Is it Right for Christians to Say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”?

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Fifteen years ago, if someone had predicted a national controversy about the phrase “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Victory to Mother India), I would have shelved that idea with other revolutionary and fanciful notions like “Batman exists” or that “God does not exist”.

Who would have ever thought. In a controversy that had embroiled popular political figures like Mohan Bhagwat of the RSS, Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM, Baba Ramdev of the Patanjali and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, our nation (or at least our nation’s blogosphere, Twittersphere and “newsphere”) was buzzing through with variants of the question –
Can any Indian citizen choose not to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai!” ?
If not, aren’t such people anti-national?

Should this debate concern Indian Christians?
I think it should concern anyone who is part of a religious minority in our country.

Barely a few weeks ago, Muslim youth from a Delhi Madrassa were beaten up by some men allegedly because they refused to say this potent phrase. The cops have claimed that there are conflicting versions about what the victims of the attack were asked to say – “ Victory to Mother India” or “Victory to the Mother”, which is Jai Mata Di, a worship chant for Vaishno Devi, a Hindu goddess popular in North India.

At a sadbhavana sammelan (compassion rally) in Haryana, Baba Ramdev said that but for the law, he would have chopped heads of those who refuse to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai“.

He now has a police complaint registered against him for making a hate speech. It is yet to be seen what legal action would be taken against a prominent pro-Hindutva guru in these times. But my point is – if an Indian citizen who is a Christian refuses to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, it is quite possible that he or she shall face no small repercussion in India’s tangible summer of religious intolerance.

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So, is it right for Christians to say this phrase?

3 Ways Christians could respond to the “Bharat Mata ki Jai” demand Continue reading “Is it Right for Christians to Say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”?”

Moganlal vs Shoganlal – An Independence Day Story.

Once upon a time there lived two brothers in the country of Azad, named Moganlal and Shoganlal.
Not one family in Azad has forgotten the fateful day when the two brothers faced each other in court. But that story has to wait until we hear the story of Azad’s freedom.

The cost of Azad’s freedom
The prosperous and famous nation of Azad had various governors ruling over them who sold their land, their people and their freedom into the hands of a foreign superpower for personal benefit. This superpower, for decades and decades, oppressed them, plundered away their resources, almost ruined this beautiful nation and had laid heavy taxes on them.

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Anything for freedom, Credits

The people of Azad hated their slavery. Many of them often tried to fight the superpower, but were no match to the enemy’s schemes. The ruling powers always overthrew them with manipulation.
There was always some price that Azad-wale were willing to pay to let their slavery continue. It could be money, women, free bungalows or even free wi-fi for life. Continue reading “Moganlal vs Shoganlal – An Independence Day Story.”

Open Letter to Our Home Minister: From A Happy Beneficiary of Religious Conversion

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Dear Shri Rajnath Singh ji,

I am glad that you have been placed in the right place and time to serve our great nation as our Home Minister. Recently, your statements seemed to ease increasing fears among minority communities. I am deeply thankful that unlike certain organisations, you view minorities as patriots.

At the same time, you also said, “Do we need to impose the supremacy of our faith over others? Can’t we decide that serving humanity is fine, but why do people have to be converted to another faith? Why are religious conversions being carried out?

I am bit confused as to how these questions supports freedom to propagate one’s religion as per Article 25 of our Constitution. I am hoping you only meant- Why are false conversions being carried out?

I understand if your angst is against false conversions- I share the same feeling. It is unfair when people use religion as a tool for unjust gain. So I have enjoyed recent movies like PK which challenge false spirituality which sadly exists in Bharat.

But Rajnath ji, did you know that genuine conversion is a purifying and lovely experience? Oh, how can I explain this in just writing!

Aam Aadmi, Article 25, Bharat, BJP, Christian thankful for India, conversion, Freedom of propagation of religion, ghar-wapsi, India, Indian Constitution, Rajnath Singh, religions, Thank God we have a Constitution, Ujjwal Bharat, Honourable Home Minister, genuine conversion is an act of God, genuine conversion is awesome, happy beneficiary of religious conversion
Oh, the joy !

Since I have experienced only conversion to the Christian faith, allow me to briefly show how my conversion was  beneficial for me- Continue reading “Open Letter to Our Home Minister: From A Happy Beneficiary of Religious Conversion”

How The Republic Day is Connected to Movies, Conversions and Your Daily Life.

Anyone who has grown up in the last few decades in India would usually become nostalgic when Republic Day is celebrated on 26th January in India. Case in point- a dear family from Marg Wanowrie church, while on a trip to Sinhagad Fort in Pune today, remembered with fondness the morning parades in their schools and the National parade in Delhi which happens each year. With them, I too remembered the Flag hoisting at my schools, receiving the boondi ladoos and samosas (this I must admit, was what I anticipated the most!) and running back home to watch the parade in Delhi, with all its multi-cultural beauty and prowess on National television. I would look with awe as massive Army trucks and missile systems rolled by- wow!

But there is more to a nation’s Republic Day than fun trips & nostalgia. If you look up “Republic Day India” on Wikipedia, the first line goes – “Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.”

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“Freedom never comes for free”

A lot of sweat and guts went behind the labour of securing India’s freedom, but it would have all been in vain if the Constitution was not laid out- a book compiled by individuals, not claiming perfection- yet who ensured basic freedoms and scope for overall development.

This is cause for a good celebration, don’t you think? The Constitution of India, which is the ‘reason for this season’ is the cornerstone and the law-book this nation of a plethora of religions, castes, cultures and economic classes, pledges allegiance to. You cannot live in this nation while flouting this book- at least not for too long.

Is this a feel-good post that claims India can celebrate the Republic Day because all is well with our state? No. There is enough trouble on our platter- sinful nature rears its head in many ways. But-

Do you have the freedom to belong to any religion or faith you like?

Are you able to live without a shameful public life and foreign oppression because you are an Indian?

Can you choose to get an education in a field of your choice?

Do you have a job that helps meet the ends?

Can you watch movies like P.K, speak your opinion, travel in public transport, choose a government and use electricity and water?

If yes, you can thank God India has a Constitution. If you are really thankful about the reason behind Republic Day, leave a comment here to let others know.