The Church of South India (CSI), the second largest Church in India with over 4.5 million members, has come out against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.
In an open letter on Friday, Bishop Thomas K. Oommen, moderator (head) of the Church, said the NDA government had “become a nightmare to the poor and the minorities in India.”
“The NDA government that follows the Hindutva supremacist ideology seems to have discounted what is stated in the preamble of our Constitution that declares liberty, equality, and fraternity as its ideals,” it says.
“The Church stands in solidarity with the Dalits fighting for justice and equality and agitating against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and condemns all atrocities against the Dalits by the Hindutva extremist forces.” The NDA government has become “a danger to the very fabric of the greatest sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic,” he said.
“The government is changing school textbooks by inserting pseudo-scientific religious content, banning films, books, festivals of minorities etc., which, it claims, offend Hindu nationalist sentiments.”
“The communalist and fascist ideology of Hindutva promoted by the BJP casts a shadow over the constitutional secularism, leaving the religious minorities under threat. The Hindutva’s obsession for the cow has not only deprived the Dalits of a cheap source of protein, but also has severely affected the economy of lakhs of Dalits who are marginal farmers,” the letter says.
The Church head concludes his letter with a call to the people to “unite, irrespective of their religion, caste, class, creed, colour, language and gender, and shake the foundations of this new empire being built by the corporate-fascists, so that our nation remains a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.”