ICC Note: On March 19, 2015, Christian and Muslim groups rallied together with secular and political figures in protest on the day that marked 300 days since BJP took power. During the protest, banners were displayed showing a list of the 168 incidents of violence and harassment against Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power. The report also highlighted the 222 incidents of “hate speech and media campaigns,” primarily stemming from fundamentalist Hindus. The protesters warned of the coming persecution in India based upon the statistics of just the first 300 days.
By Anto Akkara
03/21/2015 India (World Watch Monitor) – Two dozen Christian and Muslim groups were joined by secular activists and political leaders at a protest in New Delhi yesterday (March 19) to mark 300 days in government for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party – Indian People’s Party).
A report was circulated, which listed 168 incidents of anti-Christian violence and harassment since Modi took power, and 222 occasions of “hate speech and media campaigns” from Hindu fundamentalist outfits.
Long banners were unfurled from the podium, listing the atrocities, as the author of the report, outspoken Christian activist John Dayal, took to the stage alongside opposition party leaders and activists.
“What we have compiled is perhaps a tenth of the actual number of incidents,” said Dayal, whose report is titled, “300 DAYS – Documenting Hate and Communal Violence under the Modi Regime.”
“Desecration and destruction of churches, assault[s] on pastors, illegal police detention of church workers, and denial of Constitutional rights of Freedom of Faith aggravate the coercion and terror unleashed in campaigns to [force converts to Christianity to return to Hinduism],” states the report.
Since May 2014 – when the BJP, under Modi’s leadership, assumed the mantle of the Indian government after its landslide victory – “there has been a marked shift in public discourse” on several counts, Dayal notes.
“Mr. Modi came into office riding a promise of development, his election campaign fuelled by unbridled hate against Muslims and Christians. Development remains a mirage, but the hate has fuelled violence across the country.”
Dayal told World Watch Monitor that, in total, there have been over 600 cases of violence, 168 targeting Christians and the rest against Muslims.
“We have not yet [received] the list of atrocities on Muslims,” said Dayal, who is also the spokesperson for the United Christian Forum, which tracks atrocities against Christian minorities.