Church body condemns Bhagwat's Bible reference to justify mob lynching
The National Council of Churches in India has issued a statement condemning the reference to the Bible by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, in order to justify the term 'mob lynching'.
In a statement on Thursday, October 10, 2019, the NCCI said Bhagwat had misquoted the Bible. The NCCI stated: 'We are shocked that such statements which have the potential to divide communities on religious lines are made in public fora.'
The NCCI statement said this misrepresentation had 'created suspicion among the people' and 'humiliated the Christian minority'. It added, 'We appeal all people not to be carried away by such misrepresentation or misinterpretation which are often done with political intentions.'
At the annual Dussehra celebration at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, Bhagwat had said that the concept of lynching was “alien to Bharat” and was being used to defame the “country and the entire Hindu society”.
The NCCI pointed out that the Biblical incident that Bhagwat referred to in fact shows how Jesus stood by a woman who was a victim of the patriarchal structures of that time. It said the 'incident from the Bible was as an expression of Jesus’s mercy and compassion towards the victims of the elitist narratives of the society of his day. Quite contrary to what Bhagwat suggests, Jesus was in fact saving an accused woman from the wrath of the mob in the said passage.'
The NCCI statement noted: 'almost all mob lynching incidents target the vulnerable communities in India including the religious minorities, Dalits, adivasis, the economically poor and women. Therefore, NCCI request the highest Government officials and political leaders of National and State Governments as well as leaders of all political parties to condemn such heinous acts and irresponsible public statements so that peace and communal harmony can be maintained in this country.'