Popular Front Chairman E. Abubacker, in a statement, has said that the recommendation of Rekha Sharma, The Chairperson of National Commission for Women, to ban the practice of confession in Church is an assault on the religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution.
The recommendation to ban a centuries-old practice that is fundamental to Christian faith is naive and an undemocratic interference in the religious freedom of Christian minority in the country. The right to retain or abandon a particular practice should be an internal matter to be decided by the concerned believing community and not something to be decided according to the dictates of those in power. This cannot be viewed as an isolated case. Earlier, when there were similar moves against religious practices of Muslim community, there wasn’t much response from other minority sections. The Uniform Civil Code, Tripple Talaq Bill, the moves against Personal Law, now this demand for ban on confession in the Church, all create the impression that minorities are gradually being stripped of the freedom and rights they have enjoyed since Independence. This is parallel to the increasing physical attack on minorities by communal fascist forces. All minority sections have to take it seriously and join hands against this unjust interference with their rights.
With the exception of a statement by Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam, who is a Christian, the silence of top BJP leaders including Prime Minister and Party President in this matter is deplorable.
Rekha Sharma, as a person, can have her own subjective opinions regarding certain religious practices but to use her position as the Chairperson of a central government body to impose her ideas is nothing but misuse of power. She has a history of biased interventions including in Hadiya issue, which makes her unfit for the position she is holding. We demand central government to remove her from the position of the Chairperson of National Commission for Women.