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Saturday, May 25, 2024

We hate BJP, We hate Modi and We hate you Judas

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We are all children of destiny and a lot of the outcomes in our lives are a result of our choices.

I decided to join the BJP. It was my choice. I did so because I believed in the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and because I was conditioned into thinking about my contribution to my nation because of my few but impactful interactions as a journalist with the Late Manohar Parrikar.

The decision of mine to join the BJP was welcomed by many people who see me as a nationalist from the Indian Christian community but it was looked down upon by many from the Christian community in Goa and other parts of India because they hate the BJP, they hate Modi and because they see me as an advocate of our Prime Minister’s policies and actions.

I remember the strain, my wife was put through by certain members of her family, who even went to the extent to ask her to divorce me and leave me with my children because I joined the BJP and because I was contesting the election on a BJP ticket. I remember the strain my mother faces even today when some overzealous priests or members of the Christian community meet with her and impress upon her to reason with me to leave the BJP. And in her simplicity and humbleness, she tells them to ‘Pray for me’.

I remember the strain on my children when on social media someone put out a post asking for people in Goa to blacken my face and garland me with slippers for telling the Church leaders on a TV debate ‘I am an Indian Christian. I am the son of Bharat Mata. This is my motherland. I am not afraid to live in my motherland. Stop the spreading fear among the Christians’ and their friends showed it to them. I remember a recent Twitter troll asking me to send my daughters to the accused Brig Bhushan from the BJP so that they could enjoy his exploits.

It hurts and disturbs me when my family is targeted for my decisions but what many people who talk such trash fail to understand is that my family and the women in my life stand rock solid behind my decision to support PM Modi and the BJP – my greatest weakness is my greatest strength. I know that I am often targeted because I am one of the most vocal faces from the Christian minority supporting the BJP for the last so many years on TV and social media. But while I get the hate, I also get the love from thousands of Indian nationalists across the country and the world. Some of my haters do not understand that my stubbornness comes from my love for my nation and for political leaders who work for the nation.

I am called Judas Iscariot by people from my community only because I support Modi and the BJP. Judas was the betrayer of Jesus. I am abused every day with so many filthy and vile words. And I smile at their foolishness and their bigoted nature. Their hate for me does not bother me, their hate for BJP also does not upset me but their hate for Modi makes me sad because I see him as a good man. I also see him as the hope of India. For too long we have been shackled by the burden of colonial dictates and manipulations of foreign powers that prefer India to remain as a third-world nation and a fertile ground for their business interests.

I prefer not to react to the hate. I pray for the people and their hate. Whenever I have tried to ask them for the reasons for their hate for Modi or the BJP, I only get rhetoric but no real objective and fact-based points of view that I could listen to and if genuine speak to PM Modi and other senior leaders about their fears. It is just plain hate. A lot of the hate, unfortunately, is propagated by a few Church leaders who appear to be colored by religiously driven political fervor rather than the truth. They see BJP as a ‘Hindu Majority’ political party and a threat to their and their flock’s existence and therefore they prefer to clandestinely support any other political party that opposes BJP even if they are incompetent or working against the national and global interests of India. This is what makes me sick to the core because I see it as religious bigotry and not in the interest of the nation.

I put out a public request a few days ago to the Catholic priests and Church leaders in Goa and the rest of India to meet with me to dialogue with me and other nationalist Indian Christians to understand their fears and apprehensions so that we can resolve and avoid present and future conflict. After all, we as Christians have been taught by Jesus to be peacemakers – Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the children of God. The reason people prefer not to dialogue is because they know I will speak based on facts and figures, which will be difficult to counter and will blunt their hate narrative.

Some misguided Christians can call me Judas because they do not understand that I am Simon of Cyrene who is helping PM Modi carry the burden of his responsibility to see India rise as Bharat. They represent the Christian faith but do not represent the teachings of Jesus much like the Pharisees and Sadducees mentioned in the Holy Bible during Jesus’ times who acted as the defenders of the faith, humanity, and morality. They too mocked Jesus, cursed him, and finally crucified him but the truth could not be hidden and the truth of Jesus continues to touch the hearts of millions around the world. Jesus himself in the Holy Bible said, ‘I am the Truth, the Way, and the Life’.

I don’t think the BJP is perfect. And I don’t think Modi is perfect either. As a party, BJP has made mistakes and will make mistakes, also as a Prime Minister Modi will err. I am inspired by Modi because I see the success story of India rising as Bharat in his life. I see a young boy who used to sell tea, devote himself to the nation, and rise without any political aristocracy to become the face of a new resurgent and vibrant India that is rising as Bharat. I see a leader who puts his nation above all and is not shy from expressing his Hindu faith, which has been kept under a bushel for decades because political leaders had to live up to the belief that ‘India is Secular’. Unfortunately many failed to understand that while being secular in the country means minority appeasement, in reality means not appeasing any religious faith but respecting a citizen as a citizen.

Both PM Modi and BJP are certainly disruptive and in my opinion, disruptions are good for the socio-economic and political evolution of a nation.

To most of the naysayers in the Christian community in India and even in the Muslim and Hindu communities it does not matter that under Modi’s leadership, our women have 11.7 crore toilets built to preserve their dignity, or that over 13.8 crore homes have tap water connections or that 24.82 crore people in India have been lifted out of multidimensional poverty in just nine-years or that 100% free LPG (gas cylinder) connections were provided to more than 12.54Cr rural households as of 31 January 2024 or for that matter under the Housing for All initiative of the Modi government, construction started in June 2015, and as of 29 January 2024, 80.02L homes (67.45%) homes have been constructed. A further 26L homes (21.91%) are under construction. Under the renamed PM Awaas Yojana–Gramin (PMAY-G), as of 29 February 2024 the Modi Govt had built 2.568Cr houses, an increase of 25.14%. Another 38.715L were under construction. I can list over 4000+ policies and decisions taken by the Indian government under the leadership of PM Modi that have transformed India for now and will see more transformation as India marches towards becoming Bharat. To them, the propaganda of the Western world and the Left is easily acceptable and relatable. Most developed countries do not want India to rise as Bharat, they want to continue to keep India under the yolk of imperialism in its different forms, and the best strategy to run a divide in India is by playing religious and caste sentiments.

India is not alien to religious conflict. And neither is religious conflict phenomena witnessed only in India. Religious conflict is a global phenomenon because there are fanatics in all religions all over the world. In most nations, the basis of violent conflict and strife is the interpretation of religion, political usage of religion, and control of a mass population based on religion. Painting India as a nation as dangerous for minorities to live in is a planned attempt of enemies of India to strike at the core of an emotive issue that could spark off pan-India tension and thereby affect our socio-economic progress too. Enemies of India want India to be on a boil at all times but slowly under the leadership of Modi, India has seen through the nefarious plans of a few geopolitical players and is not only strategizing against the intent but also fomenting our plans to avoid conflict that can destabilize our future and playing to become a global geopolitical player that instills both fear and respect. India is no longer the snake charmer nation for the amusement of Western imperialists.

I reason with people who are willing to reason because I am a reasonable man and I believe that even from criticism we can learn but to have a biased attitude coupled with hate for PM Modi or the BJP or me because it does not fit with your colonized idea of India is not an intent I am prepared to entertain, reason with or even debate. It is beautifully expressed in the Book of Sirach in the Holy Bible:  Whoever talks with a fool talks to someone asleep; when it is over, he says, “What was that?” I have the patience to wait till they wake up from their propagandist slumber.

You can hate BJP, you can hate Modi and you can hate me too. That is your choice. But remember your nation is above your religion and that your religion does not define your nationalism. And many believe in PM Modi just like me even from the Christian community. Modi has the grace of God to absorb your hate and turn it into something beautiful. I have the grace of God to absorb your hate but do you have the courage to accept the truth and stand for the truth that India is witnessing a resurgence and will rise as Bharat?

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