The enmity of the parish members is a serious problem a practising Christian can undergo in his life. This sort of situation can put an end to the wedding as the whole society is orthodox and complying to the church diktats. Raphel and family are ostracised by the powerful Church. Human rights and tolerance are thrown into the wind!
One can approach court for civil rights in Olloor, near Thrissur, but not against the powerful Church. This is the crime committed by Thekkeeniyathu Raphel, a rich businessman belonging to the St. Antony’s Forane Church parish, Olloor, Thrissur. He approached the court for getting a grave grievance redressed. He has been complaining to the Roman Catholic Church authorities about the high-decibel fireworks carried out in connection with the annual ‘thirunaal’ (festival). He complained that the fireworks’ impact caused cracks and damages to his house as the venue of the fireworks was next to his house. Since this complaint to the church fell on deaf ears, he approached the court. Court issued a consolatory order asking the church to reduce the decibel power of the fireworks to 15 kgs. But, came the next thirunaal and the church violated the court order and they enhanced the power of the fireworks and Raphel’s house underwent further damages.
The faithfuls of the parish put forward a novel argument: “Thirunaal is 100 years old whereas Raphel came to that parish and constructed a house only a decade ago! Moreover, Raphel was fully aware of the thirunaal fireworks before he constructed the house there hence he cannot complain about it”. They went for a signature campaign against Raphel accusing that he was working against the church and he went to the court with legal actions against the church. They staged a protest march against Raphel. Hundreds of faithfuls participated in the march.
By this time Raphels’s son’s wedding was fixed. But, the faithfuls took all tricks in the book out for stalling the wedding. They displayed several flex boards near church calling to stall the wedding. They read: “We should not allow wedding from Rapheal’s family in the church as they filed a case against religious beliefs, against church and against the priest”. Obviously it is a punishment for Raphel for the capital error he committed, that is, approaching the court against the church. The enmity of the parish members is a serious problem a practising Christian can undergo in his life. This sort of situation can put an end to the wedding as the whole society is orthodox and complying to the church diktats. Raphel and family are ostracised by the powerful Church. Human rights and tolerance are thrown into the wind!
Hearing about this unprecedented scenario, the crew members of Janam TV went to video one of the flex boards fixed near the church. While the camera was running musclemen came out from the church and physically assaulted the crew and broke the camera, laptop, mike, etc. Not only that, they dragged the TV crew into the church and manhandled them fiercely again. They demanded the camera memory card so that they could destroy it and stall the telecast of the same. Cameraman Jibin Jose, a practising Christian and driver Anand were badly injured in the attack. The parish vicar was watching the whole incident from a close distance; but, he did not intervene for stopping it.
Then came the funny cruelty, the faithfuls went to the police station and complained that Janam TV men encroached into the church and video the mass. Now, the police have registered a case against the TV crew. Channel crew went to the police station and filed their complaint explaining the whole incident. They pointed out that if the CCTV visuals of the church are examined it would be clear that they were dragged into the church and beaten mercilessly and it was not during the mass. But, police did not oblige; they asked for two days before they moved into action. At last they have agreed to come to the place and conduct identity parade as per the visuals of the TV camera and take actions. —T Satisan