Hindu Vivek Kendra

14. The Christian link

14.1 We have mentioned some instances of the Christian link earlier. One relating to the blatantly false allegations of the All India Christian Council. The other was a statement from a Jesuit priest associated with a front for the Roman Catholic Church.

14.2 In today's context, it would be interesting to view the manner in which the Christian organisations reacted to an invitation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on the issue of attacks on Christians. The commission held a hearing on September 18, 2000, the day after Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India, completed his visit to the capital of the USA. The commission admitted that the date chosen was a deliberate one since the media focus would be highlighted on India.

14.3 The Catholic World News (September 14, 2000) said,

· "The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) had described as "unwarranted" the proposed hearing on religious freedom in India scheduled for Monday by a US congressional committee on international religious freedom. "The CBCI does not believe that the present situation warrants an international hearing," said Father Donald d'Souza, CBCI deputy secretary general, when asked about the Church's reaction to the proposed hearing on religious freedom in India."

14.4 Yet, the Report deals quite extensively on the issue of attacks on Christians. It is pertinent to note that the Commission itself was not exactly above board. In a letter dated September 6, 2000 Chairman Elliott Abrams had urged President Clinton to "impress on the Prime Minister (at his meeting on the 15th) that promotion of religious freedom is indispensable to healthy relations between India and the United States." Thus the hearing, which was held on September 16 was an eyewash, the conclusions were arrived at much prior to the whole tamasha. The conclusions were arrived at even prior to taking on board the comments of the various people.

14.5 But then, such tactics are quite normal to those who wish to be economical with the truth, a politically correct phrase for liars.

14.6 It is also necessary to discuss the role of the Christian missionaries in terrorist activities in the North-East. We can do no better than quote from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom: