Church of North India Refuses Iftaar Party Invitation of President of India
To express solidarity with the suffering Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh and the inaction of Governments to curb the violence perpetrated against the minorities communities in India, Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan, General Secretary of the Church of North India turned down the invitation sent to him by Her Excellency Mrs. Pratibha Patil, the Honorable President of India to the Iftaar Party being organized by her on 19th September 2008 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
In his letter sent to the President on 16th September 2008, Rev. Pradhan wrote “I regret to intimate to your office that I have decided not to join you in the Iftaar Party expressing my solidarity with thousands of Christians who are suffering and are being killed. When thousands of my fellow brothers and sisters are homeless, traumatized, terrified and hungry, how can I celebrate Iftaar Party with you?” groaned Rev. Pradhan.
He also vented out his displeasure at the inaction of State Government of Orissa and also of Union Government to restrain the violence mentioning “A few hooligans, to achieve their political agenda, is busy in destroying the secular fabrics of our country. We have reminded your High Office to take appropriate action as the custodian of the Constitution of India. But we are sorry that our expectations from your Government and your High Office are reducing each and everyday. In a situation so created by the fundamentalists to establish monoculture of religion how can we come as a community that celebrates unity in diversity? The flames of this antinational and anti-constitutional act have now spread to the South Indian States of Karnataka and Kerala. When your Government has failed to tackle forces of fanaticism and Talibanism, how as a representative of the suffering community I can celebrate Iftaar with you?”
Earlier Rev. Pradhan had received an invitation from the President to the Iftaar Party (fellowship dinner) which is organized by the President of India inviting dignitaries from different political parties, leaders of minority and faith communities, artists, bureaucrats and other guests. Rev. Pradhan, who was invited as a leader of Christian community, has sent a clear message to the President that Church is always with the suffering and the hungry masses transforming their lives to a fuller humanity.
In the meantime, the President has cancelled the Iftar Party that was scheduled on 19th September 2008 due to recent Bomb Blasts in New Delhi which killed 30 and left nearly 80 people severely injured. The Church wish the reasons of cancellation included the killing of Christians in different part of India which has taken the death to 40 making thousands of Christians homeless.