On 23rd, we reported the Gandhinagar Archbishops letter urging people to “save the country from Nationalist forces” in the upcoming Gujarat elections. It had drawn sharp reactions from most quarters. In fact, Savio Rodrigues, an ex senior Congress leader from Goa, had also written an open letter slamming the Archbishop for his regressive stand. This was also seen by many as the direct meddling of a foreign government, the Vatican, in our domestic affairs.
If media reports are to be believed, th Gandhinagar District Election Commission has served a notice to Archbishop Macwan seeking an explanation as to why his letter should not be treated as a breach of Model code of conduct.
Allegedly, the notice was sent after Legal Rights Observatory sought immediate action against the Archbishop arguing that his letter was an attempt to generate fear among the voters and divide the people on the basis of caste and creed ahead of Gujarat Assembly Elections.
Archbishop Macwan had attempted to defend his blatantly communal and divisive letter by saying :
“The letter has only been sent to the Christian community to pray. We can always pray for good humans to be elected as leaders. It has not been issued with any malicious intention to harm anyone.”
However, his defence didn’t move people as it drew criticism. He, in his letter, had said that the ‘nationalist forces are on the verge of taking over the country’ and that is why the Gujarat elections should aim to make a difference.
Responding to this plea of the archbishop and his disdain for ‘nationalists’, Savio Rodrigues had written :
By definition ‘A Nationalist’ is a person who wants their country to be politically independent. Is that so wrong?
Are you saying that we should continue to be slaves under the Portuguese like in Goa and British like in most parts of the country? Are you saying that the Independence we got from colonial powers was wrong and we should have continued to be slaves? Or are you (God forbid) saying that Anti-National should take over the country?
He had also movingly written :
There is no denial that there is an attempt to lay emphasis in restoring some of our Hindu culture, sciences and art that have been buried under mounds of invaders own interpretation of history. There is nothing wrong in that. If we celebrate Yoga Day in India and globally, we should be proud of it. Our roots are Vedic, irrespective what our religion today might be.
With this notice, we hope the Archbishop will not only explain himself, but refrain from initiating campaigns against ‘nationalist forces’.