Sena Praises Christians' Role in Freedom Struggle; Counters BJP MP

Published 16 July 2018  |  
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Christian population in Arunachal Pradesh rose from less than 1% in 1971 to more than 30% in 2011 while Manipur saw a rise from 19% in 1961 to more than 41% in 2011.

In response to the Mumbai BJP MP Gopal Shetty's controversial remarks against Christians, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has praised the Christian community for its role in India's freedom movement in an article that was published on July 15 in Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece.

This is a rare display of communal harmony shown by the extreme right wing political party.

Raut lauded the Christian community's role in defence forces since India's Independence. He said Vyomesh Chandra Bannerjee, who presided over the inaugural session of the India National Congress (INC) in 1885, and Christodas Pal who wrote a fiery piece in 'Hindu Patriot' in 1874, demanding Home Rule for India, were Christians.

He also added that Kali Charan Bannerjee had set up an organization of Christians to wage a battle against the British Raj and Joseph Baptista, a lawyer from Uttan, near Bhayander, had defended Lokmanya Tilak in a sedition case.

Last week, Shetty had alleged that Christians are 'angrez' (British) and did not contribute to the Indian freedom movement.

"Shetty's knowledge of history is weak," said Raut.

"Peter Alvares and F M Pinto from Mumbai were in the forefront of India's Independence struggle," he added.

Christians from Arunachal Pradesh had revolted against the Chinese in the 1962 war, said Raut.

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