Cautioning that nationalist forces, or narrow-minded people, were on the verge of taking over the country, Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan has asked Bishops across the country to hold prayers for victory of such persons in the Gujarat elections who remain faithful to the Constitution.
As for his take on “nationalist forces”, he said he was only referring to persons who are narrow-minded on the issue of nationalism.
The elections to the 182-member Gujarat assembly would be held on December 9 and 14. Results will be declared on December 18, along with those of Himachal assembly.
In his letter to the Bishops, Macwan wrote: “The Gujarat election results are significant and will influence the future course of our country. The secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human rights are violated and constitutional rights trampled upon.
“There is a growing sense of insecurity among the (religious) minorities, Other Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and the poor. The nationalist forces are on the verge of taking over the country.
“The Bishops of Gujarat request you to organise prayer services in your respective perishes and convents so that we may have such people elected in the Gujarat assembly who would remain faithful to the Indian Constitution and respect every human being without any sort of discrimination.”
When contacted on Thursday, Macwan told IANS: “By so-called nationalist forces, I just referred to all those who are narrow-minded in their thinking about nationalism. They are narrow-minded in terms of language, caste, creed, religion, and financial status. And that’s why I have written that letter. There is no controversy whatsoever. I have asked the Bishops to pray for the country’s betterment, that’s all.”