British paper urges immediate central action to halt Orissa violence

October 11th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghLondon, Oct 11 (IANS) Declaring that the Manmohan Singh government is “unwilling or unable” to intervene in stopping anti-Christian violence, a leading British daily Saturday called for immediate deployment of federal troops in Orissa and the arrest of Hindu militants.The Times, in a editorial titled ‘India’s Shame’, named the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal as the forces behind the carnage in Orissa.

It said neither the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government nor the one in Orissa had moved to quell the spreading violence, in which 300 Christian-majority villages had been destroyed, 4,400 houses burnt, 50,000 people made homeless and 59 Christians killed and 18,000 injured since Aug 24.

“Dr [Manmohan] Singh should need no prompting from the Vatican or concerned Christian groups in the West. An effective federal police force should be sent to Orissa and swiftly deployed. Instigators should be arrested and curfews imposed. And all India should resist this attempt to destroy the very basis of its polity and prosperity: its democracy and diversity. Without tolerance, both count for little,” the newspaper said.

“The attacks on the Christians are a national disgrace, the more despicable because many were once lower-caste Hindus who changed their faith to escape a life of servitude and humiliation. Unless this persecution is quickly halted, its scale could grow and spread,” it added.

“The 2002 massacre of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat exposed the ever-present danger of communal violence when exploited by demagogues.”

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