Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey & Zeeshan Jawed TNN

Kolkata:

Christmas-eve and morning-mass sermons at churches in at least four states went beyond the usual homilies to speak of the challenges of living in “turbulent times”, with some church leaders pointedly referring to the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.

In Kolkata, the f sermons calling for an end to the “politics of hate” came just before all churches get together on Thursday for a procession from the heritage St Paul’s Cathedral to protest against the new citizenship law. “We hope people of all faiths will walk against CAA at Thursday’s march,” Father Dominic Gomes, vicar general of the archdiocese of Kolkata, said.

Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church also sent out a strong message, saying the “barriers of differentiation and division being created among people and society are making us anxious”.

In Telengana’s Secunderabad, the Christmas Day congregation at Wesley’s Church included dozens of people holding placards bearing messages like “We Indians reject CAA and NRC” and “CAA against Constitution”.

In Assam, a banner put up outside the Dibrugarh Catholic Church — one of the oldest in the northeast — read: “We unite hand in hand with the nation to protest against CAA in a peaceful manner. May God enlighten our leaders.”

(With inputs from Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Dibrugarh)

Presidency University dean joins protest

The dean of humanities and social sciences of Presidency University, Pradip Basu, joined an anti-CAA rally led by students, teachers and non-teaching staff on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours later, a video of him at the rally went viral. The 63 year old, who did not think twice before saying yes to what he felt was a “much needed exercise”, said the “repurcussions”, if any, is a “little sacrifice” that is “affordable”. “There were no political flags in this protest. At least 30 other professors joined in along with non-teaching staff. How many more days would we be playing safe? Here is a party that is increasingly tending to use religious fascism on its own people,” Basu told TOI. TNN

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