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Activism

Father Stan Swamy, who stood with tribal people to oppose exploitative policies, died in judicial custody in 2021 Indian Jesuit's martyrdom recalled on his birth anniversary Father Denzil Fernandes, director of the Jesuit-run Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, garlands the bust of Father Stan Swamy on his birth anniversary in Ranchi, Jharkhand, on April 26. (Photo supplied) The 85th birth anniversary of Father Stan Swamy, the first since his death, was observed with the release of a book and unveiling of his bust at Bagaicha, a training and social action center he founded in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Elsewhere in the country, members of the Indian Church and civil society remembered the martyred Jesuit’s contributions to upholding the human rights of the most marginalized sections of society. The main event was held at Bagaicha in Namkum, Ranchi, on April 26 where the two-foot-high bust of Father Stan stands tall overlooking the institution he founded in 2006. Keeping his memory alive, Bagaicha continues to empower individuals and organizations working against the displacement of marginalized people, human rights violations, illegal land acquisition and confinement of tribal people by branding them as Maoists. Also released on the occasion was the Hindi version of the priest’s memoir

03/10/2022: Karnataka Government has passed the Anti-Conversion Bill in the Assembly despite stiff opposition from civil society and political parties. The Bill is expected to be tabled in the upper house to be made into a law. The Anti-Conversion Laws affect Christians, Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis and Women. It restricts the rights of an Indian citizen to choose one’s religion. It violates the equality and freedom of religions in India as per the Indian Constitution. It is discriminatory as well as draconian. The National Solidarity forum initiated a campaign to Repeal Anti-Conversion Laws in India. The appeal is to support the campaign through endorsements on: https://chng.it/gBYcGCPZyV The National Solidarity Forum (NSF) is a coalition of groups and individuals across India, upholding the principles of secularism, human rights, peace, justice and harmony. This campaign petition appeared on https://countercurrents.org/

02/13/22: Thousands of people cutting across religions have demanded the repeal of all anti-conversion laws in India. The demand comes ahead of February 14 when the Karnataka government plans to table the Anti-Conversion Bill in the state’s Upper House. Prominent signatories of the petition to the Indian president of India included among others Admiral L Ramdas, former Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Mallika Sarabhai, accomplished dancer and choreographer, Medha Patkar, social activist, Anand Patwardhan, film Maker and Mani Shankar Aiyar, former federal minister. They assert the new anti-conversion law is unnecessary, since the Indian Constitution has enough provisions to curtail fraudulent religious conversions. `Wherever the anti-conversion law, ironically officially called Freedom of Religion Act, was passed, it became a justification for the persecution of the minorities and other marginalized identities” the petitioners explain. They also say the attacks on the minorities has grown sharply in recent years since this law was used as a weapon targeting the dignity of Christians and Muslims particularly belonging to Adivasis, Dalits and women. The petition urged people to join the campaign to defend the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution and protect human rights of the minorities and other marginalized sections in India. The petition was initiated

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