» 05/26/2014, 00.00
Indian Church calls on Modi to work together for the poor, the marginalised and minorities in society
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.
(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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
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