KOTTAYAM: Even as the BJP is trying woo the Christian communities to get a base in Kerala and Northeast states, the Church of South India (CSI) has taken strong exception to various policies of the NDA Government at the Centre, including its alleged pro-corporate and anti-poor policies, atrocities against Dalits and the tribals and the hard-line Hindutva agendas.
CSI Moderator Bishop Thomas K Oommen, the supreme head of the church, has published an open letter to the people of the country, asking them to stand united to bring down the government.
The letter quoting Gandhiji’s words on ‘salt march’ that “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire,” appeared as a symbolic call against the NDA Government.
The CSI which is the second largest Christian denomination in India has a strong presence in South Indian states including Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
According to him, over the past few years, especially during the last four years, people are extremely alarmed at the way the nation is being ruled by the government at the Centre.
“As a citizen of India and as the head of an Indian Church, which belongs to a minority religion, with the majority of its members belonging to the minority communities, I hereby share the fear my people have under the rule of a government that has become a nightmare to the poor and the minorities in India,” he said.
The bishop, who termed the government as a regime of ‘right-wing fundamentalist forces’, said the it has become a danger to the very fabric of the great Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic. “The Central Government that follows the Hindutva supremacist ideology seems to have consciously discounted all the rights stated in the Preamble of the Constitution,” he said.
“In nexus with the corporates and the multi-national companies, the poor are being plundered. The cry of millions of poor farmers to waive their loans off falls upon the deaf ears of a government that happily waives off loans owed by 50 rich people. The government policies like ‘Demonetisation’ and GST have ruthlessly affected the poor. There is no doubt that the government is pro-corporate and unkind to the poor,” he said.
The head of the church said the chain of recent agitations indicated a new Dalit awakening and the CSI Church not only stands in solidarity with the Dalits fighting for justice and equality, but also condemns all atrocities against them. The Church also demanded the implementation of recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission and the Sachar Committee for reservation to Dalits of Christian and Muslim minority communities.