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Feb 05, 2016
Mangalore: Protest against Somshekar Report - A Rare Show of Solidarity in Black
Published Date: 21 Mar, 2011 (5:52 PM)

By Richard Lasrado
Pics by Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean

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Mangalore, Feb 20 (5.30 p.m): If the Christians from the city and around had come in huge numbers on September 14 and 15, 2008 in one voice to express their anger, anguish and outrage against silmultaneous and well-organized attacks on and desecration of churches and prayer-houses in different parts of Karnataka, the protest rally held in the city on Sunday, February 20 to reject the Somasekhara report and refer the matter to the CBI was even more a re-assertion of their faith as well as determination to fight for justice.

A large gathering made of different denominations of Christian faith, supported by secular-minded organizations, assembled at the Bharat Ratna Dr. B R Ambedkar circle - formerly Jyoti circle - and began a procession of silence. A majority of them sported black attire and had black cloth tied across the lower face, to mark the silent tenor of the protest march. Scores of placards were being carried and black flags being carried.

Prominent among those who led the march were Bishop Dr. Aloysius Paul D'Souza of Mangalore diocese, Bishop Emeritus Dr C L Furtado and Bishop Dr. John S Sadananda of the CSI Karnataka Southern Diocese, Bishop Dr. Lawrence Mukkuzhy of the Catholic Syro-Malabar diocese of Beltangady and Dr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasious of the Syro-Malankara diocese of Puttur, diocesan vicar general Msgr Denis M Prabhu and also advocate Ivan D'Souza.

Twenty four new-generation churches united under the Karnataka Missions Network, Christian organizations like Campus Crusade for Christ, Operation Mobilization Bookstall, Good News Book Centre, Bharatiya Kraista Okkoota, All India Catholic Union - Karnataka State Unit, Catholic Association of South Kanara and International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations (IFKCA), joined in the silent protest march and protest rally.

Secular organizations like Udupi Jilla Alpasankhyatara Vedike, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), DK District Committee of PM's 15-point programme for minority welfare, Muslim Vartakara Sangha - Mangalore, Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike, Muslim Okkoota - Udupi and the local unit of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) also expressed their solidarity with the Christians and took part in the rally.

About an hour later, the procession culminated at the Nehru maidan and the entire assembly of protest marchers converged on the football ground, known to play host to meetings and rallies of different kinds. As the crowds were milling in, the programme had to be started slightly late. Even until about half an hour's programme was through, people were still pouring in.

Rajya Sabha member and former union minister Oscar Fernandes was among the prominent ones who were present.

What was said:

Advocate, corporator, human and constitutional rights activist Mariamma Thomas:

Calling the Somasekhara Commission Report being full of inconsistencies and contradictions and a case of failure of public reasoning, she narrated her first-hand experience after the attack on the Adoration Monastery. The entire Christian community was enraged and people came in large numbers to protest. Instead of pacifying them and giving justice, the protesters were lathi-charged and tear-gas shells were burst. There were brutal attacks on the innocent. She said when she met two boys who had been arrested and kept in Pandeshwar police station, their parents not even had any idea of their whereabouts.  They were just passers-by who had been rounded up and non-bailable cases had been filed against them.

During police action inside the Kulshekar church where people were involved in prayers, the main gates had been locked to protect the innocent people. The police broke open the gates and beat up children, women, nuns and everyone around. The then-SP Satheesh Kumar himself ordered the lathi-charge. Then he demanded that 25 people must be surrendered for record. Accordingly, 18 persons surrendered so that the rest of the people could remain safe. So those 18 innocent persons were charged with offences they had never committed. At Permannur, the same SP used abusive words at the priest openly which has gone on record. It was only after the incident received national and international exposure that the state government woke up."

She also said, "When the commission, headed by Justice Somasekhara, who is said to be one-time classmate of the chief minister, was constituted to inquire into the church attacks in Karnataka in September 2008, it was seen as a move to ward off criticism of the BJP administration. Today, well over two years after the attacks, when the key findings of the report have been made public by Justice Somasekhara himself, the finding prepare the ground for further action against the victims of the church attacks, while absolving the masterminds behind the crime of all blame. Post the shock of the church attacks, the Christian community was hopeful of justice through the commission, but, instead, the proceedings and the findings of the commission really prepare the way for continued harassment of the Christian community under the garb of law."

Mariamma Thomas also pointed out that while on the one hand the report in toto absolved the BJP, mainstream Sangh Parivar and the state government of any involvement of any kind, later, in the same breath, the report concurs with the Christian memorialists' plea to prosecute Mahendra Kumar, the then-state convener of the Bajrang Dal, who openly claimed responsibilty for the  attack on churches during a TV panel discussion.

She further said that annexure XLVII of the report lists 56 churches which were attacked, and specifically names some fundamentalist organizations involved in the attacks.  She said the Bajrang Dal has been named as being behind the attacks on 9 churches, Hindu Jagarana Vedike on 3 churches and Sangh Parivar on one church and unnamed Hindu fundamentalists on two churches, and she wondered how the commission could be justified in giving the organizations a clean chit in the final report.

She also said that the material before the commission both in terms of submission made before it as well as the cross-examination of Mahendra Kumar indicated the linkages between the Bajrang Dal and the VHP and the link to the RSS. She added that the material before the commission proved that Bajrang Dal does not operate independently, but, on the other hand, is part of the family. Mahendra Kumar, during cross-examination by advocate Ibrahim, has gone on record submitting that Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the VHP and that it is a part of VHP. She expressed surprise over the fact that in spite of the clinching evidence, the commission could absolve these organizations of all culpability.

Similarly, the report contains inconsistencies in the mention of police entry and action inside the churches like Kulshekar and Pernmannur. In one place, it calls police action justified and some time later admits there were excesses. Further while faulting the district authorities in some places, the commission gives a clean chit to the state government. For any failings of the district administration, which is an arm of the state goverment, the latter should be ultimately resposible. She said the commission had gone out of the way to absolve the government and its functionaries.

She further said while there are so many recommendations in the report for passing new laws towards preventing recurrence of such incidents, there was not a whimper about identifying and punishing those who perpetrated the crime. She yet thanked the chief minister and the home minister for deciding to withdraw cases filed against the innocent Christian youngsters. Before concluding she said the Christians would continue their activities of conversion - not the ones referred to by Justice Somasekhara but - those of converting the uneducated into educated, the ailing into healthy, the poor into self-reliant and the distressed into comforted, which statement was given a thunderous applause.

Karnataka Missions Network chairman Brother Walter J Maben:

He said that the report would have us believe that there was lack of evidence as to who executed the attacks on churches when in fact there was clear, documented evidence. The report arrives at a conclusion that the attacks were spontaneous. In fact they were well-planned and premeditated. The very fact that attacks were made on the same date at the same time in Dakshina Kannada and the adjoining districts proved that they were conducted not by individuals but an organization.

He further said that the government was fully responsible for those attacks which could have been prevented.  He said either the government's intellegence wing was extremely inefficient or their tip-off to the government was ignored by the latter.

He added that the commission was provided with evidence in oral form by victims and witnesses, pictures and videos and telecast clippings recorded by the media wherein there was proof of the police destroying church property, beating up the members of the church inside the church premises. Unless there was a hidden agenda, the commission would not ignore such evidence.

Referring to the so-called provocative literature called Satya Darshini, written by Suryanarayana Paravastu in Telugu in 1987 and translated into Kannada a decade later, he sought to know why attention to it was brought only in 2008, several years after the publication and until which time there was no unrest.

Though it was alleged that the New Life group distributed the copies, it was never proved in front of the commission. So the argument of the said literature being basis for attack was untenable. It was only a trumped-up excuse to start attacks with a future plan of action in view. The perpetrators head determined to attack Christians / churches with the forethought of banning all Christian literature. After spending Rs 11 crore of public money and precious two years, the commission had failed to provide him with a copy of Satya Darshini as requested, but only two photocopies. 

The accusation of conversion is also utterly false. A top police official of the district had placed it on record that there has not been a single case of forcible conversion in the district and hence the motives of referring to the so-called covnersions is suspect. 

He furher said that the interim report of 2010 had clearly named the organizations behind the attacks and also held the police officers responsible for the excesses. It also mentioned the role of the police in shielding the culprits apart from being themselves involved in these attacks. He wanted to know why those findings were glossed over and a totally opposite report finally given.

He said that the Christians believed that the commission was fully aware of who the attackers were and also the atrocities committed by the police, but had deliberately closed its eyes to the truth. Hence there was every reason to believe that it was an eyewash as desired by the government, esp., to exonerate the attackers and its sympathizers in the government.  

 Bishop Dr Aloysius D'Souza of Mangalore:

The Bishop, comparing the massive gathering to the Biblical gathering at the Mount, quoted the Holy Book, saying "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake". In the same spirit, the assembly was aimed at seeking justice.

Christians being a mere 2% of the country's population, the service of Christians in education amounted to 22%. Christians are peace-loving and not indulging in any unlawful activities. So he wondered why they were being persecuted and attacked. He wanted to place these questions before the mature people of the country. Since the Christians did not get answers from the commission which was appointed to find out why, the questions were being placed before the society.

In 2008, when the churches were attacked, the Crucifix was broken and the Holy Communion was desecrated, the Christians were deeply hurt. Accordingly, the Christians had a right to seek justice. The commission was appointed to find out who conducted the attacks. Instead of telling the public who did it, the commission has only told the people who has not done it.  On the other hand, during a legitimate and righteous protest, children, men and women were mercilessly caned. Protesting youth were hunted and criminal cases were filed against them. The police entered the churches and vandalized them. The commission itself had admitted that there were police excesses in Kulshekar and Permannur churches.

Instead of identifying the culprits and recommending legal recourse on them, the commission has gone beyond and recommended legislations to regulate the Christian pastors. This commission is no different from other government-appointed commissions.

Christians are a minority community. But if anyone thinks that minorities can be subdued by attacks and can be taken for a ride by giving false reports, the community would like to tell such people that they are mistaken. The minorities could be small in number but their strength lay in the one they believe in - the Almighty.

The Bishop cited the most glowing example of the Mangalorean Christians overcoming crises by reminding the audience of the Captivity of a large number of Canara Christians at Srirangapatna in the late 1780s. In spite of being behind bars for 15 years, their faith and identity did not get crushed nor did it crumble, but they returned home, in a much smaller number though, to rebuild their community with the same vigour. 

For the aforesaid reasons, the Bishop said, the report had to be rejected and a CBI inquiry should be instituted, as demanded by the earlier speakers. He also mentioned the overwhelming critical response to the report in the media and from various organizations and also protests held at different places.

Finally, CODP director Fr Oneil D'Souza read out the gist of a memorandum of demands to be submitted to the state's chief minister and various other leaders and officials. It was signed by the Bishops and a copy was handed over to city's deputy commissioner of police (law and order) Ramesh. He promised to have it sent to the higher-ups the very next day.

A special word of appreciation:

A police official estimated the crowd to be around 25,000. But since a very limited rows of chairs were placed right in the front, another aspect had to be taken into account. A veteran organizer of events said the number of chairs that can be accommodated on the same area of the ground would be 3,000. But the Sunday afternoon crowd was standing in a jam-packed state. He therefore put it around 50 to 60 thousand. A large number of people were sitting in all the corners of the ground. Hence that could add up to another few thousands.

The discipline and decorum displayed by the gathering was exemplary, said an intelligence officer, an old acquaintance, in plainclothes. He says that when it comes to Christian gatherings, the police have less to worry about in matters of security and law and order.

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Report of Sun, Feb 20 morning:

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juze vas svd, India Mar 6, 2011
solidarity is the best form of opposition.
solid solidarity was shown when the actual attacs did come on sept 2008 but we were then non sensitive to the need of support
yet nothing is late
i am glad we have woken up though late to
soliday oppose the fundamental rule of a particular regime.
hope the system wakes up to this
non violent opposition
lest they take it as another opposition without much clout???
Praveen, USA Mar 5, 2011
Many people commenting here are enraged about the injustice meted out to the people of Christian faith. I am sure there is political machination behind this. But, people, you have to understand that there is a general anger among helpless Hindus who have seen the unbridled proselytization by the missionary groups in India. Northeast India has already been grabbed by these missionaries and now their focus is on South India. Why are Abrahamic faiths so stubborn about conversions and destruction of local cultures? Have you heard of Joshua project? Billions of dollars is being poured into India in the name of "harvesting of souls" for Jesus Christ (

India is an ancient civilization where Dharma has been pivotal in maintaining social harmony. That’s because Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism...) are inclusive in nature. There is no division between \"believers\" and \"non-believers.\" There are no \"heretics\" or \"kafirs.\" Such inclusive nature of dharma has allowed India to flourish despite the invasion and oppression by the Islamic rulers and colonial-missionary nexus. So, when the truth is so obvious, and people feel helpless about how their culture is being subverted, there will be violent reactions. Violence against any people is wrong but it has to be understood in the right context.

On the other hand, these foreign forces need to be thwarted by people of Abrahamic faith on their own; prosleytization by the missionaries and Jihadi agents belonging to radical Islam, cannot be tolerated in the nation of Dharma. Does the draconian “blasphemy law” in Pakistan, ring any bell? Why are Islamic countries so fiercely possessive about Islam? Why no non-Christian can become a political aspirant in the secular US? Each country tries in its own way to maintain its dominant religion at the helm. Those countries either have strong religious lobbies holding the levers of power or fanatical groups dictating the laws/rules to the ruling class. In India, in the name of secularism, Dharmic culture has been targeted by the media, vote-bank politicians, jehadis, evangelical missionaries, Maoists...the list goes on. Who will stop them?

A new book \"Breaking India\" talks about these forces in detail with all the facts and figures. Should people of dharma watch their destruction by \"thousand cuts\" silently? Haven\'t they seen the plight of Jews who roamed everywhere in the world, throughout the history, getting persecuted by pharaohs, Christians, Muslims, Nazis until they found their own Israel? Should Hindus come to that point in history where mere survival will be the goal of these people? I think this reaction will intensify, as foreign forces interfere more in India. I think Indian Christians and Muslims need to understand the history and do their part in protecting this inclusive, pluralistic dharmic culture. Only that will bring harmony in India. Otherwise, it will be a future battleground for two most exlusivist, prosleytizing faiths in the world--Christianity and Islam. That thought scares the hell out of me.
D.P.Kumar, India Feb 26, 2011
I read few comments on Somashekar Commission Report along the protest rally coverage. In Karnataka a good demonstration of solidarity and joint protest between many denominations of Christians on the issue of "Church attack" has taken place.

But how things are happening elsewhere in the world is interesting to compare on academic interest. One such latest Report is here.


Wednesday February 9, 2011

(RNS) Each week brings an average of two arsons, seven thefts, and 19 burglaries at U.S. churches, according to Christian Security Network's second annual year-end report of church crimes.

The report, which uses news articles, police blogs, and verified personal reports to compile its data, showed a slight increase in most church crimes in 2010 from 2009, for a total of 1,783 incidents.

That figure was up 546 from the year before and included 970 burglaries, 397 thefts, 102 arsons, and 89 counts of vandalism, the report stated. The report only covered churches and not other houses of worship, such as mosques or synagogues.

"Two years is not long enough to prove any trend," said Jeffrey Hawkins, the founder and executive director of the Cincinnati-based group. "We will know better after another year or two if this keeps trending up. Maybe this year was just a bad year. Maybe we got better at finding out what had happened."

Hawkins hopes the upswing in crimes committed against churches will encourage churches to take security more seriously and will help those who have been victimized to realize they are not alone.

"Every church that gets burned down thinks they are the only church.

But we see an arson twice a week. That's the awareness part," Hawkins said.

Hawkins also stressed the value of the report's numbers when compared against more recognized reports like the annual Department of Justice's Hate Crime Statistics and Uniform Crime Report.

The 2009 Hate Crime Statistics recognized only 89 hate crimes against Christians; the Uniform Crime Report reports all incidents that occur on church property even if they are not against the church, Hawkins said.

The 2010 report put an emphasis on verifying crimes: Hawkins said there would be many more incidents in the report if the organization reported every crime they knew had occurred but could not verify.

What's more, not all crimes are reported to police or the media.

"Security is never 100 percent, but (having) no security is 100 percent vulnerability," Hawkins said. "It's all about awareness. Our mission is to bring awareness to the community. No church is immune from this kind of thing and they have to start now. There is no tomorrow."

- RICHARD YEAKLEY, Religion News Service

Read more:
ROY PATRAO, India Feb 25, 2011
Let the banners must be in ENGLISH language. Let whole world know this . In MID-EAST MOST OF THE BANNERS ARE IN ENGLISH- EGYPT,LIBYA. CM of karnataka is anti-christian & muslim & Jst. somshekar is his chela.

N.S.Shenoy (Nandavar), India Feb 22, 2011
Tehelka Report
In one of the articles, the following para is found:

JOSHUA PROJECT II is a continuation and expansion of the original plan. Its professed aim is to "highlight all the least-reached peoples (non-Christian) of the world and to help build ministry networks and partnerships focusing on these people." The constant research and updating of ethnographic data from India should ring alarm bells within the intelligence agencies in India. In fact, the project maintains its "peoples lists" in cooperation with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptists, as will be seen later, have traditionally worked hand-in-glove with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). India's ethno-cultural data collected by the project is categorised by them as 'Security Level 2' because there is a danger to Indian and foreign missionaries if data relating to their conversion activities is made public.
Is this/Can this be true.
Promod Veigas, India Feb 22, 2011
I agree with Newton. Most of the seats in Christian Institutions are given to non catholics because they are ready to pay any amount and join the catholic schools or college. But non Christian schools take good care of catholic students. We are digging our own graves and why to blame others? Where were we when our youth had been arrested, some of us were hiding in rat holes, now all came out with black cloth to gain name and fame.
Alwyn dsouza, India Feb 22, 2011
Down down somasheakar !!!!!!!!!!
Newton, India Feb 21, 2011
Joe Gonsalves sir,

Dear Sir,

Are Christians complascent? Are all the elderly, poor, unwducated and sick among the Christians are taken care of. When there are people who cannot afford proper medical treatments, an eye operation, an admission to college free of fees what is left to boast of what you wrote about?
Are we selling dreams?
Have we taken the figures of poor amongst Christians?
joe Gonsalves, India Feb 21, 2011
It is most gratifying to see Christians of all denominations join hands as children of God and Mother Earth to fight for Justice and a common cause. Due to health reasons I was not able to attend the Morcha but certainly I took the opportunity to speak with Father William Menezes - The PRO of The Mangalore Diocese and shared my thoughts with him well in advance.

In the past all the Governments have recognized and valued the services of The Christians to the people of D.K. As rightly said by Our Bishop A.P. indeed Christians have converted people from POVERTY TO WELL BEING, from SICKNESS TO HEALTH, from IGNORANCE TO ENLIGHTENMENT , from NON-EDUCATION to EDUCATION. THESE ARE THE CRIMES OF THE CHRISTIANS. Look at Hebick Institute of The CSI, Let the government take a good look at institutions like Father Muller's Hospital, St. Antony's Ashram, Little Sisters of The Poor, Mother Teresa's Home, St. Aloysius schools and colleges, St. Agnes schools and colleges and a lot more. These are witnesses of the crimes committed by The Christians.

Our dignitaries stated that the Somshekhara report should be rejected. No" The report should be condemned. 14Th September 2008 has gone down in history as the darkest day and instead of booking the people who perpetuated the crime, innocent people have been jailed. Hope The Home Minister's assurances will be honored and will not remain a myth.

Kudos to you Bishop A.P., Bishop Sadanand, Bishop Lawrence, Bishop Mukkuzhy, Bishop Geevarghese and Bishop Furtado for the participation in a common fight against injustice.

Joe Gonsalves
Sandeep, India Feb 21, 2011
Mr. Dony Lobo, according to you, most of the prominnet people mentioned by You who missed attedning the rally, would not have any impact and they are not powerful (except 1 or 2), as some of them are least known to the catholics of Mloren diocese. Most of them mentioned maybe "prominent" in your parish, but not in the diocese of Mangalore. I personally feel this rally was organised by a few leaders to gain some political mileage. In a state like Karnataka, where the ruling BJP is in power I dont think catholics will get any judgement in their favour. As yesterday;s Gospel reading "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute You"
George Borromeo, India Feb 21, 2011
It was a life time opportunity offered by my Catholic Sabha colleague Peter Fernandes to offer my services as a Volunteer in this Historical event in Mangalore. Hundred of us standing in side the ground near the markers showing the path to be taken by these surging, silent, black donned, Children, Teen, Men, Women waving Black Flags. My heart leapt with joy sending adrenaline in to my blood, shivers ran up to my spine seeing the never ending waves of ‘Silent Lambs’ pertaining to Mangalore Diocese.
We broke line to make place for this oceanic surge. But I was astounded to see the disciplined and cultured nature of my own people.
Some one whispered in my ear it was “Thyagi’s Bill” Protest brought out about 25,000 crowds in this same ground, my brother Austin D’Souza Prabhu will vouch for it. But today it will be more than treble.
I along with my colleague Francis ventured back side of the venue to take stock of the numbers. We lost our selves in the Oceanic crowd waving Black Flags till the end of the fenced Football Ground. It was a marvelous experience finding People perched thickly in the second Cricket Ground and Road side fencing. My Colleague exclaimed nearly a LAC. I muttered the same.
It was a Historic moment in Mangalore; a Protest attended by Main and Sectarian Christians, showing Unity and Disciplined Strength to oppose the un warranted Soma Shekar Commission Report submitted to the State Government.
We want TRUTH, nothing but TRUTH
Afred J. Rebello,, India Feb 21, 2011
This is the actual way of protesting for un-justice done to a community by some. Protesting is our right but not vandalism. Let us not take law in our handes like some un-educated (though they claim educated) people. In democracy, we have the right to protest in a peaceful way to get justice. I hope our State Government will open their eyes and punish the culprits. Yes, people must have accepted their guilt and therefore they left fanatic groups and joined some other groupos. At the same time I hope they will not indulge in any corrupt ways of making money, like some politicians do. I have no problem anybody joining any party provided they bring justice to all including giving up corruption. Will it happen? It is a big question mark.

Anyway thanks for well organized march. Well done.
DONY LOBO, MILAGRES, DOHA, Qatar Feb 21, 2011
There were quite a few prominent and influential people missing in this all important rally and it is quite difficult to understand the reasons….

a) None of the prominent lawyers are seen at least in the photographs

b) Absence of the well-known Catholic figures like Justice Michael Saldanha, Oscar Fernandes, Mrs.Octavia Albuqurque, Mr.FTR Colaco, Mr.Joe Gonzalves, Mr.Harry Saldanha, Mr.Collin D’Silva, Mr.Clarence Pais and others …robbed a lot of impact from this rally

c) The rally should have been lead by strong and intelligent Lay People like Mr.Austin Prabhu or Benna Ruzai. It was Mr.Austin Prabhu’s leadership and the rousing speech he delivered that made the massive rally held in the early eighties against the Freedom of Religion bill made a tremendous impact on the entire gathering. Their presence would have had electrifying effect on the youth and drawn them in their thousands to attend the rally and delivered the message of the movement to those in power......LOUD and CLEAR.

d) If they along with Mr.C.G.Sequeira (Well-known and powerful Konkany Writer) had to address the huge gathering……it certainly would have made all those watching from sidelines (including Yeddy, Somashekhar, Dr.Achar and the rest of the bandwagon) get the clear message of this mammoth rally.

e) While the efforts behind the rally is laudable however the movement lead by religious leaders (some with questionable reputations)....will only give undesirable political colour to the whole efforts.

f) Religious leaders at least now must wake up and realize their folly of suppressing lay leadership talents all this while because if in the future we ever encounter similar situations again…it is they who can make the voice of the community heard loud and clear.
Anil Albert D'Souza , India Feb 21, 2011
I appreciate and congratulate the Dicoese of Mangalore under the able guidance and leadership of Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D'Souza - Bishop of Mangalore along with the CSI Bishop, Bishop of Puttur, Bishop of Belthangady and Former CSI Bishop for having joined hands together in fighting for a cause that has let down the Catholic Community of Karnataka and Mangalore in particular. May this unity shake the walls of the State Government in handing over the entire case to the CBI. Thank one and all.
Naveen D'Souza, Milagres, India Feb 21, 2011
I was at this rally yesterday and happy to say it was conducted with the utmost decorum and discipline. Proud to be an Indian in democratic India. Somashekara sir I hope you have got the point.
Arun Rodrigues, UAE Feb 20, 2011
Since the CM has publicly cheated by appointing his classmate as Judge, all our christain leaders should boycott this Yeddy. He should not be allowed to enter in Mangalore.

BISHOP of Mangalore, just confont our CM PEACEFULLY & then we will get justice.

Now the protest is over? after this what? Any action or again the files go to dust bin. We call it as file 13.
clifford leo d.souza, India Feb 20, 2011
we shown our unity yesterday with Christ
we must continue
Lawrence Mascarenhas, USA Feb 20, 2011
One of the most decent, disciplined and civilized ways of protest with least inconvenience to the general public. I hardly see any police around. Will this "Slience of Lambs" be resulted in change of heart by the beasts?
kuldeep Kamath, India Feb 20, 2011
In the final analysis this is a political problem, Christians must find a political solution. Bishops must hand this over to people like Mr. Colaco. Why is he missing in today’s rally? Even Oscar Fernendes though present has not given a chance to speak at the rally why? Where are your political leaders? Can your religious leaders lie low so that the lay leaders come up and find lasting solutions for these socio-political problems?
A.S.Mathew, USA Feb 20, 2011
March foward in faith and love, and our
journey of peace for justice will conquer
the mountain peak one day very soon; because God's promises are solid.
Alwyn, Canada Feb 20, 2011
Great work of our christians leaders. Overall good job. Show the world we can do something for justice.
Sally, Haiti Feb 20, 2011
Very well demonstrated and represented the feelings of christians who were just the victims of harassment against minority. May the petitions submitted to the higher ups for consideration get the justice it deserves. May God bless our efforts.
Fr Vijay, India Feb 20, 2011
greate...Violet .. good coverage.. so fast and quick.. I think you are the first one to report..Thanks for the coverage
AMAR NATHAL, India Feb 20, 2011
Unlike political rallies, this one looks very civilized way of conducting rally.
Max & Jessie Rasquinha, USA Feb 20, 2011
There are so many protests all over the world with so many grievances and with so many messages. Many protests unfortunately turned into bloodshed and destructions. Each and every protest is meant and directed towards peace, harmony and much more. Each and every Govt has to watch the fundamental reasons for these protests.

The protest march in Mangalore was indeed praiseworthy and timely. The message was well delivered by the discipline and by the determination of the peace-loving and God fearing people. The noble leaders of India must lend their ears and their hearts for the just cause of the people. That is the beauty of leadership we must try and cherish in order to boast our secular values of Mother India.

Whenever our Indian leaders visit America we always take the opportunity to share with them our pride of their leadership and wish the continued success in all their pursuits of life towards patriotic India. Words are not cheap any more. Precious words have to be transformed into reality if India has to continue to be an exemplary secular nation of the world. Our hope and our trust in our leaders need a favorable response.
Paul Pinto, India Feb 20, 2011
Nice to see that So much People have taken part in the Protest Rally. Thanks to all the People. Love You all.
Fr Richie Rego, India Feb 20, 2011
Great coverage; good & quick!
Marisa Monteiro, UAE Feb 20, 2011
Fantastic photos. Keep up the good work.
oswald Pais, India Feb 20, 2011
Well done Voilet. very much appreciated for covering the historic event. Don't have words to express the feelings of the faithful. It was well organized & high discipline was maintained. My best wishes to both of you & May God bless all of us.

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