Let me start my open letter with an honest and unapologetic confession – I have been taught by family to love my Bharat Mata more than Mother Church. Having said that, let me also state that I love and respect the Mother Church too. To my family – our nation is first, our religion comes second.
I am a firm believer and an ardent disciple of the teachings of Jesus but I am also a staunch critic of the hypocrisy of the leaders of the Catholic Church. My research into the demonic stance of the leaders of the Catholic Church on the grave crimes of sexual abuse of children, nuns and vulnerable adults committed by priests and bishops has shown me of face off the Catholic Church that is horrid.
Another horrid face of the leaders of the Catholic Church that I have been seeing over the last six years since the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has come into power is a determined effort of the Church leaders to spread fear and hate in the hearts of the Christians in India.
I have questioned the leaders of the Catholic Church numerous times to prove the allegations that Christians are in danger in India. I am a Christian. I do not feel that I am in danger in India. India is my motherland. I am not afraid to live in my own motherland. No Indian needs to be afraid in India.
So let me be truthful without being rude or infringing on your freedom of thought and speech. Your statement on the CAA as an Archbishop of the Catholic Church is biased, misleading and should be seen as an act of divisiveness bordering on spreading hate subtly in the minds of the minorities against the current government in India.
I strangely remembered this in the Bible John 8:44, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
In your letter issued on February 8th 2020, you have categorically stated, “The ongoing expressions of widespread discontent and open protest taking place throughout the country, and even abroad, with regard to the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as well as the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the intended National Population Register (NPR) are causing great concern and anguish to millions of Indians spread throughout the globe. The protests demanding that the CAA be revoked immediately and that the countrywide NRC and the NPR be desisted from are on the increase. Eminent citizens, including top intellectuals and legal luminaries, have taken a studied and unequivocal stand against them. Here in Goa too we have witnessed several protests which transcended the confines of religious and caste affiliation and have brought people from all walks of life together, on one united platform.”
So let me debunk your misleading narrative. The widespread discontentment messages on CAA you talk about are being spread by politicians in the Opposition, Islamic Radicals and the Catholic Church itself. It is not a people’s movement like the India Against Corruption, these are well-planned protests against India.
In numerous protests across of the country; violence, riots and arson of public and private property were adopted. This was completely out of an Islamic Radical Handbook. In fact deep investigations into protests in different colleges in India and Shaheen Bhag is exposing the handiwork of Islamic radical organisation.
If people feel that a law ought to be revoked, they have law at their behest to change a law. No one needs to resort to violence, arson and inconvenience to other citizens.
Just to educate and inform you: The central intelligence agencies have traced links of most of the #AntiCAA protests to a radical Islamic organisation known as Popular Front of India (PFI).
PFI is banned in Jharkhand and several states have petitioned the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ban this controversial organisation, that is reportedly known as the new organisational face of SIMI – a banned organisation linked to terror groups working against India from within and out of India.
PFI is also linked to violence and deaths of Hindus and Christians across India.
The PFI group is also reportedly linked to #LoveJihad cases in Kerala. In fact the Syro-Malabar Church in a recent statement shockingly revealed that their study into the #LoveJihad cases involving Muslims boys and Christian girls could be over 4000 cases. The Syro-Malabar Church has even petitioned the Prime Minister of India to address the growing concerns of #LoveJihad in the state.
But of course as the Archbishop of Goa you will never talk about PFI because you would have categorised the Islamic radicals as intellectuals and legal luminaries. Otherwise it would be very difficult to explain to the people of India the links between the Catholic Church in Goa and PFI.
Catholic Priests representing the Catholic Church in India and belonging to Church organisations have frequently shared the dias and spoken at the PFI Convention in Goa.
At the PFI Convention held in 2017, Fr Savio Fernandes who is an office bearer of the Centre for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) on stage stated, “Our rights are not safeguarded, if we speak anything against the government, you are declared as terrorist’. Illegalities in all forms have become order of the day in the present government.”
A Catholic priest sharing a stage at a PFI Convention spreading fear stating, “ If you speak against the government, you will be declared as terrorist.”.
Don’t be surprised. This quote is not from a figment of my imagination but from the PFI website on the PFI Convention held in Goa in 2017.
I am curious to know Archbishop Ferrao who in the last six years in India has been declared as a terrorist in India by the ruling government or by the people of India just for opposing the government. Compare that to the unfair treatment meted out by the Catholic Church to the nuns fighting Bishop Franco Mulakkal who is accused of raping one of the Nuns from their religious congregation 13-times. They are being treated Das outcaste and traitors. And the Catholic Church is lecturing us Indians.
If PFI is proved to have links with terrorist organisations would it be safe to assume that the Catholic Church in Goa that has a close proximity with PFI should be also investigated for such links.
Coming back to the moot point on CAA.
In your letter you state, “The very fact that the CAA uses religion goes against the secular fabric of the country. It goes against the spirit and heritage of our land which, since times immemorial, has been a welcoming home to all, founded on the belief that the whole world is one big family. With regard to the NRC and the NPR, there is a serious concern that such exercises will result in a direct victimization of the underprivileged classes, particularly the Dalits, the Adivasis, the migrant labourers, the nomadic communities and the countless undocumented people, who, after having been recognized as worthy citizens and voters for more than seventy years in this great nation, will suddenly run the risk of becoming stateless and candidates for detention camps in their teeming millions.”
The above statement is pure hate-mongering.
The spirit and heritage of India is to open its doors to the persecuted people. That is exactly what the government did through the CAA. It has shown its humanitarian Indian spirit and reached out to the persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
If you are trying to tell the people of India that we should open our doors to the majority of Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are not persecuted. Then may I remind you that the Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh had a choice to stay in India or go separate. They rejected India and followed their religion in the newly formed nations. So there is no need for them to come back to India because they are not Indians. If some still chose to want to be Indians, then can come through the naturalisation process because they are not persecuted minorities.
I am of the opinion and with much humility I state is that neither have you read the Constitution of India nor have you read the Citizenship Act of 1955 especially Section 14 (a) nor have you read the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019. If you would have read it, detail for detail, you would know that it is not discriminatory to any religion in India and neither to any Indian.
Your hate-mongering on NRC and NPR is absurd simply because NRC in Assam was a direction of the Supreme Court, the Indian government has not even initiated a process or law for NRC. NPR is legal process that a government can adopt as per The Citizenship Act of 1955, Congress led UPA government also adopted NPR. The Catholic Church did not raise an objection on NPR then. It befits an important question why question a legal tenet like NPR now when BJP is in government.
I am also curious as to why the Catholic Church failed to raise a hue and cry when UPA-2 government issued this notification:
Under Rule 3 of the MHA document, it states, “Following class of persons have been exempted from the provisions of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 by Notification S.O. No.1115 (E) dated 15.5.2010 issued by the Central Government:-“Male Muslim community member being originally Indian citizen went to Pakistan after partition leaving behind family in India and returned back to India and settled in the State of Kerala on a valid passport issued by the Government of Pakistan which has either been expired or lost and – (i) such person has gone to Pakistan between the period of 15th August 1947 and 31st December 1965; (ii) such person should not have married while in Pakistan; (iii) such person should not have acquired any immovable property in Pakistan; (iv) such person, while going to Pakistan, should have left behind family members who are Indian citizens; (v) such person should have no intention whatsoever of returning to Pakistan; (vi) such person should have any adverse report from the police and security agencies.State Governments / UT Administrations may consider cases for extension of the LTV of such persons covered under the Notification S.O. no. 1115(E) dated 15.5.2010 under their delegated powers without insisting on validity of passports.”
I have said this before and I repeat it again the Christians are not in danger in India, if they are in danger, then it is in the Catholic Churches across India which keep silent on the numerous cases of sexual abuses by priests and bishops of children, nuns and vulnerable adults.
I am certain Archbishop Ferrao, you will never open your mouth against the crimes of the Church within the Church. In the Bible, Matthew 7:5 it states, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Praise the Holy Mother Church!