Christians in Karnataka hail the formation of Christian Development Corporation
Christian Community Coalition congratulates the Honourable Chief Minister Shri. H.D. Kumaraswamy for taking the bold decision for the welfare of the Christian Community by announcing the formation of the Christian Development Board. In spite of heading a coalition government with many challenges, this decision is praiseworthy for many reasons. It should be mentioned that the previous government had not even accepted the petition by the Christians on Minority rights day.
Christians do not forget History:
There have been numerous instances in the past in Karnataka where HDK and his father Deve Gowda Ji have always shown great reverence to the Christians. When Deve Gowda Ji was the then Chief Minister of Karnataka in 1996 he received mother Teresa as a State guest and extended all honors. There are other instances where policy decisions have benefitted the Christian community when Deve Gowda Ji was in power. One such instance should be placed on record.
Around the year 1995-96, BDA had acquired some acres of land that was held by CBCI (read St. Johns Medical College) on Sarjapur Road. The notices had been issued, the files had moved, and it was a closed case. Even the authorities at St. Johns were not aware of the notification to acquire the land because the notification was received by some Sister Mary, sitting in the front office, had signed and acknowledged and the notification was forgotten by St. Johns but was part of the file in BDA to acquire the property and the files had moved to the final stages. When St. Johns realised the situation, panic spread across the authorities at St. Johns and they were confused. Shri. J.Alexander Retd. IAS was then on the Governing Board at St. Johns. Shri J. Alexander diligently studied the entire files and in spite of everything going against St. Johns requested the then Chief Minister Shri. Deve Gowda Ji that the property be spared from being acquired as it was for the Christian Community and was earmarked for the construction of a nursing College. Subsequently, an order was passed by Deve Gowdaji to denotify the acquisition and St. Johns managed to hold on to the property and the rest is history. What transpired six months later with the property is really shameful. St. Johns sold the property to Prestige builders for a song and there stands the sprawling Prestige St. John Woods apartments today.
The budget announcement:
“Establishment of the Christian Development Corporation for the comprehensive development of the Christian Community at a cost of Rs.200 crore”
The Christians in Karnataka who constitute around 12-15% of the population welcome this landmark announcement and will always be grateful to the CM who has shown his concern for the Christian minorities. It is a humble request that the honourable chief minister to also address the other community issues and reproduced here once again.
1. Ensure that government policies are fair to all and address the injustice done to Christians in every government department.
2. Equal opportunity for Christians with pro-rata reservations under the minority quota with complete transparency in appointments of members and selection of candidates on various boards and commissions.
3. Christians should be considered for the post of Chairman in Minority boards and corporations like KMDC, Minority Commission etc. on a rotation basis.
4. Suitable provisions made so that more Christians are appointed as staff in all KMDC offices and other social welfare departments.
5. Increase the annual income ceiling of 22,000 INR to avail the educational, self-employment, and development schemes offered by KMDC and other government social welfare bodies. Other eligibility criteria should be determined as per the needs of the people in the community.
6. The State government should convert the Christian Development Council into a corporation, with independent powers to study the needs of the community and implement appropriate schemes and support for the development of the Christian Community.
Once again we are pleased to tell you that the 6th point in the petition is addressed in the current budget.
What Christians suggest:
• We request that the honourable Chief Minister appoint an honest bureaucrat as the director of the Corporation and have due consultation with all sections of the community before selecting the other officials on the board.
• There are many retired civil servants, lawyers, doctors, educationists and other professionals in the community who are glad to contribute to the proper functioning of the board by sharing their experience.
• The schemes should reach out to the last person in the community so that it makes a difference in their lives and makes them self reliant.
The Christian Community expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri. H. D. Kumaraswamy and wishes him good health and peace. We pray that the Almighty continue to shower his blessings upon the CM and guide him in all his decisions.
– Christian Community Coalition, Karnataka