A row has erupted after two nuns and two postulants of the Sacred Hearts Congregation of Delhi Province were forced to get off a train by the Railway police in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, after alleged Bajrang Dal activists claimed that the two 19-year-old nuns were being taken for forced religious conversion. Soon, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan jumped into the fray and shot off a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, demanding strict action “on all groups and individuals who disrupt and impair the freedom of individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution”.
Amit Shah, as has been well established over the past many years, is no political novice. So, when Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a politically motivated letter to him, the Home Minister decided to reply to it in his signature style – at a political rally in Kerala. Make no mistake, the incident which happened in Uttar Pradesh was replied to by Amit Shah in Kerala – which itself is known to be a den of anti-nun activities. Nuns have, for the longest periods of time, been victims of sexual harassment and molestation in Kerala. Of course, the Communists are completely oblivious to all that has been happening in their own backyard, even as Vijayan took to sermonising the Union Home Minister over what happened in Jhansi at the drop of a hat.
Addressing a rally in Kerala’s Kochi, Amit Shah said, “Those involved in the Jhansi nuns’ harassment incident will be brought before the law. I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest.” The Home Minister could have very well reacted on the incident via social media. Yet, for Shah to choose Kerala as the venue of him speaking out against crimes committed against nuns is most definitely symbolic of what the BJP has to offer to the state’s nuns.
Kerala’s nuns have been waging a lone battle against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested by the police officials on September 21st, 2018 for raping a nun 13 times. The Church and Christian authorities had waged an all-out war against nuns who dare speak against Mulakkal and the rampant molestation culture in certain places of worship. Kerala’s Christians, for a multiplicity of reason, are beginning to feel that the BJP is the best bet they have this time around to alleviate the many woes faced by them in Kerala.
Amit Shah, by replying to the incident in Kerala, and by ensuring strict action against those responsible has sent a subtle message across, that crimes against nuns, whether in Uttar Pradesh or Kerala, will not be tolerated by the BJP.