A Roman Catholic priest named George Ponnaiah has been arrested today (July 24) from the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu for delivering hate speech targeting the Hindu community, Bharat Mata and BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. On July 20, following complaints from several Hindu outfits, the Arumanai police had registered a case against Ponniah under various sections including 143, 153A, 269, 295A, 505(2), 506(1) of IPC and Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The Pastor had made the controversial and distasteful remarks during a meeting at Arumanai on July 18. Remarking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union minister Amit Shah will be eaten by dogs and worms, the foul-mouthed father said, “The last days of Modi are going to be pathetic. I give it in writing. If the God we worship is a true living God the history should see Modi and Amit Shah being eaten by dogs and worms.”
Intimidating Hindus with the changing demography of Kanyakumari where Christians have become the majority, overtaking Hindus, Ponnaiahi issued veiled threats.
“We are now majority (in the Kanyakumari district) from 42 per cent we have crossed 62 per cent. Soon we would be 70 per cent. You cannot stop us. I am saying this as a warning to my Hindu brothers.”
According to the 2011 census, there were 44 lakh Christians in Tamil Nadu, which is about six per cent of the state’s population. Tamil Christians constitute about 15 per cent of the total Christian population in the country. Though Christians are spread evenly throughout the state, their population is concentrated in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
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There has been a rapid increase in the number of Christians in the Kanyakumari district, where the share of Christians in the population increased from 30.7 per cent in 1921 to 34.7 per cent in 1951 and has since increased to 46.8 per cent. Now according to George Ponnaiah’s claims, the figure can be between 60 and 70 per cent or even more.
The Father didn’t stop here spread venom amongst the Hindus by insulting ‘Bharat Mata’. During his public address, he mocked BJP leader MR Gandhi for not wearing footwear out of respect for Mother Earth.
“But we wear shoes. Why? Because the impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us. The Tamil Nadu government has given us free footwear. This bhumidevi is dangerous, you could catch scabies from it,” he added.
Hate speech by Christian pastors and evangelists is not a new phenomenon in Tamil Nadu. In 2019, Ezra Sargunam, a powerful and fanatical evangelist known for spreading vitriol against Hinduism had remarked, “Punch on their (Hindus) face, let them bleed. Then make them understand the truth (referring to Christian Conversion)”.
Well before the cold-blooded murder of Thirubuvanam Ramalingam, Ezra Sargunam, openly urged Muslims to take “them” on, apparently referring to the Hindus.
Read More: Punch Hindus, Make Them Bleed: Most Powerful Evangelist In Tamil Nadu, Bishop Ezra Sargunam
Reported by TFI, known for his ultra-secular credentials, DMK patriarch and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin always has had a soft spot for Islamists and Christian leaders. The likes of George Ponnaiah and Ezra always have had the backing of DMK and thus the constant barrage of anti-Hindu remarks. George has been arrested courtesy the pressure from religious groups and BJP but whether he is put behind the bars and punished, is a different kettle of fish altogether.