Open Letter to Atishi Marlena Singh ,AAP Leader.
MARLENA…. WE PRAY FOR YOU
Very respectful Ms. Atishi Marlena Singh,
I am writing this open letter to you to tell you that we prayed for you today when we heard that you took the decision to shed your second name MARLENA which was given to you by your parents, as it was a Christian sounding name. Since you intend to contest from the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat you thought that the name MARLENA which has been part of your identity for close to four decades of your life, is a Christian sounding name thus reflecting a foreign, Anglo Indian identity.
I understand from close circles that you had the tragedy of studying in Christian colleges and universities which were primarily Christian. You ought to have declined such opportunities when you find that it is a liability to have been trained in a Christian institution.
I believe you have come to the conclusion that having a Christian sounding name is a disqualification for you when you look at a polarised electorate. You may then see the underlying emotions of the 3% of the population of this country who are Christians by belief and Indian by ethnicity. The Christians of this country feel that being a Christian is a disqualification to be in the politics of this nation. This is the message being sent out to the Christians in India today. Did you mean to say that because one is a Christian, one is disqualified to be an MP from East Delhi? Or that a Christian is a second-class citizen in this country? I would advise you to take heed, as this use of religion in politics has been denounced by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as a corrupt practice in elections. You may eventually be disqualified for this name change even if you become a people’s representative.
I don’t treat your act as an insult, but I am deeply grieved and hurt to see that a person of your calibre having been educated at prestigious institutions like St Stephen’s College and Oxford University and being a Rhodes Scholar who ought to have floated above this flood of divisiveness to be a true Aam Aadmi leader, has fallen prey.
In fact the BJP leadership statement is welcome at this stage. “Does she want to indicate that being Christian is a matter of shame?” states Shri. Vijender Gupta.
It seems like Christians are only meant to run schools to educate and to run hospitals to heal the sick. We will continue to do it as it is our mandate to find ‘joy in giving than receiving’. We are like sugarcane, the more you beat us, the more sweetness we will pour out till we become nothing more than bagasse that, in the end becomes biofuel in a furnace.
You may have decided to shed your ‘Christian sounding’ Middle Name to be a populist leader of the masses, but we do hope that you will not shed the Christian values, which you have learnt in the Christian institutions of repute where you studied, which is to be a servant leader.
I am afraid it is true that today in our country being a Christian, Marxist, Leninist or a Secularist is a bad idea. So please do advise us 3 % of the Indian citizenry -the minority among minorities- who are born in Christian families and who embraced the love of Christ 2000 years ago in AD52 – what do we do now? Our fathers have names like Thomas, Mathew, George, Philip, Luke, Varghese, Oommen, Chacko and Masih and we do carry a surname which is Christian sounding. We must now pause and think what to do with our names -which are a burden that we must carry if ever we think of the Road to the Sansad or anything significant.
Shakespeare famously asked, What’s in a name? Indeed, there is much in a name. One’s name could be Sachidananda, Muktananda, Mohammad or Meera. A name carries one’s identity and that’s why one is urged to live up to the name. Your name which has carried your identity for all these years speaks volumes about the environment in which you were brought up. Your parents, who I am told, were Left activist academics, instilled in you their adoration for the ideals of Marx and Lenin when naming you MARLENA. Beautiful indeed as Atishi becomes more meaningful when MARLENA is with it. When you decided to shed MARLENA something was lost – the statement of love, of universalism, of brotherhood, of love for the poor, the marginalised the Aam Aadmi. But you want to be a Khaas Aadmi by this metamorphosis.
A large group in this country found a political resurrection with the AAP coming to power in Delhi. You were different, you wanted to make a difference, you showed promise and rose above the pettiness of divisive politics. But now I think it was all in vain.
Today, I think your parents too would be sad to see you shed a political ideology which they nurtured while you were brought up to become an eligible candidate for the East Delhi constituency.
So essentially Secularism is a fad and a misnomer in our country. Marx died, Lenin Died, Christ died but Resurrected. Let the power of the resurrected Christ give you strength to stand for truth, justice and peace. The truth shall set you free. Free to establish an India that Rabindra Nath Tagore dreamt of when he sang,
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
We the Christians of this country are not foreign, we are truly Indian like every Aam Aadmi. We are people who embraced Christ as our Bhagawan, our Yogi, our Guru and our Mahapurush. Our prayer every day is – Let me be Christ-like to the Other today – being Christian is a Joy, it is a matter of Pride and Privilege, because we believe in loving our neighbour as our self and so we love you in the love of our Lord Jesus. God Bless You AMEN
Adv. Manoj V George
August 30, 2018
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