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Cedric Prakash Cedric Prakash
06 Mar 2023
pray always and without ceasing: • what does Jesus say about “praying

 I     PRAY

• pray always and without ceasing: • what does Jesus say about “praying?” (Mt 6:5-14)

• read, reflect, pray: Temptation of Jesus (Lk4: 1-13): power, privilege, possessions, position, pride

•internalise and actualise: The Messianic Proclamation (Lk 4:14-20), The Beatitudes (Mt 5: 1-16), The Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 25-36), The Five Foolish Persons (Mt 25:1-1), the Last Judgement (Mt. 25: 31-46)

• organize special prayers in parishes / institutions/societies/homes

• keep our churches / chapels / prayer halls open for prayer

• pray with our Christian brethren (also in their churches)

• conduct / join meaningful inter-faith prayer (Sarva Dharma Prathna) particularly at the grass-roots

• be sensitive (our prayers and other programmes should not be ‘jarring’/’blasting’/ a nuisance to others

• do not ‘fire crackers’ nor use high decibel speakers, especially after 10.00 pm (remember that many of our     neighbours are little children /elderly/sick persons) (cfr. the Supreme Court rulings on these matters)


• the Constitution of India is the ONLY sacred book of/for a CITIZEN of India

• we must study the Constitution and update ourselves with all new policies/amendments/legislation

• we all need to promulgate, protect and promote the Constitution in every possible way

• whatever risks involved, we must safeguard the values, rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution

• we need to initiate Constitutional Values / Peace Education / Human Rights Education in institutions

• make copies (frame/laminate) of the Preamble (especially in the vernacular) and gift them as mementoes

• defend Fundamental Rights sp. Freedom of Speech & expression (Art.19) Freedom of Religion (Art.25)

We need to give up the grammar of anarchy, to avoid hero-worship, and to work towards a social – not just a political – democracy”- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar


• keep avenues of dialogue always open with all

• do not get co-opted or align with or provide legitimacy in any way, to fascists fundamentalists/fanatics/those who do not support the values / principles enshrined in the Constitution

• do not be naïve: dialogue is ALWAYS in the context of mutual respect, equity and dignity.

• participate in festivals / prayers of others and invite them to ours

• strengthen areas that unite / connect (search for commonalities / connectors): eat, play, recreate together

• encourage/foster grassroots, multi-religious/pluralistic initiatives like ‘mohalla committees’

• take a visible and vocal stand against divisiveness /demonization / discrimination/rumours/exclusiveness

• network /collaborate with other secular / like-minded individuals / groups; foster team-work, subsidiarity


• study reality (five dimensions: Awareness, Accompanying, Articulation, Actualisation, Advocacy)

• study the ideology of fascists; learn how they strategize and operate at various levels

• study Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism’  https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html  by Lawrence Britt and see the striking parallels which exist in India today)

• do not limit yourself to issues involving Christians only; get involved in ALL Human Rights issues, particularly in the defense of Dalits, Adivasis/tribals, women, children, differently-abled persons, LGBTQIA+ community, migrants, minorities, small farmers and other marginalised / vulnerable groups

• collect ‘patrikas ‘and other relevant literature (sp. derogatory ones)

• document newspaper / journal articles on contextual / sensitive, relevant issues;

• video / audio record inflammatory/hate speeches / proceedings

• write articles / letters to the Editor in national / local / vernacular newspapers / journals on crucial issues

• use ‘The Right to Information’ Act for information on / of the Government (Govt. officials / spending)


“Peace in society cannot be understood as pacification or the mere absence of violence resulting from the domination of one part of society over others.  Nor does true peace act as a pretext for justifying a social structure which silences or appeases the poor, so that the more affluent can placidly support their lifestyle while others have to make do as they can. Demands involving the distribution of wealth, concern for the poor and human rights cannot be suppressed under the guise of creating a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority.  The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. When these values are threatened, a prophetic voice must be raised.”  (-Pope Francis in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ # 218)

• FEAR ONLY GOD and no one else; 

be WITNESSES to JUSTICE and TRUTH (we lose credibility when we succumb to FEAR of men)

• study and practise the Encyclicals of Pope Francis: ‘Laudato Si’ and ‘Fratelli Tutti’

• join / participate in /support pro-Constitution, pro-democracy, secular and non-partisan groups like

Act Now for Harmony and Democracy(ANHAD),  Citizens for Justice and Peace( www.cjp.org.in ), Indian Social Action Forum(INSAF), Movement for Secular Democracy (MSD), National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)(https://www.britannica.com/topic/National-Alliance-of-Peoples-Movements ),People’s Commission on Shrinking Democratic Space (www.pcsds.in ), Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (www.pucl.org)

• participate also in the activities / initiatives / programmes of other like-minded individuals / NGOs / groups

• publicize secular efforts / initiatives in our churches / institutions/societies

• screen and popularise films (followed by interactions) on socially relevant issues like ‘Parzania’, ‘Final Solution’, ‘Dharm’, ‘Well Done, Abba!’, ‘Firaaq’, ‘Mr. & Mrs. Iyer’, BBC Documentaries on India

• be visible on important issues: speak out; participate in campaigns / dharnas / rallies; sign online petitions

• keep at a distance ALL vested interests; do not let them compromise/co-opt you.

• ensure that there is a good and objective Alumni Association/ Parents Teachers Association/ Parish Council/ Citizens Think Tank who will stand by you / your institution 

•never invite politicians / corrupt persons/destroyers of the environment as Chief Guests to our functions

• our annual programmes, as far as possible, should focus on the current UN Year or on a social theme

• beware of getting involved in issues / activities which make us sectarian / fundamentalist / exclusive

• denounce Communalism, Corruption, Casteism, Consumerism, and Criminalisation of society / politics

• organize programmes / workshops on human rights / relevant issues / legal literacy /topical issues

• constitute village / mohalla / Parish Justice and Peace Committees (JPCs)

• make sure that your name is on the Electoral Rolls and ALWAYS exercise your franchise on Election Day

• Use value education books from   Khoj Resources (www.khojedu.net )and / or the ‘Yes We Can’ series

(Ratna Sagar www.ratnasagar.com )

• celebrate UN  / International/special  days like Day of Human Fraternity(4 February),World Day of Social Justice(20 February), International Women’s Day (8 March),  Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination ( 21 March ), Oscar Romero Day ( 24 March ), Ambedkar Jayanti ( 14 April), Environment Day ( 5 June ), World Refugee Day (20 June), Indigenous People’s Day ( 9 August ), International Day of Charity(5 September),International Day of Peace(21 September),Day of Non-Violence ( 2 October), World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (17 October),Human Rights Day (10 December ) and National Days

• identify trouble makers / peace breakers / rumour mongers / divisive persons

• stop rumours / gossip/ spreading ‘fake news’ on whatsapp (ALWAYS authenticate things)

• propagate the Right to Information (RTI), the Right to Education (RTE) and the Right to Food (RTF)

• protect & propagate Constitutional Rights & Universal Declaration of Human Rights

•take a STAND AGAINST CAA, NPR, NRC, Detention Centres (www.wethepeopleofindia.net ), all policies/legislation which are against the rights of the poor and marginalised (e.g., the Labour Codes)

•stand up for the jal, jungle and jameen of the Adivasis; for PESA; and stand up AGAINST any project/programme that is destructive of the environment/ecology, the lives/livelihood of the poor 


• maintain and update ALL official documents (land records, building permissions, registrations, licenses, audited accounts) and personal identity cards (Elector’s Photo Identity Card – EPIC, Aadhar, PAN) • make sure that your name/those around you are on the Electoral Rolls. Check it now on https://eci.gov.in/

• if not, register yourself/others IMMEDIATELY- with the CORRECT spelling of your name & surname

•make sure that you/others exercise your franchise on Election Day

do NOT laminate official records, if they are not done so earlier by the authorities

• keep copies of these always at hand / filed / laminated / secured with your originals in a Safe Deposit

• adhere to strict accounting / accountability procedures

• always be Open, Transparent, Accountable

• never indulge in any corrupt practice for whatever reasons (no taking / giving bribes etc.)

• ensure prompt(timely) and complete payment of all taxes (income, building, land etc.)

• know and adhere to ALL policies /requisites of the Government. / Charity Commissioner / Registrar of Societies / Trusts/FCRA/Income Tax (check all updates) etc.

• register Medical Personnel with the Medical / Nursing Council

• provide the requisite bio-medical waste treatment / disposal facilities in hospitals / dispensaries

• refrain from physical and / or other types of abuse on any one (particularly minors)

• pay just wages; have service conditions, give appointment letters to all employees (cfr. Labour laws)

•treat everyone (particularly our co- workers) with respect, equity and dignity

• comply strictly to all legislation/ protocols/policies regarding protection of minors, vulnerable persons

 (remember they hit us where we are vulnerable) 


• provide prior and authentic information/ meet your JPC

• contact / alert your focal / nodal point immediately, if you sense trouble

• contact the authorities, wherever possible (preferably in writing) – with a proof of submission

• inform the police (know your local police / station); request protection (only if desperately needed)

• remember ‘providing security’ is also an ‘official’ way of them keeping tabs on us! (Don’t be NAÏVE)

• never panic / do not give in to fear

• fascists/fundamentalists attack you/your institution and then very conveniently make you the ‘perpetrator’

• check if your phones are tapped

• never give your passwords/pins to anyone / change them frequently

• remember that your computer/other appliances can be hacked and/or incriminating material can be injected 


• do not get provoked (whatever the reason); be calm and cool! Listen first carefully to the other

• seek the support of others (like-minded individuals / groups)

• protect / provide shelter for the weak (old / women / children / infirm)

• inform immediately in WRITING to the police / authorities (always be courteous / polite to them)

• be careful on how and what information you provide about others

• photograph / video / audio records the trouble / trouble makers

• douse out flames BUT do not destroy / alter / change / remove the evidence

• do not underplay / exaggerate the reality

• if a situation arises, start writing / computerizing the complete details as soon as possible

• file an FIR / complaint (name people / be accurate).  You can write your complaint in English / Hindi / Regional language and have it attached to the FIR

• approach a higher authority (with full details) if you have problems with your local police

• in case the police have written the FIR / recorded your statement, you MUST read it carefully before you sign it with the date and time clearly mentioned

• ensure that the copy is signed with the appropriate seal affixed by the concerned police official / station

• request a copy of the FIR / complaint for yourself (you MUST get it) 


“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!” – Wendell Phillips

• remember that police / official interrogations in a police station and / or our institution, must normally take place only during working hours, on working days.  Police / Government officials should normally not visit officially any institutions which house women between 1800 hrs. to 0900 hrs.

• do not entertain phone calls from unknown persons

• never give ANY information telephonically to anyone (unless you are very sure of the person)

• Do Not Give Any Information to people who approach you, who do not have an official identity and a written authorization (signed and sealed) or if it is not within their purview

• check the Appropriate Authority (some ‘demand’ information, when it is not under their purview)

• study carefully the applicable/official / actual RULE / ACT / LAW

• request complete particulars of the person concerned (name, designation, address, email id, telephone / mobile numbers); verify and photograph his/her identity card

•tell them that you are video graphing/recording their visit (this is easily possible with android phones)

• Listen carefully to what is being asked - never be in a hurry to answer orally

• request that the questions are written and a signed copy is provided to you

• in normal circumstances, do not provide any official information immediately

•check first if there is any deadline/last date given in the letter

• tell the person concerned that you may provide the information after some days

• no one has the right to inspect any of our registers / documents / records / premises unless there is a written warrant from a Magistrate / Court to do so

•  contact a higher authority / nodal agency for further steps and before providing any information

• remember that very often, those who seek information come to you on the dictate of individuals / groups who are hostile / inimical to us and our institutions

• a community/ institution must have only ONE spokesperson (preferably one conversant in the vernacular)

• study the law / be legally literate. Know Your RIGHTS!

• take legal counsel / be in touch with human rights lawyers; those who are well-versed and articulate in constitutional/ criminal law. Buy legal booklets published by Indian Social Institute (www.isidelhi.org.in )

• contact a JESA or a bona fide human rights institution in your area if you need some help.

• circulate / popularize relevant books / documents / films by other agencies (do NOT re-invent the wheel)

•tokenism, cosmeticizing or thinking that ‘nothing may happen to me/us’ (ostrich mentality) of a serious reality will normally back-fire- now or sometime later


• learn to be communicative effectively

• share with others what is happening / has happened

• never feel bad/embarrassed to share with others a problem you/your institution may face

• develop good Public Relations / Perception Management skills

• join and use judiciously/prudently social media and networks like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram (ensure that your content/postings are normally of a social nature)

•do not fall prey to ‘fake’ news or anything which cannot be authenticated

•check before you forward anything which may have some repercussions – on you or on others

• have your own blog with a social content

• befriend the media: give them your point of view; let them highlight the good works done by / through your institution.  Keep a data bank of media personnel (with mobile numbers, email ids etc.)

• contact immediately (phone / fax / email) any focal point that could take up your problem

• send to an appropriate authority complete and authentic detail (FIR copies, press clippings, photos, audio / video tapes) quickly (pay someone to carry them; hire a vehicle) but DO NOT DELAY!

•send a written complaint by Registered Post/Courier /Fax /email to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) (www.nhrc.nic.in ) or any other appropriate Commission (Women’s, Minorities etc.) 


•the above document has been prepared in Public Interest and in view of the consistent and continued attacks on Christians and other minority/vulnerable groups in India

•it focuses on Catholic/ Christian institutions/personnel; but recommendations/suggestions are for all

•it is an update (IX edition) of fairly similar ones published earlier (by the same author)

•it is meant to offer some practical/concrete steps to address/counter the growth of fascism/fundamentalism

•it is not exhaustive; any corrections/suggestions for improvement may brought to the attention of the author

•one is free to disseminate/share/translate this document; due credit to the author is requested

•on these matters the author Cedric Prakash may be contacted by email at advocacy4justpeace@gmail.com


“Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth.”  

- Pope Benedict XVI in ‘Caritas in Veritate’

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