PUCL Bulletin, Oct. 2000

INSAAF International:
End the attacks on the Christian community

Press Release
Bhatinda 22.8.00

Today participation of thousands of people from all walks of life, castes, creeds, and religions in 'Sadbhavana March and Rally' organized by Insaf International is a clear message to the fundamentalist and fascist elements in the country that they will not succeed in their nefarious designs to divide and victimize minorities in India. There is an urgent need to mobilize and organize hundreds and thousands of people for similar protests to exhibit firm determination to fight against forces of disintegration, disunity, and fascist elements. For a couple of years such anti people forces are bent upon eliminating people belonging to religious minorities through violent methods.

In 1996 there were seven cases of anti-Christian violence, 24 in 1997, and 120 in 1998. In last six months the number of attacks on Christian institutions and individuals is alarming. There have been several acts of burning of religious literature, attacks on missionary institutions, priests and nuns. Four bomb blasts targeting churches took place in various parts of the country in a day. These are certainly not `isolated criminal incidents' as the government has tried to project, but a thought out plan against the minority community.

Insaaf International feels that the majority of the political parties have ignored the interests of the minorities, violation of the constitutional rights and to counter the threat to the unity and integrity of the Nation, probably due to the fear of loosing their vote banks in the majority community. Except issuing political statements at random to this end, no effective measures have been taken by them at National level. At this time of crisis it was the duty of those well-established political and social organizations that owe their allegiance to secularism, democracy, national integration and non- violence to take the lead in mobilizing the people of country to face the challenge of nefarious elements. Today Insaaf International, a young organisation with its limited resources has made a good start towards this aim.

Insaaf International strongly protests against the total failure of the central and state governments in taking effective administrative steps to curb the violence against minorities for political considerations. Instead the government has adopted misleading methods and policies to cover-up the communal violence as law and order problem.

It is a matter of National shame that cold-blooded murderers of the two innocent children and their father Mr. Graham Steins are being promoted as heroes. The guilty of this ghastly crime were welcomed profusely not only by the leaders of some allies of the ruling party but also by the ministers. Insaaf International expresses apprehension that the time is not far off when one of
those murders will join already increasing number of their likes in legislative bodies in our country.

The anti-social elements committing rapes of women including nuns, missionary women, kill children, burn places of religious worship and literature can never be true religious people as no religion teaches violence, hatred and path of crime.

We appeal to all social, religious, secular, democratic and political organizations to rise up to the occasion and defeat the sinister designs of some fundamentalist and fascist groups to destabilize the nation on the basis of caste creed and religion. At this time of crisis we all should forget our petty differences and come together cutting across the religious and political alliances to save our country from these traitorous elements.

We demand form the government to shed its political narrow interests and fulfill their duties towards nation and people, which are entrusted, to them by the constitution. The stringent punishments be given to anyone indulging in violence against minorities and put an end to this religious Apartheid in the country.

We have submitted a memorandum to President of India with copies to Prime Minister and Home Minister through Deputy Commissioner Bhatinda, Punjab. The memorandum is endorsed by many National, International organizations and prominent persons including from Haiti, England, USA, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, France, Netherlands, Pakistan, Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta, Switzerland, Hong Kong and South Africa.


Presented to the President of India on 22.8.2000 through Deputy Commissioner, Bhatinda, Punjab, India
Copy to: -
Shri. A.B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India
Shri. L.K. Advani, Home Minister of India

Honorable Shri. K. R Narayanan
President of India
New Delhi


Integrity, secularity and unity of India never faced a greater threat than it does today. It is a very dangerous and critical situation. India is a secular country. For centuries different communities and religions have co existed in harmony. It gave all religions the fundamental right of freedom to profess, practice and propagate their faith without resorting to violence against each other. Today this fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, and protected by the Rule of Law, stands systematically violated. The concept of secularism is one facet of the right to equality woven as the central thread in the fabric depicting the pattern of the scheme in our constitution. Now a serious challenge to the existence of this fabric has been created by a handful of fundamentalists. Fundamentalist violence has acquired sharp and worrying dimensions. It poses a serious threat to harmony, integration and secularity of our country, which have been strong pillars of its strength and unity.

Beginning from Babri Masjid demolition to present escalation of violence against Christians, cold-blooded murders and bomb blasts in places of religion, the minorities are facing a serious threat to their peaceful living and freedom to religion from fundamentalist forces On this day, 15.7.00 we condemn all violence on the name of religion.
We appeal to your Excellency to take such immediate steps as to curb the sinister activities and plans of fascist elements. Stringent punishment be given to those responsible for murder and terror on the name of religion and holy war, propagating hate among different communities and committing atrocities on minorities. Government must act now. It must check those who seek to divide communities and threaten to wage war on minorities.

Long live secular India

Dr. Vineeta Gupta
General Secretary, Insaaf International

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