Bharatiya Janata Party, more commonly known as BJP, in India continues to gain power in the Indian government. This has many Christians and other religious minorities in India very concerned because BJP is known to support the persecution of Christians. In Karnataka, a federal state in India’s southern regions, BJP has been in power for several years. As a result, attacks on Christians in Karnataka have dramatically increased. In 2012, there were 41 cases of reported Christian persecution. Since many cases don’t get reported or recorded by the local government, the number of attacks is likely to me much higher in actuality.
5/3/2013 India (Asia News) – “Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalist party or BJP) came to power in Karnataka, attacks against Christians have multiplied and all religious minorities in the state feel threatened,” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews, two days before Karnataka’s state elections. On Sunday in fact, voters in the Indian state will choose a new chief minister and the BJP is leading a campaign based on its alleged support for minorities.
However, the party, which has ruled Karnataka since 2008, is openly in favour of groups that belong to the Hindu Sangh Parivar, a ultranationalist movement that has perpetrated acts of violence and persecution against Christians and other minority communities.
“In 2012,” George said, “the GCIC recorded 41 cases of anti-Christian attacks. In 2013, we are already at seven. However, these figures refer only to destroyed churches, and imprisoned or assaulted Christians. If we were to account for every episode of intimidation, harassment, insults or temporary detentions, the number would be much higher. ”
“Their hidden agenda,” the GCIC president noted, “is aimed at getting political support from militant Hindutva and is the main reason behind attacks against Christians and other minorities in the state.” Hindutva is an ideology that views Hinduism as an exclusive ethnic, cultural and political identity.
At the same time, George said, “these extremist forces feel strong because of the political protection they receive and so persecute Karnataka’s vulnerable minorities. Often, the primary responsibility for the violence lies with the police, which guarantees immunity to these groups.”