Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 19 (BPNS)
Capuchin church priest and Editor of Indian Currents weekly, Father Dr.Suresh Mathew said that Arch Bishop Joseph Pamplany’s statement cannot be accepted as the stand of the Christians in Kerala, though there have been attempts by Christian leaders to align with the BJP. He was speaking to BPNS.
Indian Currents is the weekly of the Catholic Church. Bishop of the Thalassery Arch Diocese of the Catholic Church had in a public meeting said that if the Union government hikes the price of Rubber to Rs 300/ kg ,then the church would help the BJP get parliamentarians elected from Kerala. The response of Father Dr. Suresh Mathew is to this statement of the Bishop. A priest speaking against the Bishop is uncommon in Catholic hierarchy. Capuchin is a congregation within the Roman Catholic Church.
He said that the Christian religious leaders of in Kerala do not have an idea about the ideology of the BJP and added that BJP was only the political face of the RSS.
Father Suresh Mathew said that the ultimate intention of the RSS was to establish a Hindu Rashtra. He said that the teachings of the official church is never to align with any political party and added that individuals have the freedom to vote for the party they like. The priest also said that no Christian would these days follow the dictat of priests and Bishops.
The Indian Currents editor said that the Arch Bishop had spoken only about the rubber farmers of the state while farmers in the state have cardamom, coconuts ,pepper ,arecanut and added that Christian leaders can demand fair prices for all the products. He asked why it was limited only to one farm produce and added that to get fair price was the right of the farmers.
He also said that those who cry for rubber planters must learn from the farmers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh who have never said that they would vote if the farm laws were repealed. The Capuchin father said that instead the farmers of Punjab and UP fought for their rights in Delhi for one year.
Father Suresh Thomas said that in the background of the escalating violence against the Christians one cannot turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to certain piercing questions that would probably hit the nail on the issue.
He asked why the number of attacks on Christians have skyrocketed ever since Modi government assumed office and asked what the strategy of the BJP was to woo the Christians in some parts of the country while blatantly attacking them in other parts.
The Christian priest also asked if the ‘beef issue’ was core to the Hindu beliefs why was it not part of the BJPs electoral manifesto in some states. He also asked the reason for enacting anti-conversion laws when the Christian population was remaining stagnant in the country and hardly any conviction taking place in such cases.
He also asked on the justification for denying religious freedom granted in the Constitution of India using the bogey of forced conversion.