Statement issued ‘Secular Cultural Action’ convention, 28 December 1998 to 1 January 1999


The burning down of two churches in the Surat district of Gujarat on December 29 is yet another reprehensible episode in the Sangh Parivar’s campaign against the Christian minority. Such attacks violate all canons of civilized conduct; they also represent a blow against our secular Constitution. Yet, while the perpetrators of such attacks, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, openly announce their plans of persisting with them, the Gujarat government, far from carrying out its constitutional duty of bringing the culprits to book, continues blithely to maintain that the situation is ‘normal and peaceful’. The central government not only turns a blind eye to these attacks but even downplays their significance.


We condemn these attacks on the Christian minority in the strongest possible terms; we demand that the governments in Gujarat and at the Centre fulfil their constitutional duty of providing security to the Christian minority; we urge all democratic people to stand up and act against the insidious designs of the Hindu communalists who are out to subvert the secular foundations of our polity.