Christians ignored on Minority Rights Day, Petition not acknowledged
Bengaluru: The minority rights day celebrations at Vikas Soudha here on December 18 were ridden with controversies right from the beginning. The invitations printed looked like it was an extract from the list of members of the ruling party. Not willing to be a part of this sham, the opposition parties including the BJP and JD (S) did not bother to attend the event.
What an irony it turned out to be when on “Minority rights day” the Christians were not given an opportunity to exercise their rights to submit a memorandum to the Chairman of the Minorities Commission of Karnataka. Christian Community Coalition, Karnataka, had started an online petition on Change.org titled Equal opportunities and social justice for Christians. It was believed that the CM, one of the addresses of the petition, would be present at the event and the petition was brought to the event. An opportunity was not given to hand over the petition. After some persistence, finally, an announcement was made by the MC that Advocate P M Matthew would give a brief description about the petition on behalf of the community and hand it over to Ramesh Kumar who would accept the petition on behalf of the Chief Minister. When Advocate Mathew was at the podium and about to start his briefing on the matter, an official went from the side and showed his level by physically preventing Advocate Mathew from describing the petition. The Christian Commission member was a mute witness to it. What is it, if this act was not an insult to the entire Christian community, some of the members wondered. Let the organizers review the video recording of the event and share it with the world to deny that this happened, some members demanded.
It was a sequel to what had happened on December 13, 2017, at the interactive session organized by the Karnataka Minorities Commission. One might stand amazed as to why is it that even after a week the Karnataka Minority Commission has not released an official report on the December 13 event on the public domain. It is most unfortunate that within a span of less than five days the Christian community in Bangalore was again cold-shouldered by the ruling government. What was billed as a minority rights day turned out to be a damp squib. One really wonders how long will this minority appeasement of a particular community continue. The government now very clearly and loudly states that ‘they just don’t care for the Christian community.’
If this was not enough, Advocate P M Mathew was unable to give the petition addressed to the Chairman of the Karnataka Minorities Commission, because the Commission member representing the community prevented it. The Christian commission member was told about the desire of the people to hand over the petition to the Chairman over four days ago. According to the other commission members, who did not want to be identified, the Christian Commission member did not mention about this when the agenda was prepared. This only goes on to prove that the real enemies of the Christians are within the community itself.
The biggest irony of the event held at the banquet hall of Vikas Soudha was that with Christmas around the corner, the powers that be in the Karnataka Minorities Commission were oblivious to the greatest occasion for Christians. It was a total lack of complete indifference when what could have been a good opportunity for communal harmony was overlooked and there was not a single mention of Christmas. “It left me wondering if I can expect anything better from a pseudo secular government. Even an atheist friend of mine makes it a point to wish me on Christmas every year. You bet, all hell would have broken loose if it was the BJP ruling the state and this had happened”, observed Peter Morris, a prominent community member.
The message is now loud and clear to the Christians on the stand of the government and the Minority Commission, he added.
C V Joseph
(The source of this report is from the briefing by Peter Morris)
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