CHRISTIAN BREAKING NEWS: Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (India Justice and Unity March): Indian Christian Leaders Hail Opposition Leader, Rahul Gandhi’s 6,700 KM Walkathon – Manipur Unity Event [#BharatJodo #BharatJodoYatra #BharatJodoNyayYatra]
Nyay: The Path To Peace In Manipur | Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra | Rahul Gandhi
Source: Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube Channel, @rahulgandhi
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi launches 6,700-kilometer walkathon from unstable northeastern state.
Christian leaders have hailed popular Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s 6,700-kilometer walkathon, which he began from Manipur, a state plagued by sectarian conflict and where tribal Christians are struggling for indigenous land rights.
Gandhi, a Congress Party member, began his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (India Justice-Unity March) on Jan. 14 in Manipur’s Thoubal district after the state’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government denied him permission to begin in Imphal, citing security concerns.
During his speech, Gandhi stated that the march was “less about us [leaders] and more about you [citizens],” criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for their divisive policies.
The sectarian conflict in Manipur, which borders civil war-torn Myanmar, has killed at least 200 people, largely tribal Kuki Christians, and displaced over 50,000.
Modi has not yet visited Manipur and has not taken any action against his party’s chief minister for failing to maintain peace and order in the state.
The violence began on May 3 when the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur held a rally in all hill districts of the state to protest a court judgment requiring the government to confer tribal status to the already powerful Meitei population.
This would qualify them for reservations in government employment and educational institutions under India’s affirmative action policy.
The situation remains tight in the state.
On Jan. 11, 4 men were reported missing as further violence erupted.
On Jan. 2, 7 security personnel on their way to a search operation were injured in an incident.
Thousands of indigenous Kuki people are still living in state-run relief camps after their houses and places of worship were burned and destroyed.
The Kukis, who are predominantly Christian and benefit from the affirmative action program, are opposed to awarding tribal status to the Meiteis, who are mostly Hindu and well off economically, socially, and politically.
Above important, this would allow the Meitei people, who make up 51% of the state’s 2.3 million population, to possess land in the highlands reserved for indigenous people.
“It is an appropriate move by Gandhi to select Manipur as it is being completely neglected by the prime minister and his government, the people of Manipur are feeling orphaned by the ruling party.”
– A.C. Michael, President of the Federation of Catholic Associations of the Archdiocese of Delhi
“Wanting peace in the northeast region of the country is the cry of its people.”
– Reverend Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), based in Manipur’s neighboring state of Nagaland
But the fear is that the opposition leader’s rally may become “a mere electoral instrument,” the Protestant church leader told UCA News on Jan. 15.
The 53-year-old Congress politician will conclude his walkathon in Mumbai, the country’s financial hub on the west coast.
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