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    » 05/26/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    Indian Church calls on Modi to work together for the poor, the marginalised and minorities in society

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India-Latin Rite, spoke to AsiaNews about the Church's hopes vis-à-vis the new government, which was sworn in today. For the first time in the history, a Pakistani prime minister attended the ceremony. For the latter, talks are the only solution to resolve outstanding issues. The new cabinet includes ultra-nationalist leader involved in the Ayodhya affair.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "The Church in India is hopeful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will collaborate with the mission of the Catholic Church to promote and work for social and economic justice as well as individual liberty and fundamental rights," said Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India-Latin Rite. He spoke with AsiaNews on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony for India's new prime minister and cabinet.

    Thousands of people came to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, for the ceremony with some 7,000 police officers providing security.

    Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, respectively president and vice-president of the Congress Party, and the outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also present.

    "We assure our Prime Minister and the Government and its leaders of our prayers," Card Gracias said. "May God bless them with wisdom, courage and selflessness to work for the well-being and peace of our people especially the poor, the marginalised, the minorities and the weaker sections of society."

    All 44 cabinet ministers took their oath of office after Modi.

    In the morning, Modi visited the Raj Ghat, the Gandhi monument in New Delhi to pay homage to the Mahatma.

    All leaders of the seven South Asian countries attended the ceremony. The presence of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, who accepted Modi's invitation, was a significant historic moment in the history of the two countries.

    It is in fact the first time that a Pakistani prime minister participates in the swearing-in ceremony of his Indian counterpart.

    This morning, just before he left Islamabad, Sharif said that he was carrying a message of peace to India and that talks are the only solution to resolve outstanding issues between the two countries.

    The Pakistani prime minister will meet Narendra Modi in private tomorrow.

    The new cabinet includes full ministers, ministers of state and junior ministers. Most of the former come from the ranks of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, and close allies, like figures Uma Bharti, a well-known ultra-nationalist Hindu leader who took part in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

     
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    See also

    29/07/2013 INDIA
    Amartya Sen: Narendra Modi can not become Prime Minister of India
    Controversy triggered by Nobel Laureates criticism of chief minister of Gujarat and member of the ultra-nationalist Hindu party (Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP). For the economist, Modi "has not done enough to make minorities feel safe" after the massacres of 2002. BJP leaders ask him to return a civil award.

    19/02/2015 INDIA
    For Indian Jesuit, Narendra Modi's bluff will be called sooner or later
    Fr Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of the Prashant Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace in Gujarat, speaks about the prime minister's statement on religious freedom. Leader of a right-wing Hindu nationalist party, Modi said that his "will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions". Yet, he has failed to mention attacks on churches and minorities across the country.

    29/08/2012 INDIA
    Gujarat Massacres: court convicts figures close to Narendra Modi
    A former minister and a leader of the Hindu nationalist Bajrang Dal. Along with 30 other people, they risk life imprisonment or the death penalty in the Naroda Patiya where 95 Muslims were killed. Fr. Cedric Prakash: "The greatest victory ever achieved by the victims of Gujarat."

    09/12/2008 INDIA
    Congress wins in three states out of five. BJP defeated in elections
    The party of prime minister Manmohan Singh keeps control of the state of Delhi, and wins Rajasthan and Mizoram. The BJP keeps Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, but falls to 142 seats, down from 173 in 2003.

    20/10/2004 INDIA
    A Hindu al-Qaeda, religious fundamentalism as a political tool

    We want the government to condemn fanatical organisations and provide minorities much needed legal protection, Catholic leader John Dayal says.





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