Itanagar, Sept 1: The Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) representing all the Christian denominations of Arunachal Pradesh have registered its protest to the decision of the Arunachal Pradesh Government to set up a full-fledged Department of Indigenous Faith and Cultural Affairs (DIFCA).
In a memorandum to Chief Minister of the state, Pema Khandu, the ACF expressed its “deep concern” regarding his decision to create the DIFCA.
The State Government has decided to set up DIFCA to protest, preserve and promote the indigenous faiths of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. The ACF has objected to this one aspect of the government's decision. The ACF in its memorandum said that “promoting indigenous faith would be violation of the secular character guaranteed by our Constitution”.
The memorandum said: “The Preamble of the Constitution states that India is a Secular Country which implies that the state does not patronize or promote any single religion”.
The ACF also pointed to Article 27 of the Constitution that stipulates that tax money will not be used to promote a particular religion. “When you create a government department to promote a particular religion you will be certainly using our tax money to promote that religion”, the ACF said.
The ACF further clarified that they have nothing against the indigenous faith but “we resent the fact that our tax money will be used to promote a particular religion in spite of the fact that our secular constitution expressly prohibits it in Article 27”.
The move of the government to create a separate department was not tenable as we have a department of Art and Culture to do so, the ACF memorandum has said.