22nd September 2020
EFI calls on the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to expunge remarks against Graham Staines
The Christian community in India is deeply distressed at the remarks made by the honourable Member from Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha, Mr Satya Pal Singh on Mr Graham Staines during a debate on Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 on 21 September 2020.
The Evangelical Fellowship of India, of which the martyr Mr Graham Staines was an associate, is writing to the Honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha to have the remarks expunged. They injure the memory of a person who gave his best years in service of this nation particularly its marginalised. They also go against the record as documented in the parliamentary debates following the gruesome burning alive of the Australian leprosy worker and his young sons Timothy and Philip in Manoharpur in Orissa on 22 January 1999.
The then Prime Minister of India, the late Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee said he was ashamed, and had announced a judicial inquiry headed by Supreme Court Justice D P Wadhwa. The President of India, Mr K.R. Narayanan’s voice rattled us as he described the murder as “a monumental aberration of time-tested tolerance and harmony. The killings belong to the world’s inventory of black deed.”
We find Mr Satya Pal Singh’s comments outrageous and an abuse of parliamentary democracy. These remarks besmirch a deceased man’s outstanding life of social service, 21 years after his death with hearsay and innuendo.
We appeal to Shri Om Birla, honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha, to review the comments made by Shri Satya Pal Singh and expunge the remarks, unless the latter is able to provide evidence for his derogatory comments.
Rev. Vijayesh Lal
Evangelical Fellowship of India