Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Hindu groups dismiss terror allegation
Minister's comments prompt angry protests
- ucanews.com reporters, Ahmedabad and New Delhi
- January 24, 2013
India's main opposition party is calling for a nationwide protest today, after the home minister told media outlets that right-wing Hindu groups were promoting terrorism.
The government has “an investigation report that – be it the RSS or BJP – their training camps are promoting terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this,” home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Sunday. The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is a right-wing Hindu nationalist group that has been accused of being an extremist and paramilitary organzation.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) says the statement was an insult to all Hindus. It is demanding Shinde’s resignation, as well as an apology from the ruling Congress party leaders.
Meanwhile, some non-Hindus have called for action against terrorism training camps in light of Shinde’s comments.
"If the federal government knows some organizations are running terror camps or are involved in terror activities, it should immediately take strict action,” Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, a rights activist based in Gujarat, said Tuesday.
He said the link between some organizations and terrorism was “nothing new,” although he objected to the phrase “Hindu terrorism.”
People connected with hard-line Hindu organizations were arrested for involvement in several attacks, including the Samjhauta train bombing in February 2007, the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad in May 2007, and the Malegaon blasts in July 2008.
A BJP politician was convicted for his involvement in anti-Christian riots in Kandamahal in 2008, Father Prakash said.
Radical Hindu groups also targeted tribal Christians living in forest areas of Gujarat, particularly the Dangs district, in 1998 to 1999.
Father Xavier Manjooran, who offers legal help to tribal people in the central and south Gujarat regions, pointed out that only a few people are engaged in terror action and it is wrong to use the phrase "Hindu terrorism."
He wanted the government to take "concrete steps to dismantle the camps of terrorism instead of only making speeches."
Father Joseph Appavoo, director of Kheda Social Service Society in Gujarat, echoed Fr Manjooran’s words, saying, "Shinde has spoken truth but he did not say anything about what government proposes to do.”