Today, the 73rd Republic Day of our country, is one more occasion to celebrate our prowess and proficiency in different sectors of our journey together. Traditionally, it has also been an occassion to take stock of the strides that we have taken in-country and in the world.
In the last year, we have supposedly done well in many areas of our history as a nation. In some other areas we have not done as well as we would have wanted to.
Unequal distribution of wealth, differentiated access to rights and privileges, challenges to dignity of life, culture, and heritage of the religious minorities, socially disadvantaged ethnic communities and the economically disprivileged persons however continue to haunt the journey of our destiny. Today is yet another opportunity to pull ourselves together to address what lies ahead of us and achieve it together.
The Christian Gospel teaches us to fashion ourselves and the environment around us on the terms of the conditionalities of ‘the least, the last and the lost’. This approach among other things is certain to further build common resources and thus safeguard against transfer of public assets for personal gain/ private profit.
The Gospel also requires that we network with all those who are similarly oriented irrespective of faith and belief. There are several activists, academics, economists, civil servants, politicians and concerned citizens belonging to all faiths and beliefs who are working on these lines orienting our thinktanks, our planners, also the executive and the enforcement on the terms and conditionalities of the persons pushed to the bottom of the ladder.
There is an urgent need to cultivate this basic ethos amongst all peoples, and ward against alternates that promote prosperity for all but cultivate it otherwise – where there is further impoverishment because of organised loot and thus disproportionate growth.
The need is also to hold each other and all the arms of our governance accountable. It is time now to orient ourselves on our civil and political rights in order that the debates on rights and privileges of unique and diverse individuals, groups and communities will not be derailed toward affirming ‘majoritarian’ privileges of the small numbers of the unduly privileged.
Let us as members of nationally networked historic and traditional churches in this country along with all related agencies, regional ecumenical councils and christian organisations, individually and together as the National Council of Churches in India, renew afresh our commitment ‘to discern, be informed and be dictated’ by the agenda of the masses, their dreams and aspirations. And let our good work, along with those of all other like-minded individuals, groups and communities, continue to be a light to the nation.
Let us rise to bless India. God bless India . . .
Rev. Asir Ebenezer
National Council of Churches in India