Indian Christian Leaders Reject Proposal from Hindu Nationalist Group

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Activists of Bajrang Dal hold their weapons in Agra

Indian Christian leaders have rejected the proposal of forming a separate forum for Christians from a Hindu nationalist group.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, said in December that they wanted to form a separate wing for Christians within its structure.

Over 200 Christian leaders from various denominations met in New Delhi Feb. 13 to discuss the proposal. The proposal was rejected by Christian leaders.

“We are not supposed to engage with non-state actors. Our only guiding principal should be the constitution and the four fundamental values of democracy, justice, fraternity and equality,” Delhi Archdiocese spokesman Father Savari Muthu who attended the discussion, told ucanews.com.

He said the RSS (national volunteer corps) “does not follow these four values and are anti-constitutional and anti-minorities. So there is no point talking to them.”

John Dayal, spokesman of the United Christian Forum, which organized the meeting, said that there was an overall consensus not to engage in dialogue with an entity that has made its stand clear toward minorities.

“Not only the incidents of Christian persecution but the overall reaction of the Hindutva [Hindu] groups against civil society exposes their thinking, roots and ideology,” said Dayal, who is a member of ucanews.com’s board of directors and an occasional op-ed contributor.

“We would demand a larger discourse on the strengthening of secular, constitutional democracy in India,” he said.

RSS has been notorious for its efforts of making India an exclusively Hindu state. Many incidents of religious intolerance have been carried out by members of RSS. It is believed that RSS with its ruling wing Bhartaya Janata Party (BJP) aims at eliminating religious minorities from India.

RSS started a movement called the ‘Ghar Wapasi’ Movement that saw Muslim and Christian Indians as those who needed to come back to Hinduism, their original religion. The movement aimed at forcibly converting Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.