The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international joint general secretary, Surendra Jain, stirred up a hornet’s nest by saying that in the Northeast churches created more division among communities rather than unifying them. Jain made the said statement while speaking to the media in Guwahati (Assam) on Thursday.
A report published in the The Times of India quoted Jain as saying, “Places where churches wield influence suffer from lack of development – be it Odisha or the Northeast. Churches, church-run organisations and even madrassas in the country should be brought under investigation.”
Jain was in Guwahati to get a first-hand grip of the training session of VHP’s Durga Vahini and Matri Shakti wings. The report further quoted Jain as saying, “Churches in the Northeast have helped in spreading separatist ideas among the tribals in the name of social service.”
Assam Christian Forum spokesperson Allen Brooks, while reacting to Jain’s allegations, said, “It is a clear-cut agenda to attack the Christians by tarnishing the image of Mother Teresa. Millions of children have been saved by Mother Teresa’s charity home. The good work done by the churches in the field of education and social justice is never acknowledged by these forces.”
When asked to comment on VHP leader Pravin Togadia’s statement that the Army should capture a portion of Bangladesh to settle illegal Bangladeshi nationals after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is out, Jain remarked, “All these Bangladeshi nationals should be dumped in the Indian Ocean. When Saudi Arabia can say that Bangladeshis who tried to settle in that country should be dumped in the Arabian Sea, we also have Hind Mahasagar (Indian Ocean).”