'Chanting 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' is not enough when Christians are under attack'

A screenshot of the beginning of the editorial published by Catholicasabha, a publication of the Archdiocese of Trichur. Photo: Special arrangement

Thrissur: Catholicasabha, the mouthpiece of the Catholic Archdiocese of Trichur, has come down heavily on the state and central governments citing various issues.

In its editorial titled 'Janadhipatyathile Neethi' (justice in a democracy) published in the March edition, the archdiocese has urged those in power to not accept “the bigotry of hunting down Christians and other minorities by portraying them as enemies of the nation to polarise India and make a Hindu nation”.

Recently, Mar Raphael Thattil, the freshly appointed Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. He later said their discussion did not touch upon contentious issues such as attacks on churches and Christians, mainly in violence-hit Manipur. However, the mouthpiece of the Church that Mar Thattil represents, has made a scathing attack on the Centre.

“When communal extremists persecute Christians and destroy their places of worship and institutions in various parts of India, chanting 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Sarkar, Sabka Prayas' is just not enough to stop it,” the editorial says.

“If the chants are not meant to pull wool over people's eyes, appropriate action should be taken. It has been 10 months since the situation in Manipur became impossible for Christians to live. The situation is not the other way around in many states of India. The government, which is responsible for giving them justice, is dealing with the matter casually.”

The editorial says that even though a majority elects a government, peace, order and progress can only be achieved when the elected body ensures the welfare of the marginalised and minorities. “Our constitution is based on democracy, secularism and socialism to ensure fundamental rights and equal justice for all. However, recent events add strength to the suspicion that India is in the grip of religious and political extremists.”

Injustice by the Kerala government
The editorial also criticised the LDF government in Kerala for the economic crisis. “The government has no money to distribute welfare pensions to the underprivileged, salaries to employees, medicines to government hospitals, midday meals for school children, conducting exams properly for students, clearing dues of contractors and ensuring goods in the public distribution system,” the editorial says.

On making Kerala a global education hub
“When many of the famous colleges are being closed down and when the central funds for the development of universities are not procured in time, the state government is eager to make Kerala the hub of global education and to bring in foreign and private universities.

“It is easy to understand that there is no clear vision in the policy other than to swell the government coffers by draining the upcoming institutions.” The editorial has also accused the state government of failing to safeguard the lives and properties of farmers, whose lives and crops are at the mercy of wildlife.

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