The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the decision-making body of the Catholic Church, has told the ruling BJP that all Indian citizens are equal stakeholders and no one should be made to prove their nationalist credentials.
The CBCI stated that “Nationalism is in the blood of every Indian, whether belonging to majority or minority. No one should even doubt such a thing or alienate anyone by being suspicious. No one needs to prove one’s nationalism. We have all contributed towards the independence, development, progress and welfare of the country in its onward journey.”
“Minority communities should feel secure in the country. Suppression of the media, lynching in the name of differences in religious practices, food habits and cultural differences have considerably dented the credibility of the government and made the minorities feel unsafe,’’ the CBCI said.
Responding to PM Modi’s call for inputs to the ‘Sankalp Patra’, BJP’s effort to crowdsource its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, the CBCI asked the party to recognise the contributions of the Christian community towards nation-building, especially in the field of education.
“The government must focus on poverty alleviation, hunger-free society, protection of the farmers, promotion of agriculture and care of the rural areas as India lives in its villages,” it added.
As there have been many controversial changes in Indian school textbooks, another concern that the CBCI has flagged relates to textbooks: “There should be no saffronisation of textbooks or distortion of historical facts,” it added.