Keeping up with the church’s practice of interfering in politics, Delhi Archdiocese has finally decided to do the same in India ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The target of the church’s propaganda is none other than the PM Narendra Modi led BJP government in the Centre. Delhi Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto issued a pastoral letter on May 13th asking all parishes to recite prayers, with fasting and Eucharistic adoration every Friday until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The prayers and other activities should apparently be carried out in order to ensure the victory of a new, non-BJP government.
The Delhi Archbishop’s letter is a perfect example of why there should be a separation between religion and politics in a country. The make-believe threats to secularism, democracy and the Constitution of India, which he enunciates in the letter, are further proof of how he is taking the stand of the opposition. In fact, he sounds more like an opposition member than a God man when he writes a letter targeting the central government.
Archbishop Couto recently appeared on a panel discussion on Republic TV where he was asked by the anchors to clear his stance on the letter. A visibly discomforted Archbishop time and again fell short of directly blaming the central government throughout the length of debate. He falters and hesitates at every instance trying to explain how he is not anti-central leadership but against the problems in present day India. The one thing the Archbishop is adamant on is his right to oppose the government for whatever reasons he thinks fit. His dubious stance on the interview panel is not enough for anyone to understand his qualms exactly. Mentions of crime, both religious and otherwise are made by the Archbishop but he fails to pin the blame on any particular body or government, and probably because there isn’t any basis for him to do so in the first place, the letter and his denial of anti-central government stance are both based on fabricated lies.
The Archbishop time and again claims that he has all the right to pray and to demand his followers to pray for the betterment of the country. He mentions a prevalent fear in the community which is a result of the news coming from the media, and while mentioning a threat to the secular fabric of the nation and democracy, he falls short of being an opposition leader campaigning against the government.
His words and actions portray a dangerous trend of religious leaders trying to influence the masses ahead of elections. It is one thing for a priest to endorse a political leader prior to elections but for a religious leader to denounce a government which has been democratically elected is a dangerous trend. Archbishop Couto did not open his mouth to appreciate the same government for its effort when the Indian origin Father Tom and Sister Sally were rescued from ISIS terrorists and Yemen respectively.
What probably could have hurt Archbishop Couto more would be the implementation of the FCRA regulations by the centre. FCRA regulations have clamped down on missionary NGOs, which are facing difficulties in carrying out their conversion work with each passing day. The Archbishop’s request to pray for a change in regime is definitely influenced by NGOs that are indirectly related to churches from European and American countries that have shut shop in the country.
As rightly pointed out by Padmabhushan Dr David Frawley, the church has no moral right to preach about secularism. Dr David Frawley has time and again pointed out the hypocrisy of the churches in India run by the commands of their western owners. Dr Frawley even went on to suggest that Archbishop’s stance is an “attempt to suppress BJP votes” by forming “caste and religious vote banks against the central govt.”
How can the Catholic Church in India speak about secularism? Secularism in the West was invented to remove the power of the church from politics. Church interference in politics is not secularism. #ChurchTargetsModi
— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) May 22, 2018
Preliminary events to 2019 election are already developing as anti-Hindu violence, attempts to suppress BJP votes, a deceptive media, and the formation of caste and religious vote banks against the central govt. Shows what such groups will do wherever they take power.
— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) May 22, 2018
Secularism is not in danger in India, India is in danger because of pseudo-secularism.
India's secularism makes Hindus hostage to intolerant missionaries, jihadis and Marxists and their agenda to destroy India's dharmic heritage.
— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) May 23, 2018
Dr David Frawley and other imminent personalities who have criticized the Archbishop for his comments should be hailed for pointing out the dubious stance of leaders of the church in India. Religion has been sidelined from politics in India, which is the beauty of our country where every religion and every caste can co-exist in peace. Our Constitution guarantees the right to practice customs and cultures but it should not be taken as a means to force or mislead the people in political spheres.