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View: Reddy's death undeniably a colossal loss for Christians

View: Reddy's death undeniably a colossal loss for Christians

Author: Dibin Samuel
Publication: Christian Today
Date: September 5, 2009
URL: http://in.christiantoday.com/articles/view-reddys-death-undeniably-a-colossal-loss-for-christians/4481.htm

The entire nation is in a state of shock over the tragic death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Without doubt, the death is more of a shock and cause of grief to the Christian community who slowly-yet-surely had found a pillar of support at the highest level of the Government in this really fearful and tumultuous time.

Since the news of his helicopter missing, hands were joined for a miracle. The newspapers, television, radio followed every bit of the search which was said to be India's largest search and rescue mission for a VIP. Twenty-four hours later the result was out: the champion of the poor and voiceless was found charred with rest of the crew on top of a hill in the tiger reserve forest of Kurnool district.

Church leaders in India would agree that it would take another decade to find a peer commensurate with Reddy who was even-handed and filled with egalitarian and inclusive principles. Reddy's audacious decisions and staunch actions had brought cheer to the minuscule community at various times. If Reddy's death is the greatest loss in the political circle, the same goes for Christians whose pleas had been humbly addressed and grievances punctually redressed by the deceased leader.

Without question, Reddy's action spoke larger than words. Just ten days back, in a first, the Christian politico dauntlessly adopted a resolution supporting the Dalit Christians. Remember, not recently or past, has anyone of this stature made such a move to emancipate millions of Dalits whose predicaments fell deaf ears until now. It was something to cheer. The chief minister was praised and thanked by leading Christian councils.

It was not an outright move. The decision to back Dalit Christians came after many delegations met at his office and beseeched help. To all, Reddy promised action. Apparently he had even promised to lead a Christian delegation to New Delhi to speak to the highest authorities and bring justice to the 20 million Dalit Christians. Unlike others whose promising words come to satiate their lust for power and yearn for limelight, Reddy's was factual. Following his visit to Delhi with a delegation, it was pertinent that Minister for Minorities came out with a statement acknowledging that all probes proved the causes of Dalit Christians and a positive response was in the offing.

Further, a perusal of his contributions in his own state evinces more. The chief minister apart from taking gargantuan tasks that brought unprecedented development had pioneered scores of initiatives for Christians. "He set up the A.P. State Christian Finance Corporation which is first of its kind in the country. He also introduced the novel schemes like Government subsidy to the Holy Land and assistance for Christian Mass Marriages for the first time," according to Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC), a state-level apex body of the Bishops and Heads of Churches of all Christian Denominations.

Turning back to August 2008, when violence spread like wildfire against Christians, the chief minister voiced his discontentment, and his state government offered refuge to many hundreds who fled the marauding mobs in their home district, Kandhamal, where their homes, churches and institutions were razed down after the death of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati.

As we are overwhelmed with the feeling of loss and prayers are told for the bereaved families, it is also well timed to enlighten ourselves how tiny we are in this earth, our brilliant techies and technologies which appeared impotent and deficient during that intimidating search operation that we all watched over TV channels. Truly, the meagerness of our intelligence only must amplify our trust in God as we continue to believe him to be the panacea of our lives.

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