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Speech

India is heading towards communalism. I state this not just because I believe it but also
because it is a matter of grave concern. Communalism in simple words is to promote your
own culture, language, etc. But that's not all. It is also the denial of other cultures, languages,
etc. It is to form an exclusive community which consciously threatens others but
unconsciously feels threatened by others. This is the cause of concern. Allow me to
substantiate my point.
1) At the national level we see our right wing political parties trying to suppress minority
communities. For them, only those men and women are "Indian" or "Bharatiya" whose
"Janmbhumi and "Karmbhumi" is India or Bharat so to say. Though most of us here are
certainly born here, i.e. our Janmbhumi is India; however, our Karmbhumi is not India. For
Christians it is Jerusalem while for Muslims it is Micha. So by their standards we are not
"Indian" and should subordinate to their rule as we are foreigners living in "their" land.
2) Within our Catholic community itself, we see parishes being tagged as "East Indian parish"
or Manglorein parish or Tamil parish. This is very disheartening. Each of these communities
is exclusive and is threatened by the other. There are heated fights in parishes and if matters
seem cool then you can be rest assured that this is a "cold" war among the communities. We
may know of instances where the parish priest has been threatened by the members of these
communities. If decisions are taken which do not favour "them", they enter into the parish
office in large numbers of 30-40. What can the poor parish priest do now?
And thus I say, if nothing is done about this, if people are not taught to be inclusive and to be
at ease with the other and not threatened then again I say it. "India is headed towards
communalism" and the future does not seem very good.

Lawrence Veigas
Room No. 425

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