Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Fwd: Modi effect: 2,000-odd RSS shakhas sprout in 3 months




Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.

Co-Worker in Christ's Vineyard
Justin Solomon SJ

Begin forwarded message:

From: ICAN <ican@josephdias.info>
Date: 14 April 2014 11:01:47 am IST
To: theophonyfm@gmail.com
Subject: Modi effect: 2,000-odd RSS shakhas sprout in 3 months
Reply-To: ICAN <divine.cmd@gmail.com>

 


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FW: From the Desk of...
Joseph Dias, 
^Ecumenical   ^Evangelical   ^Interdenominational

 

Modi effect: 2,000-odd RSS shakhas sprout in 3 months

Lucknow, April 13, 2014: For the last three months, Ravi Tewari, a 22-year-old engineering student, has been waking up at 5am, putting on his white shirt and khaki shorts and rushing to a nearby park for the morning shakha of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). His family is surprised. No one in the Tewari clan has ever been with RSS. So, the family can't quite figure what is driving Ravi to adopt this punishing morning drill.

"I believe in Hindutva," says Ravi. "The country needs reforms. Who other than Narendra Modi can make it happen? The youth needs something to look forward to. They also need to take up more responsibilities to change things and the shakha is the best place to learn how to do it."

Ravi speaks with a sense of purpose that only a new convert can have. He had never dabbled in politics before he joined ABVP, BJP's student wing, a few months ago. And there are thousands like him, he says, neo-converts who have breathed new life into RSS after Modi was named the BJP's PM candidate on September 13 last year.

Suddenly, the organization which was becoming moribund and seen to be out of tune with the times, is growing. In less than three months, more than 2,000 shakhas have sprouted across the country. By the end of 2013, there were 44,982 shakhas in India, of which 8,417 were in UP alone.

The numbers had peaked in 2004, when there were around 51,000 functioning shakhas. They shrunk during the UPA tenure, hitting a low of 39,283 shakhas in 2010. But as scams broke out, and UPA 2 went from one low to another, there was again a renewed, interest in shakhas, with a sudden burst in post-Modi months.

Kripa Shanker, who heads the RSS publicity wing for UP and Uttarakhand, however, says that it is not a seasonal upsurge. He claims the number shakhas did not decline after 2004. "It's just that people are becoming more aware of our work."

"More and more young people are coming forward and joining shakhas," says Atul Singh, who heads a newly established shakha in Lucknow. What do the shakhas do? "They focus on character building, idealism, discipline and, of course, Hindutva. We are creating awareness among people to vote for a 'suitable' political candidate," he said; 'suitable' of course being shorthand for Modi.

"The surge clearly shows how the attraction of power is working for RSS," says a Sangh activist who did not want to be named. "Students associated with ABVP have joined in large numbers over the past six months. Besides, people who were inactive in the past few years have become active again."

"Shakhas are now much more organized," says an ABVP leader. "Most shakhas now have 'gan nayak' — a functionary who is supposed to wake up swayamsewaks in the morning and bring them to the park — and 'gan shikshak' (group teacher), who trains the members. This was not the case some time ago."

Ashok Sinha of the RSS' publicity wing says the Lok Sabha elections are like a national festival for the Sangh. "Our activities increase during elections but this doesn't mean we do not work at other times. Shakhas focus on personality development and social inclusiveness and what better than the involvement of young," he says.

Associated with the RSS since his childhood, 76-year-old D P Singh, at present the sarsanghchalak (head) of west UP, says, "Shakhas are not meant to bring in a revolution. They help in the character-building process. The participation of youth in shakhas is like fresh flowers being offered to God. One doesn't offer dry flowers while worshipping, no?"

- Times of India

This email was sent to theophonyfm@gmail.com.


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Thursday, 10 April 2014

April 10, 2014 - The Everlasting Hope

The Everlasting Hope.

Psalm 18:2 - The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Fwd: CSF's Open Letter to Modi, Rajnath & NDA - Christian Election Agenda




Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.

Co-Worker in Christ's Vineyard
Justin Solomon SJ

Begin forwarded message:

From: ICAN <ican@josephdias.info>
Date: 7 April 2014 5:41:22 pm IST
To: theophonyfm@gmail.com
Subject: CSF's Open Letter to Modi, Rajnath & NDA - Christian Election Agenda
Reply-To: ICAN <divine.cmd@gmail.com>

 


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FW: From the Desk of...
Joseph Dias,
^Ecumenical   ^Evangelical   ^Interdenominational

 

The CSF Open Letter to Modi and Rajnath Singh for Reaction to Christian Concerns

 

The CSF – India's activist  community NGO, while calling upon Christians in India to vote for secular parties in the forthcoming general elections released an open letter to the BJP and its allies. The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias in an open letter to BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi and party president, Rajnath Singh, asked the duo to let the nation know its stand on certain community related issues, on the basis of which, Christians in particular, and minorities in general could decide on voting for the party and the NDA coalition.


 The questions on which Joseph Dias sought a clarification are:

1. Implementation of the recommendations of the Mishra Commissions, with especially respect to benefits to Dalit & OBC Christians and Muslims, on par with the scheduled castes of Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. These have been denied to these minority communities since 1950 and decades have lapsed with discrimination continuing.

2. Enactment of a national anti-conversion or blasphemy law, as exists in many BJP ruled states, which curbs freedom of religion, as guaranteed by the Constitution. A number of false cases are foisted on pastors and Christians for forced conversions, which is an oxymoron in itself. Provision of fast-track courts to dispense justice quickly, as these cases continue for years.

3. What attempts would be made to keep extra-constitutional forces like the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc. at bay and moral policing satraps, like Muthalik's Ram Sena from enforcing their hidden agenda. There is also eminent danger of saffronization of various sectors, like police, education, bureaucracy, judiciary, armed forces, etc. as has been observed from those joining the BJP in the run-up to the polls.

4. Monitoring and providing for quick relief for victims of the Odisha, especially Kandhamal riots, in which hundreds of Christians were targeted, women raped and no justice or relief provided, in spite of many years. Similar is the case of anti-Sikh riots and anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, where Hindu victims have received better and quicker compensation.

5. Enactment of the Communal Violence Bill and an Act for the Equal Opportunities Commission, with Amendments to the Foreign Contribution Act and Rules related to allotting Visas to Christian missionaries and providing citizenship those foreign missionaries, who are in the country for decades and wish to die in India, where they serve.

6. Constitution of a Sachar Committee like panel for Christians or a Desk for Christian Affairs, to study and deal with the problems of economic deprivation. Representation to Christians for government employment, especially in civil services, and in allocation of funds and quotas in the Union Minorities Ministry schemes is necessary.

7. Enhance the minimum outlay for the PM's 15 Point Minorities Progammes and other government allocations to be minimum 19 per cent, which is the proportion of minorities to the majority in the country. There is also need to make the village or ward as the unit of planning to ensure development percolates to the lower levels.

 

The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias also provided further details of the Institutional and Systemic persecution, which need attention and are as follows:

Systemic & Institutional Persecution

 

* Presidential Order of 1950 -

The government communalises benefits of employment, education and finance to millions of schedule castes, who have converted to Christianity or Islam over the last 60 years. A rally on 11th December'13 in the national capital by the Catholic Bishops Conference and the National Christian Council of India, supported by a large number of Christian NGOs was targeted by the police. Archbishops, clergy and activists were arrested, beaten and had water canons used against them.

 

* Anti-conversion Legislation -

Anti-conversion laws exist/ed in at least states like Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which recently repealed it. The BJP is on record saying it will pass a national legislation on the subject. These are used to persecuted Christians on false allegations that conversions are undertaken by force or inducement.

 

* Foreign Contributions Regulation Act -

A legacy of the Emergency in 1975, it is used extensively to curb dissent and control NGOs working in the area of social empowerment and human rights. In August 2012, over 4139 NGOs had their FCRA registration revoked. The work of a number of Christian NGOs have been affected because of this. During the Kundankulam agitation, where the Catholic Church played an active role, the diocesan trusts had their FCRA licenses withdrawn.

 

* Toothless and Non-Existent Minorities Commissions -

Almost half of the states do not have State Minorities Commissions (SMCs). Among the 14 states that do not have SMCs are included - Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Kerala, Goa and six north-eastern states. Gujarat, has been persistently refusing to set up a SMC, despite repeated prodding by the National Commission for Minorities. In states where SMCs do exist, their effectiveness is open to serious questioning.

 

* Various Sections of Indian Penal Code -

Blasphemy sections of the law, such as 295 A for hurting religious sentiments and others like 153 for creating enmity between groups are often used to arrest Christians by the majority, with police and political support. On the other hand, hate speech and anti-Christian propaganda in Hindutva publications like the Organiser and the Panchjanya or on television channels, like those of Zakir Naik, go blatantly un-noticed.

 

* Schedule Tribal Benefits and Forest Act -

Christians are denied government scholarships for education. There are many instances of tribal certificates being denied to Christians under pressure by the majority on local self-government authorities. Tribals who convert are denied rights and even forest / adivasi land on the ground that the church needs to meet their needs.

 

* Finance and Government Schemes -

There has been a sustained demand from the Christian community, based on government survey estimates for the economic uplift of Christians, as official funds and schemes meant for the community does not reach it. There is over 8 % unemployment among Christian youth - highest among minorities. Tribal Christian girls are among the most uneducated and mal-nourished. The government constituted the Justice Rajender Sachhar Committee for Muslims, but the efficacy of government schemes, scholarships, finances, etc. percolating to Christians will be exposed, if such a study is undertaken. With the addition of the Jain community as a minority, the situation will become worse.

 

* Bills and Commissions -

There has been talk of a Communal & Targeted Violence Bill to end impunity of authorities, fix command responsibility, work out relief and compensation, etc. But the same is still to see the light of day. Similarly, announcements for an Equal Opportunities Commission have been made, but with no results.

 

* Land Allotment for Religious Needs -

It is almost impossible to construct a Church or a Christian prayer hall. Not only is there no government provision for land allotment for such purposes, but even to bury the dead. No provisions for burial grounds or cemetries, while other community's are able to grab land. Permission are refused under some pretext stating that there are objections from the majority. There are reports of Christians being prevented even on private land and after permissions being obtained. For example, the Evangelical Church of India brought land in Melamcode, Memom village and applied to both the District Collector and the municipal corporation of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. However, they were unable to build despite approaching the High Court for relief.

 

* Infringement of Minority Rights for Institutions -

Minority educational institutions are often targeted not just by extra-constitutional and non-state players, but also by government departments. In most states, the Education and Minority Affairs ministers are non-Christian politicians who have attempted to make rules encroaching on the rights of Christians to manage their institutions. A case in point is St. Xavier's College or St. Mary's School in Mumbai, who have had to repeatedly approach the High Court for justice. In view of rampant privatization of sectors like social services, education and medicare, the government auctions land, which Christian institutions or NGOs can ill afford. Thus, depriving the lesser privileged sections of education or medicare, which the Christian community has focused on.

 

- For more info, contact: Joseph Dias +91 9769555657 csfpost@gmail.com 

 


 
This email was sent to theophonyfm@gmail.com.

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Fwd: Sheikh attacks daughter for converting, Nepal a Hindu state with Modi, Convert's story, China, Misc.

Beloved in Christ,

On page 46 of the election manifesto Modi has declared they will do all it takes toe build Ram temple and also they have filed a case against Shahi Imam

Even before coming to power the suppression of minorities have started

Let's pray for this election as it's our duty.


Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.

Co-Worker in Christ's Vineyard
Justin Solomon SJ

Begin forwarded message:

From: ICAN <ican@josephdias.info>
Date: 3 April 2014 12:09:48 pm IST
To: theophonyfm@gmail.com
Subject: Sheikh attacks daughter for converting, Nepal a Hindu state with Modi, Convert's story, China, Misc.
Reply-To: ICAN <divine.cmd@gmail.com>

 

 
 An Independent Clergy & Laity Partnership Initiative  Issue: No 1939   03-04-2014

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"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

 
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INDIA

Nepal will be 'Hindu State' if Modi takes power: VHP

Nepal will be 'Hindu State' if Modi takes power: VHP
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China: The bishop who stood up and said No…

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WORLD

Russia: Authorities target Christian-run projects

Russia: Authorities target Christian-run projects
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Intercession, Awareness, Activism, Action ...

This e-journal specifically highlights and documents persecution and violation of human rights of Christians, Minorities, Schedule Caste/Tribes and Other Backwards, urging you to at least - PRAY. Our aim is to identify fundamentalists and those disrupting communal harmony and indigenous communities - posing a threat to a just, equal, plural and secular citizenry. We oppose any kind of discrimination and oppression, whether of race, religion, culture, gender etc. specially when it comes from some of our own. Please pray for the following local, state, national, regional and international situations.
Editor-in-Chief: Joseph Dias   

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