The contribution of Christian missionaries and religious sisters to the social development of India – be it education, healthcare or employment generation – is exemplary and undeniable. Thanks to their unrelenting spirit, today Indians and India are shining on the world map. The educational and healthcare facilities provided by them are on par with that in the developed world. If it weren’t for Sabeer Batia, common man would not have had access to email services. While Sundar Pichai, Sathya Nadella and Indra Nooyi have made India proud, companies like Infosys and TCS are a force to reckon with. All these people have had the influence of Christian missionaries at some point in their life.
However, in the past decade, fundamentalist forces have repeatedly targeted minorities, dalits and the marginalised in the guise of nationalism. In the era of social media and rampant fake news, the destructive forces within the country have left no stone unturned to destroy the social fabric of this country – Manipur being the latest victim. The widespread violence – as per official figures – has left nearly a hundred dead and rendered thousands homeless. In order to prevent the outside world from knowing the ground reality, the communication systems have either been blocked or censored.
To show solidarity with the Christians of Manipur who are still being persecuted, the Federation of Likeminded Organisations, Mangalore; Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh ®; and United Christian Forum, Mangalore organised a protest on Tuesday, 6th June 2023 at 4.30 pm at Clock Tower.
Mr. Roy Castelino in his introductory address gave a bird’s eye view of the situation in Manipur. Rev. Fr Faustine Lobo elaborated on how things unfolded in Manipur. Mr. Muneer Katipalla, Rev. Sr Cecilia Mendonca, Mr. Lawrence D’Souza, Mr. Stany Lobo, Mr. Sukumar Thokkottu and Mr. Harish Kumar spoke about the ulterior motives and hidden agenda of the current administration in the country.
Nearly two thousand likeminded people from the district, irrespective of their religious affiliation, participated in the protest and expressed solidarity with the people of Manipur. The programme was compèred by Mr. Sunil Bajal.