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ICC Note: Parliamentarian Rakesh Sinha, who advocates turning India into a Hindu nation, has claimed that Christian missionaries must be driven out of India. The parliamentarian went on to say that Christians were damaging Indian culture. In recent years, Indian Christians have come under assault from Hindu nationalists that brand them as foreign and dangerous.

10/08/2018 India (UCAN) – A right-wing Hindu parliamentarian’s bid to drive Christian missioners out of India is being branded as a political ploy ahead of polls in three key Indian states.

Parliamentarian Rakesh Sinha, who advocates turning India a Hindu nation, in a Sept. 27 newspaper interview accused Christian missioners of damaging Indian culture.

“It is time to launch a drive to get rid of Christian missionaries from the country,” said the ideologue from the Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS—National Volunteer Corps).

The RSS is widely seen as an umbrella organization working for Hindu hegemony.

“Christian missionaries in the past 300 years worked to destroy the culture of the indigenous people,” Sinha said in the interview published in the mass circulation Dainik Jagaran (Daily Vigil).

Christy Abraham, national general secretary of the ecumenical forum Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh, told an Oct. 3 media conference that Sinha’s sectarian statements aimed to project the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a champion of Hindu interests.

The states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, with 165 million people who are 90 percent Hindu, are facing polls at the end of this year that are seen as a curtain raiser for federal elections in May.

All the three states are now ruled by the BJP and anti-incumbency factors threaten its re-election prospects because of what Abraham branded as sheer non-performance.

People were generally “fed-up” with the BJP making hollow promises as well as over price rises and growing unemployment.

“The BJP and its supporters know they have to play the communal card to get Hindu votes,” Abraham said.

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