Congress leader Manuel Badwar has termed the alleged harassment of the two church leaders, Rev Reuben Laloo and elder Tomlin Nongkhlaw of Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Church, by Bajrang Dal activists in Bihar as an example of a dangerous trend against minorities in the country.
Rev Laloo and Nongkhlaw had been invited to Patna by a local church for post-Easter celebrations. However, a Hindutva group accused them of forceful conversion of non-Christian and disrupted the gathering. Rev Laloo and Nongkhlaw were then rescued by Bihar police and returned to Shillong last night.
“The problem is that the Hindutva thing that is happening across India today has become very extreme,” the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Secretary told Highland Post. “And we being liberal in the society that we live in, this is going to hurt us a lot when we don’t get the freedom to do what we want anymore and this is the India that we are living in right now.”
Nongkhlaw is a resident of Laitumkhrah and Rev Laloo of Nongthymmai. Both are also related to Badwar.
“The incident is organised chaos. There is an agenda that these people (Hindutva organisations) are working on and they know exactly what they want, where and how they want it, which is a dangerous trend happening in the country and it is going to hurt the minorities like us the most,” he said.
Such attacks on members of minority religions have taken place in other parts of the country, like Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the unsuccessful Congress candidate at the recent state Assembly election said, and the state government should not take a soft stance on such incidents.
Meanwhile, on the rally taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Palm Sunday, which apparently caused some concern and uneasiness when it stopped outside Laban Presbyterian Church, Badwar said, “I don’t see the authorities being concerned or proactive in such incidents and we as a society should be a lot more vigilant.”
He said that these divisive incidents are highly condemnable and if the government does not take them seriously, then society will become even more divided.
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