Laboratory of hate
By Kuldip Nayar, Dawn, September 5, 2008
WHAT a cruel coincidence that the birthday of Mother Teresa, who embodied love for Indian children, should have fallen in the same week of August when two Christian children and their mother were burnt alive by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Khandmal district in Orissa.
True, the Naxalites claimed that they killed the Hindu mahant (priest), Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, because he had indulged in crimes against Christians. But the Naxalites’ statement is taken with a pinch of salt. The Hindu extremists are said to be the real culprits.Orissa is the same state where a leading Christian missionary Graham Staines, and his two sons, were burnt alive a few years ago. His brave wife is still working for the amelioration of the poor. The current state chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, was in power at that time as well and even then he failed to take appropriate action against the Hindu extremists. Christian missionaries have been imparting free education and treating patients in this area. But that has not made the Hindu extremists tolerant. They have been attacking Christians for decades.
The central government too has done very little to guarantee the Christians their constitutional rights. A union minister has said that the Orissa government has once again failed in its job. Such statements do not bring Chief Minister Patnaik to book or punish the government which has failed in its constitutional obligation to protect the minorities.
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