The Country Definitely Needs PrayersThe Archbishop of Delhi is right. The country is in the midst of a turbulent political atmosphere. The home minister Rajnath Singh is also right. India or its government does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of his or her religion or sect. Confused? If both are right, then who is wrong and how is the political atmosphere of the country turbulent?
By Sunil Garodia
The Archbishop is right because even though the government is not against the minorities (it cannot be, even if it wishes to be, because there are enough safeguards in the Constitution and other laws to prevent that), the atmosphere of intolerance ushered in by those close to the dominant party ruling the country is palpable and cannot be brushed under the carpet.
The home minister is right in saying that the government does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion. No one can accuse this government of that. There is simply no evidence that the government, for instance, has removed all Muslims and Christians from government offices or even stopped hiring them further. But does that answer the Archbishops charge of turbulent political atmosphere?
The government rightly accuses Pakistan of waging a proxy war against India. At the same time, it is blind to the proxy war being waged against the minorities by either members of Hindutva outfits or people close to them. If the cross-border proxy war is threatening the integrity of the country, the in-house proxy war is threatening to tear it apart in a similar way. Hate is such a demon that it has the power to devour even the person who starts it all. That is why now even the Dalits (who obviously are Hindus but were never made to feel one of us) are being regularly targeted, beaten and killed. The government is not realizing what harm will befall the country by the free hand it has given to these miscreants.
The minorities are under pressure and are a scared lot. Questions are being raised about their eating and sartorial habits. They are being made to feel strangers in their own land and the Muslims among them are being asked to leave for Pakistan. The us and them divide was never stronger than it is now. Of course the government is not doing it. But the government is not stopping it either. This is highly deplorable. Leaving aside the political overtones, all right thinking Indians should support the Archbishops call for prayers to bring the country back on track.