Hindu bodies condemn Goa archbishop’s ‘constitution in danger’ remarks

Father Filipe Neri Ferrao, who is the archbishop of Goa and Daman, in his pastoral letter last Sunday had said, "Today, our Constitution is in danger (and that is) the reason why most of the people are living in insecurity.

By: PTI | Panaji | Published: June 7, 2018 5:45:04 pm
Goa Archbishop’s letter focused on poverty, taken out of context: Church Goa’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao (Source: YouTube)

A number of right-wing organisations on Thursday condemned Goa archbishop Father Filipe Neri Ferrao’s remarks that the Constitution is in danger.

Organisations like the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), Sanatan Sanstha (SS) on Thursday adopted a resolution to this effect on the concluding day of the seventh All India Hindu Convention held at Ramnathi, around 40 kms away from the state capital.

The six-day convention was attended by more than 375 delegates of over 175 organisations from 18 states of the country and also from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The resolution criticised the archbishop’s letter to Christians in which he lamented that “human rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril”.

Addressing reporters, Sanatan Sanstha national spokesperson Chetan Rajhans said the view expressed by Ferrao is “wrong”.

“As far as communal harmony and nationalism are concerned, Ferrao’s comments are wrong. It is wrong on part of religious institutions to make such comments against the Indian constitution,” Rajhans said quoting the resolution.

Ferrao, who is the archbishop of Goa and Daman, in his pastoral letter last Sunday had said, “Today, our Constitution is in danger (and that is) the reason why most of the people are living in insecurity.

ReadIndian Constitution in danger, writes Goa’s Archbishop

“In this context, particularly as the general elections are fast approaching, we must strive to know our constitution better and work harder to protect it”.

Rajhans said the archbishop should have spoken about the “crimes committed by foreigners in Goa”.

“Foreigners like Russians, Nigerians who come to Goa are indulged in illegalities like sale of drugs. Tourists are being raped. The archbishop should have spoken against them in his letter,” the Sanstha leader said.

He said, “the truth is that the archbishop would never speak out against the Nigerian, Russian and European tourists whose activities pose real danger to Goans and the Goan culture”.

Rajhans said the ban imposed by the Goa government on Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik’s entry in the coastal state is “anti-constitutional” and demanded its revocation. The Goa government had issued several prohibitory orders extending the ban on the entry of the controversial Hindutva leader fearing that he may incite violence.

Muthalik had challenged the ban in the supreme court.

“Everyone has freedom to move across the country under the constitution. Banning Muthalik’s entry is an insult to the constitution,” he said. After his letter created a controversy, the archbishop’s office clarified on Tuesday that he was only expressing his “anxiety to his own people” and that the remarks were not against any political party or government.

Ferrao’s secretary Fr Joaquim Loila Pereira had said the people should read the entire 15-page letter and not “take this statement or that statement out of context and make it look as if the letter is against political parties.”

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