HISTORIC CONTEXT

The history of the Christianity can be traced back to two thousand years started with the birth of Jesus Christ, in a village called Bethlehem. Total number of followers of Christ is in Asia 306,401,000 out of 1,974,181,000 in the world (1991 census). The population of India in 2011 (latest census report) was 1,210,193,422 and Christians are 2.3% of the total India population. Christianity marked its beginning in India with the arrival of St.Thomas, one of the Apostle of Jesus, in 52 A.D. From 1947 onwards the age of Independence marked the fast growth of the country economically, socially and culturally. The improvement in transportation and communication facilities facilitated the Christian missionaries to reach the unreachable areas of mission and development. Since the independence the number of services rendered by Christians has multiplied in various forms like schools, rehabilitations centers, leprosy homes, orphanages, hospitals, dispensaries, colleges, vocational training centers, printing and visual media, social uplift programmes, social development initiatives etc. The Christianity in India, at present, rooted from south Kanyakumari to north Jammu and Kashmir. It has 143 catholic dioceses and 107 non-Catholic dioceses. Within the jurisdiction of these dioceses thousands of educational and non educational institutions are functioning as an expression of its social commitment. Various developmental activities are taking place under the registered social service societies of each diocese. Rural development activities and conscientization activities are initiated in recent times amidst strong opposition from fundamentalist and political parties who see the Christians as hurdles to gain their vested interest. Even they struggle to gain the constitutional provision, religious minority status, in the name of cultural and social advancement they achieved and it promotes..

Commenting the contributions made by Christians Dr.Rajendra Prasad said on December 18, 1955, "Remember, St.Thomas came to India when many of the countries of Europe had not yet become Christians, and so those Indian who trace their Christianity to him have a longer history and a higher ancestry than that of Christians of many of European countries. And it is really a matter of pride to us that it is so happened". Early history of the community is fables and traditions and only few records exist. Their contributions are outstanding in preserving the culture of the place.

From option to compulsion:The persisting effort to work for the upliftment of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed, in the face of opposition, is derived from the Ten Commandments and its gist "love your neighbour as you love yourself." In the parable of Good Samaritan Jesus said "go and do likewise". Therefore, for a Christian, social service is not an option but essential part of his day-to-day life as an expression of love for others.

Working with the least, lost and the last:Jesus Christ was always a part of that humanity which comprises of the poor, the oppressed, the weak and the marginalized. "By taking the side of the poor and the downtrodden and by raising voice against prevailing injustice and the authority of the ruling class, Christ had to pay the price of accepting his crucifixion. Thus Christians must continue to have vision of a just society and work towards the realization of the basic ethical values, recognizing social service as a sacred duty."

From Humanism to Spiritualism:Mere humanism will not be sufficient for the integral development of the community. Christians are aware that those guided only by humanistic values, social work principles and scientific methods will achieve their social work objectives to a certain extent but they will fall short of continuous commitment and the level of selfless service required. The concept of Amartya Sen is significant in this context, i.e. “there is a need for incorporation of ethics into economic development.”

From Charity to Development:The commandment to love your neighbour as you love yourself is the inspiration for starting charitable services by the Christians. But close examination of the work reveals that it can create 'a feeling of benevolence and superiority on the part of the giver and a sense of inferiority among the recipient. Thus experimenting community model and the shift of focus in work especially among funding agencies has changed to Development.

From social development to Human development: The economic development has helped the country to progress but the number of people below poverty line did not diminish significantly. Human development is possible through distributive justice which Christians strive for. Many of the Christian Institutions have realized this through empowerment of the people and initiating sustainable development through self help groups, income generation programs etc. The range of initiatives begin with the child and end with the senior citizen i.e. by catering to all requirements at all stages of life.

Human development to Total development:Jesus was "not only worried about the spiritual welfare of the people but also was equally concerned about their hunger, thirst, sickness, social discrimination and religious burden. His message was a cry for life with multi dimensions:

  1. Economic dimension = Physical life = Cry for survival
  2. Ecological dimension = Nature linked life = Cry for sustainability
  3. Socio-cultural dimension = Psychic life = Cry for recognition
  4. Symbolic dimension = Religious life = Cry for meaning

Party History

The Indian Christian Secular Party is launched and nurtured by the Christian Social Forum (CSF). Like the CSF, the ICS Party is committed to promote unity, preserve identity, and protect the socially disadvantaged groups and empower them socially, to lead a life of confidence and dignity which is the hallmark of this movement.

History is the philosophy of nations. And the ICS Party has a very clear conception of Indian history. Here was a great civilization whose influence and imprint spread from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, from south to north, from one side of the coast to the other. It withstood the storms of invaders and British colonization. It fought and resisted external oppression and its essential civilization and culture survived great challenges and attempts at effacement. The glory of Christian Missionaries and the committed efforts of social revolutionaries like William Carey and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule respectively, are testimony to the upliftment of socially disadvantaged groups who have been suppressed right from the Aryan invasion.

In more recent times, this torch of Integral Humanistic Nationalism and Humane identity was carried forward by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the Blessed Mother Teresa. From 1510 A.D until the present century the Christian Missionaries’ contribution to India’s Nation building has been carried out by a large number of Christian Ministries, Associations, Missionaries, Societies and others. The CSF, founded in 2013 sees itself as the legatee of this historic movement.

The ICS Party’s philosophy, vision, mission and values relate to all Indians, irrespective of religion, caste or color. To the ICS Party all Indians, irrespective of religious background, are equal.

ICSP Philosophy: “Do Unto Others...”

“Do Unto others...So whatever you wish that others should do for you, do also for them.”

“Do Unto others” or Integral Humanistic Nationalism presents the ICS Party’s conception of Indian nationhood. It must be noted that “Do Unto Others” is a nationalist, and not a religious or theocratic, concept. The following descriptive on philosophy explains in greater detail, the concept on which the party took shape and will continue to execute its values.

ICS Party’s philosophy has a strong and consistent emphasis on helping the weak, the poor, the needy and the sick. The philosophy directs us in giving consideration for helping the poor. This translates into our policies, ensuring that we have strong defences for the poor, weak and sick - maximising the breadth of healthcare availability, ensuring adequate welfare / safety nets are available and giving voice to the voiceless weak, marginalised groups and minorities amidst a political climate where money buys influence.

ICS Party’s philosophy is a call to respond to the tremendous amount of absolute poverty, injustice and the remarkable impact we can make on reducing such poverty. With the national perspective of justice in mind, our general budget priorities are even more tragic when contrasted with the huge spending on our military, which basically serves to keep us a little safer, while millions die each year of poverty. ICS Party’s philosophy is to take up an unassailable allegiance to the pursuit of love, peace, truth, justice, liberty, fraternity, equality, humanity and dignity, above any other narrow national pursuits.

ICS Party’s philosophy is a call to proclaim liberty to the captives of poverty, recovering of the sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. The Christian missionaries have brought truly substantive benefits to the poor, the captives of poverty, the sick, and the oppressed throughout the nation as part of their mission, partly through their influence and advocacy to the British-India government. ICS Party’s philosophy is based on that contribution done by the Christian missionaries and to focus on real opportunities for affecting change.

ICS Party’s philosophy is driven by a singular goal – “Do Unto Others...” and this reminds us with a great reality that we are people of limited time and money and we only have so many challenges that we can effectively engage in. If we really care about achieving meaningful goals, it is required that we prioritise. Decisions on public policy are really about priorities as well, virtually every policy decision comes down to weighing one priority vs. another (for example, many are a question of monetary cost vs. group benefit). We care about really benefiting people. We have prioritised the issues that we can make a difference in and focus on them. Thus the policies, and focus areas, aims and party manifesto are finalised with this philosophy.

CONSTITUTION OF INDIAN CHRISTAIN SECULAR PARTY

PREAMBLE

Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, enshrined in the Constitution of India, are the guiding principles for all political parties governing this democratic country.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Religious Minorities and other Marginalized sections together constitute a sizeable population of the country. They have contributed considerably to the nation building, but have hardly had any place or share in the public affairs of this country. The underprivileged of the society have been given a number of Constitutional rights, with the hope that they will lead a life of dignity and self respect in due course. But these sections of the society are not yet able to enjoy these constitutional rights completely, and are unable to usher in for themselves the social-transformation and economic independence; injustice is still being heaped on the marginalized sections of the society (especially the women). This will continue as long as the governance of the country remains dominated by politics of rich upper classes of the society.

Even after sixty three years of implementation of the Constitution, most of the citizens in India still suffer from the pangs of discrimination of birth and descent, and are not able to fully utilise the available opportunities provided under the constitution. As such their true potential remains unrealized. The “preservative” political culture of the present does not suit the aspirations of our younger generations, who vehemently try to unshackle the burden of their past, in order to conquer the future.

Today the politics of the country is increasingly becoming the exclusive ‘preserve’ of a new class of entrepreneurs who are abusing public office for private gain. Ineffective implementation of Laws has resulted in the marginalization of certain sections of the society in the governance of this country. Autocratic political parties exercising their power without accountability, with distorted priorities, is resulting in undue benefits to the politicians and their men which is leading to the ‘perverse’ political culture and pervasive corruption in general.

The middle class, who should be the vanguard of polity of the country, is increasingly alienating itself in despair from political process. Deprived and disadvantaged groups, who constitute mainly Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Most Backward Classes (MBCs), Minorities and Bahujans therefore need to inculcate and nurture a new ‘political culture’, staking their claim to govern the country and impact with their presence, the competitive fields of business, bureaucracy and politics. With Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization of the economy, the poorer sections of the society are losing out to the economically rich in all the areas. The economic growth of the country is resulting in undesirable concentration of wealth in a few hands without equitable distribution among the citizens.

In order to overcome the ills of the present political culture, with concomitant economic environment, we need to build a society completely free from all forms of discrimination based on birth, descent, religion and caste. All the power of governance of the country should be re-structured and it should be based on principles of sovereignty of the ‘citizen’ with concern for the marginalized and weaker sections. Corruption and private gain at public cost must become things of past. The governance of the country should be transparent and accountable. The State needs to focus on creating conducive environment for peace and order, to create opportunities for all, to fulfill their true potential and lead a decent life with dignity.

Politics hence forth shall not become the preserve of only the rich. Common man too shall be empowered politically. The ordinary people must stake claim to their due place and share in politics and public life of the country to prevent concentration of wealth in only a few hands through:

  1. Collective leadership and responsibility.
  2. Economic development with equity, social justice and environmental balance
  3. Distribution of wealth and resources of the country to serve the public good, while adhering to the principle of ‘Socialistic Economy’, with a balanced blend of ‘public-private partnership’
  4. Primacy to public interest over that of private.

With this shared vision, a few likeminded people have decided to come together to form a new political party - ‘INDIAN CHRISTIAN SECULAR PARTY’, to rejuvenate our republic and to promote inclusive politics.

Vision

A nation transformed into a casteless and a classless society, pluralistic in character with every individual enjoying justice, liberty, equality and human dignity with love ruling supreme

Mission

To serve our nation with spirit of love concern for equality and with a strong sense of justice.

By educating all the citizens enlightening about their rights namely birth rights/human rights/ constitutional rights and also the duties as the citizens of the country.

By organizing people into a united socially conscious society with a deep commitment and concern for the upliftment of all the oppressed, exploited, ill-treated, persecuted, socially handicapped and disadvantaged sections of the society like women, S.C, S.T, most backward castes, marginalized and the minority communities and By agitating in the constitutionally valid ways for social and economic prosperity, individual liberty, preserving the social, cultural and religious ethos of every people group and fighting for reservations to Dalit’s irrespective of they converting to any religion of their choice and to other deserving weaker sections and thus make the nation strong with unity but not uniformity in order to achieve a heaven on earth, where all people love another

Values

LOVE
A revelation of God’s love for us is foundational to all else. Love is the fulfillment of the law. We are told to “go and learn what this means, I desire compassion and not sacrifice”. God is love. We cannot give what we have not received. We learn love as we experience the Lord’s patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness towards us despite our propensity to fall short of His glory. We know love by this that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for each other. What our fellow man needs now, is our sacrificial love and the deeds it prompts; often walking the extra mile.

PEACE
The duty to respect the dignity of each human being, in whom the image of the Creator is hidden, means in consequence that the person cannot be disposed off at will. Those with greater political, technical, or economic power shall not use that power to violate the rights of others who are less fortunate. Peace is based on respect for the rights of all.

Whatever the progress in technology and economic life, there is neither justice nor peace in the world, so long as people fail to realize how great is their dignity; for they have been created by God and are God’s children.

TRUTH
Truth is found in the person of Jesus. The Lord desires truth in our inward being. The enemy of our souls dwells in the darkness of error, false concepts and lies. Yet Jesus promises that if we abide in His word we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. Not only our words and actions reflecting His name, but even more - we are to possess the very nature corresponding to His name. This is true integrity where others can behold His glory in us, full of grace and truth.

JUSTICE
Love for neighbour is an absolute demand for justice, because charity must manifest itself in actions and structures which respect human dignity, protect human rights, and facilitate human development. To promote justice is to transform structures which block love.

Social Justice can be obtained only in respecting the dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society. Every perspective on economic justice must be human, moral, and eternal.

LIBERTY
Liberty provides us with a better and more effective means of serving the society through our freedom as matured human-beings. It is neither self-indulgent, nor license to do as we please. And it refers neither to lawless living, nor to absolute freedom.

Liberty provides us with a choice to serve others and thus glorify God. In fact, because we are matured human-beings, the responsibility of using our liberty wisely is even greater. Liberty is conformed, and even sometimes confined by love. Without it, liberty is selfish. “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,” “but through love serve one another”. Love is always the framework under which the value - liberty operates.

EQUALITY
Together with equality, in the recognition of the dignity of each person and every people there must also be an awareness to continuously safeguard and promote human dignity which is possible only as a community as a part of humanity.

Since all men possess a rational soul and are created in God’s image, they have the same nature and origin, and having been redeemed by God, enjoy the same divine calling and destiny, the basic equality of all must receive increasingly greater recognition.

DIGNITY
We believe that the Christian view of life, including economic life, can transform the lives of individuals, families, schools, and our whole culture. We believe that with reflection, service, and social action, our economy can be shaped well so that human dignity prospers and the human person is served.

Work gives us dignity! Those who work have dignity, a special dignity, a personal dignity: men and women who work are dignified. Instead, those who do not work do not have this dignity. But there are many who want to work and cannot. This is a burden on our conscience, because when society is organized in such a way that not everyone has the opportunity to work, to be anointed with the dignity of work, then there is something wrong with that society: it is not right! It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity, starting from here.

There is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he or she stands above all things, and his or her rights and duties are universal and inviolable. Therefore, there must be available to all people everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter; the right to choose a state of life freely and to found a family, the right to education, to employment, to a good reputation, to respect, to appropriate information, to activity in accord with the upright norm of one’s own conscience, to protection of privacy and rightful freedom even in matters religious.

Organization Structure

The Party shall have a four-tier organizational structure comprising the following units:

  1. Primary unit at the municipal ward, municipality, municipal corporation division or at all such other levels as the Party may prescribe.
  2. District Unit at the district or at such other levels as the Party may prescribe.
  3. State Unit at the state, union territory or such other levels as the Party may prescribe.
  4. National Unit at the national level.

Note 1: Party members representing professionals, women, youth, students and other similar categories may form separate groups as part of the primary unit level and at such other levels as may be prescribed.

Note 2: The party may provide for affiliation of organizations and associations of like-minded citizens from time to time.

INDIAN CHRISTIAN SECULAR PARTY EMBLEM

ICS Party Logo

The Party Logo comprises of a Dark Magenta colour circle, with a "White colour Dove with olive stem in her beak" in the centre. The party initials "ICSP" are inscribed below that.

Dark Magenta colour
Magenta represents universal love at its highest level. It promotes compassion, kindness and cooperation and encourages a sense of self respect and contentment in those who use it. Gentle and caring in its approach, it generates acceptance, tolerance, support and patience.
Dove
Dove is a white colored bird and is the most ancient symbol for peace, tranquility, harmony, gentleness and innocence. It can swim, walk on earth like human beings and also fly in the sky. It symbolizes relationship with the sky and the soil.
Olive Branch
Olive tree is the symbol of peace and peace comes through obedience to the laws. Olive Tree is also the symbol for a "New Beginning".

ICS Party Flag

The Party Flag is rectangular in shape. The ratio of the length to the height (width) of the Flag is 3:2. It is divided into three strips of equal width. The top strip is orange and the bottom strip is green in colour. The middle strip is white in colour with the Party logo in the centre.

Orange colour symbolizes courage, confidence and competitive spirit. White colour symbolizes truth, peace, purity, and also the unity and integrity of the citizens despite the diversity of their religion, caste, language and beliefs. Green colour symbolizes the prosperity of the Nation and its relationship with soil.

ICS Party Election Symbol

Trumpet is blown in significance to commemoration of political movement, member solidarity and a range of recognized practices.

Trumpet - ICS Party’s election symbol is very apt for the political movement identification representing unity / harmony / cohesion / shared aims / commonality / Camaraderie / team spirit.

Trumpet signifies an alarm for a movement, a call to assemble, or a command given to move forward in chosen direction. It also signifies communication / message passed from one location to the other, one group of people to the other. It is believed that the sound produced by the trumpet will possess magical powers that enable to bridge the divide between two groups, rouse positivity, and drive out social stigmas and so on.

The sound of the trumpet has always denoted groups’ strength; here it denotes ICS party’s strength, whether this is used as a party symbol in the elections or in a party’s election campaign. There are countless examples in orchestral works which evoke an aura of heroism, power, strength, domination, triumph and noble sentiments which refer to courage, leadership and nations. In addition, the trumpet is more closely associated with power than any other instrument. This power symbolism is particularly closely related to political movements and leadership.

Trumpet is a symbol of considerable consequence in the holy literature. The image of the trumpet as a symbol of authority and social standing that goes hand in hand with its association with a call for a social movement. The symbolism of the Trumpet are very closely matched with the Vision, Mission, Values and Philosophy of ICS Party, hence Trumpet is decided as ICS Party election symbol.