Democracy: Debate, Dissent, Discussion and Decision

Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh – President, NCCI.

In the life of States, organizations and movements decision making is an ongoing life process. History has witnessed many forms of governance and decision making. Kingship, autocracy, oligarchy, and democracy are some of them. The world has suffered from tyrant kings and reckless autocrats. Kingship has disappeared from many nations though many of the Middle Eastern countries are even now ruled by Kings and Sheikhs. For that matter, our own country emerged as a union of many small kingdoms.

Of all the forms of governance, democracy has been tested and found the best form of government. Democracy is government of the people by the people for the people. Our country is world’s largest democracy.

However, early church had a much simpler form of governance. They gathered together spent time in prayer and made decisions in one mind, probably guided by the elders. Their appointments and nominations were by casting lots. As the church grew up most of the mainline churches adopted democracy as their form of governance. Now CNI, CSI, MarThoma and many other churches are fully democratic. Yet, we cannot boast that our democratic process is without flaw. In many cases we fail to observe that salient features of democratic decision making process.

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A Moment of Introspection and Reflection

Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh – President, NCCI.



We have come together for the annual meetings of NCCI and CSA. As President I take this time to greet you all and welcome you to these sessions of deliberations. This is also an occasion of our mutual accountability. This responsibility will be carried out officially through the reports of the General Secretary, Treasurer and the secretaries and directors who are in charge of various activities of our great ecumenical movement. What I wish to do is to take a moment to introspect and reflect on our work during the past year. This, as you know, is a spiritual exercise which will provide a focus to our deliberations.

I wish to place before you a question around which we can do our introspection. How faithful and effective were we in fulfilling our quadrennial commitment of building up just and inclusive communities? We have completed sixteen months since the quadrennial meeting in Jabalpur. After observing and participating in many meetings, consultations and conversations since then, with appreciation I can say that we have made good progress in enhancing inclusivity.

Let us have a look at the development of our understanding of inclusivity. About two decades ago, NCCI’s agenda of inclusivity was very traditional. NCCI itself has been an umbrella of ecumenism for its member churches. Slowly the umbrella became larger to accommodate Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelicals with a new name NUCF. Side by side we had also occasions of dialogue with people of other faiths. Our understanding of gender equality was limited to giving equal status to men and women. Even for that, we did not succeed in giving equal status to men and women in all the member churches of NCCI.

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Supreme Court gives India a Private Life

A landmark decision was made by the Supreme Court on 24th August 2017. Here is a report from The Times of India, Ranchi Edition of 25th August 2017: 


63-Yr-Old Judgement Overturned

by Dhananjay Mahapatra & Amit Anand Choudhary TNN

New Delhi: Propelling India into the ranks of progressive societies that ensure privacy of their citizens, a nine-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled on Thursday that privacy is a fundamental right, protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty and as part of the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. In a historic judgment, the bench headed by CJI J S Khehar — which included Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer — upturned a 63-year-old ruling of an eight-judge bench that had refused to recognise privacy as a fundamental right. The 547-page ruling set up many landmarks to outline what constitutes a dignified life and the obligation of the state to help its citizens lead one.

It emphasised the value of dissent and tolerance, besides the rights of minorities, including sexual minorities, clearing the way for the possible voiding of the SC’s controversial order to reverse the decriminalisation of consensual gay sex by the Delhi high court. It also boldly delineated the limits to the state’s intervention in the lives of citizens. (emphasis added)

However, the bench was alive to the challenges thrown up by technology and recognised that a balance needs to be maintained between the right to privacy and the right of the state to impose reasonable restrictions on it for legitimate aims such as national security, prevention and investigation of crimes and distribution of welfare resources.

What stood out was privacy being declared intrinsic to right to life and that it formed part of the sacrosanct chapter on fundamental rights in the Constitution, which has been regarded since 1973 as part of the basic structure, immune from Parliament’s interference. The unanimous verdict was “Right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as part of the freedoms granted by Part III

The NCCI is committed to work towards just and inclusive communities. In the spirit of the Constitution of India, we affirm the fundamental rights of all, and in the context of the above SC ruling, the right to dignity of life for all.

Jharkhand Church and Civil Society Leaders condemn Advertisement of Government

12th August 2017, Saturday

Press Statement

Issued by Jharkhand Solidarity Forum, Religious Organisations and Civil Society Organisations

We the members of Jharkhand Solidarity Forum, Religious Organisations, and Civil Society Organisations, protest and condemn the advertisement issued by the Information and Public Relations department of the Jharkhand government, published on 11th August 2017, on the front pages of Prabhat Khabar, Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar and other newspapers.

This advertisement is an attempt to disrupt and damage the religious harmony and brotherhood between various communities and the Adivasi community by accusing the Christian community of conversions and using the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, without understanding the context.

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, believed in all religions and was strictly against dividing people on the basis of religion. Using his name to divide people is an insult of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Along with this, it is also a conspiracy by the state government to divide the people on the basis of religion. Together, we warn the state government that we will not let any such attempt by the state, to be successful.

We are against forcible conversions and we believe that the state government should not indulge in the politics of dividing people using forcible conversions as an excuse. We believe that religion is a matter of a person’s individual faith and belief and that the state should not unnecessarily intervene into that domain. Secondly, we also believe that all citizens have the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion according to their conscience as provided by the constitution.

This is a first incident of its kind where a state government is dividing people on the basis of religion especially Christians and minorities. Whereas it is the duty of the state to unite people, this government is misusing government machinery and public money to divide people. We strongly protest and condemn this step taken by the government, which is a hindrance in obtaining a peaceful and democratic society.

Released in Public Interest by Jharkhand Solidarity Forum, Religious Organisations and other Civil Society Organisations.


Kendriya Sarna Samiti Jamiatul Ulema e Hind Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum
All Churches Committee Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas Adivasi Mahasabha
Jharkhand Solidarity Forum Sikh Fedration Jharkhand Dahar Womens Front
Sajha Kadam Sajha Manch Youth Revolution Ulgulan
Adivasi Youth organisation Lok Seva Samiti United Mili Forum
Farmers Struggle Front Aadivasi Intellectual Forum Sarv Dharm Samanvay Parishad, Ramgarh
Association for Protection of Civil Rights and other religious and social organizations

NCCI Interns’ orientation 2017

A two-day orientation programme for the interns of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) was held on 15th -16th June 2017. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, along with the Executive Secretaries and the interns attended the programme. Six sessions were conducted all together where the Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad took up the first session. The second session was taken up by all  the Executive Secretaries together, third session by Rev. Caesar David, fourth session by Rev. Christopher Rajkumar, fifth session by Mr. Ashish Mane, Finance Officer-NCCI and Mr. Vijayan Pillai, Programme Coordinator-ESHA Inclusive, and the last session was an interactive session moderated by the General Secretary.

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Christmas message from NCCI General Secretary: “LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS!”

We live in a loveless world

We live in a loveless world. Our systems and structures are unjust: the caste system oppresses scheduled castes (dalits) and backward classes;  globalization favours the rich at the cost of the poor; development programmes displace the tribals and adivasis from their homelands; ceaseless wars and terrorist activities exterminate hundreds of innocent lives and render several thousand as refugees; expressions of fundamentalism suppress minorities;  the patriarchal system victimizes women and children; a competitive world frustrates several struggling  youth; our busy life leaves no time for families to care for one another ; consumerism depletes the earth’s resources and pollute nature; … indeed the list is unending.

 A lyric, entitled “A World without Love,” expresses utter disappointment with such a world:

Please lock me away, And don’t allow the day,
Here inside where I hide, With my loneliness
I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay  In a world without love

 Love given to a loveless world

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NCCI Dalit Liberation Sunday November 13, 2016

Respected Ecumenical Colleagues,

Warm greetings from National Council of Churches in India!

Dalit Liberation Sunday has become an important feature in the calendar of Indian Churches and Ecumenical movements. Over the years, there has been a positive response in sensitizing the local congregations towards concerns of Dalits, for no longer caste issue is visualized as a sociological issue or an issue outside the purview of church but more seen as an issue challenging the core of our faith and gospel.

The theme for this year’s Dalit Liberation Sunday is “Administer Justice Daily! Deliver the Oppressed!” (Jeremiah 21:12). We take this opportunity to invite you to observe Dalit Liberation Sunday on 13th November 2016 in your church/local parish/institution in a creative way and rededicate your commitment to the Gospel by accompanying the unaccompanied. However, if you already have  some  programme  on  13th November  2016,  you  may  think  of celebrating this Special day on a later Sunday i.e. on 20th November 2016. Herewith we are sending you hard copies of posters and a special order of worship for the day. You may take the freedom to use the entire worship order and translate it in your vernacular language or adapt parts of it.

We would appreciate if you send a brief report along with a few photographs of the observance to the undersigned. Let us join to observe Dalit Liberation Sunday on 13th November 2016.

Thanking you in anticipation. With regards,

In Christ,


Pradip Bansrior

Executive Secretary

Commission on Dalits and Tribals/ Adivasis

National Council of Churches in India




NCCI’s new website


NCCI’s new website was inaugurated by NCCI President, Honourable Bishop Dr. P. C. Singh on August 11, 2016 in the course of the General Body meeting in Chennai. Bishop Dr. P. C. Singh appreciated NCCI’s Commission on Communications and Relations for the upgrade, and wished the website to be a channel for more effective accomplishment of ecumenical objectives as communicating communities seeking to synergize efforts in service of the Church and Society.

NCCI’s new website is aimed at incorporating newer strategies and website components towards optimizing available technology to the various ways people currently use it, and its new domain name brings into focus the historic standing and commitment of the Council. The website will serve as a repository for reference and relevant data as well as a portal for news from NCCI, its member bodies and ecumenical concerns in general. With a responsive web design and integrated cross-platform content sharing (eg. in addition to email, facebook, twitter and other online social media, news posts viewed on mobile devices can now be shared on whatsapp as well), NCCI has responded practically to changing trends of accessing and sharing data across multiple platforms, including smart phones. The NCCI news app for AndroidTM devices that complements the news components of the website, continues to be freely available on Google PlayTM


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Black Day Observance at NCCI Campus, Nagpur

Black day PicAll NCCI Staff members observed “Black Day” on August 10, 2016 at the NCCI Campus, Nagpur to  protest about the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians and Muslims in the country.  In his address, Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns,  highlighted the injustice related to the issue and lamented that the Civil Writ Petition 180/2004 in the Honorable Supreme Court of India praying for the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Presidential Order 1950 has been pending in the Supreme Court of India for the past 12 years, since the Government has not yet replied to the Supreme court.

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NCCI welcomes new interns for 2016-2017. Interns Orientation Workshop conducted.

The National Council of Churches in India welcomes new interns for 2016 – 17. These young people have come from different regions and backgrounds. During their time at NCCI, it is hoped that they would explore various concerns, learn and contribute to the strengthening of the ecumenical movement in India.

atonNgalaton Ningsen

Ngalaton is from Nagaland and is an intern for Tribal and Adivasi concerns. She has done her B.D. from Bishop’s College, Kolkata in 2016. She has earlier worked as a secretary in Evangelical Union ministry at Patkai, Sunday school staff in Senakeithei village, Manipur, and has been a member of Nagaland Singing Ambassadors Choir. She is seeking for an opportunity from NCCI to explore herself in the best possible way, to have a wider picture of Tribal and Adivasi concerns beyond North East India which she believes will be of great benefit and help for her future M.Th. studies.

shitoviShitovi Sema

Shitovi is intern for  Youth concerns. He is from Dimapur, Nagaland and has done his M.Th. in Missiology  from Aizawl Theological College in 2016 and B.D.  from Easter Theological College in 2013. He served Dimapur Sumi Baptist Church as a Youth Coordinator (Voluntary service) in 2013-2014. He is a worship leader of his church. He want to improve his skills in programme strategies, social analysis, communication, inter-personal mission and evangelism,  and leadership.

manas Manas Raj

Manas is serving NCCI as an intern for concerns of Unity, Mission and Evangelism. He has done his B.D. from Bethel Bible College, Andhra Pradesh in year 2016. He is from Adarshapara C.N.I. Church, Sambalpur Diocese and has worked as a Secretary of the Youth Fellowship in his church and was engaged in social works like cleaning the surroundings, Plantation, Rally against Gender Discrimination and Environmental Degradation, and has attended programs on social work in the church.

ahonHungreiphy Zas

Hungreiphy Zas hails from Manipur. She belongs to the Tangkhul Baptist Church, which is a member of Manipur Baptist Convention. She has graduated recently in Bachelor of Divinity (BD)  from Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur. She is an intern for All India Council of Christian Women- Women’s Wing NCCI. She wants   to be a part of NCCI to get experience and skills in various fields especially improvement  in communication skills, as well as to expose herself in a wider ministerial area.

jyotiJyotirmaya Tandi

Jyotirmaya is intern for  Dalit concerns. He is from Titlagarh, Odisha and has done his B.D. from Bethel Bible College in year 2016. He was a youth leader of his church and served Christian Endeavor as a treasurer. He is looking forward to learn leadership qualities and to bring justice and equality for Dalits.


davidDavid Jadhav

David is working with All India Sunday School Association as an intern. He is from Nagpur.  He has done his Bachelor’s degree from Science stream in 2016.  He is member of Harvest Church, Nagpur and is actively participating in church activities such as organizing youth events, operating sound system etc. His objective to join NCCI is to bring unity among all denominations and churches.


hrudayHrudhay Addurwar

Hrudhay is assisting the Administration Department of NCCI. He is from Nagpur and completed his Mechanical Engineering course in 2013. He is CNI Nagpur Diocese Youth President for the 2015-2018 session. He is very active in church and social activities and is a very good football player. He is looking forward to serve the society and ecumenism through his internship


avinaArina Murrian

Arina is from Nagpur and has done her graduation in Commerce in 2016. She is a member of  St. Francis De Sales Cathedral, Nagpur. She is a part-time intern for IDEA Forum of NCCI. She is very active in her church and a part of the Youth Choir. She is looking forward to learn more about missionary activities through NCCI.

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