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
Woman immolates herself in land grab protest
Farmers' suicide threat becomes fatal realityPolice had to forcibly retrieve the woman's body from protesters
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhopal
- November 16, 2012
A farmers’ protest against acquisition of their land has intensified with a woman setting herself ablaze and a man swallowing poison. For the last week, farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s Katni district have been perching on unlit pyres, threatening to immolate themselves, if their land is acquired by the state for an upcoming power project. Sunia Bai carried out the threat on Tuesday. Police used force to seize her decomposed body yesterday when angry villagers refused to part with it. Many protesters, including women, children and elderly people, were injured in the police baton charge. The body was later cremated under police protection with her husband performing the last rites. Sunia Bai’s family had been told by government officials and a representative of Welspun Energy, the power contractor, that there would be dire consequences if they failed to vacate their one hectare smallholding. According to her family members, the land registered in the name of Welspun without their consent. The 25-year-old who consumed poison as a gesture of protest has been taken to hospital, where his condition is described as critical. In the course of the week-long protest, 50 people have been taken into custody but Makrant Deousker, the district inspector general, said the situation is now peaceful and under control. More than 230 farming families in the area are affected. The company requires 526 hectares of land for the project, of which it has acquired more than 300 hectares. For the remainder, the government has decided to acquire land from existing smallholdings, but the farmers allege that it is doing it without their consent by classifying the land as barren.