Days after Delhi Archbishop's letter on 'turbulent political atmosphere' in the country, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Father Filipe Neri Ferrao, has echoed similar sentiments, stating that India's democracy was in "peril" and Constitution in "danger".
In a letter to his parishioners, Father Ferrao raised concerns about the newly emerging trend of “monoculturalism” and said that the human rights in India were under attack while the democracy appeared to be in peril.
"In recent times we see a new trend emerging in our country, which demands uniformity in what and how we eat, dress, live and even worship; a kind of mono-culturalism. Humans rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril. The various minorities fear for their safety. In short, respect for law is frankly on the decline in this country," Ferrao said.
The top Goa-Daman priest said that most people in the country were living in an atmosphere of insecurity and asked the Churches to stand by the values of secularism and freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution.
"Our Constitution is in danger, it's a reason why most of people live in insecurity. Having this concern in mind, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has recently declared in its Plenary Assembly that the Church in India should diligently promote and stand by values like secularism, freedom of speech and freedom to practice one's religion enshrined in Indian Constitution," he said.
The Goa Archbishop said that with 2019 general elections approaching the country, people should better understand the Constitution and work harder to protect it.
"Particularly as general elections are fast approaching, we must strive to know our Constitution better and work harder to protect it," he said.
Earlier, Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto’s called upon the Christian community to hold a "prayer campaign" ahead of the 2019 general elections, stating that there was a “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country.
“We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation,” Cuoto said in a circular.
The Cuoto’s remarks had triggered a massive controversy and the ruling BJP termed the move politically motivated. Criticising the Delhi Archbishop, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked him to “think with a progressive mindset.”
“The PM is working towards inclusive growth without discriminating while breaking barriers of religion and castes. We can only ask them to think with a progressive mindset,” Naqvi said.