Saffronisation of Christian houses in Orissa:India
Strange it seems but it is an perfect example of contemporary world, how religion changes according to the need of the hour. In kandhamal area of Orissa(India), where anti christian riot irrupted after the killing of the Hindu religious leader last year, the minority christian are protecting themselves by hosting the Saffron flag on the roof of there house.
In the time of election when every party, whether left ,center or right wing party, is trying to woo voters the possibility of using religious card cannot be ignored.And the christian mass is well aware of the religious game of politics, so they are using all possible means to send message that they are with the Hindu wing.
The so called secular parties forget the basic mantra of secularism in election times and use the religio-emotional quotioent to move the mass in there favour.How they will be able to protect themselves is tough to say but slowly they will definetly change there religion as per the need, as they need several decade back.
Months after the bloody riots targeting Christians in the area, saffron flags flutter atop houses on both sides of the roads
linking this village to Raikia and Baliguda blocks in Kandhamal district.
Banners proclaiming the celebration of 'Hindu Nava Barsa' and 'Panchu Danda Samabesh' (a local tribal festival) are in evidence some yards from the Divya Jyoti Pastoral Centre here, which was attacked by a mob in the wake of the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his associates.
The mob had also assaulted the priest living in the centre Thomas Chalan besides allegedly raping the nun residing in it. The centre is locked now.
The saffron flags on houses are to be seen in plenty as one drives from the district headquarters town of Phulbani to interior areas.
But these flags are not an indication of local Christians changing their religion but have been hoisted to protect them from the ire of right wing outfits.
In some villages, Hindus have placed the saffron flags on the houses of their Christian neighbours for their protection, while at some places Christians themselves put them out of fear, villagers said.
"We cannot remove these flags. These saffron flags are a 'rakshya kabach (safeguard) for our houses and property, said Sita Mallick of Raika area. A crucifix around her neck proclaims her religion.
"Praying to my god under the saffron flag does not mean I have changed my faith," the 45-year-old woman says.
Like Sita many prefer not to remove the flags from their houses.
"Who will protect our houses? Can the police guard all our houses?" asked another staying at a the relief camp here.
The local Sangh Parivar leaders do not mind the sprouting of saffron besides the roads.
"What is wrong if saffron flags fly on every house in Kandhamal?" asks a local youth saying that no one was being forced to reconvert.
"Controlling the situation and protecting the life of people is on top of the agenda of the police," said Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Pravin Kumar.
"The situation has been peaceful for over five months now," he added.
Over 40 people were killed in the communal violence in the district last year.