The outpour of feelings and opinions in various forums, as feedback on attack on Christians in Mangalore and elsewhere in Karnataka, shows how passionate we are about our religion, region, peace, tradition and co-existence. This is very promising. But few point s to note amidst all this are, being discussed here.
All those who indulge in such violence are local people. If they are known anti-social elements, they should be in the jail. Who set them free? Who worked towards getting them free?
If they are not known anti-social elements, they are being reared as one. Our homes and societies have become training grounds for violence of late.
So, we all are responsible to the mess we have created around us. The majority community (I do not want to name any), across the world, has the onus of carrying the minority along, with equal opportunities if not better. On the part of minority community, it has to maintain the decorum of the majority ( as long as it is just).
In Mangalore, we were decent, till last few years. The rising westernization of lifestyle, values and inter personal relationships have reduced the supremacy and the protective feeling among many. This has become a threat to the rigid/powerful elders, religious leaders, so called thinkers, artificial social leaders etc. Instead of looking inwards to identify the problem and find a solution, they all found an easy target ? western culture, country, religion?. The Christians in India, though they very much belong to the land for centuries, were considered outsiders. The older people fed this thought to the youth and the children alike.
The dual standards and dual thinking is clearly in display and this thinking is because the majority is anxious, afraid of losing the strong hold. For example, many on the internet forums, complained of missionary work, convent schools etc, yet they refuse to acknowledge that the backbone of education system in India is the Christian education institutions, started and run by missionaries, for a long while on charitable funds received from abroad and India, till the states granted aid. And, these are the once which imparted good education and made so many successful Indians. Even today, the queues outside the Christian education institutions across the country are much longer than any state run institution and dare I say even the majority run institution? If something(institution) was not considered as good (conversions, Christian prayers etc), then pray why empowered majority still queues up outside the admission office? Not even one person answered this in the discussion forums.
A word regarding conversions ? church, prayer hall, grotto, retreat house, entry to these is open for all, because this is where a person in need comes and appeals to God. This is not a marketing stunt. People in distress pray to all gods, saints, elders etc. Some find solace and some find solutions, and they attribute it to different events and places, and continue to visit. The distress of those who are in great trouble is known only to them, not to those sitting high. They chose to intercede with God as felt and guided by their inner being. How many of us have interfered and wiped away misery of people known or unknown to us? People visit holy places, places of prayer, to find inner peace, solace or see/meet people in distress, and how they rejuvenate themselves. This is not conversion. In my knowledge, many people visit Christian prayer places to find solace and they are not converted. Likewise, many Christians visit temples too but they are not converted.
What could the majority do? The destructive / mis-guided youth should be contained within our homes, in our smaller communities, by the learned and wise people of the locality.
Public statements, condemning violence on the minority should be given at as many forums as possible.
Adopt the democratic ways of reporting crimes of any manner, lead by example to adopt democratic ways, than taking law into the hand. This itself is such a bad trend set by the majority, that minority is encouraged to resort to terror in various forms, weapons, violence etc.
If as a majority community, results can?t be achieved by just means, what hope does the minority have to ?be heard? and to get justice by the law of the land, what is the message to them?
Don?t mis-guide the masses by false information, hear-say etc. For example, one person wrote that ?state funded pilgrimage to Israel for Christians out of tax-payers money?. How far this is from truth, yet some among the readers will believe that the author is authentic. Same goes for conversions too, so many times people requested for statistics, one identify of the forceful conversion, not even one person amongst the readers could provide.
Let us use our education, empowerment and wisdom to better our society, history will be written on our acts and words, not on what we intended to say/do and didn?t do it for lack of courage and conviction.
Author: jacintha dalmeida- India