Arunachal Christians Protest BJP Govt 'Promoting' Indigenous Faith

Published 23 October 2017  |  
(PTI)

Church in Arunachal Pradesh has asked the government to renounce its decision to protect and preserve indigenous faiths and culture of the state by setting up a separate department.

The Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) has demanded Chief Minister Pema Khandu to roll back the decision "because it is clear favour for and promotion of one particular faith."

"The state government is trying to show clear favour to and thereby promote one particular faith, which is gross violation of Article 27 of the Constitution. Ours is a secular country and the state cannot promote one particular faith by using tax-payers' money," said Toko Teki, general secretary, ACF.

ACF has submitted a memorandum to Khandu several weeks ago. The forum has demanded the government to make a clear stand by Oct. 25.

"If we do not get any positive response from the government, then we will resort to a series of peaceful protests. We have already given an ultimatum to the chief minister on October 13," said Teki, according to Indian Express.

Khandu had approved the establishment of a new department called Department of Indigenous Faith & Cultural Affairs (DIFCA) on Aug. 11. He maintained that "the indigenous communities of the state are fast getting disconnected with their rich culture and languages due to globalization, exposure and external influences," and thus "calls for specific steps to preserve and protect them from disappearing into oblivion."

"Creation of an independent department to look after preservation, protection and promotion of the rich indigenous cultural heritage of the state is a right step in the wake of fast changing world. We cannot let our indigenous culture just fade away like many in the world," read an official statement quoting Khandu on Aug. 11.

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