Book on Anti-Christian Riots in Kandhamal released

NEW DELHI, India – On April 8 2009, a well-known journalist Kuldip Nayar released a book Kandhamal — a Blot on Indian Secularism, which deflates the claim that Kandhamal carnage and mayhem of 2008 were spontaneous Hindu reaction to the assassination of a swamiji there.

Written by Anto Akkara, also a journalist, the book (Media House, Delhi) has graphic reproduction of the zig-zag route of the funeral procession taken out in defiance of curfew which was a ploy to whip up communal frenzy in the area.

The funeral procession on this route stretched over two days instead of the short route. And it ended up with three-fourth of the houses destroyed, 75 Christians killed and 250 churches and Christian institutions damaged.

Nayar said the well-written book has made an objective analysis of the events and vividly described the happenings which became a blot on India’s secular credentials.

Real picture

“The book gives you a real picture of certain forces in the country. While earlier Muslims and Sikhs were targeted, now their attention has been focused on Christians”, he added.

Social worker Swamy Agnivesh said while human rights activists and even Union minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal were not allowed to enter Kandhamal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia was permitted to lead the funeral procession.

He said the book, which has exposed the fundamentalists and their agenda of attacking a small minority community, was a wake-up call to all those who were keen on protecting the secular fabric of the country.

Akkara said the national media forgot the Kandhamal carnage after initially reporting on it. “The Kandhamal genocide was a shocking episode in the annals of Indian democracy”, he said adding that 50,000 people have become refugees after the carnage.

Seven months after the attack, only 633 have been arrested although 11,340 were named in the chargesheets.

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