BJP Kerala state president K Surendran told CPM to stop insulting the Church. He was referring to the editorial carried by People’s Democracy, the mouthpiece of CPM.
He said that it was insulting the Christian priesthood; he lambasted the CPM tirade against the Church. He said that it was due to CPM’s over-ambition and greediness that it tries to dissuade the Christian Church by insulting them and defaming them.
Surendran said that Kerala Christians’ strong resistance to the CPM’s misrule and communal appeasement upsets them.
Surendran said, Congress, as usual, keeps mum in this regard, because, they support CPM. Congress supports People’s Democracy’s editorial to appease religious extremists.
Surendran continued that Christian baiting has taken place whenever CPM ruled the state. The then CPM-led LDF regime created the circumstance for the chopping of Prof. Joseph Master’s (Thodupuzha) hand. The then minister and currently CPM Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby had stated that Joseph Master would be hand-cuffed and paraded in street. It was to please the religious extremists, said Surendran.
The extremists got courage to execute that dastard action due to the patronage of CPM. CPM supported the Popular Front of India men who stormed into the Bishop Palace to attack Pala Bishop. Government registered case against the Bishop; idea was to appease PFI.
BJP leader said that CPM believes, they can insult all priests who do not accept their diktat. CPM should realise that this is Bharat, not China or Cuba. CPM should not hope to wreck the freedom of expression of the Christian priests. They would not surrender before the CPM leadership.
Surendran’s statement came close on the heels of the media reports on “People’s Democracy” editorial which accuses BJP of “fanning anti-Muslim feelings” among Kerala Christians and using “threats and blandishments” to influence that community; they constitute 18% of the population. CPMs opines that BJP adopts a two-pronged approach to make a gateway into Kerala politics. It plans to fan anti-Muslim feelings amongst the Christians to intimidate and influence those who do not acquiesce to BJP-RSS policies.
The editorial says, BJP’s unexpected move towards Christians is a surprise, but the “motivation was indicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself”. It also says, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pointed out how BJP won Christian-dominated Meghalaya and Nagaland and claimed it as a signal that Christianity accepts BJP.
Editorial also says that BJP’s efforts to establish itself in Kerala have not succeeded; Muslims and Christians constitute 45 per cent of the population. Now, realizing that Muslims are “beyond their reach”, BJP throws the cap into the ‘Christian ring’.
Because Christians constitute 18 per cent of the population. The editorial also alleged that BJP was using intimidation as a tool by initiating strict Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) against leaders of various Churches.
It adds, ‘after softening up leaders of various Churches through such methods, blandishments are offered now apart from threats. Modi’s visit to the cathedral and the Kerala BJP leaders visit to the Church leaders are to be seen against this backdrop.
The editorial keeps on claiming that attacks against Christians and Churches have been increasing since PM Modi took over nine years ago. Editorial also blames RSS stand that tribals who are converted to Christianity should not be given ST status. It also accuses BJP of using the draconian anti-conversion act, The Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act.
The editorial does not forget to criticise the BJP leaders’ social visits to Christian houses and churches on Easter day.
The editorial concludes that it would be a “mistake” to view ‘these statements’ (statements of three Arch Bishops that minorities are not insecure under Modi regime, there is no untouchability towards RSS, Christians will vote for BP if rubber price increased, etc.), by certain Church leaders, as expression of the views of the Church and community as a whole.
The CPM editorial makes one thing clear: Left Democratic Front (LDF) is worried and disturbed. PM’s words, that his party’ next target is Kerala, give them sleepless nights. They are afraid of a swing of Christian votes in favour of BJP which will make lot of difference in Kerala’s electoral politics.