Justifying bigotry is as bad as bigotry

Z Lohe
The recent reaction of the NBCC to an inordinate and anti-Christian notification issued by Registrar, Nagaland University (NU) by which the Good Friday and Eastern Sunday were declared to be working days and the same was rescinded finally by the same authority of NU was rightly done. Adding to that, the Clean Election Movement (CEM), an action oriented committee of NBCC lucidly highlighted the few instances of how the “Hindu extremist systematically and deliberately targets Muslims, Christians, Dalits and minorities” in India. Those Hindu extremists perhaps are not born extremist but motivated, trained and molded to execute a given task even by risking one’s own life. A gun itself is not a danger to life till it is loaded with bullet and the trigger is pulled by the user at a target. When a man is killed with a gun, the gun, the inanimate, is not the prime accuse but the user of the gun is the one accused. Similarly, the ideologist who uses those gullible and ignorant Hindus are primarily responsible for all what are going against the Christians in India today. After much silence, the NBCC spelled few truths on how RSS and its cohorts under the patronage of BJP has been mistreating and persecuting Christians and other minorities in India. 

Not only people in India know that Nagaland is dominated by Christians but the world knows that Nagaland is a land of Christians. And especially the premier body like NBCC cannot afford to become a mute spectator basking in the gallery while the suppressive activities against the fellow Christians elsewhere in the country remain relentless. If we are to remain worth our identity we have to react to every discriminative action of the Hindutva zealots against Christians as much as it requires. While those zealots dare not care for the religious freedom so enshrined in the Constitution of India from Art 25-28, but go on in rampage against Christians both individually and collectively, destroying Christian assets, compelling the helpless Christians to desert their faith in God under duress, marginalizing the welfare activities for the downtrodden by curbing funds from outside, and desecrating our holy sanctuaries more relentlessly then ever in tacit understanding with the BJP, can we, the believers in the Living God, remain mute and helpless from voicing against who are oppressing us for want of  gut due to fear of money and of such temporary power? 

Whatever the General Secretary of NBCC and the Convener of CEM, NBCC had highlighted are just the tip of the iceberg to say the least. Even the Archbishop Tomas J Netto of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram shared his deep concern over the massive suppression of Christians in Manipur as published in local paper on 31.3.2024. Look at how the human rights violations were meted out to Christians in particular by Hindutva workers in Manipur as sponsored by the BJP Govt. Till May, 2023, Manipur was one of the most peaceful and progressive States in NE which was suddenly burnt down in order to destroy the Christians and their Churches premeditatedly. Despite the massacres of more than 220 people and displacing 60,000 people, and though the ethnic clash remains unabated, and yet we have not come across any remorse neither of the BJP in Manipur nor of the Union Govt. as to the magnitude of the destructions so caused to Manipur State. The Assam Riffles held the Chief Minister of Manipur responsible for the mess in his State as reported in Nagaland Page on 16.4.2024. Whereas, it is obvious that many of the Chief Ministers are more of pawn than king despite the legal delegation they hold including the CM of Manipur. In other words, the CM of Manipur perhaps dances when his high command beats drum.

We know well that the BJP Government at the centre or in the States will never pay heed to the cries of the suppressed citizens. Those anti-Christian measures being carried out against the Christians all across the country are pre-meditated actions systematically orchestrated by RSS under the patronage of BJP. The Christians have been bearing the brunt of the religious intolerance of the Hindutva that utterly violates the constitutional provisions which are reduced to decorative pieces in the book of Indian Constitution. I am made to believe that whatever may be the magnitude of the suppressions against Christians, those are just a pinch of the salt. Some of the BJP leaders talk about the new Constitution, and I believe when that new Constitution is made, the zenith of Hindutva will be unleashed in India under CAA/UCC post the ongoing elections. Then India will be manned by the temple governance and we will feel the actual effect Hindutva to say the least. 

The above being the backdrop, harder days are ahead of us for the Christians in particular.  Whereas, whatever statements are issued by the leadership of NBCC recently are on behalf of the silent millions.  The missiles of Iran were fired at Israel of which 99% were intercepted and destroyed with anti-missile projectiles in midair called Iron Dome by Israel as BBC reports. The Anti-Missile weapon so used by Israel to defuse the bombs in the air is not termed illegal by any law be it national or international. Similarly, what the NBCC has recently reacted is for self defense and never the offence. As a Christian, I stand by it. 

On the contrary, the State Government of Nagaland led by the Honorable Chief Minister and the Nagaland JD(U) have been virulently countering the said statements of NBCC as regularly carried in local press by “dismissing Congress’s allegation that the BJP was anti-Christian. He said it was all rhetoric and propaganda of the Congress to exploit people.” Assaulting the Pastors, jailing missionaries, destroying Churches and displacing Christians in Manipur or elsewhere are neither a propaganda nor isolated incidents. All these suppressive measures are aimed at erasing Christianity from the face of India systematically. While vouching all these atrocities against the Christians by BJP and its cohorts to be right and legal, how the PDA shamelessly spells out that it will “never compromise our faith and identity of the Nagas”? When the Nagas do not identify ourselves with Jesus Christ, what will be our worth mentioning identity? Justifying the oppression and suppression of Christians is the offence. Torturing and harassing Christians with your right hand and pacifying them with your left hand is the most unethical and the worst bigotry of its kind. The stick and carrot tactic may baffle some but not all.