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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

The matter was raised during the Fourth India-United Kingdom Home Affairs Dialogue held virtually on February 2. Representatives of the United Kingdom were “explained about the law and how it works,” The Indian Express quoted an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs as saying. A registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act is required to receive foreign funds. On January 1, Oxfam India was among the 6,000 non-governmental organisations whose FCRA registration had expired. The registrations had ended as either the organisations did not apply for renewal, or the home ministry refused to sanction their applications. On January 2, Oxfam India had said that the home ministry’s refusal to renew its registration will disturb the organisation’s humanitarian work, including the provision of Covid-related relief, in 16 states. The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, was also among the organisations whose registration was refused renewal. On January 8, however, the registration of the Missionaries of Charity was restored by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to The Hindu, an unidentified government official said that India did not give the British officials any assurance regarding a review of the cases. The United Kingdom had not highlighted the issue in writing or formally so far either, said the

Feb 12 A dozen Hindu nationalists harassed and beat up two pastors and set fire to a Bible one was carrying after accusing them of converting people to Christianity by offering money, according to a report. The pastors, identified as Sanjay Kumar and Inderjit, were in the northern Indian state of Haryana returning home after visiting a Christian family for prayers on the roof of their home in the Anand Nagar area of Ambala Cantonment when the mob, which included women, attacked them, Morning Star News reported about the Jan. 28 attack. The pastors were accused of receiving foreign funds and offering money to people in an attempt to get them to convert. Visibly hostile, some people in the mob filmed the pastors while questioning them in coarse language without letting them answer, Pastor Kumar was quoted as saying. Sanjay Rana, a neighbor and member of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal, was Sanjay Rana, a neighbor and member of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal, was leading the mob, he said. Rana seized Pastor Inderjit’s driver’s license and Pastor Kumar’s ID card, and then the mob began punching and slapping them. They also snatched the Bible from Kumar’s hand. “Their beating did not pain me as much as the

The Wire News: In the 48 hours before polling ends, candidates are not allowed to put out election matter—whether through TV or theatrical performance—calculated to influence voters. Yet that is precisely what the prime minister did. A shorter version of this piece was first published on The India Cable – a premium newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas – and has been republished here. To subscribe to The India Cable, click here. On the face of it, the interview Narendra Modi gave ANI, a news television channel. on the eve of the first phase of elections to the state legislature in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a violation of India’s election law, which prohibits the display of “election matter” in any form in the 48 hours preceding the closing of polls. “Election matter,” Section 126 (3) of the Representation of the People Act says, “means any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election.” In the last 48 hours, candidates are simply not allowed to put out election matter, whether it is through TV or a theatrical performance. Frankly, I don’t know which of these two categories Modi’s interview falls into but the answers he

02/09/2022: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari lauched the manifesto in Dehradun city on Wednesday. In its election manifesto for Uttarakhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday announced that if the party came to power those found guilty of “love jihad” will be jailed for 10 years. “Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory espoused by Hindutva activists, claiming that Muslim men lure Hindu women to marry them in order to later convert them to Islam. On Tuesday, the saffron party had made a similar promise while launching its manifesto for Uttar Pradesh. Uttarakhand is one of the many BJP-ruled states that have enacted anti-conversion laws. It states that “forced or fraudulent conversions done through force or allurement” are non-bailable offences and can lead to imprisonment of up to five years. In the manifesto released by Union minister Nitin Gadkari, the BJP also promised to provide 50,000 government jobs to the youth and three free liquefied petroleum gas cylinders to the underprivileged residents of the state, according to ANI. The party also said that the pension given to senior citizens will be increased to Rs 3,600. Gadkari also said that the government will finish the ongoing Char Dham highway project by December. The project, worth Rs 12,000 crore, seeks to

(Edited for a Western Reader) A little after noon on Dec. 6, Rahul Raghuvanshi was about halfway through writing his maths exam paper in St Joseph’s School in the town of Ganj Basoda in Madhya Pradesh state’s Vidisha district. Suddenly, loud cries of “Jai Shri Ram!”, the war cry of Hindu nationalist groups, tore through the silence. There were sounds of smashing glass. Before he could react, the 17-year-old student saw a group of angry men outside his ground-floor classroom window, attacking the panes with iron rods. Shrieking in fear, Raghuvanshi and his 13 classmates jumped from their seats and were bundled out of the room by their teacher and the external examiner who had come to conduct their mid-term Class 12 exams under the Central Board of Secondary Education. They sought shelter in an empty classroom on the first floor. Their school seemed to be under siege by a mob of “400 or 500 people,” according to estimates by the principal and several teachers. The enraged crowd—largely members of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the two most violent Hindu nationalist groups affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Modi —had gathered to protest the “first holy communion” ceremony

02/05/2022 INDIA (FIACONA) - According to the Express News Service, some suspected of Hindu nationalists have demolished a Christian prayer hall on 5th February in Panjimogaru town of Mangaluru in Karnataka state of India. According to Roy Castaleno, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Catholic Diocese of Mangalore, the church was built over 40 years ago on a 585 sq ft land which was now managed by the St Antony Building Committee formed by local people of the area. According to the news service, Castaleno said, some men started clearing the trees on the church premises without permission. So, he called the police but the police did not respond. But on Saturday, the news report said around 11 am when all men had gone away to work, some people came with the backhoe and quickly tore down the building. The demolition was recorded by some local women on their mobile phones. A police case was filed and the Deputy Commissioner of Police KV Rajendra has sought a complete report but it is still not clear who demolished it. There has been no arrests so far.  

02/04/2021: Journalistic investigation accuses the president of the NCPCR, the Indian national body for the rights of the child: "Carry out the Hindutva agenda against Christians and Muslims". All while in India the Covid-19 pandemic has created over 147 thousand orphans. "How Hindutva has kidnapped the body for the protection of children". To launch the heavy accusation against the Hindu nationalist movements that form the political base of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an investigation published in these days in India by the information site Scroll.in. A phenomenon that deals with a topic that in recent months we have encountered more and more often also in our reports on AsiaNews : the direct involvement of Indian public institutions that are supposed to defend the rights of children in the "anti-conversion" campaigns of Hindu nationalists that go to hit Christian schools and hostels that welcome minors. As the Scroll.in investigation documents, the issue of conversions has recently become a real obsession for the NCPCR: other cases are remembered such as the assault on St Joseph's School by Ganj Basoda , which is located in Madhya Pradesh. in the district where Kanoongo originates. At the beginning of December the school was the victim of

The suicide of a girl in a hostel run by the Franciscans of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is being used to fuel accusations of conversion. The case is now in the hands of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, but according to the local school board no complaints were ever filed against the nuns. Meanwhile, in another district, two nuns were attacked by Hindu radicals. For Archbishop Felix Machado, Hindu nationalists “have cleverly constructed a narrative and found ways to carry it out” against Christians. Chennai (AsiaNews) – Sr Sahaya Mary, a 62-year-old member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will remain in prison. She was arrested in connection with the suicide on 19 January of a girl at a hostel run by the Sisters in Michaelpatti, a village in Thanjavur district (Diocese of Kumbakonam). Hindu nationalists have been exploiting the tragedy, which stems from the girl's troubled relationship with her family, in order to accuse the nuns of pressuring the girl to convert. They rely on a video that went viral in which the girl mentions being asked to convert two years ago, which she refused to do. The nun’s application for bail was turned down by the Madras

(FIACONA NEWS SERVICE) Jan 31, 2022, New Delhi: Thousands of Hindu holy men who are attending the annual 47-day religious festival called Magh Mela have demanded that the Modi government make way for declaring India officially a Hindu nation-state by removing the word "secular" from the preamble to the Constitution of India. They also have resolved that the Modi government in Delhi must pass legislation that makes religious conversion of any Hindu to another faith is an act of treason, a crime deserving capital punishment reports Times of India. The conference is held during the 47 day festival on the banks of the Ganges river. The demand of the holy men, for whom Mr. Modi and his government have a great deal of respect, and whose support they need to stay in power, comes at a time when attacks against Christians are becoming a normal occurrence every day across India. The Hindu nationalists of the BJP party accuse the Christian families and pastors of converting the local people even if they hold a private prayer meeting at a home or at a church. Such prayer meetings are branded as conversion attempts and are subject to attacks and violence. The supporters of Mr. Modi's

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