The Jesuit priest, who was also honoured this year with
“I consider it [the award] above all recognition that minority rights are a problem and that they are being violated in the country,” he said. “The constant efforts by the
Father Prakash dedicated this prize “to Aminaben Rasool, a Muslim mother who saw her son murdered during the 2002 massacre and has not been able to find his body. Every request she has made with the
“I am very happy that a fellow Jesuit brother, who fought for years against discriminations, was given the award,” Mgr Stanislaus Fernandes sj, secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of India, told AsiaNews.
“In a way, it [the award] is an affirmation and recognition of the work of the Catholic Church in her ministry of justice and peace,” he said.
The prelate, who is archbishop of Gandhimagar in
These rights are “universal and inviolable. They cannot be surrendered or traded. They are essential to man’s dignity and an integral part of the development of individuals and society. Any denial of these rights harms people and hurts the whole of humanity.”
Also speaking to AsiaNews, human rights activist and All India Catholic Union chairman John Dayal said: “I have known Father Prakash for about 15 years. Because of his work he has received threats and been subjected to violence, but he has never given up. He was able to convince the Church in
For instance, Dayal points out, “it is thanks to his example that convents opened their doors to Muslim women fleeing the violent nationalist fury and that people expressed their outrage at the massacre. He opened the eyes of the Church which might have otherwise retreated into a neutral stance”.