“Do You remember the ending of the year, 2017?” asked Anand of Yoha.
“C’mon, which thing exactly do You mean?” she asked him.
“Yeah, You are right. What I meant was how some fringe elements had got it into their pretty little heads that what is commonly held as ‘New Year,’ the first of January, should not be ‘celebrated.’
“In the usual fashion, their spokesperson said that New Year for India was somewhere in the middle of March, and then alone could it be celebrated as New Year; and variously, the Midnight of the thirty first of December could be celebrated by and with touching the feet of one’s parents, taking the name of Ram, and all that.
“It is downright funny that these Fringe elements have taken to stating that they are ‘requesting’ the other parties to do this or not do that. Then they follow up and admit that the other parties, in the case of Not having complied with their ‘requests.’ Would and do face ‘some amount of violence!’”
“Yes, It would seem that they were trying to confuse the issue. First he said that the thirty first midnight could Not be celebrated as the New Year in India. Next, that if it was to be so, it was to be in ways of ‘their’ religion; for the name of Ram was clearly taken, though he moped around a bit and said each person could take the name of his own God.
“I see it as either trying to confuse the issue; or being confused oneself!” Yoha smiled as she said this.
“Or more probably both,” said Anand, seriously. “Anyway what struck me in that case was that not just the police, and that itself strikes me as a major wonder, but also the ruling party, issued firm statements that ‘Nobody would be allowed to take the law into their own hands.’
“Peculiar. That somebody tries to prevent another from celebrating his religious festival, and this is called taking the ‘law’ into one’s own hands,” said Anand.
“I remember the case very well, Anand,” said Yoha. “What strikes me, with great sadness, is that the fringe elements had said in their statements that they were taking these steps to prevent Conversions! What a huge Bogey that is!
“Christianity came to India right in the First century AD, and one of Christ’s own disciples, Thomas, is said to have done that, thus making this my religion nearly two thousand years old in this land of mine.
“And in two thousand years, despite they having cried conversion, conversion, Christians constitute just… Wait a minute, let me get the latest figures,” said Yoha as she fired up her laptop.
And Google search revealed, as seen in Wikipedia, according to the official figures available at the end of 2017, as just 2.3% of the population.
( Most probably shall not be inserting this graphic in the Novel).
Yoha was flabbergasted. “I remember having read that it was 3.2% quite some years ago, and that it had fallen to 2.6%, but to find these new figure is both astonishing and painful to me,” she said.
“And in spite of these numbers, which have not been loaded up Christians, after all, there is not just the cry of conversion, but also accusation and harassment from the fringe elements,” she concluded.
Mohan remained silent for some moments. Though a practising Hindu, his wife was a Christian, and he had no difficulties with that. And he felt for her, and ashamed of the fringe elements that brought shame to the majority community of India.
After a few moments he started again.
“What I wanted to say, was, my Dear, that fringe elements delving into violence is termed as taking the ‘law’ into one’s own hands. Perhaps they mean that these groups form their own laws, and mete out judgments based on them.
“And here is my point: Not so in the case of Gopalji or the The Haveli. We take action – that too as Punishments, and Never as Revenge, and Only when we find the representatives of the law of the land having failed in their duties – As perceived by Any and Every Sensible person, and, We could say, According to Natural Law,” he summed up.