To assuage the concerns of the Christian community, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to meet a group of 17 religious leaders, led by Archbishop of Delhi Anil J T Couto, on Saturday. The move assumes significance as it coincides with the government’s completion of a year in office.
During the first eight months, the government faced flak following incidents of attack on churches and statements of its own party MPs and RSS leaders on the ghar wapsi re-conversion campaign. Jaitley is expected to tell the group that the church attacks were a law-and-order problem and that the government was committed to ensuring the safety of one and all.
Archbishop Couto, Faridabad Bishop Kuriackose Bharanikulangara, Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas and Jesuit provincial of South Asia Father George Patteri will be in the 17-member delegation.
Father Savari Muthu, spokesperson of the Delhi Archdiocese, who will be part of the delegation, said, “We would like to ask the status of the investigation on church attacks, the government’s stance on anti-conversion laws, the irresponsible statements of BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders and other issues, like the government’s stand on voices of dissent.”