Archive for March, 2018

Church, prayer hall, prayer conducted at a house etc and the attack of such places: Secularism and communalism behind! (2)

March 21, 2018

Church, prayer hall, prayer conducted at a house etc and the attack of such places: Secularism and communalism behind! (2)

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.Iniko

Miscreants vandalise church in Madurai[1]: The reports have been evidently confused, biased and partial, as the “attackers” have been identified differently.  The “DT Next” published by the “Daily Thanthi” reported that “Miscreants vandalise church in Madurai”. One pastor appearing in U-tube directly accused that RSS attacked[2]. The Hindu reported, “The video of the group threatening one of the prayer homes was uploaded on Facebook by a person claiming to be a Hindu Munnani member.” According to another report, “A case was registered yesterday against 10 Hindu Munnani activists, of whom three have been identified.” In the name of secularism, the pastors what they talked and circulated through U-tube has been emphasizing about their right of worship etc. Interestingly, Vaiko supported Christians and opposed the “Hindu Munnani” cadre for attacking[3]. He also went on to accuse police that they have registered a case against the “unidentified” persons. In “Sub News” video, Iniko Irudhyaraj repeats the same story, but, another Christian accused BJP government at the centre and the “puppet rule” here at Tamilnadu want to carry out their “communal agenda” and thus, the attacks were carried on by the BJP[4]. Therefore, it is evident that the issue of “illegal churches” has been converted into “secular” and “communal” one.  India Today mentioned, “PTI SSN APR ROH SMN SMN” implying that this news is spread through different channels.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.All party leaders

The Police assured that they would take legal action: One of the pastors assembled tried to incite Christians by talking in a different way[5]. He was vociferously suggesting that this video (in which was talking) should be circulated and all Church denominations should be united together to fight against the “communal forces.” The police have responded in the most responsible way, though, the Christians tried to create problem and that is revealed in this video[6]. The Police Inspector is seen informing the assembled Christians to be careful in using language against the Police. He asked the responsible persons to talk with him, so that he could respond. He informed that as they had already given a petition to the Collector and he in turn would instruct the police, definitely, they would take action legally. “As you are not enemies of the police, do not talk in such way,” he told pointing to some persons on his RHS.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.All party leaders.protest

Christians started playing safe and legally in the sense that they tried to exploit the judgments pronounced in the different contexts: From the above, it can be noted that the words and expressions, “Church”, “prayer hall”, “prayer conducted at a house” etc are mentioned differently, evidently, to suit the court judgments. In places like Kanayakumari, the Christians have their own problems, as different denominations object to each other for the construction of prayers halls, churches and other propaganda activities. If they are really faithful to their religion and worshiping their gods, then, there could not have been such rivalry, but, as they get foreign funds and they have to spend for the building of churches, such competition has been turning into enmity. The court judgments amply expose such internal rivalry. In other words, the Church known pretty well about the legal position and they have started playing safe and legally in the sense that they tried to exploit the judgments pronounced in the different contexts. The illegally built or performed “places of worship” issue is turned into different issue. Thus the so-called, “the attack of such places” is decided to be exploited by them under the bogies of “Secularism and communalism”.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.Seeman

Politicization of the issue suppressing the facts: Akshaya Nath of “India Today”, as usual gives the Christian version, but, failed to vertify the facts from other side[7]. His narrative goes in this way[8], “The incidents have got a lot of attention now, with many politicians paying a visit to the affected people. MDMK leader Vaiko, who was one of the first politicians to reach the site, said, “Everyone should live in harmony, some hooligans in the name of Hindu outfits have started this violence. These goons should be put behind the bars.” TTV Dinakaran, who had visited the location and met the affected pastors and devotees in Madurai after his announcing his party, said, “This is a barbaric act, people of Tamil Nadu will not accept communal or religious riots against the public. Here all are united. India is not a Hindu, Muslim or Christian country. Here all are living together whether it is majority or minority, we are all living like brothers and sisters. Especially, in Tamil Nadu because of great leader like Periyar, because of the Dravidian movement, because of the social reform, people will never look into their community or religion. People will never accept these things and those who did this will never succeed in Tamil Nadu.” In five days if the prayer homes were not shut the pastors will be killed was the warning given by the alleged Hindu groups, “This is a very isolated place, it is kind of scary. I am not able to leave my wife and children alone here,” said Jerome. “Everyone comes and meets us, many come and click pictures with us and go, now after all this there is no one to protect us, no politician, no police, none except for god,” said Priya. As these believers continue their lives in the hope that God will protect them, the fear of an attack by haters is given them sleepless nights”. Thus, he does not care for illegal constructions and related issues.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.TTV Dinakaran meets

The State minority commissioner Bishop M Prakash met the pastors at Prayer Tower (16-03-2018): Under these circumstances, state minority commissioner Bishop M Prakash met the pastors at Prayer Tower, a church at Bypass Road and interacted with them[9]. Talking to reporters later, the commissioner said that their main role was to protect the rights of minorities and they had received numerous petitions from Madurai after the attack on prayer halls. That was the reason why he had come down to hear their grievances. They also received petitions from other minorities. Based on his findings, he would suggest to the government to take action on the petitions, he said.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.Minority commissioner

Representatives of independent Christian churches have accompanied the commissioner when he met Madurai collector K Veera Raghava Rao and they urged the collector to take action against the functionaries who vandalised prayer halls[10]. The minority commissioner later also met Madurai city police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal and discussed the matter. Meanwhile, Koodalputhur police in Madurai city limits have filed three cases pertaining to vandalisation of prayer halls. Based on complaints filed by I Immanuvel from Anbu Nagar, S Stanilaus and M Jegatheesan from Anaiyur, police have registered case against 50 unknown persons. The members of churches accompanying minority commissioner said they will stage mass demonstration if the miscreants were not arrested. A demonstration has also been planned by various organizations in Madurai city in this regard.

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.Prakash MC, member

Hindu Munnai cadres arrested (19-03-2018 and 20-03-2018): Madurai City police on Tuesday, 20-03-2018 made the third arrest in connection with disruption of Sunday prayers at three prayer halls in Anaiyur and Koodal Pudur on March 11, 2018[11]. The arrested person was identified as K. Thanga Venkatesh (41) of Vilangudi[12]. He is the district secretary of Hindu Munnani. The city police have already arrested two other Hindu Munnani cadre, V. Aravindhan (21) of Thathaneri and D. Senthil Kumar (38) of Konnavayan Salai, in this connection[13]. Thus, the police has started arresting HM cadres, but, nothing is discussed about illegal prayers halls etc[14]. Ironically, the HM cadre has also not been expressive enough to present facts in its approach so far.

© Vedaprakash

20-03-2018

Madurai Pentecoastal church attacked 08-03-2018.HM functionary held

[1] DT Next, Miscreants vandalise church in Madurai, Published: Mar 12,201801:30 AM

[2] Indian Churches Network Joy Creative Production, Published on Mar 11, 2018; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNbOgTAFDmQ

 

[3] Red Pix 24×7, right wing group vandalises church vaiko angry news tamil, tamil live news, tamil news redpix, Published on Mar 12, 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWgt90OwWTY

[4] Sunnews Live, Church attacked in Madurai, Published on Mar 14, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O2m325Q4k0

[5] Indian Churches Network Joy Creative Production, Published on Mar 11, 2018;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a57K-7r233M

[6] Indian Churches Network Joy Creative Production, Published on Mar 12, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6DR07ltcg

[7] India Today, Political parties condemn attacks on prayer homes in Madurai, by Akshaya Nath, Chennai, March 17, 2018, UPDATED 19:33 IST

[8] https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/four-churches-attacked-allegedly-by-hindu-groups-in-madurai-this-week-1191679-2018-03-17

[9] Times of India, Minority commissioner talks to pastors, TNN | Updated: Mar 16, 2018, 11:15 IST.

[10] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/minority-commissioner-talks-to-pastors/articleshow/63323846.cms

[11] The Hindu, Hindu Munnani functionary held, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MARCH 20, 2018 18:48 IST, UPDATED: MARCH 20, 2018 18:48 IST

[12] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hindu-munnani-functionary-held-madurai/article23303702.ece

[13] The Hindu, 2 Hindu Munnani cadre held, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, MADURAI, MARCH 20, 2018 00:00 IST, UPDATED: MARCH 20, 2018 04:58 IST

[14] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/two-hm-cadre-held/article23298209.ece

Church, prayer hall, prayer conducted at a house etc and the attack of such places: Secularism and communalism behind! (1)

March 15, 2018

Church, prayer hall, prayer conducted at a house etc and the attack of such places: Secularism and communalism behind! (1)

Madurai church attack - Miscreants vandalize church

Pentecostal Church attacked in Madurai 11-03-2018: The incident happened around 9.30 am when priest Ravi Jacob was taking part in a prayer session. “A gang of 50 men led by a religious outfit leader”, protected by a gunman, entered the church and started attacking M. Ravi Jacob[1]. A prayer home of a Pentecostal church in Sikkandar Chavadi here was vandalized and copies of the Bible were burnt, allegedly by members of a “Hindu right wing group”on Sunday 11-03-2018[2]. Another report says, “Some members, reportedly of the same group”, later went to three other prayer homes belonging to Pentecostal church in nearby areas and verbally abused the pastors and worshippers and threatened to attack the homes if they were not shut in a week[3]. Jacob, the pastor at the Sikkandar Chavadi prayer home, which is a branch of Rhema Church, said more than 10 people, including a person who had an armed policeman as his Personal Security Officer (PSO), came to the prayer home in the morning[4]. “I, my wife, two children and a few others who had come for the prayer were there. The men used abusive language and roughed up me and my wife,” he said. He alleged that they later took out copies of the Bible present at the home, along with his mobile phone and a few other belongings, and burnt them in the street[5].

Madurai church attack - Right wing vandalize -The Hindu

Christians accused “Hindu Munnani” for attack: Corroborating his allegations, the family who owned the place, which is a small tile-roofed structure in a narrow lane, said the pastor had rented the place a couple of months ago and visited it on Sundays for prayer meetings. Jerome Jegatheesan, pastor of ‘Bethesda Varthaiyin Jeba Veedu’ prayer home in Koodal Pudur, said a group of people visited the home a couple of hours after the incident at Sikkandar Chavadi. “They abused us in filthy language and asked us to stop our activities,” he said. Sasi Sugathiya, a pastor with Living God Church, said two other prayer homes in Koodal Puthur area were also threatened on Sunday. The video of the group threatening one of the prayer homes was uploaded on Facebook by a person claiming to be a Hindu Munnani member. However, there is Christian  material and burning them, but, there was no commotion, as everything was going on the road and the event was evidently recorded ny many [6]. It is appears strange, as the attacker himself to present evidence to the public to prove that he attacked or involved in such act. This is similar to earlier NDTV propaganda about the Gujarat riots where, the Hindutwa group heads were depicted as “claiming themselves with pride that they indulged in such violence.”

Police version of the attack: N. Manivannan, Madurai Superintendent of Police, said a case had been registered based on Ravi Jacob’s complaint against 10 unidentified Hindu Munnani cadre. He, said, “We have identified three persons involved in the incident. However, we are yet to arrest any of them.” On the presence of a PSO, he said the police were yet to confirm that. “If a PSO was present, it will make the identification of the accused easy,” he added. Stressing that there were no attacks on the other three prayer homes, Madurai City Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal said the group appeared to have threatened the pastors to close the homes by claiming that they did not have permission. “We have registered cases and appropriate action will be taken swiftly,” he said.  However, it can be noted that politicians like Vaiko accused police that they have registered a case against the “unidentified” persons. Therefore, it is evident that the issue of “illegal churches” has been converted into “secular” and “communal” one.

Madurai church attack - Notices to illegal prayer halls- TOI

30 prayer halls in Tamil Nadu receive notice, HC stays closure of one (October 2017)[7]: District authorities have issued show-cause notice to about 30 Christian prayer halls in Coimbatore district alone, threatening to close them down for conducting prayers without prior permission. But, the Madras high court came to the rescue of one such hall, when it stayed a notice issued by a jurisdictional tahsildar to a Sulur-based prayer hall. Concurring with the submissions of P Wilson, senior counsel for the prayer hall, Justice K Ravichandrabaabu said: “The court is of the prima facie view that the petitioner is entitled to an interim relief of stay for a period of four weeks subject to the condition that under the guise of conducting prayers the petitioner shall not cause any nuisance by way to the public.” The judge then ordered notice to the tahsildar concerned and district collector returnable by four weeks. Though Selvasingh Samuel, 37, who is pastor of a prayer hall at Sultanpet in Sulur taluk in Coimbatore district, won the relief for his prayer hall, the pattern as per which the notices were slapped on similar prayer halls in the region is unmistakable. Some of the notices were identical and referred to complaints and apprehension of public order disturbances in the regions concerned. They also raised the bogey of prayer being conducted without prior permission from authorities[8].

Permission given for the construction of a residential house and not for any jamath/prayer hall/madrasa (November 2017): The activists said the complaint was a ploy so that some organisations could continue their “illegal conversions”. Police said they had received complaints from the public that some prayer homes were being running illegally and demanding that these be closed[9]. Incidentally, the Courts have delivered judgments in recent years about the construction of prayer halls, usage of house for conducting prayer etc. In one case, the judge said it has been categorically stated in the stop-work notice that the planning permission was obtained for the construction of a residential house and not for any jamath/prayer hall/madrasa[10]. When there was a specific plan accorded for construction of a residential house, the petitioners cannot deviate and hence the panchayat was right in issuing the stop-work notice and thereafter passing the impugned order of cancellation of planning approval. Proceeding with construction and claiming investment of huge amount on the same cannot be a ground to permit the construction of superstructure to stand there, the judge added[11]. Therefore, if anyone follows the secular rationale of the cases, it has to be applicable to all. However, the secular and Dravidian politicians have taken different stand of accusing the right wing group for the attack.

Complaints from the public that some prayer homes were being running illegally and demanding that these be closed (March 2018): Police said they had received complaints from the public that some prayer homes were being running illegally and demanding that these be closed[12]. This was not a law and order problem, but denial of right to worship and destruction of secularism, the Constitution and democracy, Council president Anthony Pappusamy said in a statement[13]. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Latin Bishops’ Council had condemned the attacks and said it was an effort to “chase away” Christians who had a fundamental right to worship. This was not a law and order problem, but denial of right to worship and destruction of secularism, the Constitution and democracy, Council president Anthony Pappusamy said in a statement[14]. A clip of the group reportedly threatening the persons has gone viral. A case was registered yesterday against 10 Hindu Munnani activists, of whom three have been identified. They said some of the activists, during initial questioning, denied that they had attacked the homes and had only staged protests against persons being allegedly lured for conversion. The activists said the complaint was a ploy so that some organisations could continue their “illegal conversions”. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Latin Bishops Council had condemned the attacks and said it was an effort to “chase away” Christians who had a fundamental right to worship.

© Vedaprakash

14-03-2018

[1] https://www.dtnext.in/News/TamilNadu/2018/03/12010044/1064765/Miscreants-vandalise-church-in-Madurai.vpf

[2] The Hindu, Hindu right wing group vandalises prayer home, Pon Vasanth B.A. MADURAI, MARCH 11, 2018 22:09 IST; UPDATED: MARCH 13, 2018 00:03 IST

[3] http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/hindu-right-wing-group-vandalises-prayer-home-madurai/article23041946.ece

[4] DNA India, Prayer homes of Pentecostal church attacked in Madurai, Published: Mar 14,2018, 01:30 AM

[5] http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-prayer-homes-of-pentecostal-church-attacked-in-madurai-2593779

[6] Angeline 11 Media works, , Published on Mar 12, 2018; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWgOblb8fuQ

[7] Times of India, 30 prayer halls in Tamil Nadu receive notice, HC stays closure of one, Suresh Kumar | TNN | Oct 24, 2017, 06:39 IST

[8] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/30-prayer-halls-in-tamil-nadu-receive-notice-hc-stays-closure-of-one/articleshow/61193950.cms

[9] Deccan chronicle, Hindu right wing group attacks prayer homes of Madurai’s Pentecostal church, PTI, Published Mar 14, 2018, 1:19 pm IST; Updated Mar 14, 2018, 1:19 pm IST.

[10] DECCAN CHRONICLE, Demolish construction designed to offer namaz: Madras High Court, Published Nov 26, 2017, 1:45 am ISTUpdated Nov 26, 2017, 1:45 am IST

[11] https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/261117/demolish-construction-designed-to-offer-namaz-madras-high-court.html

[12] India today, Prayer homes of Pentecostal church attacked in Madurai, PTI, March 14, 2018UPDATED 12:15 IST (Eds: Recasting overnight story)

[13] https://www.indiatoday.in/pti-feed/story/prayer-homes-of-pentecostal-church-attacked-in-madurai-1189173-2018-03-14

[14] http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/140318/madurai-pentecostal-church-attack-hindu-right-wing-group-bible-copies.html