For the first time in the history of the Indian Republic, two territories have abolished Good Friday as a holiday, according to a March 14, 2019 article in Asia News. This anti-Christian decision comes in the middle of the Indian national election campaign, in the hopes of remaining in power with the April 2019 elections.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are two former Portuguese colonies, divided by the British, and situated on the west coast of the country. Catholicism is a small minority in this region, with a total of only 11 churches.
The faithful heard the bad news at the beginning of Lent 2019: Good Friday is no longer a holiday, which means that many will not be able to go to the church to commemorate the Passion and death of Christ.
For Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Indian Bishops’ Conference (CBCI), this news shows that “a clear discrimination is being practiced by the Administrator (who represents the central government of New Dehli).”
There have been similar attempts in the past; “there was an attempt to declare Christmas as Good Governance Day, but that failed,” recalled Bishop Mascarenhas.
How can one not see a causal link? General elections in both territories are to be held just after Easter, on April 23, 2019, to designate the members of the government and the representatives in the Lower House of the Indian Federal Parliament (Lok Sabha).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist party—the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—has been losing ground over the past few months, and the Congress party directed by Rahul Gandhi, a well-known name in the land of the Maharajas, is right on its heels.
Elected with a program to “Hinduize” society at forced march, Narendra Modi is attempting at all costs to motivate his electors by exploiting their anti-Christian and anti-Muslim nationalist sentiments in order to get back ahead of the race and remain in power.
This scenario will once again take its toll on the Christian minority.