Capuchin church priest and the editor of ‘Indian Currents’ weekly, Father Suresh Mathew, said on Sunday that Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany’s statement on supporting the BJP cannot be taken as the stand of the Christians in Kerala, though attempts have been made by Christian leaders to align with the saffron camp.
Pamplany, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic church in Thalassery, had said in a public meeting that if the Government of India raises the price of rubber to Rs 300 per kg, the church will help the BJP in Kerala overcome the situation of not having a single MP from the state.
‘Indian Currents’ is the weekly online magazine of the Catholic church.
Speaking to IANS, Mathew said that many Christian religious leaders in Kerala do not have an idea about the ideology of the BJP, which is just the political face of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
A priest speaking against the Archbishop is uncommon in Catholic hierarchy. Capuchin is a congregation within the Roman Catholic church.
Mathew also said the ultimate intention of the RSS is to establish a Hindu Rashtra, adding that the teachings of the official church is never to align with any political party and individuals have the freedom to vote for whichever party they want.
The priest also said that no Christian would these days follow the diktat of priests and Bishops.
The ‘Indian Currents’ editor said that the Archbishop had spoken only for the rubber farmers of the state, while there are many other farmers in Kerala who are into cultivating cardamom, coconut, pepper, arecanut etc., and Christian leaders should demand fair price for all these products.
Mathew also said that those who cry for rubber planters must learn from the farmers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, who never said that they would vote for a party if the farm laws were repealed. Instead, the farmers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh fought for their rights in Delhi for one year.
The Capuchin church priest then asked why the number of attacks on Christians have skyrocketed ever since the BJP government assumed office at the Centre, adding that the strategy of the saffron party is to woo the Christians in some parts of the country while blatantly attacking them in other parts.
Mathew also also asked if the ‘beef issue’ is core to Hindu beliefs, why is it not part of the BJP’s election manifesto in some states.
He also questioned the reason for enacting anti-conversion laws when the Christian population remains stagnant in the country and hardly any conviction takes place in such cases.