Friday, October 03, 2008

Anti-Christian Violence in Orissa

Still largely unreported in the Western media, a month long spasm of senseless violence against Christians in the Indian state of Orissa seems to slowly be calming down, at least according to a local blog I am following.

Killing, arson, intimidation (including attacks on orphanages and children's homes for heaven's sake!) - exactly what this has to do with Hinduism is beyond me, but it never ceases to amaze me how humans can excuse the most extreme behaviour in the name of higher principles.

As the author of the Remember Orissa Blog says

Just think of the victims. Yes, they are not tribal. Yes, they are Dalits. Yes, they are Christians. Yes, some may have made false certificates to avail of benefits meant for tribals ; or broken conversion laws when they chose to believe in the Christian God ; or become proud of their progress and education. But don’t they have any rights anymore ? Aren’t they also human ? Aren’t they also Indians ? Or has that also been taken away from them. They go through the reverse Exodus experience – from God’s People to No People.
It is also telling that while the Western World is still obsessing about multi billion dollar and euro bailouts of major financial institutions, or about how Sarah Palin did in last night's presidential debate, (and in the UK how the chief of London's police force has been forced out by the mayor of London) the fact that the lives of ordinary people are being so drastically hit by unrelated problems goes by totally unmarked. The life of a poor person, especially of colour, is worth less it seems than any of the above.

Just where and when did we get it so incredibly wrong?

If you are reading this from the UK, there is one, little thing you can do - sign an on-line petition to encourage the British Government to raise this issue with the Indian Government, and make the situation more widely known.

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