Caste Hindus if they marry someone from an Upper Caste Hindu Family specially in backward Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan etc.

This is still happening in the 21st Century and has happened on a regular basis for the last 20-30 years or more.

With the most recent incident having taken place in December 2005, January 2006, and February 2006 respectively in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and two towns in Haryana.

Over the last 20-40 years and more large numbers of "Low Caste Hindus" who are Landless Labourers have been brutally murdered by Upper Caste Hindu LandLords in the States of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc.

No one can ever forget the regular massacres of Dalits or Low Caste Hindus which have taken place on a regular basis in Patna, Jehanabad, Gaya, Nalanda and other districts in Central and North Bihar.

Now, when Catholic and other Christian Missionaries have tried to liberate these unfortunate folks from all kinds of bondage they have got a terrible kick in the pants.

It is indeed shameful that in 21st Century India the Caste System still exists.

It is my ardent and earnest Prayer that some day Upper Caste Hindus will be inspired to know that what they are doing is wrong and oppressive and what their forefathers did before them was also wrong.

They can change and must change if India is to call itself a Progressive Democracy in the 21st Century.

At least, they can give these unfortunate folks some kind of basic dignity.

This is a Big reason why Extremist Hindu Groups resent and have a deep hatred against Catholic Missionaries as they are well aware of the Humanitarian work that has been undertaken in the past by all Christian Missionaries as well as what is being done at present.

That is why Dr. Ambedkar-- one of the Leaders that was responsible for writing the Indian Constitution mass converted to Buddhism in the 1930's along with Hundreds and Hundreds of Low Caste Hindus.

He was totally fed up with the oppression that Low Caste Hindus were being subjected to in villages in Marathawada and Vidharba in Maharashtra. So, he took the final step of leaving Hinduism and joining Buddhism.

Even, now in the 21st Century there are Mass Conversions to Buddhism every year in the interiors of the States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc.

It is my prayer that an Indian Version of "Martin Luther King" will rise up from the midst of these oppressed Low Caste Hindus and start a peaceful and non violent movement for their emancipation and basic human rights as well as dignity.
14 posted on 03/21/2006 12:52:33 PM PST by MILESJESU
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To: iPod Shuffle

Poligamy is against the law in Utah, too....


15 posted on 03/21/2006 12:55:38 PM PST by Theo
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To: SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST
"...that an Indian Version of "Martin Luther King" will rise up..."

Or an Emperor Constantine be converted to Christianity. I see conversion of hearts from the head of leadership more likely when they sniff the wind of change. Although the real Constantine had a difficult time grasping the Dual Nature of Christ, Son of Man and Son of God, he did a greater good for history by accepting the Authority of Jesus Christ over his temporal rule (a mighty deed for an emperor of a culture who sometimes grants the "living god" status to successful dictators...at the same time the Church was fighting the very deadly Aryan heresy of Jesus "becoming a god" rather than the Reality that He's Begotten, not made).
16 posted on 03/21/2006 2:39:52 PM PST by SaltyJoe (A mother's sorrowful heart and personal sacrifice redeems her lost child's soul.)
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To: Cicero

I am sorry but your post is inaccurate. India has the largest affirmative action programs in the world. A religion that gave rise to pacifist movements like buddhism, jainism and that survived 800 years of islamic and i dare say christian aggression probably has some good points to it.


17 posted on 03/21/2006 4:17:47 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: Cicero
The caste system was inextricable from Indian religion in earlier days. The castes were connected with the divine order of things and with reincarnation. The Brits managed to cut back on some of the established customs, like suttee. And Ghandi's movement led to freeing the Untouchables.

The Indian religion does have caste. But it isnt hierarchical. For example the greatest epic of hinduism the ramayana was written by Valmiki a so called lower caste. The Hindu god Krishna was born a cow herd another lower (and one of the most powerful castes in india today) Most of india's saints and its religious leaders today come from the so called lower castes.

The Brits managed to exploit caste divisions and created a theory of lower and upper castes. This helped the british to divide and conquer the natives and i daresay in promoting prosleytisation. This theory of "lower" and "upper" caste has no correlation to political or economic power. For example the brahmins in india are well educated but not economically well off.

As it is india is witnessing a social revolution where it is "advantageous to be a lower caste"!!!! by the way much of the hindu right is also made up of lower castes including the man quoted in this article Mr.Modi.

But the strict, fanatical Hindus who go around murdering Christians and burning churches would pretty certainly like to restore the caste system if they had the power to do so. And probably burn widows, too. The question is, do they have the power to turn back the clock on things like that? Hopefully not. The leaders of Hindu nationalism are pretty ruthless, but they just don't have the kind of following any more that the Muslim leaders have.

If the leaders of hindu nationalism are ruthless they would have made india an extreme right wing dictatorship when they were in power. But they lost an election and exited out of office. As regards to that comment about burning indian widows - i would attribute that to anti hindu propaganda.

With the islamic threat it doesnt make any sense for us to go and keep baiting hindus as some christians extremists are trying to do. We need the buddhists, atheists, hindus, zorastrians on our side and not against us.

18 posted on 03/21/2006 4:31:55 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST
It is my prayer that an Indian Version of "Martin Luther King" will rise up from the midst of these oppressed Low Caste Hindus and start a peaceful and non violent movement for their emancipation and basic human rights as well as dignity.

From what I understand India reserves upto 70% of its seats in higher education exclusively for the lower castes . By the way parties made of the lower castes have most of the political power anyways. Martin Luther King would be jobless /sarcasm

19 posted on 03/21/2006 4:34:25 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: iPod Shuffle
Article from an indian newspaper that shows affirmative action has resulted in quotas of 70%!!!!!

http://www.hinduonnet.com/2005/08/22/stories/2005082210100400.htm

CHENNAI: The all-party meeting convened by the Centre on August 23 and the Education Ministers' meeting on August 27 in New Delhi may, at best, spark a renewed debate on some critical issues affecting higher education in the private sector. Though political consensus in Tamil Nadu cannot be imagined on any key issue of national or State import, there has always been near unanimity on the two critical issues of higher education and the need to protect reservation for the educationally and socially backward classes. It is not without reason that Tamil Nadu has been in the forefront on these key issues. The State offers the highest percentage of reservation of seats in the whole country — a whopping 69 per cent. This includes the statutory reservation for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and Backward castes, in addition to separate quotas for Most Backward Castes, the physically challenged, sportspersons and wards of freedom fighters, among others. Though there is no constitutional backing for the 69 per cent reservation, successive Governments have ensured that there is no tampering with this percentage. All political parties have urged the Centre to provide constitutional protection for this level of reservation, though there are Supreme Court orders to the effect that it should not exceed 50 per cent. That question is still before the courts, but there is no threat to the 69 per cent reservation. Another reason for Tamil Nadu's leadership in higher education is the proliferation of professional colleges, especially engineering colleges. Over 700 — more than 50 per cent — of the private self-financing engineering colleges function in the four Southern States and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Tamil Nadu has about 240 of these colleges. The immediate import of the apex court order — providing minority and unaided professional colleges complete freedom in the matter of admissions — is the imminent end to reservation in these colleges. Of the more than 70,000 seats in engineering colleges in the State, about 42,000 were available through the single window system of admissions with a transparent counselling programme; that meant the "quotas" applied to all these seats. But, if the private unaided colleges go out of the single window and the Government cannot insist on its share of seats, hardly 5,000 engineering seats will come under the counselling and quota system. That has been considered the most serious challenge by the political parties here, which are pressing for Central legislation to ensure the quotas and the State Government's say in the matter of admissions and fees. Government sources argue that the private colleges not only want to lower the qualifying mark for admissions, but also do not want to have a merit-based, transparent system of admissions that can stand the scrutiny of law. "They just want to fill up the seats, but you can see the seats going abegging in the single window. Education is on the concurrent list and this Government will not yield its legitimate rights — both in monitoring higher education and supervising admissions, especially in ensuring that the reservation policy is followed," says a senior Government source, adding that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has already expressed her "strong views" on the matter. Administrators expect both the ruling party and the Opposition to take similar views at the all-party meeting and insist that at the Education Ministers' conference, the State will reiterate its commitment to reservation and a free, fair and transparent system of admissions to all professional courses. There will be no compromise on that. A couple of days ago, rumours were rife that the State Government was thinking of taking over a number of professional colleges, including some Deemed Universities. But educationists and officials stoutly denied the speculation and described it as "a plant by vested interests."

20 posted on 03/21/2006 4:41:40 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: NYer
Fr Prakash said the decision to send the sisters away came from the state Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Ashok Bhatt, both known for their anti-Christian stance.

Father Prakash failed to mention that Mr Modi is from a so called lower caste!!!

21 posted on 03/21/2006 4:43:10 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: The Lion Roars

Well, I agree we need the Hindus on our side if possible. But I don't think it makes much sense for them to close down a leper colony that has taken good care of these people for a long time. Hopefully this can be quietly worked out.


22 posted on 03/21/2006 4:50:26 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

The Hindu right is the biggest ally we have in india. The islamists and the commies are intent on pushing india closer to china and have always taken an anti US stance. Sadly some of the christian right are increasingly pushing the hindu right to take an anti US stance too.

Working and promoting christian values is one thing but bad mouthing hinduism will inevitably lead to a back lash. Remember India has a muslim president, a sikh prime minister and catholic leading its ruling party. It is the hindus if any who should feel disenfranchised!!


23 posted on 03/21/2006 5:03:25 PM PST by The Lion Roars
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To: SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST

Thank you for clarifying that. It's true that some deeply ingrained, long-held cultural or religious ideas cannot be overcome just by changing the law. Look at female infant death rates in India. Infanticide is of course illegal, but it's a much longer history of leaving girls to die, and it's still going on because the ratio of girl to boy babies is around 7/10, drastically different than the naturally occuring statistic of slightly more females in a given population. Clitorectomies on infants are of course illegal in the U.S., but every year several immigrants are arrested for performing this culturally-acceptable procedure on their girl babies at home, often with a crude pocket or kitchen knife. Americans just don't realize how barbaric and backward some cultures really are. Which is why "multi-culturalism" is not always (ever?) good.


24 posted on 03/21/2006 7:53:05 PM PST by baa39
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To: Cicero; SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST; Gengis Khan; Cronos
But the strict, fanatical Hindus who go around murdering Christians and burning churches would pretty certainly like to restore the caste system if they had the power to do so. And probably burn widows, too.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1507163/posts

India's RSS urges war against 'evil' of casteism

IANS/ The Times of India ^ | Saturday, October 22, 2005 02:14:11 pm | IANS


NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over caste-based political and social conflicts, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has urged Hindus to "get rid of this evil at the earliest".

"Hindu society should take all necessary measures to ensure entry and access to every Hindu, irrespective of his caste, to their homes, temples, religious places, public wells, ponds, and other public places," a resolution adopted at the three-day national executive meeting of the RSS said.

Around 350 RSS volunteers met in Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh to brainstorm on several issues, including its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been dogged by infighting.

After discussing the issue of casteism on Friday, the first day of the meeting, the organisation concluded that "caste-based untouchability" and "feelings of high caste and low caste" were the main evils haunting the Hindu society.

"Unfortunately, such incidents occur in society even to this day, manifesting the worst form of caste discrimination," the resolution posted on the organisation's website said.

"Hindu society will have to get rid of this evil at the earliest," it said.

Appealing for social harmony and Hindu brotherhood, the organisation warned the community against the political parties, which it said had been drawing "political benefits" out of casteism.

"Inventing caste based new conflicts in the Hindu society for the sake of political benefits has become a trend of many politicians these days."

"Treacherous elements are also joining hands in this. To create the vote banks, these politicians are encouraging caste-based rivalries, which result in creation of various caste based clashes," the resolution said.

The RSS also has urged the political parties to keep away from "caste politics" which caused "deep divisions" in the society and to give an "Indian culture" to the democracy.

Citing instances from the Hindu epics it said the religion always stood for lower caste people.

"No religion or sect is inferior to others. The whole society should be aware that every sect and caste of Bharat has a glorious history."

The national executive has appealed to all sects and castes that they should not look down on other sects and castes. "The entire society should fully realize the essence of 'Na Hinduh Patito Bhavet' (No Hindu shall ever come to grief)," the resolution said.

Interestingly, the RSS has been criticised by secular Indians for its Hindu supremacist philosophy and its frequent campaign against other religions, particularly Islam and Christianity.

25 posted on 03/22/2006 1:33:12 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST; Cronos; Gengis Khan; Cicero

There are also many Christians (Syrian/ Protestant IIRC) in India (Kerala State) who frown upon marriages among members of their community between members of other Christian denominations/religions, usually Catholics.

In their eyes, they are "purer/truer" Christians because their ancestors were converted by St. Thomas, the Apostle, whereas the newer Christian converts (usually the Catholics) were converted by "mere mortals".


26 posted on 03/22/2006 1:38:40 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

We're deviating from the issue -- the Gujarat govt is kicking the nuns out, IMHO, purely because they are Christian. That's wrong. period.


27 posted on 03/22/2006 2:55:53 AM PST by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: Cronos
I'm not sure.

Minaben Patel, 81 years and a Hindu, has worked with the sisters for the past 50 years. She said the "real aim" of not renewing the nuns' contract could be to take over the land. Thanks to the development of the city, the value of the property has increased. She said there was no one ready to replace the sisters. "The government may gain some land, but they will lose these wardens of the poor permanently,” she said.

I'd say we need more sources for this incident.

28 posted on 03/22/2006 3:25:03 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

But why not just move the leper colony elsewhere.


29 posted on 03/22/2006 3:26:12 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Land is expensive within the city limits, I guess.


30 posted on 03/22/2006 4:06:27 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: NYer

The nuns were performing acts of true Christian charity.
Selfless love!


31 posted on 03/22/2006 4:23:17 AM PST by BooksForTheRight.com (what have you done today to fight terrorism/leftism (same thing!))
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To: Cronos; CarrotAndStick; All
Dear Friends in Christ,

The Core issue here is that Chief Minister Narendra Modi wants the Catholic Missionary Nuns to leave simply because they are Christian Missionaries.

It is impossible for any kind of Christian Community or Catholic Community to live in Gujarat which is a Hard Core R.S.S. State just like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and others.

Engaging in Humanitarian work in R.S.S. dominated States in India is impossible so long as they continue to see Christian Missionaries as some infernal enemy and compare all Christian Missionaries in the same lights as they see Islamists or "Jihadists".

It is as simple as that. In every B.J.P. ruled State Christians, Catholics and all Missionaries are being tormented and harassed period with no end in sight to the harassment.

It was much worse throughout the length and breadth of India when the B.J.P. was in power from 1998-2004 at that time incidents of Anti Christian Violence were regularly white washed by Advani, Vajpayee, Singhal, etc.

Finally, I would like to bring something to the notice of you all.

The New President of the B.J.P. Mr. Rajnath Singh around the Middle of February declared openly to an audience in Guwahati, Assam and later to the media in general that "Christian Missionaries pose a grave threat to the unity and integrity of this country" and that they were not only destroying the Religious Fabric of the Country but are a Threat much more serious than Islamist Groups.

This article is available with the Mumbai Mirror I will be posting that later in the day.

Imagine That. I often wonder why is that some Supporters and Sympathizers of Extremist Hindu Groups in Cities and Towns all across India send their kids to prestigious Catholic Schools and Colleges and still attack the Church.

I wonder if any of y'all are aware of the barbaric attack on Bishop Thomas Dabre, Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Mumbai and 3 Priests on the outskirts of Bombay on the 29th of January 2006 where they were stoned for a record 2 hours by a large mob of R.S.S, V.H.P., and Bajrang Dal Activists near Thane and the police were most indifferent and did not arrive to rescue them till these Radicals left.

Now, Bishop Thomas Dabre is a son of the soil and a big proponent of Marathi Culture and Sanskrit Culture in Mumbai, Vasai, and other parts of Maharashtra.

To be treated in this manner shows clearly the hold the Extremist Hindu Groups have in the State of Maharashtra ruled by a so called Secular Party which in my opinion has proved by its deeds that it exists only for Muslims and cares a damn for the welfare of Christians.


Not only that in early February a young catholic teenager by the name of "Amol Chavan" was brutally stabbed in Ratnagiri District on the 6th of February 2006 by two V.H.P. Activists from Khed District who objected to a Catholic Prayer Meeting being organized at his Parents Home in Ratnagiri.
Amol Chavan since then has been breathing through a tube as he is in a serious condition at a Public Hospital in Mumbai and he continues to remain in a comatose condition till today.
They also threw a crude bomb at the house to make their intentions clear. These and other acts make it clear that Catholics and Christians are at the receiving end of all kinds of harassment being orchestrated by Radical Hindu Groups.

The most recent incident of anti - christian violence took place in the northern suburb of Kandivli in Mumbai where a peaceful prayer meeting of Pentecostal Christians was brutally attacked last Wednesday evening that is the 15th of March 2006 by a Mob of Bajrang Dal Activists who attacked the men and Women praying in their flat in a cooperative society without any mercy.

To deny that Anti Christian Persecution has been happening on a regular basis in various parts of India is to show your true colours ie- you are a Supporter or Sympathizer of Extremist Hindu Groups.

I know I will be attacked on this thread by certain supporters of Extremist Hindu Groups that are Freepers in India as well as the United States but I am only speaking the truth.

If you all want to reject the truth, I cannot force you all to accept what I am saying other than post URL'S of articles from the Mumbai Mirror and the Times of India where these incidents have been published.

I do not want to say anymore or I will be attacked by some Freeper or the other who will accuse me of being Anti Hindu,Anti-Indian, or a product of a forced conversion, or that I am crying wolf with regard to Persecution of Christians and Catholics in India when there is more than ample and sufficient evidence to bolster my case from well documented and credible web sites and the case of "Christian Rights and Human Rights Activists" like Dr. John Dayal and Mr. Abraham Mathai from Mumbai, Maharashtra.

I have only stated the truth in the past on a thread where I was attacked bitterly about Persecution of Christians and Catholics in India -- a Thread that I had started in January 2006.

I will continue to state the truth by posting URL'S that cannot be refuted or denied by any one.


I will be also posting Links with regard to the Barbaric Attack on Bishop Thomas Dabre and on another Bishop in Rajasthan which took place over two successive weeks in October 2005.
32 posted on 03/22/2006 4:59:01 AM PST by MILESJESU (Father Robert Altier is a Man of God. Praised be Jesus Christ.)
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To: NYer

Narendra Modi is nutz he should have long been ejected from the BJP and tried for his criminal role in the Gujarat riots.


33 posted on 03/22/2006 5:27:59 AM PST by Gengis Khan
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To: The Lion Roars

Well, you can admire the Hindus all you like. And I'm not insulting them, I'm discussing their action as reported in this column.

If they kick out a group of nuns who have taken wonderful care of lepers who were abandoned by their own people, then they will deserve our contempt. It's entirely up to them.


34 posted on 03/22/2006 7:29:36 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: CarrotAndStick

could be corruption, that's true. But with Modi's track record of demagoguery (Dangs etc.), I wonder.


35 posted on 03/22/2006 8:20:13 AM PST by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: Cicero

I think it's wrong to say "The hindus" because the majority of hindus have condemned violence against Christians -- pretty vocally. a blanket statement helps no-one. This is not like islamofascism, where we SEE that more than 3 quarters of the slamic population support such acts.


36 posted on 03/22/2006 8:22:02 AM PST by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: Cronos

You have a point. But remember land prices/ rentals have sky-rocketed in those parts of Gujarat, in recent times. There's money to be made (plenty) by leasing it out.

In Bangalore, the Church which holds huge amounts of British-handed city-centre prime real estate, leases land to commercial organisations on regular, renewable long-term basis. I don't know about Gujarat. I think it is similar there too.

The a-holes in the government should have allocated land to the relief centre elsewhere, at the minimum, in the interest of those whom it serves.

The local government has eminent domain provisions in Gujarat. The compensation issue is tricky considering the fact that most of such land was not confiscated post-Independence, contrary to other pre-Independence public properties.


37 posted on 03/22/2006 8:33:25 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: Cronos; Cicero
The compensation issue is tricky considering the fact that most of such land was not confiscated post-Independence, contrary to other pre-Independence public properties.

Especially the posessions of the rulers of the erst-while Princely States of India. Most temples come under them, and thus became government property automatically.

38 posted on 03/22/2006 8:36:06 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: Cicero; SOLDIEROFJESUSCHRIST; NYer

Ping to #37


39 posted on 03/22/2006 8:37:21 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: NYer; Cicero; All

Dear Freepers in Christ,

These are the two articles that I was talking about along with their URL'S.

All I have to say is this that Rajnath Singh is mentally retarded or has gone bonkers if he thinks that "Christian Missionaries" pose a grave threat to the unity and security of the country.

There are not many Tribals converting any more in large numbers as they used to 20-25 years ago -- yet the B.J.P. and other Extremist Hindu Groups have this opinion that Christian Missionaries are a threat to this country rather than Islamists and their Fundamentalist Supporters.



http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=4&articleid=21920062131466402192006213130843

Mumbai, February 20, 2006

BJP seeks law against conversion to Christianity


Party chief sees clear and present danger from Christian missionaries

IANS

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday urged the Central government to frame laws to prevent conversions to Christianity.

"There is a threat to this country from Christian missionaries who in the name of development and welfare activities are converting poor people, especially in tribal areas across the country," BJP president Rajnath Singh said at a modest rally in Assam's main city Guwahati.

Singh, who was here with other senior BJP leaders including Pramod Mahajan to kick-start the party's campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections in April-May — claimed large-scale conversions, could threaten the social and the religious fabric of India.

"We have requested the Central government to frame new legislation to ensure that nobody can carry out conversions by luring people with development and welfare activities."

Chief Ministers of all states ruled by the BJP had been issued specific instructions to stop any attempts at conversion, he said.

"We have warned all states ruled by the BJP not to allow any form of conversions that are bound to affect or threaten the social structure of the country," Singh said.

Referring to the coming state polls, he said, "We need to work hard to achieve our goal of capturing power in Assam. We can do it if we are determined.

"And if we manage to come to power in Assam, we shall definitely be able to hoist the saffron flag in all the northeastern states in the future."

Except for pockets of Assam, the BJP has no sizeable presence in the northeastern states.




http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18548

Indian Christian leaders seek gov’t help in attack on Catholic bishop

2/1/2006

UCANews (www.ucanews.com)

MUMBAI, India (UCAN) – Christian groups across India protested strongly after Hindu fanatics attacked a Catholic bishop and four priests in a western state. They sought federal help to arrest the perpetrators.

The Indian bishops' conference, several lay groups and a cardinal have condemned the Jan. 29 attack as an incident that shamed India's claims to being a secular nation. They asked the Maharashtra state and federal governments to act against the culprits.

In the attack a group of people shouted slogans and threw stones at Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai and the priests, who had gone to Ghosali village to open a hostel. One priest and a person on hand for the program were injured.

Bishop Dabre told UCA News Feb. 1 that police arrested 18 people a day after the incident in Thane district, 1,280 kilometers (about 800 miles) southwest of New Delhi, but released them on bail the same day.

On Feb. 1, diocesan officials and leaders of various religions met Archana Tyagi, the district collector, or top government official in Thane. Earlier, lay groups demanding the arrest of the culprits had approached Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Narrating the incident, Bishop Dabre said he and the priests had gone to the village to open a hostel his diocese built for tribal students.

About 200 people gathered outside the building and shouted slogans like "Christians go back" and "foreign dogs get out." They also verbally abused those attending the program.

Bishop Dabre said he and the priests ignored the shouting, since they did not want to aggravate the situation. The mob appeared to have retreated, but returned later with more people, many of them carrying sticks.

The mob surrounded the building, shouting slogans and effectively trapping the bishop and others inside for almost three hours.

Bishop Dabre, who has initiated several social works projects, said he has never come across such an incident in his 16 years as a bishop. "The situation is now under control," he said.

The spokesperson for the Indian Bishops' conference, Father Babu Joseph, told media in New Delhi that the incident was an example of how fanatical groups continue to intimidate and harass Christian missioners for undertaking welfare programs among the poor.

The "shocking and shameful" incident shows the fanatic groups are active against the church, he said. Certain groups are afraid that the church's works among the poor would destabilize the hold of upper-caste Hindus over India's socioeconomic sectors, the Divine Word priest added.

Condemning the incident, he asked the state and federal governments to initiate steps to arrest the culprits and take measures to ensure that similar incidents are not repeated.

Cardinal Ivan Dias of the Archdiocese of Bombay issued a statement in which he termed the attack "a barbaric and unwarranted outburst of violence."

The incident was "indeed a disgrace to our Indian culture of respect and tolerance, and it sadly reveals a serious lack of a sense of civilized democracy in the politico-religious groups which instigated it," the cardinal said. He added that such events "endanger communal harmony and wreck the secular fabric of our dear motherland."

Vasai Diocese was created in 1998 from Bombay archdiocese with Bishop Dabre, who had served as a Bombay auxiliary bishop since 1990, as its first Bishop.

Abraham Mathai of the All-India Christian Council and Joseph Dias, president of Catholic Secular Forum, visited the scene of the attack.

Lay leader Dias reported that some people had suspected trouble and informed police about the possibility of an incident three days in advance. "But they did not take any steps to prevent it nor did they arrive on time despite repeated appeals for help," Dias told UCA News. He noted that attackers kept the bishop, priests and others trapped for three hours before police arrived.

Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, who works for human rights in neighboring Gujarat state, charged in a statement that the attack was part of a strategy to create fear among Christians.

Hindu groups are organizing a mid-February fair in a tribal area of Gujarat with an explicit anti-Christian agenda such as converting Christian tribal people to Hinduism.

"The strategy of the fascist forces is not to attack any Christian or Christian institution in Gujarat itself for fear that a law-and-order breakdown can severely hamper their whole program" there, Father Prakash said.

John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union, is calling for the federal government to intervene as Christians reel under what he called the "January of terror" by Hindu fanatic groups, thugs and communalized police.

Dayal, who is also a member of the government's National Integration Council, issued a statement appealing to federal Internal Minister Shivraj Patil to "take decisive steps to instill confidence in the Christian community, which is reeling under a combine of violence."

His statement cited attacks on Christians in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan, besides the attack on Bishop Dabre. He said he has a list of about 100 cases of violence against Christians in 2005. Urgent steps are needed to restore confidence and check the violence, he maintained.



40 posted on 03/22/2006 12:26:16 PM PST by MILESJESU (Father Robert Altier is a True Soldier of Jesus Christ. Merciful Jesus Christ, I Trust in you.)
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To: Cronos

I don't blame all the Hindus. The extremist Hindu politicians have often overreached themselves and have been thrown out of power as a result, even though the majority of their constituents may be Hindus. But given the fact of some recent violence against Christians by Hindu extremists, kicking out nuns and closing a leper colony is, at the least, stupid politically.


41 posted on 03/22/2006 12:27:20 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: CarrotAndStick
In Bangalore, the Church which holds huge amounts of British-handed city-centre prime real estate

Not really -- the "Church" you refer to is the Church of South India which is affiliated to the Anglican Church. The Church referred to here is the CAtholic Church. Remember that the English were pretty anti-CAtholic, so they did not hand over things to the Catholic Church.

We BOTH may be right -- there would be a commercial AND demagogue aspect to this. Though, I think it will backfire on the Modi govt because no-one's going to think this is in any way good.
42 posted on 03/22/2006 9:46:57 PM PST by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: Cronos

I think you're right about the whole thing.


43 posted on 03/22/2006 10:35:14 PM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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