FIACONA is Deeply Concerned About the Election Results in India
MAY 24, 2019, WASHINGTON, D.C. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) is deeply concerned about the future of Indian Christians and the future of Indian democracy in the wake of just concluded national elections.
In a world that is getting more and more polarized on religious grounds, the return to power of a Hindu extremist party is not surprising.
Though all Hindu voters did not vote for extremist views of the Hindu party, many have. The assertion of extremist Hindus to claim a multi religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic country like the Union of India to their view of exclusive Hindu ideology is certainly troubling. Now this election has further deepened that to a crisis level.
Though, there are several reliable reports about rigging and large-scale voter fraud combined with voter suppression not to mention the “malfunctioning” of Electronic Voting Machines, EVMs, in many parts of the country during the elections, for a student of Indian electorate, the margin with which the Hindu party is claiming victory seem very suspicious. (Interstingly, the “malfunctioning” EVM machines tallies votes only to the Hindu nationalist BJP party in every instance)
The fact that the BJP Hindu party and Prime Minister Modi’s appeal failed in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala shows that the level of cooperation and support needed from election officials to use the “malfunctioning” EVMs was not forthcoming easily in all states.
It is our firm belief that the political landscape of the country does not allow such margin of votes in an honest and transparent election.
We urge the world leaders to be cautious in their endorsement of the extremist Hindu ideology. A full endorsement of Modi’s claim to victory will jeopardize the future of almost 2000 year old church in India and will also cause tremendous disruption to the Unity of India as a one nation state envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi.
While we are concerned for the future of the church in India we are also concerned about the very survival of the Constitution of the Republic that guarantees equality and freedom of religion, expression and association to every citizen. Under a new “Hindu Constitution” which Modi and his party wants to implement, all these freedoms we take for granted may not exist. The BJP and Mr. Modi needed a two third majority in the Parliament in their scheme to replace the Consitution. They do have that strength in the Parliament now. Other requirements to change the Constitution are already in place.
All 600,000 Indian American Christians have strong ties to their mother churches back in India. Besides that, almost all mainstream and independent churches in the United states have close ties to this 2000 year old church. An assault on the rights and independence of the church in India by the Hindu nationalist government headed by Modi and his gang would have direct and negative impact across Christendom and particularly among the Evangelical, Catholic and Protestant populations in the United States.
We continue to urge President Trump to re-asses his misplaced endorsement of Modi and his government..