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FIACONA- Fedration of India American Christian Organizations Of North America

FIACONA IS CAUTIOUS FOR A GOOD REASON WHILE WELCOMING THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA TO DC:

September 21, 2021, Washington DC. 

(Updated Sept 22, 9 PM EST) Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) welcomes the Prime Minister of India. We understand he will be participating in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) also known as the Quad with other leaders from Japan and Australia on September 23 and 24.

The success and effectiveness of QUAD’s mission depend on how strong and stable are its member states. The United States obviously wants to work with other major democratic nations who share her democratic values – not with those who just hold periodic elections without respect for the basic tenants and values of a democracy.

It is common knowledge that the Union of India is going through unprecedented challenges under Prime Minister Modi’s watch. We are concerned that some of those challenges have the potential to cause civil unrest in many parts of the Union where it has seriously undermined the democratic values and institutions in the name of religious majoritarianism.

Reports indicate that Modi’s hardline Hindu nationalist policies have seriously threatened the fundamentals of a multi-faith, multi-linguistic, and multi-racial equilibrium among different sections/regions of the Union. These aggressive domestic policies of the government of the Union of India headed by Modi are already stifling growth and threaten stability in many parts of India. Only those who are aligned with the hardcore Hindu nationalism, both in India and abroad refuse to acknowledge this fact.

A continued push for aggressive domestic policies by the Hindu nationalists would have far-reaching implications not only within the Union of India but also across the region. It has the potential to adversely impact the US business interests in the region as well.

A weaker India caused by such unrest and insecurity – real or perceived by large sections of the Indian population, could not only impact the stability and maritime trade across the Indian Ocean Corridor but also the national security interests of the United States here at home. Specifically, it could be counter-productive to the long-term goals of the QUAD in the Indian Ocean Corridor and the South China Sea region.
Ignoring similar developments for one or the other reason in the past (in places like Pakistan) when the US needed to achieve its strategic goals (in Afghanistan) has now taught us a valuable lesson.

The use of religious nationalism or religious politics tends to produce the same result – no matter whether it is Islamic nationalism or Buddhist nationalism. No reason to assume Hindu nationalism would be any different. Facts on the ground in India make it amply evident.

So, the United States can not afford to make similar strategic mistakes over and over. Ignoring the tell-tale signs of an increasingly radicalized society, or the deterioration of liberal democratic values in a country like India just to achieve short-term strategic goals will only turn out to be an expensive mistake for the US in the long run.

The US policymakers need to take serious cognizance of the style of functioning and perceived goals of the governments in member countries instead of just accepting their talking points however rationale it may sound.

The safety and security of over 100 million Christians and their continued existence in the Union of India without daily harassment from Hindu nationalist vigilante groups (supported and encouraged by Mr. Modi’s party officials) are inextricably tied to the respect for democratic values by successive governments there.
So, the United States and FIACONA have a common interest.

The international community should decide if they are willing to deal with a strong government with dictatorial tendencies while ignoring their transgressions for whatever reason? Does the United States willing to sacrifice the future of a democratic India in the process? Or does the United States and the international community would want to see India remain a nation that truly values and upholds the spirit of democratic ideals in 10, 15, or 20 years from now and be a true partner in dealing with threats from around the world?

Appeasement or willingness to turn a blind eye in return for state cooperation of a government subscribing to a religious-nationalist ideology could only result in undesirable outcomes in the long run for the United States as the record shows.

Misplaced priorities and misguided policies of the United States to achieve short-term gains could easily land not only all mainstream Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Dalits, and the Christians (who together make up the vast majority of the population there against the Hindu nationalists) in serious jeopardy. It could also drag the US into the quandary.

So, we ask that the Biden Administration is direct and honest with their Indian counterparts in saying that the Union of India must stop sliding down its current path. Measures need to be taken to ensure that.
The Hindu nationalist leaders must be told publicly in unambiguous terms that there will be consequences for continuing to encourage and lead India down the path of religious radicalism and vigilantism. They need to be told that all kinds of rationale and false narratives offered to the International community by the Modi government must stop.

Countermeasures must be planned should India continue down the path of radical religious nationalism.
After all, it takes the willingness of the United States and the international community to remain ignorant, for India to further slide down the negative path it has chosen.

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FIACONA Welcomes The Government of India’s Decision To Extend The Validity of FCRA Registration Certificates

Los Angeles, May 21, 2021
NRIpress.club/Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

Federation of Indian Christian Association of North America (FIACONA), an advocacy organization working to defend the religious freedom of Christians religious minorities in India welcomes the decision of the government of India to extend the validity of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) certification to charitable organizations which expired on September 29, 2020 until September 30 2021.
Another order issued by the government today extends the deadline for mandatory opening of a new bank account by these NGOs at a particular branch of the State Bank of India in Delhi, from March 31 2021 to June 30, 2021.

FIACONA recognizes that these are welcome changes. These measures will help several NGOs to continue their much-needed service during this pandemic at least for one more month.  We agree that NGOs should maintain good bookkeeping practices, but the government should not burden them with a heavy hand and unnecessary red tape which could essentially force them to shut down their operations. The government of India should recognize the good humanitarian work done by the NGOs and encourage them to carry out their charitable operations which will help millions of deserving people in India.

On May 16, 21  FIACONA accused the Government of India of hampering the efforts of non-governmental agencies by imposing unnecessary regulations by restricting their operations. FIACONA urged the Indian government to lift the restrictions for at least 12 months and sought help from the US Administration.
Creating a bottleneck by having all the NGOs open an account in a branch in Delhi is an undue burden on many NGOs especially the smaller ones that are located very far from Delhi.  A government should be sympathetic to the needs of disadvantaged and the oppressed, especially during a pandemic. It should encourage the work of NGOs rather than choking them for political reasons.
FIACONA thanks all those helped in the effort.

 

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Fedration of India American Christian Organizations Of North America, INC (FIACONA)
Invites You To Webinar On

Los Angeles, March. 09, 2021
NRIpress.club/Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

 

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The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) is established to represent a network of Indian Christian Organizations in the United States and Canada. FIACONA has formed strong alliances with interfaith groups and works towards the unity and goodwill of Indians around the world. FIACONA is an advocacy group for freedom of faith and is by far the most influential and recognized face of Indian Christians abroad.

FIACONA is deeply concerned about the increasing threats to the secular and pluralistic nature of Indian society and about the state of religious freedom of Christians in India.