Former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro’s column in The Indian Express dated March 16 titled ‘I feel I am on hit list’ began a debate on social media and surfers also posted their comments on the story. In the backdrop of increasing attacks on churches in the country, the former top cop had written, “Today, in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country. The same category of citizens who had put their trust in me to rescue them from a force they could not comprehend have now come out of the woodwork to condemn me for practising a religion that is different from theirs. I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra.”
Here we have posted reactions on the column from both sides of the divide:
From the comments to the column
I am proud to be a Hindu. For better or worse, it is my heritage. There are a lot of things I don’t like about the history of my religion. But one thing I am very proud of is that my religion has historically been one of tolerance and freedom of expression and practice.
All this was definitely feared when Indian voters, without seeing the writing on the wall, voted in favour of the BJP in the general election. The saffron brigade is now mad in ruling power as BJP is now ruling unhindered, both in the RS and outside it, Now, the country will have to bear it, willingly or unwillingly, for the full tenure of the BJP govt.
Quoting christianity is not helpful. All religions have goodness in them. Hinduism has been the most peaceful religion on earth, except the pseudo hindus like the RSS. As an example to illustrate, god is at the peak of the mountain and different religions are like different paths you can take to reach the mountain peak. Nobody needs to convert since all established paths can take you to the top.
If the modi govt ignores these feelings as something very small, they will have to pay for this in the next elections of which they are so confident of they will loose in a very big way. Its a fact that no indian is interested in religion based politics. Who are these people who force their religion on people.
Mr. Ribiero, I am a Physician by profession and have the highest regards for you. I strongly disagree with those who wish to convert all Christians to Hinduism. But, and there is a big But. I have had a chance to work with Christian missionary hospitals and I have observed that there is a consistent covert process to identify vulnerable targets for conversion to Christianity. While I’d support Ghar Wapsi of such vulnerable targets, I strongly oppose any attempt to convert those who are Christians since Generations.
Dear Sir, it’s time the silent majority spoke up. We cannot forget your service to nation. The vocal MINORITY, who think they are ONLY right, need to know that there are others who do not agree with them and are much more larger numbers. The only thing I request you is not to identify persons, including you, who served the nation in religious terms. They are true servants of God and have transcended that barrier.
Mr. Ribeiro, you can rest assured that your services to India and those of your co-coreligionist Indians are thankfully appreciated by all Indians. There has always been a fringe in every religious group, including yours, that acts irresponsibly. Acts of hatred have been committed under Congress governments as well and by all religious groups. The targets then were as often the Hindus as others. If you choose to attribute current acts of hatred to the BJP government and to Mr. Modi’s leadership it would be utterly unfair and disappointing unless you attribute the past acts of hatred to the respective political party and PM in office. But for now and especially for you, Sir, all we have is respect and love and appreciation.