In the race to the 2017 Gujarat elections, Archbishop Thomas Macwan of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar issued a letter calling on people to join hands to defeat “nationalist forces” and prevent them from “taking over the country”.
The Archbishop’s letter, dated 21 November 2017, says that “the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake,” and calls for his peers in churches across India to organise prayers to elect people to the Gujarat State Assembly who would remain faithful to the Constitution, and not engage in discrimination.
Human rights are being violated. Constitutional rights are being trampled. There is a growing sense of insecurity among the minorities, OBCs, BCs, poor, etc. Nationalist forces are on the verge of taking over the country.An excerpt from the letter dated 21 November 2017
Speaking to ANI on Friday, 24 November, he said that his “appeal” is not against any party or in favour of any party.
“I have just asked people to vote according to their conscience and vote for those who are more open to secularism and constitutional values,” he added.
The Archbishop’s letter goes on to talk about how the church’s efforts can save the world in times of need. He adds that dictators and communist governments across the world have been toppled through faith.
Time and again the Rosary has proved to be a protective hand. History bears witness to this statement. It saved Europe during the victory at Lepanto from being taken over people of other faith. Communist governments and dictators in a number of countries have been tumbled in the past through the protecting hand of our beloved Mother Mary.
The letter has led to strong reactions on social media.
Speaking to CNN-News18, BJP Leader Sudanshu Mittal said that the Archbishop should be arrested for his letter for inciting religious hatred.
No police action has been brought against the Archbishop thus far. Read the full letter below.
(Voices of Gujarat: Tired of listening to netas make promises? As Gujarat goes to polls, The Quint wants to listen to the real voices of Gujarat – the voters. Tell us what issues matter to you this election season. Send in your videos to email@example.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)