04/02/2019, 09.13
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Archbishop Menamparampil: Upcoming elections most crucial in the history of modern India

The Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati states that "people want facts, not promises". The Regional Council of Bishops of North-East India sets the guidelines for "good governance". They call for "honesty in public life to fight corruption". Archbishop Menamparampil: "The current regime wants to gain esteem by displaying military strength and boasting about scientific achievements".

Guwahati (AsiaNews) - Without a doubt, "the next elections are the most crucial in the political history of modern India," Msgr. Thomas Menamparampil tells AsiaNews. The archbishop emeritus of Guwahati, in Assam’s observations come less than 10 days before the start of the election. He poses some fundamental questions: " Will democracy survive? Will the present Constitution be respected in letter and spirit? Will a partisan government be confirmed in office that has scant respect for minority communities and the weaker sections of people?? "

According to the archbishop, the issues cited "are those that most trouble the minds of thinking people in the country". Obviously, he adds, "promises, of course, are being held out in abundance by all the parties, expressing concern for the poor.  But, of late, most political parties have lost their credibility. People are demanding performance, not mere promises."

Speaking of facts, last week the regional council of bishops of north-eastern India released a seven-point document in which it establishes guidelines for choosing good leaders. Signed by Msgr. Dominic Jala, the appeal underlines the need to vote for a government that "promotes honesty in public life and the elimination of corruption at all levels; work to create better economic conditions for the poor and the marginalized; ensure a healthy and safe living environment for everyone, including women and children; care for the dalits; support harmony between religions; protect the environment ".

Msgr. Menamparampil shares the intent of the guidelines and adds: "Voting is a sacred duty and must be done responsibly. Msgr. Jala clearly states that the Catholic Church does not identify with any political party, but is very concerned about the difficulties experienced by the poorest sectors of society. The invitation to honesty in public life stems from the fact that more and more parties tend to grab the loyalty [of voters] through the use of money ".

According to the archbishop emeritus, the invitation to interreligious harmony "comes in a timely manner. In general, a peaceful atmosphere exists in our region, but elsewhere there is an increase in clashes ”. " The present regime is seeking to win esteem through military muscle flexing and claim of scientific achievement." he said. The reference is to the clash in Kashmir between the Indian and Pakistani army and the recent testing of an anti-satellite missile. " There are people who can see through and are able to discern" he says.

Finally, the bishop reports that he is "afraid, uncertainties are going to remain till the elections. How much temporary advantages will tempt the voter is something still to be seen.  But we have confidence in the native wisdom of the Indian voter who has thrown out of power the mightiest governments in the past. Constitutional values are not only formulated in paper, they are very much in the blood of the society that gave them birth. We place our trust, therefore, in the collective conscience of the Indian electorate ".

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