Completely agreed with the post
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B Upendran | HENB | Hyderabad | Oct 28, 2022:: Protests erupted outside an apartment in Hyderabad on Tuesday (25 October 2022), after a Christian family objected to their neighbouring Hindu family drawing the traditional Rangoli designs and lighting diyas in the common hallway space, in front of their own apartment.
The Christian family not only objected to the Rangoli, but also abused and threatened their Hindu neighbours. The incident took place at Archana Apartments on Golkonda Cross Road in Hyderabad’s Chikapally area.
The unsavoury incident took place on Diwali day, October 24th (Monday evening) when the Hindus drew rangoli patterns (“muggu” in Telugu ) and lit their evening Deepavali lamps, per age-old native tradition.
The Christians who live in the opposite unit, questioned the use of the common hallway space, even though the Hindu women had not infringed on the space in front of the Christian family’s apartment. It is a common and widely accepted practice in Indian apartments, to utilize a reasonable amount of space in the open, common hallway in front of one’s own apartment, to draw rangoli designs per Indian tradition.
This incidence of Christian intolerance towards a Hindu festival celebration in a metropolitan city like Hyderabad, has netizens discussing the often stated issue of christian conversations via hateful anti-Hindu indoctrination and the subsequent intolerance that converts are often observed displaying including denigration of Hindu deities and native cultural practices.
The incident gained attention and sympathy when the aggrieved Hindus uploaded a video clip on Tuesday, which clearly shows the aggression and intolerance of the Christian family. The video, which was shared on Twitter and went viral on social media, shows the Christian woman, Gona Shalini, threatening to hit the girls with a chappal for the rangoli and diyas. Her two sons are also seen and heard threatening the Hindu women with dire consequences including physical harm.
After the incident came to light, a group of Hindu organisations staged a protest at Hyderabad’s Archana Apartments, demanding action against the Christians who were objecting to a traditional celebration of Diwali . Supporters and Protesters were seen chanting “Jai Shri Ram” outside the apartment.
The protests continued till Wednesday afternoon and subsided only after the local police arrested the accused and assured the Hindus of a thorough investigation into this incident of agression and intolerence.
Another protest was held near the Chikkadpally police station (the jurisdiction of the Apartment in question), where several women protestors, said that their religious sentiments were being hurt and their rights to celebrate Diwali were infringed upon. They demanded stringent action against the Christian family.
According to the Chikkadpally police inspector, N.Sanjay Kumar, apart from the incident on Diwali day, there had been previous issues related to the accused family’s dog as well.
Police officials registered an FIR against the family that objected to the Rangoli. The woman, Gona Shalini, her husband Gona Christopher and their sons Rajiv and Ajith, were booked under Sections 506 (Criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. They were arrested on Wednesday October 26, two days after the incident. Protesters had earlier demanded quick action on this incident of intolerence which had clear audio visual evidence.
One of the twitter users that reached out to netizens to highlight this incident of intolerance against the traditional celebration of a Hindu festival, was Esther Dhanraj. She monitored the whole case aptly until an FIR was registered accordingly.
Esther is a vocal advocate for Hindu rights and defence against Christian intolerance and aggressive Christian conversion tactics including preying on individuals and families in dire hardship, preaching at hospitals, direct and indirect indoctrination at Christian educational institutions , denigration of Hindu deities and native traditions and other dubious evangelist/missionary techniques aimed at achieving annual conversion goals, that gullible non-christians are often not aware of.
Interestingly, Esther Dhanraj is an ex- converted christian and preacher, who chose to return to her native faith of Hinduism, after growing disillusioned with Christianity, which she and her family had adopted more than 25 years ago, at a time of severe hardship. She claims to understand Christian conversion tactics better than the average Indian, because her family and herself had personally experienced the methods and process. Esther Dhanraj has spoken widely on this subject and is engaged in debates on local TV channels, in addition to actively fighting conversions at grassroot levels in rural India. She also counsels Hindu families whose youngsters have either become Christian or are contemplating Christianity. Through her recently launched “Quit Christianity” movement, she works with other former Christians in bringing awareness about Christianity and conversion tactics.
__Inputs from The Commune and India today.