Media Release

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh , Dec 1, 2019 : The century-old All India Catholic Union, has called upon chief ministers of all states to set up committees of constitutional and subject experts to minutely study the several new policies and bills that will severely impact the federal structure of the nation, and bring untold misery and suffering to the people of India. Among these are the Draft New Education Policy, the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the National Citizenship Register and Uniform or Common Civil Code.

The AICU has congratulated the Governments of India and Pakistan for opening the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to the shrine where Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh fath, spent his last days. The shrine is now in Pakistan, and the corridor allows pilgrims passage to the faithful without visa formalities that have been waived off by the government of Pakistan. Th AICU hoped the government of India would also facilitate the visit of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Christian pilgrims to shrines in India, including such world-famous Marian shrines as Vellankani in Tamil Nadu and Sardhana in western Uttar Pradesh, and Goa.

These came up for discussion at the meeting in Vijayawada of the Working Committee of the AICU, the largest body of lay Christians in India. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of AICU National President Mr. Lancy D Çunha with the senior clergy of the Vijayawada Catholic diocese participating in the inaugural Mass. The Vijayawada central MLA, Mr. Malladi Vishnu was also present, and felicitated national and state awardees from region in various disciplines.

The AICU noted that the central leadership did not hesitate in bypassing the morality of the Constitution in their zeal to increase their political reach and power, and to implement the agenda of the Sangh Parivar. The maneuverings at midnight in Mumbai had implicated not only the state party and the Governor, but also the Union home minister, the office of the President of India. Though eventually the BJP had to abandon its day-old government, but their contempt for parliamentary norms became clear.

Central government ministers and senior BJP leaders have more than once announced that the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be passed and the yardstick and modes of determining citizenship will be changed in the near future. The National Citizenship register region exercise in Assam, which recently conclude, ha posed a challenge to the future of almost 20 lakh persons. Hundreds of people, terrified because their papers are incomplete, have committed suicide. Thousands are in jail as suspected foreigners. Many have suddenly become disenfranchised in their homeland. The law is not sought to be extended from Assam to allover he country.

Union Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah’s assurances that Hindus, Sikhs and Christian, will not be disturbed, and will in fact be welcomed from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, this has dealt a psychological blow to India’s large Muslim population in the world. India is among the top three Muslim populations. The government does not say why it will open its borders to Ahamedia, Shia sects and indigenous people, who are also subjected to majoritarianism and state victimization neighboring countries.

The Catholic Union, which co-sponsored a national consultation in New Delhi on the Draft New Education Policy, has already warned the center of its deleterious results on the nation. The AICU has also submitted its own proposals to the government calling for a federal participation in revising the system of education both in pedagogy and content. The book following from the Consultations will be released later this year.

The New Education Policy poses a threat to the states’ control of education, ignores their history and culture and will impact the intellectual goals of the students who are the future of India. In fact, Minority communities must be encouraged to open more colleges to train teachers and Christians suffer most in terms of employment, mentorship and in self-employment because of want of funds, especially seed capital, training and marketing. The government must look into this and streamline the financial assistance system.

Noting the continuing harassment of Christians and increased violence against them in the months leading to Christmas and Easter, Mr. Lancy D Cunha called upon the Prime minister and home minister to ensure that the community, and its religious leadership including Clergy, pastors and Nuns were not harassed, assaulted or attacked under fictious charges of conversions. The community did not believe in forcible or fraudulent conversions which were not only against the law but were inadmissible under religious laws. the AICU also urged the Union government and the government of Orissa to compensate the community which had rebuilt at its expense hundreds of churches and institutions that had been burnt or demolished during the targeted violence of 2007-08.

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