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Christian nun raped in Orissa: Is this the India we want?

Since the last few months, Christians are being systematically targeted in Orissa. Churches have been burnt, tribal Christians have been forced to re-convert to Hinduism and worse of all, a nun was brutally raped.

Sister Meena talks of the rape.

"One of them tore my blouse and others my undergarments. Fr Chellan protested and they beat him and pulled him out from there. They pulled out my saree and one of the stepped on my right hand and another on my left hand and then a third person raped me on the verandah mentioned above. When it was over, I managed to get up and put on my petticoat and saree. Then another young man caught me and took me to a room near the staircase. He opened his pants and was attempting to rape me when they reached there.

I hid myself under the staircase. The crowd was shouting “where is that sister, come let us rape her, at least 100 people should rape.” They found me under the staircase and took me out to the road. There I saw Fr. Chellan was kneeling down and the crowd was beating him up. They were searching for a rope to tie us both of us together to burn us in fire. Someone suggested to making us parade naked. They made us walk on the road till Nuagoan market which was half a kilometer from..."

Is this the tolerant India we boast about all the time? Have we totally forgotten what our eternal father, Mahatma Gandhi, taught us? He had said that he was a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Sikh, a Parsi. This is what has kept us together for so many years. Not the lunar probes that we send or the numerous acquisitions that Indian companies are making abroad. Tolerance is the basis of our great nation. That is because of this virtue that our glorious religion has taught us, that is what our Father of the nation has taught us.

Tolerance is the key to keep India as one, despite its numerous languages, religions, castes, communities. Gandhiji understood this. It seems we are forgetting this.

By letting Hindu hardliners to burn churches and rape nuns we are in fact breaking the strong roots of India. We are cutting our own legs, so to speak.

Why do those hotheads in Orissa forget that sister Meena (the nun who was raped) is an Indian first, then a Christian. We are raping our own sister. What could be more shameful than this?

Erudite commentators in the media talk of the killing of Swami Lakshamananda by either Christian themselves or by the Maoists instigated by the Christians, that has let hell loose in Orissa. But does this justify what is happening now?

Whoever killed the good Lakshamananada is equally culpable and is no better than the guys who raped sister Meena or broke churches. But aren't they Indians too? Why are Maoists proliferating in many pockets of India. Because we all Indians have failed some where. We forgot the most poor and oppressed in the country. These are the Maoists and their backbone supporters. Maoist violence is not a law and order problem. It is the failure of the Indian state and a failure of all of us that we forgot the misery of the many poor people.

Hindutva followers say the Christians are offering money and jobs to the poor tribals and converting them into Christianity. Haven't we all failed in doing just that to every Indian. If the Christian missionaries are doing that in Orissa, what is the problem. Hindu or Christian, the tribals at least have jobs and food to eat.

The goons who are in the rampage in Orissa should understand this first. Give a job to every Indian first. Make sure first that every Indian has enough to eat every day. Do that first. Then worry about the threat to Hinduism from Christianity. Don't worry about Hinduism. It is too great a religion to be threatened by anything.

The goons who raped sister Meena are not Hindus.

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