In a tweet posted today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi condemned the ‘attack’ of Kerala nuns allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists in a train near Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.Rahul Gandhi attributed the harassment to “vicious propaganda run by the Sangh Parivar”.
The attack in UP on nuns from Kerala is a result of the vicious propaganda run by the Sangh Parivar to pitch one community against another and trample the minorities.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 24, 2021
Time for us as a nation to introspect and take corrective steps to defeat such divisive forces.
The ‘attack’ Rahul Gandhi is talking about is questioning of the two nuns over suspicion of forceful religious conversion. The incident happened in Jhansi. The railway police authorities questioned them and upon finding no basis for the complaint, they were let off. The incident took place on March 19. However, senior Congress leader chose to express his concern only after five days and that too after Home Minister Amit Shah had already assured action against the culprits who allegedly harassed the nuns.
Any kind of harassment is indeed condemnable and Rahul Gandhi’s concerns are appreciated. He has earlier expressed concerns for the nuns who were raped by priests and bishops in Kerala church as well. As can be seen through his series of tweets on Kerala nuns.
Whilst there are umpteen cases of Kerala nuns being sexually abused, the heinous case of Father Franco Mulakkal, largely because of the Church’s systematic role in trying to suppress the nuns from speaking out.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21st, 2018 after the investigating team found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case. A nun from Kerala had accused a Bishop from Jalandhar of raping her. The accused, Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is said to have raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and exploited her sexually on several other occasions.
On 16th January 2019, four out of the five nuns who had supported the rape survivor nun were asked to leave the Kuravilangad convent, and go to convents, previously assigned to them. The letter accused nuns of ‘issuing malafide statements’, and spreading baseless stories to ‘tarnish the image’ of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation. Sister Anupama, one of the four nuns served transfer notice, had slammed the notice and alleged that this is a ploy to break a unity of nuns to save Bishop Franco, who is facing rape allegations from one of their colleagues.
Rahul Gandhi has similarly expressed concerns over the sadhus from Palghar, Maharashtra, who were lynched to death last year even as Maharashtra police officials watched as they were killed.
The concern of Congress leaders was so much that when Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s silence over the same, he was hounded by the Mumbai Police and accused him of making ‘communal comments’. Congress is part of the ruling alliance, Maha Vikas Aghadi, in Maharashtra along with NCP and Shiv Sena.