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‘Enough’ Campaign to Stem Violence Against Women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the ‘Enough’ campaign tells us how to safely intervene

Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. Whether it takes place in the home, workplace or in public, everyone has a role to play in ending abuse – and we must all step up and play our part to help make society a safer place for everyone. 

The UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women coincides with the UK government’s second phase of its ‘Enough’ campaign. The campaign is encouraging people to take simple steps to safely take action when they see different types of harassment or abuse.  Whether it’s sexual harassment on the street, verbal harassment on public transport, sharing intimate images of someone without their consent or being controlled or coerced – together we can challenge and stop perpetrators of abuse.

Polly Harrar Founder of the Sharan Project a U.K. based charity providing support and advice to vulnerable women, particularly of South Asian origin

“When abuse towards women and girls goes unchecked, it becomes normalised, and we all have a role to play to stop this. Women from the South Asian community already face a number of barriers and challenges seeking support. The ‘Enough’ campaign is shining a light on the different forms of abuse and how small acts of recognition and support can help prevent this from happening.”

Malika victim of controlling or coercive behaviour

“I was in an abusive marriage, my partner controlled every aspect of my life. I was so lonely and felt too ashamed to speak to anyone about it, not even my family. A friend of mine could see what was happening. She shared some information with me about domestic abuse and that helped me to see that what my partner was doing was wrong. I am so glad she stepped in. Knowing that she cared enough about me to see what was happening and to offer help made all the difference to me. It gave me enough confidence and courage to finally leave my marriage.”

Whilst most people recognise that intervening to stop violence against women and girls is important, some people worry about putting themselves at risk or making the situation worse. However, witnesses can play a powerful role in stopping abuse from taking place and intervening doesn’t have to be dramatic or confrontational. There are many different ways you can safely help.

It’s important to remember that it might not be safe to intervene in the moment and if you think someone is in immediate danger you can call 999 to report to the police.

The ‘Enough’ campaign shares four simple ways to help people safely intervene that can be remembered using the STOP mnemonic: Say something, Tell someone, Offer support, Provide a distraction. Any one or a combination of these actions can be used depending on the situation.

Say something

You can show your disapproval at what is going on, for example saying ‘I don’t think that’s funny’ or you could be more direct, if you feel it’s safe to do so, by saying it’s unacceptable and tell them to stop.

Tell someone

You could tell someone in charge, like Human Resources (HR) if you’re at work, or the train guard or bus driver if you’re on public transport. You could also tell another member of the public or a passer-by and see if they’re willing to help – working together can be a safer, more effective way to intervene.

Offer support

You can ask the victim if they’re OK. You could capture what’s happening on your phone and ask if they want the footage to report the incident, and you could offer to help report it. You could also help others already giving support. If it’s someone you know, check in with them when they are alone and offer to help them to report it if they want. If you think they might be in an abusive relationship, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice.

Provide a diversion

Sometimes what’s best in the moment is creating a distraction, giving the person being targeted a chance to move away or giving others the opportunity to get help. You could strike up a conversation with the victim, e.g. ask for directions, or where the next stop is on the bus, or pretend you know them.

The ‘Enough’ campaign provides information on support services, how to report abuse to the police and offers guidance for individuals worried about their own behaviour.

For more information, visit http://www.gov.uk/enough

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Asia News Community Health

Covid-19 booster vaccine for pregnant women

Pregnant women are eligible for both a free flu and Covid-19 booster vaccine this winter. Getting your winter vaccines in pregnancy is just as important as ever

 Pregnancy can be an exciting, yet vulnerable time for any woman, but Covid-19 fears and isolation have added an extra strain. It feels like it is all behind us now, but viruses like Covid-19 and flu can spread more easily in winter when we all mix more indoors, so healthcare experts are advising expectant mums to make sure they get their vaccines.

Over a million babies were born in the UK during the height of the pandemic. We talked to three mums about their decisions on vaccination and their experiences of having a baby during the pandemic.

Samira

DR RAHIM

“I was lucky enough to have my baby in the latter part of the pandemic,” says Paediatrician and mum of three Dr Kiran Rahim, “Lots of things felt weird and strange at a time of happiness, like my husband not being allowed in for a scan. Many services like drop-in weight clinics and breastfeeding support were cancelled due to Covid restrictions. The worst part was the lack of contact with health visitors.”

“I had my two Covid vaccines and then a booster and a flu jab while pregnant”, says Dr Rahim. “And as a frontline healthcare worker, I am eligible for Covid-19 booster and flu jab this winter which I have just had, whilst still breastfeeding. Both immunisations are safe at any stage of pregnancy, and many millions of doses have been administered worldwide to pregnant women.”

While the vaccines are safe, there are risks from both viruses during pregnancy.

“Complications from Covid and flu while pregnant can be very dangerous for both mother and baby. In the very worst cases, they can lead to death or stillbirth,” says Dr Rahim. “There are new variants of Covid all the time, it’s unpredictable and the risks are still out there. The flu virus can also change each year, so it’s important to boost your protection to both viruses before winter.”

“This is not the time to be complacent,” says Dr Rahim. Falling ill presents additional risks while pregnant. Vaccines are our best line of defence, which are freely available on the NHS and easy to get.

Tanviha

TANVIHA

Unfortunately, trainee clinical scientist Tanviha Quaraishi-Akhtar experienced some of these complications first-hand. Tanviha had an emergency C-section after falling seriously ill with Covid, giving birth at just 33 weeks. She was so unwell with Covid that she couldn’t hold her premature son before he was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit.

“Just a week later, I was in ICU alone, in a medically induced coma. I almost died and was kept unconscious for over two months. I finally met and held my son when he was 12 weeks old. It is so sad to think I missed out on these important early months. Had the vaccine been available whilst I was pregnant, I would have definitely accepted it, and my experience could have been avoided”.

As a scientist, Tanviha believes it’s so important for people in the Asian community to make sure they get their information about vaccines from a reliable source like the NHS website – there’s far too much misinformation out there and you shouldn’t trust everything you read on social media.

Samira

SAMIRA

“I got the Covid vaccine while pregnant last year, and I’d do it again,” says influencer and blogger Samira Ahmed. “I was really sick with the Delta variant in my first trimester and was lethargic for months after recovering. I was so worried that getting sick had harmed my baby. I wanted to avoid catching it again and got vaccinated – it was a load off my mind.”

Samira also makes sure her four-year-old gets the flu vaccine as a nasal spray. “I don’t want him to miss out on school and vaccines make these things avoidable.” I also had him vaccinated each autumn when he was a pre-schooler.

A UK study found that pregnant women admitted to a hospital with Covid infection having received 2 or 3 vaccine doses, were less likely to have more severe disease or require intensive care admission than women who had not been vaccinated. However, uptake of vaccines is lower in Asian communities – last winter, for example, just 29% of Pakistani pregnant women had the flu jab.

Studies show that protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines decreases over time, even if you’ve had previous doses of the vaccine. So, it’s important you ‘top up’ your immunity this autumn. Pregnancy alters how the body handles infections such as flu, which is why you are advised to get the flu vaccine too. It’s safe to get both vaccines together. They do not contain live viruses and cannot infect the baby. Find out how to book your vaccine appointments now at your GP surgery, or local pharmacy or check with your maternity service. Visit nhs.uk/wintervaccinations

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Asia News Community Health

South Asians Urged to Check Cancer Symptoms

South Asians urged to get life saving GP checks as data reveals more than 40% unaware of common abdominal and urological cancer symptoms

An NHS campaign backed by South Asian healthcare professionals is encouraging people with potential cancer symptoms to come forward for life saving checks. Despite abdominal and urological cancers making up nearly half of all cancer diagnoses in England, as well as two in five cancer deaths, new data reveals that most South Asians are less likely to recognise cancer symptoms, which could prevent them seeking help.

Cancers in the abdominal area include bowel, oesophageal, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian and uterine cancers, while urological cancers include prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. Symptoms that could be possible signs of these cancers are persistent diarrhoea, prolonged discomfort in the tummy area or blood in your urine – even just once.

Even when symptoms such as persistent tummy troubles or diarrhoea are recognised, more than half of the South Asians surveyed said they would put off going to see their doctor due to feeling embarrassed. However, loved ones may play a crucial role to change this, as over 50% of South Asians were more likely to talk to their family and friends first if they were concerned about possible cancer symptoms.

“There is clearly a lot of work to be done in South Asian communities to increase awareness of cancer symptoms,” says Dr Anant Sachdev, CRUK GP and TVCA Clinical Lead Prevention & Early Diagnosis, who is backing the campaign. “If you notice your loved ones experiencing these symptoms, please urge them to contact their GP immediately and get checked out right away.”

The data by Censuswide found that awareness of a range of potential cancer symptoms was in each case considerably low among South Asians (42% on average), including:

  • Feeling bloated for three weeks or more (44% unaware)
  • Needing to pee urgently (43% unaware)
  • Diarrhoea for more than three weeks (40% unaware)

In addition, respondents were asked about bladder and bowel cancer specifically

  • Blood in pee or stools as symptoms of bladder and bowel cancers (43% unaware for both)

Most South Asians (81%) however did recognise tummy discomfort as a possible symptom of urological and abdominal cancers.

The ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign comes as research shows many South Asians are conscious of wasting their doctor’s time.

To address this, South Asian healthcare professionals are coming together to back the campaign and to let the community know that the NHS is open and that people can access the health services they need when they need them.

“South Asians tend to put their family first, even above their own health. But going to see your GP when experiencing cancer symptoms is the best way to ensure you can be with your family for as long as possible,” says Dr Jyoti Soodi, GP and Clinical Director.

“Do not just rely on herbal remedies and prayer to treat your symptoms. If you see any unusual changes like unexplained tummy pain or diarrhoea that doesn’t go away for three weeks or more, or blood in your pee even once, go and see your GP immediately. It’s probably nothing serious but it could be a sign of cancer and finding it early makes it more treatable and can save your life.”

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-Top News Community USA

Biden’s solidarity message on 10th anniversary of Wisconsin gurdwara attack

On the tenth anniversary of the attack on the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, US President Joe Biden on Friday called for strict measures to reduce gun violence and defeat domestic terrorism and hate in all its forms, including the poison of white supremacy.

Mourning the loss of lives in the attack, Biden said, “The Oak Creek shooting was the deadliest attack on Sikh Americans in our nation’s history. Tragically, attacks on our nation’s houses of worship have only become more common over the past decade. It is up to all of us to deny this hate-safe harbour.”

 According to the official statement, Biden said that when generations of Sikh-Americans in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, constructed their own place of worship after years of renting local halls, it was a sacred place of their own and a connection shared with the broader community.

“That sense of peace and belonging was shattered on the morning of August 5, 2012, when a white supremacist wielding a semiautomatic handgun arrived at the Gurdwara and began shooting.”

The gunman murdered six people and wounded four that day, as well as another victim who survived his wounds only to succumb to them years later.

“Jill and I know that days like today bring back the pain like it happened yesterday, and we mourn with the victims’ families, the survivors, and the community devastated by this heinous act,” the US President said.

He further said that “Oak Creek has shown us the way. After the attack, the Sikh community returned to their Gurdwara and insisted on cleaning it themselves.”

“The son of one of the victims became the first Sikh in American history to testify before Congress, successfully calling for the federal government to track hate crimes against Sikhs and other minority groups,” US President added.

Every year, the congregation now hosts an annual memorial run to honour the victims. The event bears the words Charhdi Kala, meaning “eternal optimism.”

Biden said, “Fueled by that spirit of eternal optimism, we must continue to take steps now to reduce gun violence and keep our fellow Americans safe.”

Biden said that no one should fear for their life when they bow their head in prayer or go about their lives in America.

He said, “We must continue to take steps now to reduce gun violence and keep our fellow Americans safe. We must do more to protect places of worship, and defeat domestic terrorism and hate in all its forms, including the poison of white supremacy.”

“We must ban assault weapons–used in many mass shootings at houses of worship and other sites across the country–as well as high-capacity magazines. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to do just that,” Biden added.

The US President said that to stand in defence of religious freedom, we must all stand together to ban the weapons that terrorize congregations around our country. (ANI)

ALSO READ: ‘India stands by its CAA commitment’: Doval assures Afghan sikhs

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Asia News Community India News

GALLERY: Kargil Vijay Diwas in Kashmir

Kashmiris celebrate “Kargil Vijay Diwas” with various activities. Army soldiers along with locals take part in “Kargil Vijay Diwas Tiranga boat” rally in River Jhelum. To commemorate the 23rd ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, a host of events were organised under the aegis of Northern Command, culminating into the final event on 26th July 2022. Feroz Ahmed Khan, Chief Executive Counsellor Kargil was the Chief Guest and Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, AVSM, GOC-in-C, Northern Command was the Chief Host for the major event. A picture story.

PIC: Umar Ganie/APH IMAGES/ASIAN LITE

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-Top News Asia News Community

Ethnic tensions rise in Pakistan after Sindhi youth murder

Bilal Kaka, a Sindhi youth was shot dead by Pathans at a restaurant over a food bill during Eid-ul-Azah, reports Asian Lite News

Shops and hotels, owned by Pashtuns, were closed by the Sindhis as the ethnic tensions flared up in several districts in Sindh province following the killing of 35-year-old Bilal Kaka at a hotel in Hyderabad a couple of days ago, media reports said.

Bilal Kaka, a Sindhi youth was shot dead by Pathans at a restaurant over a food bill during Eid-ul-Azah. According to the media reports, the hotel owners allegedly shot dead Bilal Kaka and injured his two friends after a dispute over a food bill at the Super Salateen Hotel near Wadhu Wah near Hyderabad bypass – one of the most popular areas in Hyderabad.

In the aftermath of the killing, there were massive protests registered across the Sindh province. The leaders from across the political spectrum unanimously called for calm, urging people not to let rogue elements disturb the social harmony of the province, reported Dawn.

Several violent incidents were reported in the province on Thursday. Several political parties, including JI, MQM-Pakistan, Awami National Party, and nationalist leaders Jalal Mehmood Shah and Ayaz Latif Palijo issued statements, urging both Sindhis and Pashtuns — the two groups at the heart of these tensions — to demonstrate restraint.

The political parties also demanded the government to take prompt action to defuse the tensions.

According to the local media, illegal Afghan residents are involved in narcotics and money lending at a heavy rate of interest. It further noted that they were also involved in killing the Sindhi youths.

Local media further pointed out that police authorities and others in law-enforcement departments do not act against such elements.

They said Balal Kaka’s case is not just one isolated case but it is the result of an influx of outsiders into Sindh. They said peaceful political movements are the only way out to get rid of outsiders’ influx into Sindh.

Meanwhile, Sindh United Party Chairman and Convener of Sindh Action Committee, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said that the law-and-order problem in Sindh is increasing because of the Afghans living in Sindh and others coming to Sindh from elsewhere.

Hundreds of protesters from the Kaka tribe took to the national highway in Sindh province to protest against the killing of Balal Kaka.

Rallies were held at Qambar, Jacobabad, Nawabashah, Tando Mohammad Khan, Halan, and at Kariyo Ghunoor by different groups including nationalist Jiye Sindh Quami Mahaz and Awami Tehreek, Sindh Tarqui Pasand’s Students’ Federation and Sindh United Party.

Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) has announced demonstrations across Sindh Friday on July 15 demanding the ouster of outsiders in Sindh, reported local media.

JSQM chairman said that Afghans staying in Sindh are the major reason for ruining Sindh.

Taking a dig at authorities, he said that the Afghans also seem to have got licences now to kill Sindhi youth in Karachi and Hyderabad. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Ethnic violence rages in Pakistan

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Community India News

Kashmiri Muslims participate in marriage ceremony of Kashmiri Pandit woman

Another local Altaf Ahmad said that they have been living and brought up together in the neighbourhood and it was their duty to participate in Hindu woman’ marriage ceremony…reports Asian Lite News

In yet another example of centuries old tradition and communal harmony, Kashmiri Muslims participated in marriage ceremony of a Kashmiri Pandit woman in Lar village of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Locals said that the Muslim neighbours participated in the marriage ceremony of Meenu Kumari daughter of Late Pandit Mohan Lal in Lar village.

They said that they participated in every ritual of the marriage ceremony of pandit woman and also eat together, while being with their Pandit brethren for the last four days.

“This is an example of age old tradition and communal harmony under which both Muslim and Pandit families have been living together, even as there have been unfavourable conditions many times,” the locals said.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters, district president Ganderbal Sanatham Dharam Sabha, Badrinath Bhat said that the function was going on for the last four days here and in these four days, Muslim neighbours including men and women participated in every ritual.

He said that Muslim men and women participated in mehandiraat, other rituals including singing and dancing, which gives a clear message that how Muslims and Hindus have been living in their neighbourhood in the Kashmir Valley.

“We have been living together for years now and we have participating in each other’s functions, be it marriage, someone’s death or any other function, we have been together. Recently some of our Muslim brothers went for Haj pilgrimage, we also went to see them off like their Muslim relatives did,” he said.

Meanwhile, another local Altaf Ahmad said that they have been living and brought up together in the neighbourhood and it was their duty to participate in Hindu woman’ marriage ceremony.

He said that this a centuries old bond between Hindus and Muslims here and it will not be broken by any mischievous element. “We have been living together and we will continue to do so and will support and love each other in every thick and thin,” he said.

Muslim women were seeing welcoming the groom and also participated in singing and dancing including “Kashmiri Wanwun” along with Pandit woman during the marriage ceremony—(KNO)

ALSO READ-Kashmiri student bags $70K scholarship to study in Qatar

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Community Europe India News

Annual General Assembly of Hindu Forum of Europe held in Spain

The two-day Annual General Assembly of Hindu Forum of Europe was successfully held at Campus Phi, Caceres in Spain recently.

National Hindu representatives from different countries including Hindu Federation of Spain, Hindu Forum of Sweden, Hindu Forum of Italy, Hindu of Forum of Belgium, and Hindu Forum of Germany were in attendance, besides Jain Temple Antwerp, Hinduisa Italy, Hindu Matters in Britain and Sanskruti Centre.

Swami Rameshwarananda Giri introducing Mayor Alviz

Spiritual advisor of HFE Swami Rameshwarananda Giri welcomed all at Campus Phi on the first day, which saw the Mayor of Acebo Javier Alviz Rodriguez speaking and a wonderful video message from the President of the Government of Extremadura (Spain) Mr. Guillermo Fernandez Vara.

The plenary session started with a traditional invocation dance by Ragasudha Vinjamuri followed by the presentation of each of the member’s activities and milestones during the last two years. Dr. Lakshmi Vyas outlined the activities of HFE and acknowledged its Patrons, Advisors, and Spiritual Leaders.

The members later discussed issues and challenges faced by the Hindu communities in different countries ranging from the availability of chaplain and priest services, and cremation sites, to the recognition of Hindu/Sanatana Dharma at national levels. Dr. Lakshmi Vyas, Marie Mandakini, Krishna Kripa Dasa, Gianluca, Parabhakti, Martin Gurvich, Vaidyanath, Arun Jogani, Kesh Morjaria, and Ragasudha Vinjamuri have all presented their reports and inputs on-site and have touched upon the need to act as a unified force.

Mayor Alviz speaking at HFE Meet

Meditation, Yoga, Vishwa Shanti Homa, a presentation on Vedantic answer for a Sustainable Lifestyle, and other environmental activities were key elements on the second day marking World Environment Day and month-long celebrations of International Day of Yoga in Spain.

Elections took place and the new Board took charge in the presence of all members. Dr. Lakshmi Vyas continues to serve as the President of HFE, while Krishna Kripa Dasa takes charge as the Vice President and Gianluca serves as Treasurer and Secretary.

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Movies to celebrate ‘pride month’

This critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama revolves around coming to terms with queerness in African-American cultures. The movie won three Oscars including Best Picture in 2017…writes Lothungbeni Humtsoe

Cinema becomes an important reflection of what life is, often a celebration. It sometimes also mirrors the nuances of the struggles people go through, struggles which are incomprehensible in real life.

“In order to be an ally, you need to acknowledge the struggles, celebrations, and lives of queer individuals. Queer movies become a source of understanding the queer experience which in return gives you an insight into how similar yet different our lives are. It not only expand your understanding of queer lives but also sensitize you to the struggle and oppression that the community went through at the hands of patriarchy and heteronormativity”, says Yashwant Panwar, Communications lead Imbue Natural.

This Pride Month, here’s a look at the movies that have helped us understand and witness what it means to be queer in different parts of the world.

Fire

Loosely based on Ismat Chugtai’s sensational short story Lihaaf, Fire is one of the first Indian movies that explicitly depicted the struggle of queer women in an overtly homophobic and patriarchal society.

Memories in March

This masterpiece by Rituparono Ghosh not only gives us a perspective on coming to terms with queerness, but also teaches how grief brings people together.

Aligarh

A movie that strips itself off of all the subtle metaphors and gives us a raw depiction of what it means to be queer in a religion-driven homophobic Indian society. This is not just the story of professor Siras but everyone who had to face discrimination because of their identity.

Blue is the Warmest Colour

A coming-of-age story about love, acceptance, betrayal and accepting your identity.

Carol

An adaptation of the romantic novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, the story revolves around the relationship between Carol, a recently divorced mother and Therese, an aspiring photographer.

Boys Don’t Cry

Based on the murder of Nebraskan Trans-man Brendon Teena, this is one of the first movies that initiated the conversation around gender and transphobia in mainstream cinema.

Moonlight

This critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama revolves around coming to terms with queerness in African-American cultures. The movie won three Oscars including Best Picture in 2017.

Margarita with A Straw

One of the first Indian movies to depict queerness and disability explicitly. The story revolves around Leila Kapoor, a teenage girl with cerebral palsy and her encounter with bisexuality, new york, family and life.

Kapoor and Sons

A Bollywood anomaly that depicts a queer experience as a practical reality, instead of sensationalising or de-sensitising sexual identities.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This French masterpiece gives us the beauty of the female gaze. Set in the 1770s the story moves beyond the love of an artist and her muse by portraying love as an art.

ALSO READ-Ayushmann unveils pride flag to bring awareness

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Community India News Politics

Archbishop urges K’taka Guv not to give assent to anti-conversion bill

According to Census data, the percentage of Christian population in the country in 2001 was 2.34 per cent, and, as per the 2011 data, declined marginally to 2.30 per cent, he noted…reports Asian Lite News

A delegation, headed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bengaluru and Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council President, Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, on Monday appealed to Karnataka’s Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot to refrain from giving assent to the Protection of Religious Freedom Bill.

He said that the entire Christian community in Karnataka opposes the Bill, also known as the anti-conversion bill, in one voice.

“It is indeed a matter of great concern that the anti-conversion bill would become a tool for the fringe elements to take law into their own hands, and vitiate the atmosphere with provocations, false accusations, communal unrest in the otherwise peaceful state of Karnataka, the Archbishop said.

A few stray and sporadic incidents of conversion should not portray the entire community in bad light, he added.

The government’s statistics prove beyond doubt that, since Independence, there has been hardly any growth in conversions, and it is all fabricated to suit the political agendas of some political parties, he said.

According to Census data, the percentage of Christian population in the country in 2001 was 2.34 per cent, and, as per the 2011 data, declined marginally to 2.30 per cent, he noted.

Also, in Karnataka, the situation is in no way different, he said, adding that as per the statistics, Christians in Karnataka, as per the 2001 census, comprised 1.91 per cent, while it significantly decreased to 1.87 per cent in 2011.

“If there were rampant conversions, as claimed by some, the Christian population, both in state and nation, would have seen a considerable increase in numbers. But the facts and figures indicate that a lot of hue and cry, over religious conversion, is unrealistically magnified and grossly exaggerated,” Machado maintained.

“Hence, we, the representatives of the Christian community in Karnataka, strongly appeal to Your Excellency to refrain from giving assent to such an undesirable and discriminatory Bill in the interest and welfare of the Christian minority community, and also to maintain peace, harmony and unity among all the religious communities in the state and in the country,” he said.

The community questions the need for such an exercise when sufficient laws and court directives are in place to monitor any aberration of the existing laws, he said.

With the state Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Departments issuing an order to conduct a survey of both official and non-official Christian missionaries and institutions and establishments functioning in the state, Machado said: “When all the relevant data is already available (through the Census) with the government, why do we need yet another futile exercise? Why is only Christian minority community targeted and marked for this arbitrary, fallacious and illogical move? What is the motive that is driving them to do so?”

“It is a well-known fact that thousands of schools, colleges and hospitals are run and managed by Christian community across the state and country as well,” he said.

“May we reiterate the point that not a single incident of forced conversion has been reported so far. Then, where is the complaint coming from and what is the motive behind such false and fabricated news? Let the Government prove whether any one of them has ever been influenced, compelled or coerced to change his or her religion,” the Archbishop said.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had announced that his government would implement the anti-conversion law through promulgating an ordinance. The bill has been passed in the Assembly and but is yet to be presented in the Legislative Council.

ALSO READ-World mourns Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s death