Journalist Anto Akkara, who has covered the church in India for Catholic News Service for years, recently released a book on the continued violence in the Kandhamal district of India’s Orissa state.
Kandhamal is the scene of Hindu extremist violence against Christians which began last August and continues today. Sixty people were killed and 50,000 people were displaced by the violence. Churches and homes were burnt to the ground.
In his book, “Kandhamal — A Blot on Indian Secularism,” Akkara retells the horrors of the victims and discusses the gross impunity of the local government in controlling the Hindu mob attacks.
“I think the the ashes in the Kandhamal are not of the churches or the Christians there. I think the ashes are the ashes of Indian secularism,” Akkara said.