Archbishop of Delhi Msgr. Anil Joseph Thomas Couto interpreted the victory of Aam Adami Party (AAP) as rejection of BJP’s polarizing politics by the Delhi voters. The Archbishop said this in an interview to radiovaticana.
“The AAP registered a massive one-sided victory in Delhi Assembly elections by securing 67 out of 70 seats. The BJP was to satisfy itself on only three seats while the Congress that ruled Delhi for 15 years was decimated to a naught.”
The Archbishop said that the result of Delhi elections was a ‘vote for change’. He also saw a message for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this result. “The Prime Minister should think seriously about his behaviour”, he told radiovaticana during a recent interview. He added that the people of Delhi voted against the BJP and its attempt to polarize voters in the name of religion.
The Delhi Archbishop underlined the fact that these elections were negatively affected by the attacks on churches. He alleged that five churches were attacked and the BJP did not take any action to bring the culprits to book. The Archbishop alleged that attempts were made to play down these attacks on the plea that similar incidents were happening elsewhere also.
Annoyed by the ‘silence of the government’, the Archbishop recalled, the Christian community expressed their ‘anguish’ in a successful rally in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi. Though the rally was peaceful, the Archbishop alleged that the police dragged children, women, priests and nuns away by force. This was condemned by the entire country, he added.
According to the Archbishop the Modi government has failed to act and fulfil the promises it has given to the voters eight months ago. This disappointed the Delhi voters who wanted to give Kejriwal and his AAP a new chance. Hence they voted for AAP, he said.
But the ground reality tells the other side of the story which the Archbishop seems to have completely ignored. According to sources the alleged attacks on churches were being used by the Christian church leaders to give a communal angle to this episode.
Since December 2014, there have been six specific incidents of attacks on churches in and around Delhi. And the recent one was reported from a Delhi Christian school that received much publicity in the media and is debated on a larger scale at home and abroad.
It is not possible to fathom exactly the impact of these attacks on the victory of AAP in Delhi, however, the fact that both Christians and Muslims favoured the AAP cannot be ignored. The Archbishop of Delhi Anil Joseph Thomas Couto even allegedly celebrated the defeat of BJP in Delhi elections. What does it indicate?
Accusing the Hindu groups and organization of supporting the BJP does not absolve the Christians and Muslims of similar allegation against them. In fact, it has been their practice to always oppose the nationalist party and views and act according to the instructions of their foreign masters. There were ample incidents to prove this also. Right from the pre-independence days to the present alleged attacks, these Christian missionaries, bishops and archbishops, and their several NGOs have been busy working hand in glove with forces inimical to this country. And now they are talking of secularism? Nothing can be more ironical than this.
The facts about the attacks on Delhi churches speak differently and do not suggest any pattern as the learned Archbishop has alleged.
Let us take each case and find out the truth.
In the first of such attacks the St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden area was set on fire. The incident is under investigation by the SIT specially set up by the Home Ministry immediately after the incident took place in December last year.
The second incident happened in Jasola where it was alleged that a group of miscreants pelted stones and shattered a window pane. The police commissioner said that it was due to some kids playing outside and it was most likely that a stone landed inside the church. There was no proof of any communal angle involved.
In a third incident a Christmas crib was burned which the police established was due to electrical short circuit and no communal incident.
A small group of men vandalized a church in Vikaspuri. They were found to be in an inebriated condition. They were caught on CCTV and nabbed soon by the police. They have confessed to the crime putting the Archbishop’s theory of a pattern or a communal angle.
The fifth incident of attack in Vasant Kunj came out to be an attempt of burglary and is under the police investigation.
The most recent incident, again of a burglary at a Christian School in Vasant Vihar area of Delhi, was a straight case of theft. The police also acknowledged this angle as an amount of Rs. 8000/- was stolen from the school. There was no communal angle in this incident too.
The investigating police officials also ruled out any pattern behind all these six incidents of attacks on Christian institutions. How does the Archbishop of Delhi then realise that these attacks were well planned under a specific pattern? Or was he acting under any pattern?
Interestingly, churches are not the only targets of vandals in Delhi. According to Delhi police data, in 2014, incidents of theft occurred in206 temples, 30 gurudwaras, 14 mosques and three churches. There are over 200 churches in Delhi. And these incidents did not happen immediately after the BJP government came to power at the Centre. They were regular crimes.
But the Church leaders like Delhi Archbishop have decided to play their own tune vis-a-vis these attacks. They are joined in this by the secular, pseudo progressives, and media anchors to paint the Modi government as ‘anti-Christian, anti-Muslim’ government. They do not care for the real evidence. This was more evident in regard to cowardly attack on a leftist leader Govind Pansare and his wife in Kolhapur on Feb 16. The CPM leader Sitaram Yechuri, CPI leader D Raja, the secular media and commentators on television channels started their usual blame game pointing their accusing figure towards the ‘Hindu’ organizations and fanatics. But they forget that in this exercise the remaining four fingers automatically point to them.
The rejection of police cracking the Vikaspuri church vandalism case as theft attempt by some drunken elements by the Archbishop definitely points to his ulterior motive. Does he not have faith in the investigation agencies of the country? What made him reject their report based on the CCTV footage and criminals’ confession?
If these church leaders have any information on communal angle involved in these attacks or a pattern, who stopped them to cooperate with the investigating agencies? Why did not they come out with the facts they have? They have not done so because they do not have any solid information. This indicated to the fact that their assertions were based on a bias or they had any pre-determined agenda to tarnish the image of the Modi government.
The government has a duty towards protecting minorities. But it also has a duty to provide protection to the temples. Giving preference to the minorities and adopting a passive attitude towards majority will reinforce the same feeling of negation and persecution among the majority community also. According to Delhi police records if the places of worship of all religions were under attack then why single out only churches or mosques? Why not provide security to temples?
One more question that comes to mind is again why only the church leaders and their media friends are so enthusiastic to point to a communal angle in these recent attacks when the facts do not corroborate with that? What is their interest? They have right and prerogative to have a disliking for the BJP or Narendra Modi and Hindu groups. But they should realise that they are playing a very dangerous game of promoting their agenda over the facts.
By: Virag Pachpore