Greetings from Amritsar! India is on the world news again. We had a time of jubilation and celebration following the Parliamentary Election in which the people of India out rightly rejected the right wing fascist and fundamental forces and voted for moderate and secular parties. We were anxiously waiting for the results because the anti-minority activities of the BJP and BJP led governments had reached its peak. The Christians were wary of the BJP gaining more ground. It was good to see the Church more vocal in denouncing the right wing parties. The workers of my Diocese were actively engaged in conscentizing the rural masses about their rights. Letís hope the Congress led Government will remain stable and fulfill the promises it has made,especially to address the issue of poverty.
Secondly, the continuing incidences of violence that have crippled life in Punjab have become a major concern. The followers of the religious sect founded by Guru Ravi Das are on a rampage destroying public property and causing great inconvenience to people. People of Dera Sach Khand, a Sikh sect comprised of mainly Dalits took to the streets in protest against the death of one of their gurus, Sant Raman Nand, during a clash between rival Sikh communities in a Vienna Gurudwara. Train coaches and vehicles are burnt and shops are destroyed. We have problem getting fuel, food supplies and other essential commodities because shops and all other establishments are closed since yesterday. I hope the situation would become normal soon. The saddest thing about this situation is that the people are fighting on the basis of caste. Thirdly, the cyclone that has hit Bengal and Coastal Orissa has caused many deaths and loss of property. Fortunately our family members are not affected. The Army is called to help both in Punjab and West Bengal.
So friends, please pray for India!
It is a matter of great joy for me to look forward to the 29th of this month when I would be completing 10 years of my Episcopal ministry. God has been so kind and gracious to my family and me in sustaining our life and ministry in the North West India through various situations. I am grateful to God for many achievements He has given us and the challenges He has placed before us. Please pray for us that we may continue to serve Him and the people of the Diocese with sincerity, honesty and commitment. I thank you for your most valuable support which you extended to me and my family without even asking.
With prayers and best wishes,
Your brother in Christ,