Monday, May 26, 2014

A Christian’s Response to the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s Election

            Mr. Modi has been convincingly elected as the Prime Minister of India - the world’s largest democracy. BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) majority numbers in the Indian Parliament offers it a fascinating advantage for independent governance despite having pre-poll alliances.

        The Indian National Congress, having ruled India for the last 10 years, has been unprecedentedly routed from even a simple dignity of being an opposition party (a party should win 10% of the total seats to be an opposition party). The recently concluded election in India is indeed a landmark election.

        In 1984, the Congress won 414 parliamentary constituencies (seats) whereas the BJP, established in 1980, won a mere 2, out of a total 533 seats. A very quick thirty years later, the BJP won 282 and the Congress won a mere 44 out of a possible 543 seats. The tables have indeed turned.

        Hinduism is the largest religion in India with 80.5% adherence, followed by Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%), Sikh (1.9%), others (1.8%) and unspecified (0.1%).1 The BJP, a member of “Sangh Parivar” – a family of organizations, has a definite Hindu identity2 for it is nurtured by RSS (Rashtria Swyamsevak Sangh), an organization that seeks to protect the Hindu Dharma.3

        The RSS has been promoting Mr. Modi as the best man for the Prime Minister’s job, “time has come when Hindus need to unite, and that Modi is the man for the job,” said Mr. Harish Bhatia of the RSS. The Sangh Parivar believes Mr. Modi to be the best defender of Hindu rights, “they say the Sangh Parivar's vigorous participation is because Modi more than anyone in his party, is defender of Hindu rights.” 4 Therefore Mr. Modi has a definite Hindu / RSS identity.

        Wikipedia reports Mr. Modi as “a controversial figure both within India as well as internationally as his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots.”5 As a result, a certain uncertainty plagues the minds of the minority religious groups if whether Mr. Modi would be non-communal in his governance by protecting the minorities.

        Given this situation, I submit my response as a Christian and a citizen of India to the election of my new Prime Minister.

        First, here is a point on the entity that enslaves man.

        We gain knowledge on politics and everyday occurrences through popular media. So in a way, the media is our only source of knowledge. We tend to believe the source.

        When there are conflicting media reports, we believe the source that is more likely credible. Therefore, an objective occurrence becomes a subjective preference, especially under conflicting circumstances. But the fact remains that the media is the major source of information in politics and everyday occurrences.

        The media could either make or break a person. If the media decides to overrate a person, then it could depict an average as an excellent. On the contrary, if the media decides to wreck a person’s character, even a good person can be portrayed as a rank evil human being.

        Therefore, it would be profitable to have more than one source for our knowledge, and that preferably from the extremes of ‘for’ and ‘against.’ For instance, certain media agencies openly align themselves with certain politicians. So if our endeavor is to seek information about an individual or a political party, then we should gain that information from media sources that consistently speak for and against him/them. Thus one can gain balanced information in politics.

        Second, how did the Lord Jesus Christ respond to the Roman government in HIS time? Christ, a Jew in HIS incarnation, healed a Roman Centurion’s servant (Matthew 8: 5-13). Christ did not resist or ignore the plea of the Roman Centurion. This act of healing displays Christ’s loving kindness to the man in need and thus indirectly to the ruling Roman government. Therefore, Christians should exhibit loving kindness to the rulers and authorities.

        In another instance, the corrupt Pharisees sought to trap Christ when they questioned HIM about taxes (Matthew 22: 15-22). They tried to trap HIM into a conflict with the ruling Roman government.

        Christ then taught people to submit to the government in matters pertaining to the government and to submit to God in matters pertaining to God. In other words, pay the taxes to the government and offer our lives to God.

        Therefore, Christians ought to support the rulers and authorities in the government by being prompt and diligent with our taxes and our general support.

        Third, the Apostle Paul teaches similarly. But he emphasizes that all authorities in existence have been established by God (Romans 13: 1). So we ought to know that God ordained the election of Mr. Narendra Modi.

        Hence, Christians ought to be subject to the governing authorities. We ought to be right in our actions (Romans 13: 3c). This would be achieved when we remain as law abiding citizens of our country. This should be our constant endeavor.

        The Bible also mandates us to show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor (1 Peter 2: 17, NIV, Emphasis mine). Thus we are called to respect and honor those in power. The Christian mandate is always to do good and not evil. Respect and honor are godly deeds.

        God exhorts HIS believers to “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4: 2, NIV). We ought to be alert in knowing all that’s happening around us, so that we know what to pray for. Therefore, we should keep ourselves constantly updated about the progress of the new government, and keep praying that the new government would bless India.

        Finally, fear and negativity should never be present in a Christian life. Fear and negativity destroy a Christian. Absolute trust in God is the stronghold of a Christian. Fear corrodes and negates Christians’ trust in God. When fear increases, trust in God decreases.  

        The omnipotent God of the Bible is superior and more powerful than everything and everyone. Moreover, God is in absolute control over all that happens. Therefore, a Christian need not fear under any circumstance.

        In conclusion, a Christian response to the new government is rather straightforward:

            (1) Possess balanced, not biased information.

            (2) Exhibit loving kindness to the ruling government.

            (3) Support the ruling government as much as we are able to.

            (4) Know that God ordained the election of Mr. Narendra Modi, and be a law abiding citizen of India.  

            (5) Respect and honor all rulers and authorities.

            (6) Pray that the new government would bless our glorious nation.

            (7) Never fear but always trust in God.

        May the blessings of the Triune God – The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit be upon Mr. Narendra Modi and his government so that they endeavor to bless India against all forces of evil and destruction. Amen.  

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5: 9, NIV)








pepsashi said...

The Right View with Right Attitude
needed with we every Christians.

Ebenezer said...

Rightly said