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India: Catholics contend BJP doctored minute to hoard votes forward of Karnataka elections

  • May 11, 2018
CBCI president, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, and Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore lead a criticism impetus in Bangalore in Feb 2015. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Archbishop Bernard Moras (holding sign) and CBCI President Cardinal Oswald Gracias (next left) lead a criticism impetus in Bangalore in Feb 2015. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The Catholic Church in India has deplored a “fake” minute widely circulated in amicable and mainstream media alleging a Catholic swindling forward of tomorrow’s elections in southern Karnataka state.

“This is totally unacceptable. This is a blatant try to widespread lies,” Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary ubiquitous of a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), told World Watch Monitor currently (11 May).

In press recover progressing this week, a bishop pronounced “the dissemination of this minute only before a Karnataka elections is a infamous and mischievous ploy”.

What did a minute say?

The minute in doubt was in fact an email, purportedly from Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, CBCI president, to Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, a collateral of Karnataka and a country’s record hub, famous as a Silicon Valley of India.

The email unspoken that a Catholic Church had taken a side of a statute Congress celebration over a divisive emanate involving a Hindu sect, in a ostensible try to repairs a prospects of a categorical opposition, a Hindu-nationalist BJP.

The Congress celebration supervision had recently endorsed “minority” standing be given to a Lingayat sect, that accounts for 17 per cent of a state’s 61 million population. Lingayats, traditionally famous as BJP supporters, are now suspicion to be divided, with a territory prepared to support a Congress party.

Hindu personality Swami Nishchalanand tweeted: “Lo behold! Church allegedly behind a divisive intrigue of separating #Lingayats from #Hindus. A leaked email presumably sent by SecGen CBCI to Archbishop Bangalore… this says much..!”

But a CBCI strongly denied any partial in a letter, and warned it might take “legal action” opposite those behind it:

“The feign minute creates furious allegations about a Church impasse in a Lingayat issue. In this courtesy we wish to state:

  1. We can assure we that this is a feign and malafide letter.
  2. It will be beheld that a minute is not created on a letterhead.
  3. The minute carries no signature.
  4. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India nor Cardinal Gracias will never ever indulge in divisive strategy as indicated in that letter.
  5. The denunciation mistakes in that minute indicate out that it could not have originated from a Office.
  6. Cardinal Oswald Gracias is a President of a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. He is not a Secretary General of a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, as purported by those who are present a letter.”

“We are endangered about a evident and long-term effects of such promotion on a minds of typical people,” pronounced Bishop Mascarenhas.

“This is a rarely designed domestic try by a BJP to opposite a multiplication of Lingayat votes,” Pericho Prabhu, orator of a United Christian Forum for Human Rights in Karnataka, told World Watch Monitor from Bangalore.

“This is a unfortunate try by a BJP to censure a Church for a domestic troubles and try to hoard Hindu votes.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself seemed during 21 rallies opposite Karnataka in new days to boost a BJP’s stuttering campaign.

Prabhu pronounced that another feign letter, along a same lines, was also being circulated in a state.

Christian college vandalised

Grafitti on a doorway of St Stephen's college in New Delphi, reading “A church will be built here.” (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Grafitti on a doorway of St Stephen’s college in New Delhi, reading “A church will be built here.” (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

John Dayal, a Christian romantic formed in New Delhi, told World Watch Monitor “the slur of a Catholic conspiracy, going so distant as to forge a minute implicating Cardinal Gracias, is partial of a polarising of a republic on a Hindu contra others [basis]” and called it “a screen raiser for a 2019 ubiquitous elections”.

He pronounced such tactics, alongside augmenting attacks on Christians, “all plan a worrisome scenario”.

Dayal referenced a graffiti recently scrawled on his former college, St. Stephen’s in New Delhi, that read: “A church will be built here.” A cranky during a college was also vandalised, with a words: “I am going to hell” and a Hindu Om symbol.

The National Students’ Union of India has called for an exploration into a incident, observant a culprits “have attempted to polarise a tyro village on a basement of sacrament and feign nationalism”.

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