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The not-so-secular elections in Mizoram

15 January 2009 415 views 65 Comments

Although I was aware that the Church was playing an increasingly prominent role in the elections in Mizoram, the full extent of that missed me until I was alerted to this report in Outlook by Sanjay.

Excerpts below (emphasis mine):

…Elections in Mizoram this year have defied norms. Quite contrary to the usual threat of violence that defined them, they were subdued and sterilised because of the involvement of the almighty Church in the election process…this (was) the first time a church-backed vigilante group—the Mizoram People Forum (MPF)—stepped in to “oversee the conduct of free and fair elections”. This has won the Church great praise but also generated unease about a religious institution issuing political diktats and enforcing them by its volunteers.

Alongside the Election Commission’s code of conduct, the Church issued its own code…The MPF even put out guidelines describing an “ideal candidate”

…Though the code had no legal binding, offenders, MPF secretary Lalbiakmawia Ngente says, were censured “morally and socially”. This is a point that rankles Henry Zodinliana Pachau, a lecturer at the Mizoram University in Aizwal. “What’s worrying is that they are determining what is good. I wouldn’t want my freedom to be clipped in the name of religion,” he says.

…The Church, especially the MPCS, is a pervasive force in Mizoram where about 87 per cent of the population is Christian.

Should this model of allowing religious institutions an active role in elections be replicated elsewhere? Former CEC James Lyngdoh doesn’t think so. “Almost everyone in Mizoram is a Christian and the Church is so influential that it influences everybody. It is a unique situation,” he says.

As Sanjay remarked:

“…Wonder what the champions of secular India have to say to this report!”

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65 Comments »

  • 1. Samaw said:

    What is secular? Its that everyone is able to express themselves. The Church is simply expressing and issuing guidelines for fair elections, they are of non-binding. You must read the guidelines issued by the Church before you even think of this. Other religious followers too can issue such guidelines if they are good, people will follow, if not they will not even respect such moves.. think about it. I wonder how B Shantanu posted with such cheap comments.

  • 2. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Samaw: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A hurried response…

    “Secular” usually means not having any connection to religion.

    “Democracy” would be “everyone being able to express themselves”.

    India is a “Secular Democracy” (although I would question that).

    Where does the Church come in? Why should it get involved in politics? Where do you draw the line? Would you support a party backed by the Church?

    Look forward to your response. More later.

  • 3. katya said:

    87%!

    Any further info on the following?

    “The Church, especially the MPCS, is a pervasive force in Mizoram” and “The MPF even put out guidelines describing an “ideal candidate””

    I interpret that the involvement of religion means that religious diktats are put forth?

  • 4. Jony said:

    So now we have genocidal church bigots issuing christo-fatwas. Does Hindu minority of the state have any Mizo Minority Commission to look into the issues/problems it faces?

  • 5. KSV SUBRAMANIAN said:

    If it is church, it is OK. Secularism stands protected. So as to preserve secularism, hindu religion should be kept away. Then the real indian secularism stands protected. “Almost everyone in Mizoram is a Christian and the Church is so influential that it influences everybody. It is a unique situation,” so says our erstwhile CEC James Lyngdow. In the rest of India hindus too constitute that percentage. And they too starts influencing, what will be the reaction of our great erstwhile CEC ? May be in India the Cross of secularism is to be borne by hindus and wait to be crucified !!!

  • 6. Samaw said:

    @B Shantanu, thanks for your kind response. You said, Where does the Church come in? Why should it get involved in politics? Where do you draw the line? Would you support a party backed by the Church?

    Firstly, the Church do not put up candidates nor endorse any party. They are there issuing a good guideline just to ensure that money power play do not come into election which the ruling party had always manipulated in the past. The Church simply issues guideline like : Elect someone who is not corrupt, who does not have criminal cases, do not vote for those who buy your vote, do not take money, etc. Everyone loves it. Even Mizoram BJP has endorsed the Church role in Mizoram election. It is a very impartial guideline. The day the Church puts up candidates or endorse any particular party, that will be the end of their role.

    If Hindu religious organisations issue any election guidance which can be respected by one and all, without endorsing any particular party nor candidates, I’m sure the whole India will respect such guidelines. The so-called RSS, VHP, etc all the time endorse certain party, how can they be compared to the Church in Mizoram? Most users who commented here think the Church in Mizoram in the same level of RSS, VHP, etc, but it is not. The Church is respected and her stand is endorsed by all the parties. So, Shame on those who commented here recklessly.

    So, read the lines before you commented.

  • 7. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Samaw: I take your point re. looking at the guidelines before rushing to comment…Do you have a copy/link that you can post here? …You can also email it to me at jaidharma AT gmail.com if thats easier.

    The thing that got my attention was this bit:

    this (was) the first time a church-backed vigilante group—the Mizoram People Forum (MPF)—stepped in to “oversee the conduct of free and fair elections”.

    Vigilante action is generally considered to be taking the law in one’s own hands. That is a slippery slope to be on.

    Good blog by the way (and some pretty pictures of the lakes etc – I hope to visit someday!)….and I am curious, what is your name?

  • 8. katya said:

    @Samaw,

    No shame really.
    What’s the shame in asking for better information?

  • 9. Sanjeev Sabhlok said:

    Dear Shantanu

    The first thing that struck me is that no evidence is adduced that “the Mizoram People Forum (MPF)” — a registered society, presumably, with an aim to “oversee the conduct of free and fair elections”, is funded by the church. We need more information on what its funding sources are, and its objectives and methods. It would well be something like Lok Satta or Empowering India, an organsation with active interest in pointing out the corrupt/ criminal candidates to the people.

    The nature of its activities is also not clear from the extract you have provided: is it violent, does it discriminate in favour of Christian candidates, does it threaten people who don’t vote for particular candidates (is there implied violence?), does it organise its people to demolish temples or mosques, does it promise special treatment to Christians in the government? Is it a political party?

    In other words, does it seek political power directly, like the terrorist Islamic organisations wish to do, being founded on a theory of violence, or as BJP does, on the basis of violence against Muslims/mosques, or indirectly as Congress does, by pandering to organised Muslim leaders for them to direct the votes of a ‘vote bank’? That would be true mixing of politics with religion.

    The concept of not mixing religion with politics is thus more about the **aggressive and direct** (often violent) involvement of organised religion in politics with the aim of influencing policy. This concept does not prevent free citizens (as members of a religion or otherwise) from peacefully recommending – through a booklet, or website, say – what an ‘ideal candidate’ could look like.

    We therefore need more information before a view can be formed. Before we condemn this group, let us ensure we roundly condemn the direct mixing of politics and religion by BJP, Congress and many others who are directly involved in politics in India.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

  • 10. Ibrahim Lone said:

    I think that the Chruch as any other religious institution should stay away from issuing such eddcits. Anyway this is not specific to India. Even during the US elections the Black Ministries in USA gathered huge support for Obama. I dont know much about Christianity, however in Islam Mosques are not merely religious institutions. They are also centers of politics where major political desicions are made and passed on to the general population to follow. Hence the fatwas that Mullahs pass to the people inorder to vote or not vote for a political party are the outcome of this very tenet of Islam. Infact in the ealry days of Islam most of the planning for conducting raids were done in the mosques. I am not sure if there is anything analogus to this in the Christian Chruch.

  • 11. Samaw said:

    @B Shantanu, thanks for spotting my pt. The guideline is in Mizo, I do not have one with me, perhaps we can request them but translating the doc. will still be a probl. The Election is over and none seems to be interested in this. Perhaps you can call Henry Zodinliana Pachuau, a lecturer at the Mizoram University, Social Work Deptt. His contact numbers are +91-XXX
    Kindly remove his contact numbers after you copied them.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Telephone Numbers removed to protect privacy.

  • 12. Patiala said:

    The church is a political entity, as its core.

    Christian conversions are aimed at subverting the national identity and making Indians subservient to Western Powers and Euro-American geo-political interests.

    With the exception of a few, I wonder why most Indian Christians stayed away from the Indian Freedom Struggle?

    With the exception of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, why don’t we see Christian names in the list of Indian Freedom Fighters?

    That is because most Indian Christians looked up to the British as their rightful Christian rulers. That is why they didn’t want the British to quit India.

  • 13. Samaw said:

    @Patiala, first of all kindly make some sense to the above post and comments. We are discussing about the role of the Church in Mizoram state. Your ranting makes no sense at all. I would love to debate with you if you question Indian Christians about their loyalty towards the nation. Indian Christians are diverse as India itself. So, stop stereotyping Indian Christians.

    Kindly be very careful especially when you make comments on Northeast Indian states. People who have no clues or ideas about NE Indian states offend comment about their matters recklessly, causing them to alienate further from the mainstream. When I carefully inspect the above comments, what I can see is we are all very nationalistic which is good but let us be careful how we translate that matter.

    I am the only one from NE India who is perhaps spending my precious time here with you, trying to make sense with you. If you consider that, I hope you give sensible comments. Otherwise, I have no biz to waste my time here.

  • 14. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Sanjeev, Ibrahim, Patiala: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…I will respond thoughtfully in a day or two..

    ***

    @ Samaw: Thanks for the contact information of Henry and for continuing the discussion…What do you think about the point re. vigilante action though? Isn’t that something that has the potential to get out of control?

    Also, as the link below shows, the Church probably comes very close to endorsing candidates and/or parties (re. your comment at #6).

    The church in Mizoram normally does not back any party in the polls, but covertly supports politicians and parties which have a pro-Christian sentiment.

    Observers said most of the political parties in Mizoram toe the Christian line, including the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which heads the federal government. It did not win any seats in 1998 but is hoping to get two this time.

    Unlike in other states where the BJP has campaigned on Hindu issues such as the banning cow slaughter and conversions, party leaders who have come to campaign in Mizoram have avoided these questions.

    Carefully drafted speeches, laced with pro-Christian overtones, have formed part of speeches by top BJP leaders, including party president M. Venkaiah Naidu.

    “The BJP is not a threat to Christianity,” said senior BJP leader and government minister C.P. Thakur in an election speech. [ link ]

    The suprising thing is the excerpt above is from 2003! (from “Church in India’s Mizoram state warns against sex, drugs in polls” by Surojit Chatterjee, published on Wed, Nov. 26 2003)

    And it looks like Mizoram is not alone. Here is a PTI report from Feb 2008 which had this curious statement:

    The meeting (initiated by Eleutheros Christian Society) also resolved that after the election, the elected members of four border districts, what they called eastern Nagaland, an installation service would be organized at Kohima.

    I wonder what an “installation service” means.

    Do you have any idea? Can someone pl. explain?

    Thanks.

  • 15. Indian said:

    Till yesterday churches were busy converting people and now conducting election-what a story! As per me it is 100% non-secular election. whatever way they describe but churches are doing their best in christening the people of India and making their best that christian leader get elected.

    If any Hindu institution would have done that, other religion wuld have screamed from the roof top calling religious and communal and what not.

    In my words, Installation Service means they are marching! Happy and joyous! Or may be installing new pastor in Church.

    We have lost Mizoram to this churches long long ago. Sorry state of affairs.

  • 16. Samaw said:

    @Indian, wake up brother. Your one-sided view like this is perhaps dividing India more than what you actually wish to accomplish i.e. unity. What have you lost in Mizoram? Hinduism? haha… if you are discussing in this level, I will stoop to your level and laugh off this joke.

    @B Shantanu said: vigilante action though? Isn’t that something that has the potential to get out of control?

    Let us focus on Mizoram at this point. If they crosses the line, public is well aware that they are useless. And they will never go out of control. Perhaps you are thinking them like other religious fanatics. They are not. Besides, it is only Mizoram Presbyterian Church which has about 54% of Mizos are doing this. Other Churches in the South – Baptists and Evangelicals do not endorse this. So, the day this vigilance group go out of control, not only they will irk the public but also other Churches.

    @B Shantanu: I wonder what an “installation service” means.
    Do you have any idea? Can someone pl. explain?

    I don’t know. I’m not from Nagaland. Our friends from central India like the above users I think will be experts again in commenting Nagaland affairs like they did for Mizoram. :P

    @B Shantanu: re. on comment no.6: So, which party they seem to endorse? In Mizoram, the big players and all the leaders of political parties from Mizo National Front (MNF), Congress (INC), Lok Janshakti, BJP, Maraland Democratic Front (MDF), Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) are all Christians. Of course, political parties – including Cong, MNF and BJP will always assure the Church leaders that they will not have any problem being Christians and they can practice their faith freely.

    Please understand the socio-religious nature of the state first before you can think of commenting on it. Go and study a little bit about the state. There are many websites.

    Besides, I do not belong to the Church that is doing all these good measures during elections. But I’m trying to explain to you – what they did was commendable.

    If you really want to discuss the matter with Mizos, I suggest you to come to Misual.com and Lawrkhawm.com, the two most active community websites from Mizoram. You will get tons of comments, by seeing those you will understand how things may look different from inside. It is appalling to see some users’ comments, who are recklessly commenting on the matter they do not know.

    Will I forgive them for they do not know what they are saying? No pun intended!

  • 17. Indian said:

    @Samsaw

    Its my views and opinion. You dont agree dont, its fine. And where did you see in my comment it is dividing. I think what hurts is truth. And one can do now laugh and see tomorrow one can still laugh at my comment. Because eveyone at the end of the day will accept what happened in Mizoram that whats in my comment. How can you make your own opinion about my comment and represnt it, its dividing?
    And I am not against Mizos but I am against missionaries. No body can stop me from doing that whether you stoop or not stoop. Truth is not going to be changed.

    Jai Hind!

    Jai Hind!

  • 18. Samaw said:

    @Indian, you said, And I am not against Mizos but I am against missionaries.

    Here we are talking about Mizoram and the Church’s role in the election, kindly stay on the topic.

    To me, you sound and hate Missionaries like Pakistanis who simply hate Indians for all the reasons they can make up…

    And kindly make sense when we speak about Mizoram election and the Church role, why do you keep speaking about missionaries. Anything built on hatred are doomed just like Pakistanis who are simply hating Indians…

    You can think of the way you want and stoop to any level to be laughed off by anyone. Who cares? right?

    Jai Hind!

    Jai Hind!

    Jai Hind!

    (Jai Hind! is not only yours signature, remember its for all Indians)

  • 19. Jayadevan said:

    Organized religion does have a duty towards society, which it has usually carried out by siding with the oppressors or washing its hands of the entire issue like Pontius Pilate.
    I will not quote any specific examples here, but it is quite obvious that they have failed us, caused great harm in the past and seem to be in no mood to change. This is partly due to their arrogance – remember the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov and his opinion about free will? Partly due to their greed for power and pelf and the sincere belief that the Church (the word is used in a generic way here, and does not mean only Christians) has to be sustained at all costs, since it has a role to perform. The religion called Communism also failed its followers in much the same way. A newer religion called Sanatana Dharma seems to be going much the same way.

    This duty to serve society is not a favour they are doing us, but is a price they have to pay for the space they occupy.

    There have been individuals who have been able to sway the Church towards doing right – again I will concentrate on Christians here. Martin Luther King – Baptist pastor. Desmond Tutu – Anglican priest. Cardinal Jaime Sin – who was Marcos’ nemesis. The Liberation Theologists (even though the present Pope does not exactly love them). Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo who declared spiritual war on the Mafia, which is now on the run in Italy after centuries of undisturbed power-sharing.

    Ayatollah Khomeini threw out the last Pahlavi emperor, who had usurped power from a democratically elected Government. Swami Agnivesh is extremely unpopular with the powers that be for his work with the poor and unwanted. The Buddhist monks fight for freedom in Burma and Tibet.

    These, unfortunately, are exceptions. This should be the norm, not turning away from their responsibility. I will even include part of the zealots here-those that are doing what they believe is their duty towards society. They might be mistaken, but they are certainly not running away.

    If the Church talks rot, it is for the believers to tell them that on its face. If it infringes on their freedoms, it is for the believers to tell it to either get wiser or go jump in a well. Just as the Church has a duty towards society, the individual also has a duty towards the Church. And this is keeping it on the right path.

  • 20. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Jayadevan: Thoughtful comment…The thing that makes me somewhat uneasy is the implicit assumption that the “duty towards society” includes involvement in politics….More on this later.

    Also, not sure what you meant by “a newer religion called Sanatana Dharma seems to be going much the same way“.

    Would you care to elaborate?

  • 21. Indian said:

    @samsaw

    You must mot care about what i say here. You just stick to what you want to. Dont try to impose your laws and rule on me. Mizoram is all about conversion. I know churches from very near and dear angle. I am repeating again and again. If you think I am off topic disregards my comment. Who forced You to repy?

    And man, that Jai Hind twice was gone mistakenly. And you stooped so low by repeating thrice. That shows how you guys can go low and can misunderstand others views. I am not here to cater your interest here.

    Jai Hind!

  • 22. Indian said:

    It is not new that churches had played a big role in influencing the govt through public. If any changes they want to see in the society they sends out pamplet, educate the public of each households who belongs to that church and pushing govt to work for it. It was very common in the past and in present also one can see many times in many part of the world.

    They do have strong hold on govt. No body can deny that, only those who lives in fools paradise cannot see that. It is the first glimpse of beginning in India. Its good when they restrict themselves to serving the public but the otherside of these churches is –the preists are not naive and goddy goody. They can never preach all religion are same to the public. They cannot digest other thriving religion. Thay are always looking out for strong candidates who can convert. They will keep telling in their magazine and books all other religion are of not use. They are highly racial and discriminatory. Evenglical, Jehova are some of the branches who came under heavily by many all over the world.

    And these is the reason of uneasiness for many.

    Jai Hind!

  • 23. katya said:

    Nobody has managed to come out with anything substantial here. So Mizoram has 87% Catholics. I have known some people from the state and they had informed me about the indigenous tribes of the region. Thus the surprise on reading about a large population being christian.
    Still unsure about the role of the church in the elections; how it is good or bad.
    What about the people there. There is a big difference in liking a religious body for some of their work and disliking the process of conversion.

  • 24. Jayadevan said:

    Shantanu,

    the very idea of a name for what we follow puts me off. It is a Semitic concept that the VHP have managed to get hold of, where there is a book and a set of laws. Sorry, this is hegemony. Soon we will have guys screaming against apostasy and non-Hindu acts. We have a marvellous polyglot religion that manages to incorporate every system of belief – even atheists are Hindus – both the dwaita and adwaita siddhantas (monism and dualism), where we have deities that were never in any Book being worshipped, where Vishnu bears the mark of a kick on his chest as an ornament, where I can combine a knowledge of the Vedas with my worship of my ancestors or Mariamman. I was offered as a slave to Shrirama – by my mother who had great contempt for the way he treated his wife – and bought back my freedom only recently. Can the world ever imagine this? Can the new religion (way of life, they call it) ever accommodate this?

    I am not getting converted to this Judeo-Islamic religion. I will still stay with my old deities, though they do not demand much of me. You want to burn me at the stake, I will go willingly.

    We are uneasy because the past involvement of organized religion (hereinafter called church) has been mostly selfish. And in cahoots with the powers that be – to oppress the people they were supposed to serve. But, does not the robber have a right to become the Adi Kavi? Or rather, does he not have a duty?

    Instead of selling their own brand of soul detergent and interfering in the lives of their own flock with the sole intention of exploiting them, it is time these people started paying off the debt they have incurred over the ages. Not like they have done so far, acting like slumlords delivering the voters to the polling booth, but by inspiring their followers to better things. If it does cause a Brahmana-Kshatriya rift, so much the better. This unholy alliance of the ruler and priest has to end.

    Old age is anecdotage. Remember Sister Alice and Father Dominic George organizing the fisherfolk in Kerala to fight the deep-sea fishing interests who were destroying their livelihood? This was countered in two ways. The RSS moved in among the Hindu fisher folk to poison their minds. The Catholic Church locked them away in a seminary. Out of sight, out of mind. I can’t even Google them now. So you see how the state and the plutocracy and the church come together. Nara Narayana is the seventh puppy – never destined to get milk.

    Which is why I feel that even the hatred spewed by the zealots may turn into a flame that will illuminate. Right now, Islamic militants are puppets in the hands of their masters, the Hindutva guys are still tied to jingoistic nationalism, but do we think that this will last? I come from a rare breed that can appreciate the dedication of Kasab and his lot and the guys who flew the planes on 9/11, and Sadhvi Pragya. Young, clean, dedicated – can we see them at the helm of a positive movement? All that energy and discipline and courage turned to something better than destruction? Fire is fire. It does what you want it to do.

  • 25. Samaw said:

    @Indian, haha… Jai Hind! I guess you never read my comments properly but are more interested in bashing Christians. Who can stop you. All I’m trying to tell you is that the Church that has stepped in to make sure that elections are not dirty had done a good job. I repeat I’m not from that Church that issued the guidelines. Whether religious or not, if someone is doing the right thing why not appreciate. Whether they are RSS, VHP, Church, Islamic bodies, etc, when they do good things, at least we can show our respect and appreciate where they deserve. To me, you sound like you are unhappy on everything about Christians. hm…

    @katya, Catholics in Mizoram perhaps number about 15,000 (fifteen thousand only) out of one million population. That makes them about 1.5% only. The rest are Protestants – (Presbyterians are the most with over 50%, Baptists 25%, Evangelicals 7%, Pentecostal 5%, etc.).

    @Indian, Hindus in Mizoram are government servants from outside Mizoram. They are from Bihar, UP, Tamil ND, MP, etc. No ethnic Mizos are Hindus. Chakmas who form about 8% of the population are Buddhists. If you think missionaries converted all Mizos to Christianity, you are perhaps wrong. First of all Mizos were never Hindus. They were animists. So, don’t be too zealous about your religion. If Hindus came first and preach and teach the good things to Mizos like they did to Manipuris, Mizos too perhaps could become Hindus today. To me, you are trying to harvest what your religion didn’t sow. Christians sow the seed and they harvest here, Hindus sow the seeds in Manipur and they are reaping there too. So, why do you get so mad? Calm down and relax.

    Jai Hind!

  • 26. Kima said:

    lolzzzzz samaw!!!!! I am surprised to see you here! I came across this post by shantanu a couple of days ago, but never imagined it would have become this hot. But then, just like how I expected, the Christian bashers have entered with their usual foray of propaganda and what nots :-) Out comes the usual flurry of accusations like there are gun totting christian missionaries killing all non-christians in the North East, Mizoram Nagaland etc were once Hindu Kingdoms and India has “lost” them to Christianity, Ram spent 4 years in Mizoram etc etc. I’ve given up explaining a loooong time ago because there are just too many of them. Supposedly, it is okhay to rape Hindu women in Mizoram and that Hindu men are locked up in pig sties! Have no clue where or how they get those “information”. Just check out many of such sites or discussion forums and you will know what I am talking about. Subscribing to google alerts for “Mizo” or “Mizoram” itself is enough to read all these crap. And the majority blindly believe what these people write, pumps up their adrenalin, burn a couple of churches and rape a nun or two in “rataliation”. I am proud of you for your explanation, but as for me, I have given up a long time ago.

    I do wish we could just discuss about this election issue shantanu mentioned, but then, I see thats not going to be possible with the quality of comment coming in. :(

  • 27. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Indian, Katya, Jayadevan, Samaw and Kima: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…This is becoming an interesting discussion but one that is in danger of being derailed…

    As Kima suggests, can we please bring this back to the main topic:

    Is it alright for a religious body to get involved in political affairs – directly and overtly – in a country that swears by secularism?

    Pl. stay on the topic. I am fairly lenient with regards “freedom of expression” but this is not the best post to discuss missionaries or conversions…There are other posts on this blog on that issue.

    Thanks everyone/ Pl. continue to contribute. Look forward to a useful discussion.

  • 28. Indian said:

    @ Shantanu
    I have given the information what I have obsereved and experienced. There is potential connection between chruch and their involovement in politics, mainly at places where they are establishing Christ services. So in long coming days we can expect this too. That brought me to the link of conversion.

    @samsaw

    Yes I didnot read your comment where you have used a low words like “stooping”. You got so hurt when I said something about church that made you use all those words. what can I do? Your last comment seems nice. You took time to explain about Mizoram. And you said anything about christian is making me mad. Its your conclusion.Hmm anything against churches can make anyone christian bashers? nice thought! Do you know conversion by missionaries is biggest menace all over the world?. So all that are Christians bashers!

    @ Kima
    Its not about christian bashers. where did I bashed christians? So If I say missionaries and churches are good, quality of the discussion will go up and my love for christian will be proved? Very nice. If you have answer for main topic why dont you explain here without beating around the bush.

    Jai Hind!

  • 29. Rakesh Bharat said:

    @ Shantanu
    “Is it alright for a religious body to get involved in political affairs – directly and overtly – in a country that swears by secularism?”
    Yes.
    I am not 100% sure as I am not involved in any religious movement and neither involved in political movement (apart from voting on regular basis), but we canNOT argue against the debate.
    As there is nothing illegal or immoral about a religious body getting involved in politics, even if we intend to be secular.
    These are debatable points to support my personal view.
    1* There is no legal statement which says that religious people or institute should be out of politics.
    2* Religious body drives the moral of the people. And people drives the moral of the Religious body.
    3* They may be supporting some people or party and does NOT stops anyone else to contest.

    @ against Samaw
    “No ethnic Mizos are Hindus. Biharis, UPs are Hindus”
    The differene between the culture of Bihar, Gujrat, TamilNadu are very vast.
    The same way difference in the culture of Mizoram, Bihar, Bengal are very vast.
    So it’s very hard to say which Heritage culture we follow. By doing an open-minded research only can tell such a thing with clarity. As the term “Hindu” itself has been coined to refer to the “People of Land”.
    Even Bihari or Ups may say that they are not Hindu but they are pure animists and possibly we may run out of arguments to counter it.

    @ support Samaw
    “Sow the seed and they harvest here”
    So it means that as a cultural unit we have to do much better than what we had been doing.
    And since the people knows there own interest well, we have to respect there decision. If a religious body is not good for the people. It is the followers which will take steps to correct it or will get perish.

    Jai Hind

  • 30. Indian said:

    Is it alright for a religious body to get involved in political affair- Why did Obama has to prove tooth and nail that he is christian.

    Jai Hind!

  • 31. Samaw said:

    @Indian said: Why did Obama has to prove tooth and nail that he is christian.

    Because he should not be lukewarm. If he is one, he should say he is, if not he should say he is NOT. People are driven by their religion which drives their thinking. I don’t think US is ready to have a Hindu nor a Muslim President yet. So, do you still think USA is not a secular country? Compare India. We have a Sikh PM and a Christian woman leading the ruling party but it is yet to be fully secular in practice. Being secular is not really about RELIGION which is are so much afraid of, but it is more of how the common people and general public behave in the affairs of the state.

  • 32. Indian said:

    @samsaw

    It is well known norm in US, that conveys very strong message to the public-If you are political aspirant better you be follower of Christianity. And you think it was because Obama should not be lukewarm? I dont agree with you.
    Personally, I am not a big fan of Obama but this is not a point to be against so and so religion where human rights matters.

    You said- US is not ready to have Muslim nor a Hindu President. Is this secular statement? How you qualify a person? by its religion?

    Mind well, I put Jesus in very high regards but I will not like to mix up 2 things. If I am against so called racial, discriminatory, and bias attitude of Christian donesnot make me Christian basher. Though, I am a proud Hindu!

    Jai Hind!

  • 33. Indian said:

    @samsaw

    I missed your point-being secular is not really about Religion—it is how common people and general public behave in the affair of the stste.

    So what are you suggesting? I know very well what you mean. But I would like you to explain more on it. So that I can give my message on this point.

    Jai Hind!

  • 34. patiala said:

    Dear Samaw,

    I wrote facts about the general apathy and non-involvement of the Indian Christian community in the Freedom Struggle. It is a valid and verifiable point and you have shown me no proof to the contrary.

    With the exception of a few, I wonder why most Indian Christians stayed away from the Indian Freedom Struggle? With the exception of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (born of a Sikh convert and a Bengali Christian mother), why don’t we see Christian names in the list of Indian Freedom Fighters?

    It is obvious why – That is because in the pre-independence era, most Indian Christians looked up to the British as their rightful Christian rulers. That is why they didn’t want the British to quit India. So what is wrong with accepting that? When I point out these honest facts, you like to term it ranting. Suit yourself.

    If you look at the Christian Church’s 2000-year old history – The church is verily a political entity, as its core. Christian conversions are aimed at subverting the national identity and making Indians subservient to Western Powers and Euro-American geo-political interests. The lack of participation of the Indian Christian community in the Freedom Struggle proves my point.

    Previously, I did not make any comment anywhere on Indians from North-Eastern states, so please read my previous comment carefully before you make frivolous objections.

  • 35. Pratyush said:

    @ Kima,

    I think you are really sensible in leaving writing in this site. This site’s main objective is Hindu propoganda, which it does in the garb of Nationalist…, reformers,…etc. The moderator Shantanu is an out and out Hindu radical who tries to protray a neutral image of himself. However his real identity is so obvious to the learned and sincere people.

    @ Samaw

    As Kima suggested please do not waste your precious time here. You can wake up some one who is sleeping, but not someone who is pretending to be sleeping; many people here have already made up their minds to be Christian/muslim bashers irrespective of what realities you present. They will not see reason in anything, literally anything you say.

    I stopped reading this site many months back. I checked it today only because I heard of this Mizoram debate here.

  • 36. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Pratyush: Welcome back!

    You missed answering my question at #27…

    In any case, you may find this post interesting (if you have not already read it):

    SECULARISM has its own AGENDA.

  • 37. Indian said:

    @pratyush

    Your message

    Wake up someone who is fool and dumb. Here all are enlightened! Right!

    And can you expalain why being writing about hindu and Hinduism is propoganda?

    And you came here to post this message and you think it cannot be consider as a bashing. Look at yourself first rather than pointing others.

  • 38. patiala said:

    @Pratyush Maharaj

    I beg to differ. I was all set to accuse Shantanu of being a pseudo-secular, anti-BJP Indian chap before your highness stepped in.

  • 39. Samaw said:

    @patiala, if we talk about the Freedom struggle, yes there may not be many Christians in the list. By the way, mind you the no. of Christians is very tiny, if we have someone to name we have to be glad… remember how many Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims also sided with the British at that time? The figure will surprise you. So, its not worth arguing on the past. Why you just want to blame Christians only? Besides, past is past. Now, we must look to the present and future, what can we as Indians do for our country. Will you keep looking at the past mistakes of your brothers if there is any and keep accusing them. This is a sick attitude. We need to heal the wounded, bring them together and build the nation on trusting one another. Otherwise, I’m afraid such negative approach will not bear any +ve result. This is not 1939, this is 2009. It is not too late, we can still wake up and change – it must start within you and me so that we can tell others too. Wot say?

    @Pratyush, I’ll consider your opinion in the near future!

    Jai Hind!

  • 40. Hrishi said:

    @Pratyush, Samaw, and also Kima,

    I’m intrigued why there’s so much defensiveness when it comes to speaking about Church activities…any statement in that direction elicits ‘hurt’ feelings it appears. If the Church has indeed espoused its role as ‘separate from the state’ then it should be easy to discuss it in a when the question of its political role is asked, dont you think?

  • 41. Samaw said:

    @Hrishi, the discussion is on the role of a particular Church in Mizoram; I guess I have given enough explanation on the matter. Kindly read my comments above.

  • 42. Indian said:

    Here everyone is trying to sneak out as early as possible.

    Today in my state many Hindu families readily donate money every year to Mother Teresa foundation branches without being bias. “Mother Teresa” was one who healed the soul and never asked for soul and heart for harvesting her faith during her life time. See the way her activity was appreciated by every single citizen of India and now the same citizens are blamed as christian bashers. Can your churches harvest soul without any malice against Hindu faith? If some one sees the smoke means fire has been ignited.

    If my country is poor and sick or not up to that expectation thats because of many invasions who robbed and made people poor in every possible way.

    Everyone start talking about unity and positve factors in India when they got freaked out by terrorrist from Pakistan. But they cannot fight with their harvesters who asked them not to mingle with those who are pagan, dont support pagan activities, dont engage in debate where they speak ill about christianity, make every efforts to influence on non-christian so they become strong candidte for next harvesting. Harvesters are so insecure that if this new harvested soul get in to debate they will get brain washed or may find out truth about Hinduism. Realy bravo they are! So I am very much in line of topic that if these churches are issuing all this outline to elect candidate than personally I dont see any secularity in it. This was my point and end of discussion.

    Jai Hind!

  • 43. Indian said:

    @Samaw

    I beg your pardon for misspelling your name. I blame my typing.

  • 44. Jayadevan said:

    There is an imputation that the Christians stayed away from the freedom struggle. Quite a lot did, along with Hindus and Muslims. But, if you go to places where they were in a slightly better position in society, like Kerala, you will find quite a lot of them taking part. If you do not know, it is time you found out. And that does not mean a Google search.

    But this sweeping generalization that they thought that George VI was the divinely ordained ruler, is pure hogwash.

    To understand the freedom struggle in those days, you have to understand the different trends of thought that were sweeping through the country at various times. The British were not the only people whom the freedom fighters were fighting against. In fact, the British never ruled the whole of India. Part of it was ruled by proxy, by the Indian rulers, who were also the targets of the freedom struggle. (Paradoxically, the Congressmen agitating against the Travancore Maharaja often found refuge in British Kochi). The Communist Party was fighting against oppressors (who also included Indians). There were agrarian revolts. The land owners (including the great Hindu muths) were wary of the new ideas and tried to keep the people in their influence away from the Congress. A large majority of the educated elite thought that the freedom movement was made up of a rabble which would lower the general tone of the country, administration and most important, deprive them of their privileges. Even most of the freedom fighters were scared of the masses. Most communities were going through turmoil as the younger generation fought against the age-old evils that were in the system. The caste system was very much in place.

    Being a freedom fighter meant almost immediate ostracism from your community. There was never this upswelling of support till the Indians were sure that this half-clad banya Gandhi and his low-caste cohorts could win. No mother was willing to sacrifice her son to certain poverty, a good chance of dying in some faraway jail in the arms of a low-caste, to secure an ephemeral freedom. From what? People hardly saw any British – their government was almost fully Indians. The policemen who oppressed them, their landlords, they were all Indians. How many people in India were literate?

    On top of all this, the vast majority of us had another pressing problem. Earning a living. You had your family to take care of, your sisters to marry off. Could you turn your back on all this and go off to fight for a lost cause?
    Just put yourself in their place? Can you imagine your mother applying tilak on your forehead and sending you off to battle? Most freedom fighters ran away from home and abandoned their families. They were failures as sons, fathers, brothers and husbands.

    It is very easy now to pass judgement on our forefathers. We have privileges we take for granted. Caste is only an association you join to exercise and benefit from nepotism.
    If we have been on the receiving end of a lathi, it was probably in the hands of a traffic policeman. And politics is quite a lucrative profession now.

    Oh, by the way, when I was a small boy, I used to go to A Roman Catholic Cathedral for a special Independence Day service. There were no Swatantrya Pushpanjalis at my temple. I do not remember any special Independence Day namaaz.

  • 45. Reena Singh said:

    Dear patiala,

    You have made an interesting point there – by pointing to an uncomfortable truth. For speaking the bitter truth, you might even have to face the fate of Galileo and Copernicus. But don’t despair. ;)

    Some people will accuse you of being a fundamentalist for digging up the past. But just ignore them.

    “History is not the graveyard of the past. It is the mother of the present and womb for the future. Most current event analysers tend to disregard the history and fail to link the present with the past.” (Quote by Maloy Krishna Dhar)

    An apologist will provide a thousand excuses for AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY not participating in the Indian Freedom struggle. But there is only one reason to participate – and that is loyalty to India. Period.

    The fact remains that Hindus, Sikhs and the numerically insignificant Parsis contributed overwhelmingly to the Freedom Struggle.

    No white-washing can cover up this truth.

  • 46. Samaw said:

    @Reena Singh, I’m sorry to say that your comment isn’t constructive at all. So, by portraying Indian Christians as someone not loyal enough to the country what do you want to achieve, tell me? I admit that the situation at that time (during freedom struggle) might have led them to such situation where they couldn’t participate actively. But will that be still a point till TODAY? What are you trying to achieve TODAY then? Today’s generation are not necessarily like the ppl in the past. Are you trying to force Christians to do anything that will harm the country? You guys need to learn a lot.

  • 47. Jayadevan said:

    Samaw,

    You are joining in a brazen lie here by offering excuses for a hypothetical non-participation by Christians in the Freedom Movement. They did take part in the struggle along with the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, the Parsis, Jains and Buddhists. I remember that even some Jews did.

    Quite a few of them stayed away, along with some of the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, the Parsis, Jains and Buddhists. We have to remember that the majority of Indians did not participate in the Freedom struggle. So where does that leave us? Checking our family history? Inventing relations with some guy who shares the same name, and has a Tamra Patra? Or renaming the park which marks Peer Ali’s martyrdom site in Patna after Deen Dayal Upadhyay? In case you do not know who Peer Ali is, read Savarkar about 1857.

    The name of the blog is Satyameva Jayate. A little bit of honesty here would not hurt anyone.

  • 48. Indian said:

    Would christians and Muslims come out to ban “Cow Slaughter” in India? To prove their loyality or what… to their country where Cow is considerd to be sacred. Or Just brush it aside as a …..Or after some years….We did not knew cow was that sacred at that time?

  • 49. Jayadevan said:

    Oh, I forgot to add the Communists in my listing of religions.

  • 50. Reena Singh said:

    @Samaw, Jayadevan,

    The Truth has no Expiry Date. The Truth Does NOT have to be Buried, just because it is inconvenient. Critical historical events that happened in the 1940s cannot and should not be forgotten.

    The fact remains that the Indian Christians did NOT participate in the Indian Freedom Struggle for religious reasons. Since the Indian Christians believed that that they were better off living under their British co-religionist masters, then it speaks a lot about them.

    The fact remains that even today, the Church in India serves as a willing agent for Western Christian Powers and gets hundreds of millions of dollars every year from their White Christian masters to convert the “Devil Worshipping” Hindus and Sikhs.

    The next time, the India-Haters Inc. (Antonia Maino, Y.Samuel Reddy, Margaret Alva, John Dayal, Cedric Prakash and other Christian fanatics) talk like they own India and have a God-given right to convert/destroy India, then we India-lovers now know how to respond to their machinations and arguments.

    You can read more about the Church’s designs for India here: http://www.ChristianAggression.org

    and here: http://www.CrusadeWatch.org

  • 51. Indian said:

    @Reena Singh

    Good points and sites.

    Little they know about Hinduism. Hinduism has got that strength that it can rise from the ash.

  • 52. Jayadevan said:

    Reena,

    Repeating a lie a thousand times does not make it the truth. Guru Goebbels did not stand the test of time.

    I am waiting for the day you start saying the British were really Bharateeyas who had migrated to Britain in pre-Vedic times. Mohammed, of course was a UP Brahmin who went to Arabia to spread the Shaivite faith and to establish the Shiva temple called the Kaaba. This carpenter’s son, Jesus, had actually come to Bharat to learn philosophy and yoga.

    Sorry, thoda zyaada ho gaya. But our poor old Hinduism has not got all that outdated that it should need the clarion call of “Mazhab ko khatra” like some new-fangled Semitic religion trying to find itself.

    We used to have people from all faiths and sects, from the Rosicrucians to the Brahmakumaris, trying to get us to take their particular brand of mobile connection, coming to our house. My parents would never turn away a travelling salesman. They were, I feel, accumulating good karma for the day their children were pharmaceutical representatives peddling useless formulations and promising doctors kickbacks – those were the only jobs available in those days. We would listen to all of them, discuss points with them, read all their books avidly and leave it at that. We would go to spiritual discourses, attend Gita classes. In the process, we developed a quality that allowed us to have regard and sympathy for the salesmen and a healthy disregard for the poppycock they were peddling.

    This, all considered, was not a bad thing. Instead of filling your mind with all this nonsense, try to see humans as humans. Kul milaake saath sattar saal jeena hai, usmese ek thihayi neend mein, ek thihayi pet ke peeche, baaki rakha hi kya? You want to spend all this time fuming? Hate consumes us faster than any fire. Learn to see the good and appreciate it. There still is a little bit around us.

  • 53. Indian said:

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/2006/11/robertson_says.html

    I know this is not the right place to post this topic but let everyone see and decide who needs love and peace in this world and what is going around us. Little bit good!

  • 54. Jayadevan said:

    Indian,

    Thanks for the post. And I thought that there were pseudoseculars only in India. So there are antinationals in all countries. Posts by Christians corrupted by foreign ideas.

  • 55. Indian said:

    @Jayadevan

    Thanks for watching! My comment is on conversion link.

  • 56. Reena Singh said:

    @JayaGoebbels,

    Sentimental clap-trap chodo, kaam ki baat karo.

    Since, at your age, you seem to have amnesia, I will repeat this again – for your benefit. Show me the proof that Indian Christians participated in the Indian Freedom Struggle, instead of beating around the bush.

    If you cannot show me any proof, I will politely request to please shut your pie-hole.

    My generation of Indians is cleaning up the mess left behind by the likes of you. If it takes me one-third of my life to fight your anti-Hindu propaganda, then so be it.

  • 57. Jayadevan said:

    Reenabehenji,

    You have made the accusations. I am only a foolish old Mallu, who has seen only the small well that is Kerala. As you say, suffering from Alzheimer’s (the unkind call it senile dementia). You could ask some of your Mallu friends. Just look around, and you will know that the Vedas were not written in the local shakha. And of course, all the Mallu Christians were originally Hindus. Do you know that the very first non-Semitic Christian converts were in Kerala, and they were all Nambudiris?

    If you do not want to see the truth, you will never see it. Would you like to define “anti-Hindu” for me? I assume, here, that you would be claiming to be Hindu (or at least, pro-Hindu) yourself.

    I know how you are cleaning up the “mess”. I was very much there in Ahmedabad in 2002 when the “spontaneous outpouring of emotion” took place, with open encouragement from the police and sitting cabinet ministers, with perfectly targeted attacks by gangs who had ready lists of business establishments with Muslim partners. When cutting open a pregnant woman’s stomach and displaying the embryo on the point of a sword was called manliness. When a Hindu trying to protect a Muslim or his property was called a traitor and dealt with accordingly. Did you see the photos of Gaza? The Guptanagar area of Ahmedabad looked exactly like that. except for the fact that the destruction was low-tech and took place in a much more leisurely manner, because the miscreants were told by the police that they had all the time in the world. Where a police inspector assured me, sitting comfortably in his chair at the station (once he was assured by looking at my identity card that I was indeed Jayadevan and not Javed) that they had taken care of “mini Pakistan” (as Juhapura was called). Where, when Juhapura was ringed by armed mobs on the night of the 31st of March (saved from annihilation only by the (untimely?) arrival of the army) the policemen were instructing the mob in Vasna to let the armed people pass through to the front. This much is not denied by anyone. In fact, it is still a matter of pride for the people of Gujarat. If that stupid George Fernandes had not come, you could have said with pride. “kachara saaf ho gaya!”

    The Godhra incident was heinous, pre-planned with the help of the ISI or not. Whatever provocation you have, there can never be any justification for torching innocents. There was bound to be communal rioting after that. I have no objections to people killing each other for the cut of their clothes or the style of their beards. This is as part of our culture as cricket or sex-determination tests or Ravindra Sangeet. What I objected to was the active encouragement given to the Hindu miscreants by the Government machinery. In places (Bhavnagar, for instance) where the timely action by the local SP had prevented the “spontaneous outpouring”, it started with a little delay after he was shifted by the powers that be. The Muslim miscreants were shot. No level playing field. Once a government comes to power, it is not supposed to be exclusively of, for and by the people who voted for it. Unfortunately, you young people have forgotten all these old corrupt norms.

    You know all the answers. There are some guys among the Muslims called the Taleban (students, they call themselves – aap satyarthi bolenge, apne aap ko?)who know all the answers. Aaapka saaf duniya aapko mubarak ho.

    It helps a little bit to question oneself, once in a while. Apun Bhagavan to nahin, hai na?

    Now, I will, as you have so politely requested me to, shut my mouth – I assume that is what you meant by pie-hole ( I do not know all these Americanisms – in fact, the only pies I have seen are in comedy films).

    I am not worried about you or even angry with you. At the age of eighteen, I knew all the answers. Now I am sure that I know the answer of none and I am not even sure of the questions. Just walk around Aham Brahmasmi for some time every day and look at the words from all angles.

    Ishwaran rakshikkatte!

  • 58. v.c.krishnan said:

    Dear Sir,
    HA! HA!. Where did this bullshit of the first converts where Namboodris come about. ENGLISH HISTORY! Then I am sure it must me true Reenaji.
    Please Reenaji, do not argue; It is futile. History does not belong to Hindus; It belongs to The Christian Educated masses and Gobbels. Not Hindus.
    Godhra. The tearing apart of the pregnant woman. The so called SECULARS are still coming forward to prove it. Twice it has been challenged by the NO HISTORY HINDUS History!
    History once again belongs to the English Christian educated masses. Not to Hindus.
    Poor Bhagvan he could not even help his son from being crucified! What he can do now?
    regards,
    vck

  • 59. Indian said:

    @Jayadevan

    You missed very important facts about Godhara. That is brutal death of 59 passenger in a S6 coach. Can you please give some details of it Why it Happened? I will be obliged to know more from you, because it seems you know much more.

    You took care of “mini paistan”. what about that “mini pakistan” in the days before this roits and their activity in the past and in the present when you were not present there?

    Muslims wanted to live with their terms and condition in Gujarat without having any obligation to other faiths and public. Some villages cannot be visited by common public where they have strong majority. Why? What’s cooking up there?

    I have lot of things to discuss. I will be back discussing more on it. Obviously healthy discussion!

  • 60. Krishen Kak said:

    Please check out http://mizoram.nic.in/ – it is a Mizo govt website. The extreme left column of links, under “More Information”, lists “Churches”. Mizoram has a population that today is over 85% Christian.

    Mizoram has Buddhists and Hindus too, but their places of worship are not listed in this official site.

    India has a population that is over 80% Hindu. Should the GOI website list our country’s major Hindu institutions (and none other)? Or would that be considered “communal”?

    If the Gujarat or Madhya Pradesh govt websites listed Hindu institutions (and none other), would that be considered “communal”?

    Yes, in Nehruvian-secular minority-appeasing India.

  • 61. B Shantanu (author) said:

    The latest from Mizoram, an excerpt from Mizoram assembly poll advanced to November 25, 18 hours ago , By PTI
    Counting postponed by a day to December 9
    The Election Commission on Wednesday changed the Mizoram assembly election schedule by advancing the polling on November 25 and postponing the counting by a day to December 9.

    The polls to elect the 40-member state assembly were earlier slated on December 4 and counting was to take place on December 8.

    The decision to advance poll dates in Mizoram was taken by EC after political parties, NGOs and religious organisations petitioned it with a request in this regard.

    Political parties, churches and NGOs had sought a change in the dates of polling and counting of votes saying the earlier polling day coincided with the time when the Mizoram Synod, the highest decision-making body of the Presbyterian, will hold state-wide conference in Aizawl and wanted that counting should not be held on a Sunday, a sacred day for Christians…

  • 62. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Excerpts from Mizoram polls: The politics of religion is on the wall, in posters by Adam Halliday, Aizawl | Wed Nov 13 2013:
    …With the battle to form Mizoram’s seventh government taking a turn towards identity politics, the two main parties — Congress and Mizo National Front — have tried to outdo each other in a curious way; show through pictures that leaders of the other party have worshipped in and attended ceremonies of other religions.

    One of the MNF’s main poll planks this election is based on exploiting sentiments of the largely Christian Mizos against four-time Congress Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who has on several occasions taken part in pujas while visiting other states, sporting a tilak on his forehead at one ceremony he attended with his wife.

    The MNF began work on the strategy months ago, even taking out a massive rally in Aizawl to protest the CM’s “bowing before other gods” and has since not missed any opportunity to take potshots at the CM, constantly exploiting the Christian belief that idol-worship is unacceptable.

    Sensing the mood, the MNF, while announcing its second and final list of candidates for the November 25 polls a week ago, distributed brochures carrying photographs of the CM and his wife attending Hindu ceremonies, including lighting a lamp in front of an idol of Durga, cracking open coconuts at a ceremony and the CM’s mugshot with a tilak on his forehead.

    “We are not condemning the CM following another religion, it is his right. But he must keep in mind that it is because the leader of this land has committed a sin against God that the land has seen many tragic incidents. As the Bible says, the sins of the leader will lead to tragedies for the land,” the brochure reads, subtly referring to the natural disasters that have hit the state over the past few years.

  • 63. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Excerpts from Church-backed watchdog body has its own poll rules by Vishant V Agarwala, TNN | Nov 14, 2013:

    ..
    The election process has a sense of divine edict about it. The Church pushed the Election Commission to reschedule polling and counting dates to accommodate the Presbyterian Church’s fiveday Synod despite chief electoral officer Ashwani Kumar’s protests; counting was postponed by a day to December 9 because ‘Sunday is meant for prayers’. Not just that, the clergy also plays virtual election commission. The Church has issued a four-page list of do’s and don’ts for voters and candidates. Apart from the honesty and harmony bits, it says: “Refrain from voting for those who drink or have extra-marital sex.” With almost 70% of Mizoram following the Presbyterian Church, no party rubs them the wrong way.

    Mizoram People’s Forum, a Church-sponsored watchdog formed in 2006, has signed a 27-point ‘MoU’ with major political parties, including the ruling Congress and BJP, to ensure a ‘free and fair’ election.

    While the EC’s lauded the MPF’s role, many question the religious body’s role in a democratic process.

    “Elections should remain secular . The scenario in Mizoram is like that of 18th century Europe when religious doctrine got mixed up with political administration,” says Lallianchhunga, assistant professor of political science, Mizoram University. “Would similar orders issued by another religious body in another part of India be accepted by the politicians?” he asks. “Going by this logic, we shouldn’t have elections on Fridays and Tuesdays either because they are holy days for some religions.”

    College-goer Nghaka believes MPF is a Frankenstein in the making . “What authority does it have to issue guidelines beyond those issued by the EC? We’re supposed to elect leaders, not saints. Some of the best leaders in world history – including Churchill and Kennedy, one a heavy drinker and another known for extra-marital affairs – would never have been able to contest elections in Mizoram.”

  • 64. Prahalad Appaji said:

    I am surprised some are wondering when Mizoram became 87% Christian. Do they know Nagaland is 90% Christian. Many don’t know that most of the Terrorist organizations in NE are Christian, funded by Western Churches, have been on terrorising conversion spree for last 50 years….

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/preaching_in_indias_northeast_for_cultural_preservation.htm

    Next stage after coversions is breaking India. “Nagalim for Christ” movement in Nagaland has been gathering storm for several years now. Establishing some kingdom of god by breaking India is their plan all over India.

    http://www.breakingindia.com/

  • 65. B Shantanu said:

    Meanwhile, in far-away Mizoram where the opposition Mizo National Front has been protesting against the (Christian) CM “bowing before other gods”, five-time CM Lal Thanhawla hits back against the opposition’s attack on him for sporting a tilak..by saying “I wiped away the tilak on my forehead after the function…” [http://j.mp/1h0uHPF]
    Jai Ho, “Secular” India…

    Also read http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/09/08/no-tilak-to-work/

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