//Christians worry over shabari kumbh

Christians worry over shabari kumbh

NDTV.com / January 18 2006
Christians worry over shabari kumbh
(Dangs district): The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will hold a shabari kumbh in Gujarat’s tribal district of Dangs in February.The three-day religious festival will begin from February 11 and over five lakh people are expected to attend. Residents in the area say a silent survey is underway to identify who is Hindu and who is Christian.

Nanu Thakare of Raigadh village, who is a part of the survey, explains the details. "We were given one form where we need to write how many Christians and Hindus are in the village, and also how many temples and churches are there," he said.

Tension mounts —Villagers have been told that Hindus will be given saffron flags and lockets and should put them outside their houses.  The plan has sparked tension in the area with Christians in panic conditions. "There is fear among Christians following the recent happenings," said Rasik Thakre, a Christian villager.

In 1998, there were a spate of attacks on Christian churches, homes and priests in the area. The district administration insists there is complete peace in the area as the All India Christian Council asked the governor to ensure security for Christians.