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  • Category: Gujarat

    Is the Archbishop actually trying to help the ruling party?

    Ahead of Gujarat Assembly election in December, the Gandhinagar Archbishop, Thomas Macwan, has written a letter warning against "nationalist forces" and said that the minorities were feeling insecure. In his letter dated 21st November, 2017 sent to many Bishops all over the country, Archbishop Macwan warned about "nationalist forces" taking over the nation and stated that Gujarat elections could make a difference. The Archbishop further urged the community to pray for the victory of "humane leaders''.

    Although many leaders of the present ruling party have started criticizing this letter, I think differently. I can't imagine that this letter would create any adverse impact on the minds of voters, rather it would consolidate the votes for the ruling party. The floating voters will cross in its favour.

    Instead of criticizing, the ruling party leaders must thank the Archbishop for writing such letter.
  • #616899
    The polarisation is almost complete. Any of the appeals will not have any effect. I appreciate the Archbishop's appeal to elect humane leaders.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616902
    I just cannot understand that BJP takes and talk about Hinduvta, it is branded as communal party and when Congress and other parties up easing and talk about Minorities welfare , they are gloried as the secular parties. Why should Archbishop stoop to the level advising the people to vote for Humane leaders. In Democracy the voters are the supreme and they know whom to vote and whom to be shunted out. By indulging in such campaigns, Congress is helping BJP as the cadre would be more vigilant and does not want to loose any vote and in fact this time the voter turnout would be more and for BJP.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #616905
    Why a person who is supposed to be a religious leader should take interest in the politics. Why he can say minorities should feel insecure. I don't think the ruling party has done anything which gives threat to minorities. Reacting strongly on anti socials ,is not an attackon minoroties. Replying strongly to the enemy country is not a threat to minorities. Why a Archbishop should go down to the level of speaking untruths. It is not a correct way of doing. Anyhow as expressed by the author, it is good that it has turned out to be good for the ruling party. The voters are shrewd enough to understand the facts and they will use their right properly and to their satisfaction. The voter is the best judge finally.
    always confident

  • #616912
    If the Arch Bishop has felt that the minorities are insecure, it is his personal feeling based on certain calculations made and a conclusion arrived at on his own. How can we question his feelings? Can someone decide how another should be feeling? I don't think. It is based on individual perceptions and is a very personal issue.

    And coming to the letter written by him, it is a practice followed by the Churches to issue letters whenever it is felt (by them) that some instruction need to be passed on to the followers or that they need to be consoled or admonished etc. It is nothing new. And it should be noted that such Pastoral letters are not, except in matters directly related to the Church, required to be strictly followed. So, a letter from the Arch Bishop putting forth a fear/ feeling of the Church and asking its members to vote for humane leaders need not be given a political angle because we are still a democracy and people have the freedom to vote according to their choice.

    If all the means that are resorted to by various political parties and groups to influence voters are taken into account, I don't think we, as general public, need to give the Pastoral letter any undue importance.

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #616916

    " Why a person who is supposed to be a religious leader should take interest in the politics?".
    The BJP is full of religious leaders. The Chief Minister of UP is the Mahant of Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur. The ruling party is not taking any action against the persons who are making the minorities feel insecure. India is a secular country and it is the duty of the Government to treat all the religions equally. The blind followers of the right-wing group are stooping low and speaking untruth to cover their misdeeds.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616920
    My point is little bit different. The Archbishop has written whet he felt. But unlike the past, this time even non-Christian Gujarati voters also will take note of the letter, and vote accordingly (in favour of and also against the 'secular' parties and 'humane' leaders).

    My gut feeling!

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616921
    Partha, such Pastoral letters are a regular exercise during elections. It is just that interested parties have started giving undue importance to them now and that is exactly the reason for the fear expressed by the Arch Bishop.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #616923
    Yes, Mr. Ganesh. I fully agree. Such Pastoral letter is a regular exercise. But this time Indian Express has leaked the letter hoping against hope to stop the ruling party in its home turf. But the converse is going to happen. Instead of consolidating votes of the opposition, the leaked letter is going to consolidate the votes of the ruling party.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616935
    A religious leader is a person who is taking care of a religious unit, that is what I want to convey. If Archbishop wants to become a chief Minister let him become I have no Objection. But sitting at a place of worship he should not do that. Is Kanchi Koti Pithadipathi, going to advise his followers to vote for a particular party. In this secular country, the majority people suffered a lot post-independence and nobody bothered about them. Today this majority people are surviving because of the IT boom in India. Otherwise, they might have vanished or might have converted into other communities to survive. Nobody could talk about it those days.

    always confident

  • #616940
    The Chief Minister of UP Adityanath conducted poojas at Goraknath Mutt as the Mahant during Navarathri celebrations. He still continues to be the Mahant of the Mutt and yet to name the successor. What the majority people suffered in India post independence? What the IT boom has to do with only this majority people surviving?

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616941
    I think I may not be able to go beyond this point of explanation. I leave it to the learned member to understand the things in his own way. I stop here.
    always confident

  • #616943
    The majority people have been suffering due to the appeasement policy towards the minorities of the successive Governments (both at state level and at central level).

    Most probably Dr. Rao wanted to mean that due to emergence of highly competitive IT industry, meritorious people from majority community have been getting jobs. Otherwise various quotas would be demanded by various communities.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616951
    I am not sure whether it is wrong reporting, wrong vocabulary of the Archbishop or an intentional expression of his real interest.
    I am worried.
    If nationalists are to be defeated or prevented then that means 'Anti-national' have to be elected. Not only the detailed connotations, but the way he assessed the other democratic 'national' parties contesting the elections -other than the party or group he aims at- seem to cause a serious worry and doubt in my mind.

    The meaning of word 'nationalist' as given in is, and I quote
    " Synonyms for nationalist
    noun person who loves his or her country
    • flag-waver
    • jingoist
    • loyalist
    • partisan
    • patrioteer
    • volunteer
    • good citizen
    • statesperson " Unquote

    Antonyms or opposite for the word nationalist is
    "Antonyms for nationalist
    • expatriot
    • traitor " as given in the same thesauraus .com.

    The online Merriam-Webster thesaurus says nationalist as "having or showing excessive favoritism towards one's own country".

    It is such nationalists that the Archbishop wants to prevent.

    So if the reported quoted lines in the media as what archbishop said are true and correct, and correctly quoted as asking to save country from nationalist forces, then he wants it to be given on a platter to traitors and anti-nationals. (God Forbid). Then it is our duty to save this nation from those like the archbishop of Gandhinagar immediately.

    As a patriotic Indian citizen, I condemn the Archbishop Mcwan's words . I would request the law enforcing agencies to take appropriate legal action against him for giving a call for anti-national activities. I also seek the Church authorities who are under this nation's constitution, to remove him, and also all true patriots ad national minded people of this nation to condemn this and be alert and vigilant against such utterances and activities from any corner.

    I am sure his real target audience is not the lay faithful under his Diocese jurisdiction. It caters to the anti-national, vested interests inside this country and outside. We can have a doubt that he has struck a deal with some interest to prevent nationalist forces and help anti-national forces.

    There is a saying in Malayalam that 'during eclipse even a earthworm will have poison'. It is proper to substitute 'elections' in place of eclipse, seeing the utterances of Archbishop Thomas Mcwan.

  • #616952
    Venkiteswaran sir, hope you are aware about the new dimension the word 'nationalism' has acquired under the saffron leadership and so we need to take the statement by the Arch Bishop in that context only. To say that by asking the followers to vote against nationalist forces means to vote for anti-nationals would be taking things too far, beyond imaginable limits, because a reading of the whole letter does not give in to such an interpretation at all. Let us not pick and choose as per our interests.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #616955
    It is pertinent to note that the different denominations of Church in Kerala where Christians are a sizeable percentage have not given such straight directions, but had remained by giving vague and general hints. Moreover, the Church in Kerala (at least some section) are more open to BJP and NDA now than ever before.
    I agree that he has said "based on certain calculations made"-(#616912)

  • #616956
    What exactly is the appeasement policies of the Government towards minorities that caused suffering for the majority community? I belong to the majority community and so far I did not suffer because of minority communities.
    What quotas are the minority communities having with respect to education, jobs and promotions?

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616957
    Venkiteswaran sir, you are missing the point. I hope you will agree that such Pastoral letters are issued during almost all elections and the mind of the Church is let known to the followers; it is up to them whether to accept the view of the Church or not, I mean there are no compulsions. Why is it that the present letter has gained so much of importance? Just because he has said that one should see to it that the nationalist forces do not retain power? No, a simple big no. The letter has been brought to limelight only with the intention which has been indirectly put forth in this thread too- to kick of a communal thought among the Hindus and so called nationalists that should (if all goes as expected) work in favor of the saffron brigade.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #616960
    Yes, I took exception for the wrong twisting of word 'national', nationalist etc, just as the word secular has been twisted. Till today nationalist is a good sense. Then why should someone twist the word and make it a wrong one?
    I would not have reacted had it been clearly told to vote against x,y,or z. or for x,y,z. I would have taken it as a personal opinion. But using the word ' nationalist' in a negative and taunting tone is what I could not tolerate. Even politics has to be correctly worded too. Can we use the word'crown' in UK to mean something else? Can we use word 'Sultan' in an Arab country to mean something else?

    Let him come clear and spell out who should be voted in and who should be voted out. I won't mind. I will take it as just a campaign.What he said now has to be opposed, as it will now become a fashion to use it by others too.
    And the trend is that all over the world, people and leaders are becoming more and more nationalist. That is just a bit more care to their own nations. I welcome that.

  • #616961
    The objectionable letter has been written by the Archbishop of Gandhinagar. The letter has been leaked by the Indian Express to unite the opposition. But the 'nationalist' forces are getting united, thanks to this letter.

    Shri Subramanyam Swami has stated today that the letter of the Archbishop points to an international conspiracy against India.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616973
    In my view, this is unnecessary at this time and the timing makes it looks suspicious. People holding positions of authority should always think twice before issuing such statements ( even though it may be normal for the pastoral letters to be issued). Like statements made by politicians and religious leaders, this too looks like an example to be. I'm sure that soon some leader from the Hindu parties would issue a letter warning people about conversions followed by Churches. These exchanges mar the religious unity and now the real issues faced by the people in these areas would be pushed to the fringes and everyone will be talking about the letters, minorities, hindu outfits etc. The media also should report these events is an unbiased way. Reading between the lines, if the letter is true, if I were a member of that faith in Gandhinagar, I would interpret it as 'Not to vote for BJP, Vote for the other parties, getting BJP to power means inhuman treatment for minorities'.

  • #616988
    The letter from the Arch Bishop does indeed say that the followers should not vote for the BJP. Where is the doubt? But why, is the question. As I have already said, such pastoral letters are nothing new. What I would like to specifically discuss in this regard is the use of the word 'nationalist' by the high Priest. What made him say so? Nationalism has got a wider connotation now under the BJP regime. Speak for beef, you are stamped as anti-national; speak out that playing the National Anthem in theaters before each show is not required, you are again termed as anti-national; critiicize our PMand you are again an anti-national. So what does nationalism mean? If any one who speaks out against the saffron policies can be termed as anti-nationals (and can even be directed to leave the Motherland), the fear of the minorities cannot be overlooked. Let us not forget that even common people like you and me can be portrayed as liberals who are, as per the Saffron dictionary, anti-national or citizens who have no love for their nation.

    With the US already lending all support to India in different areas, nevertheless for its vested interests, the claim by Subramanyam Swamy is nothing but another of his shot in the air- without any aim or purpose. By the by, does the Swamy still have any value in the Saffron Brigade?

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #616997
    As an ignorant 'mango-man'of the country, I expect some other learned Member would intimate how many minorities or so-called liberals have been forced to leave the country during the three and a half years of present regime.

    On the other hand, I see many Rohingiyas want to settle in India by hook or by crook. Why this is so?

    I see that the women of a particular community have been voting for the ruling party in increasing numbers, sometime even going against the wish of their husbands or fathers.

    I see the population percentage of another particular community has increased over more than 100% in Arunachal Pradesh.

    But the 'minorities are in danger' in India. Perhaps they are safer in neighbouring countries. Theose who are in danger must make constant effort to leave this 'intolerant' country.

    Dr. Subramanyam Swamy's importance does not depend upon ministerial berth. The 'queen-mother', the 'shehzada' and the 'damad-shri' can tell us correctly about the importance of Dr. Subramanyam Swamy.

    However, coming back to the topic, we must thank the Archbishop of Gandhinagar and the Indian Express for elucidating the real agenda of the gang.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #617187
    Partha, do you need to be actually forced out? Isn't a threat sufficient to disturb your normal way of life? I think so. If people can issue threats and offer crores for cutting of the head of a well known heroine (female), I don't think there is anything wrong in the liberals (will Apple people be a synonym- being grown much in the valley) feeling the fear of existence. Trump has skillfully laid the trap and our PM who falls easily for flattery is on the verge of stepping in. Will someone knowledgeable, unlike Mr Swami, guide him please?
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #617194
    1. "Partha, do you need to be actually forced out?''-Is it a threat?

    2. "Trump has skillfully laid the trap and our PM who falls easily for flattery is on the verge of stepping in.''-So much heart-burning if the USA supports India!

    3. "Will someone knowledgeable, unlike Mr Swami, guide him please?''-- Who is the knowledgeable person (unlike Dr. Swamy)? Is it Chidambaram, or some other great person like Mamata-didi, Laloo Yadav or Farukh Abdullah, or perhaps Owaisi?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #617197
    It is a vague and confusing letter from the Archbishop quoting the nationalist force and humane leaders. Being a religious leader of a minority group, he should rest and go with the country's majority. I do not see any Christian contestant in the election. So, there is no question of requesting his own people to vote a humane leader of his religion. Then who is the humane leader? As Partha has rightly said, it is a blessing in disguise to BJP by the Archbishop to strengthen BJP in the Gujarat polls.
    No life without Sun

  • #617199
    Okay, Sun and Partha. Let me agree with you that the letter from the Arch bishop is a blessing for the BJP. Will you contest if I say that the Bishop has been bought (if things are different from what I perceive)? Or is there an inherent threat? Such a possibility cannot be ruled out; given the financial and political background of the ruling front. Can we discuss on those lines (with due respect to the Church)?

    #617194, do you think you have answered my query? Sorry state of affairs, I must say.

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #617200
    I personally feel that the Archbishop should have taken adequate precaution to ensure confidentiality of such letter with controversial content. I don't blame him for this letter. What else can be expected? In our country, there are people like Mani Shankar Aiyar who go to enemy country and ask the political leaders of that country to overthrow the democratically elected Government of India. In this country, there are people like John Dayal who go to the USA (even during UPA regime) and cry hoarse over religious intolerance and subsequently support jihadi forces (he vehemently opposed Kashmiri Pandits rehabilitation in Kashmir on religious ground). In this country there are political leaders who open the border to allow jihadi hardliners from neighbouring Islamic countries who want to create mayhem in India.

    Now let us talk about the Indian Express, which leaked the controversial letter of the Archbishop. The newspaper did this to mobilise opinion against BJP on the eve of Gujarat election; but what has happened? People are getting mobilised in favour of BJP due to the objectionable content of the letter.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #617203
    Partha, i am skipping the irrational comments at the start. Let me talk about the idea behind the publishing of the letter by Indian Express. Do you think you are an authority on this? How do you say that the news was leaked (it is not a secret though) to mobile support against the BJP? Let us not be blindly saffron; we are not after all those among with a crunched mentality. (As expected from the Mango-man and expecting you to ask about going Green).
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #617207
    1. ''irrational comments"----It is only personal opinion. I don't bother to comment. However, many people don't find these irrational.

    2. ''How do you say that the news was leaked (it is not a secret though) to mobile support against the BJP?''-The editorial stance of the Indian Express for the last three and a half years proves it beyond doubt.

    3. ''crunched mentality''----What precisely is crunched mentality? Warning about "nationalist forces" taking over the nation?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #617300
    Now the latest news is that the election commission has served the show cause notice to to the ARCHBISHOP and that proves that he has erred in his sermons to the members of his faith.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #617305
    As I feared, this news confirms that the electoral attention would be diverted to this Archbishop issue and ultimately have an impact on the outcome. Ar we objecting because it's a Christian whose talking about nationalist forces? Would we do the same in a minority dominated area, locality or state or is it just an example of how religion and politics go hand in hand in India?

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