Miscreants desecrate a cross in Kozhikode district in Kerala, the southern state of India but the Christian community pardoned them. The incident, the second of its kind in a month, took place at Thamarassery, in Kozhikode district, on October 24.
According to sources, five young men climbed over a 12-feet-high concrete cross on a hilltop in Thamarassery. They clicked photos and then circulated them on social media. The miscreants desecrated the cross amid political suspicions.
However the Christians of the southern Indian Catholic diocese have pardoned the vandals, who desecrated the cross. But some suspect this divisive move was to create religious discord ahead of Assembly elections in Kerala next year.
Miscreants desecrate a cross
According to the parishioners, the Catholic parish had erected the cross in Thamarassery in 1979 and it was their property. Five young men desecrated the cross, as they climbed over the 12-feet-high concrete cross on the hilltop. However, some parishioners overpowered the miscreants, and took them to a police station and filed a desecration complaint.
But the diocese intervened and withdrew the complaint. It also helped the young men get released from police custody, said the diocesan chancellor Father Benny Mundanattu.
“The miscreants desecrated a cross, but they asked for pardon and wanted to forgive them. They were in their teens. If we proceed with the case, it could have a negative impact on their future,” the priest said.
Politics of desecration?
Several parishes under the diocese and elsewhere in Kerala protested the desecration of the Cross, the holy symbol of Christians.
Catholics in Kanjirapally Diocese in Kottayam district, some 300 kilometers south of Thamarassery, held a ‘Way of the Cross’ on the main road. They prayed God for the change of hearts of people who are working against the Christian and desecrating their worship places.
“This is not the first time such activities have taken place in the state. The perpetrators be punished. So that no one dares to do it again,” one of the members said.
In a similar incident, some miscreants desecrated a cross in Poonjar town, said Catholic Congress members, a socio-political group. They joined for a protest meeting, local daily Deepika reported on Tuesday.
Some members of the Catholic Congress said the cross desecration was “a well-orchestrated conspiracy to insult the Christians in the state and incite communal violence” ahead of the state elections.
The Catholic Congress wanted the government in Kerala to initiate appropriate action against those whipping up communal frenzy.
Christians and Muslims traditionally vote for the opposition Congress party. Some political activists say that a Christian-Muslim divide could help the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Kerala, with some 33 million people, enjoys a unique religious combination. Christians (18 percent of the population) and Muslims (26 percent) can become decisive in elections. Hindus make up 55 percent of the population.