Khriedi Theünuo and Congress Rally Against Religious Intolerance as Lok Sabha Elections Approach

Khriedi Theünuo

In a stirring address to the public in Dimapur on 4 April 2024, Khriedi Theünuo, the working president of the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC), raised a clarion call against the rising tide of religious intolerance in India.

Amidst the charged atmosphere of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Theünuo’s speech was a beacon of the Congress party’s dedication to secular values. He warned of the dangers that divisive politics pose to the nation’s unity. Theünuo’s words were not just rhetoric; they were a reflection of the Congress party’s resolve to uphold India’s pluralistic ethos.

Theünuo shone a light on the distress faced by the Christian community in Assam and the violent confrontations between the Kuki and Meitei communities in Manipur. He did not mince words in his critique of the government’s response—or lack thereof—to the crisis in Manipur, urging for immediate measures to mend the rift and bring about peace.

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The Congress leader’s concerns extended to the broader national canvas, where he saw the fabric of communal harmony being stretched thin. He pointed to the increasing number of laws that seem to target religious minorities, suggesting that such legislation could sow seeds of discord in Nagaland as well.

The recent surge in violence against Christians in various states, with extremists disrupting worship and levying accusations of forced conversions, was a focal point of Theünuo’s impassioned speech. The ongoing strife in Manipur, with its tragic toll of death and displacement, was held up as a mirror to the potential future if these issues are not addressed with the gravity they deserve.

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Theünuo also cast a wary eye on recent legislative changes that he felt could undermine Nagaland’s autonomy, as guaranteed by Article 371A. He questioned the central government’s motives and emphasised the importance of preserving the region’s distinct cultural identity.

In a bold move, he accused the BJP-led government of weaponising central agencies against political adversaries and suppressing dissenting voices. This, he suggested, was indicative of a broader pattern of governance that could threaten the democratic fabric of the nation.

With the 2024 general elections on the horizon, the battleground of ideas is set. The Congress party, armed with its principle of secularism, is poised to challenge what it perceives as the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist narrative.

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Khriedi Theünuo’s vehement denunciation of religious intolerance and his call to action resonate with the Congress’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of all religious communities.

As India prepares for the elections, the government’s stance on religious intolerance and its capacity to ensure the well-being of all communities will be under scrutiny. The decisions made and the paths chosen in the coming months could shape the destiny of India’s secular promise and the liberties of its diverse populace. The nation watches, waits, and hopes for a future where tolerance and unity triumph over division and discord.

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