28 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/27/2014
INDIA
Card Gracias: Poverty and attacks on life threaten democracy in India
by Card. Oswald Gracias
On the occasion of 65th Republic Day, the President of the Episcopal Conference illustrates the positive sides of the country, but also challenges to be overcome. On January 26, 1950 the Constitution came into force, based on "freedom, human dignity, secularism , justice, democracy and equality", in compliance with "the diversity and the rights of minorities." Among the problems to be solved "dehumanizing poverty , violence against women, attacks on life and environmental threats".

Mumbai (AsiaNews ) - India, a nation "of democracy, freedom and dignity of all citizens " yesterday celebrated the 65th Republic Day . The anniversary falls on the day on which the current Constitution came into force, on 26 January 1950. Card. Oswald Gracias, President of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and archbishop of Mumbai, reflects with AsiaNews on the meaning of this feast and how the country is now "facing unprecedented challenges: inequality, dehumanizing poverty, violence against women, attacks on life , threats against the ecology".  Below we publish Card. Gracias' reflections.

Our Republic Day is celebrated as the day when the Constitution of India came into effect on - 26th January 1950, Our Constitution is our charter of democracy and of the rights of the people. Individual freedom and dignity is guaranteed under the fundamental rights included in the Constitution.  It is a day, we celebrate our beloved country as a "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic".

Republic Day signifies India's enduring commitment to democracy and freedom.   As we celebrate Republic Day, let us  reflect on the core values enshrined in our Constitution- and rededicate ourselves in service to our  country and rededicate ourselves in promotion of these core values of our country.

Our Constitution embodies and reflects certain basic values, philosophy and objectives that were held very dear to our founding fathers. The values expressed in the Preamble are sovereignty, socialism, secularism, democracy, republican character, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, human dignity and the unity and integrity of the nation.

In addition to them, our Constitution promotes respect for diversity and minority rights.  Articles from 25 to 28 ensure freedom of religion to all its citizens, prohibiting any discrimination on the ground of religion.

Our country faces , unprecedented challenges like the scandal of glaring inequalities and  dehumanising poverty, the violence on women and the attacks on life and threats to ecology.

In the face of these challenges, we come across two types of India: on the one side there is a fast developing economy and on the other, the fast growing number of poor totally disregarded.

Around  300 million of India's 1,129 million still live below the poverty line. It is agonizing that close to 1.3 million children die every year in India because of malnutrition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)-this is a scandal

The scourge of violence on women which begins even before she is born, is a shame and disgrace. Women are victims of discrimination, abuse, rape, dowry-related murder, domestic violence and acid attacks.

The attacks on life- and the increasing culture of death.  Violence to life takes various forms such as abortion, ethically unacceptable artificial reproductive techniques such as IVF and surrogate motherhood.

The rich spiritual heritage and tolerance, today being reduced to religious intolerance and violence,

Our country faces ecological threats, with growing urbanization India has witnessed an increase in environmental problems such as land degradation, deforestation, air and water pollution and climate change.  Respecting nature means protecting man from the danger of self-destruction.

Therefore, on India's 65th Republic Day, is a time for introspection and re-dedication especially in the run up to the 2014 General Election, to make our democracy a vibrant and effective one. 

This is a very significant Year, for the Archdiocese of Bombay, which is dedicated to the "Year of the Eucharist". The Eucharistic selfless love that leads us beyond the turbulence of our times to find deep meaning, fulfilling joy and abiding peace. In this Year of the Eucharist, will grace us to be committed to bearing more forceful witness to God's presence and solidarity', in our beloved motherland India".

 

God Bless India

(Nirmala Carvalho collaborated)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/25/2010 INDIA
Tomorrow, the Republic of India turns 60. A talk with Card. Gracias
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/19/2009 INDIA
Cardinal Gracias: The Church wants to serve India, freedom of conversion is a right
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/06/2011 INDIA
Church’s mission, help India’s 45 million child labourers
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/08/2009 INDIA
May the Mission Congress “enlighten India with the Gospel of charity,” says Cardinal Gracias
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/17/2007 INDIA – VATICAN
“I hope I can better serve the Gospel,” says newly-appointed Cardinal Gracias
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.