NEW DELHI: The creation of a proposed Christian wing of the RSS is splitting the Indian church wide open.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has refused to participate in a meeting being organised by the John Dayal-led United Christian Forum (UCF) here on February 13 to discuss the move. The RSS has been holding a series of meetings with Christian leaders to reach out to the community by setting up the Rashtriya Isai Manch on the lines of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, established a decade ago.
CBCI spokesperson Father Gyanprakah Topno said, “We are yet to get any official invite from the RSS. Then why should we discuss it prematurely?’’
However, many independent Christian bodies, priests and Bishops, mostly from the Northern church, have said yes. “It is up to the CBCI to decide on attending our function, which will have representation of over 150 representatives from all denominations, ’’ said A C Michael, one of the organisers.
Sources said the elitist Catholics are not keen on the initiative. “But many priests and bishops from the northern belt in the country have agreed to attend. The church in North India may be poor in resources but are high in Christian spirit,’’ he said.
Justifying this claim, Father Savari Muthu of Delhi Arch Diocese told Express that he would be attending though he is aware of the CBCI position. According to a radical insider in the CBCI, the difference over approach to RSS is nothing but a “class war’’ within the church.
“The majority of Christians in India are poor and insecure. The northern church, which represents them is more concerned about this political development. The CBCI is under the control of the Brahminical Christians from Kerala. They do not want to be seen with Dalits who will discuss political issues,’’ he said.