Modi as Hanuman: A Modi supporter.

Modi as Hanuman: A Modi supporter.

Ministers dreaming of Hindu nation have no place in India: Church

Goa dy CM called himself a Christian Hindu; NCP says heresy

Agency Report | Panaji/New Delhi | 26 July, 2014 | 07:50 PM

With Narendra Modu leading the BJP to an unimaginable victory to power many in the party are hoping to lay the foundation of a Hindu India or rather a Hindusthan.

Ministers dreaming about a “Hindu nation” should be taken to task by the government and have no place in India, according to Fr. Maverick Fernandes, head of the Goa Church’s charitable wing.

Fernandes, who on several occasions has been the voice of the powerful Roman Catholic Church in Goa, also said that comments like those by Co-operation Minister Deepak Dhavalikar and Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza about India in the context of a “Hindu Nation”, only exposed their ignorance and that they had no place in India.

“… if a minister has said such statements, he has to be taken to task by the government. Because he is going against the constitution of the country,” Fernandes said.

“We have it very clearly mentioned in the preamble (of the Indian Constitution) that we are a secular nation. Anybody dreaming of such desires should be taken to task because their place is not in this nation,” Fernandes said.

His comments come soon after two Goa ministers made national headlines over their remarks related to India as a Hindu nation. D’Souza on Friday had said: “India is a Hindu country. It is Hindustan. All Indians in Hindustan are Hindus, including I am a Christian Hindu.”

D’Souza is one of the senior-most minority members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa and has been the party’s poster-boy as far as the Christian community is concerned.

Christians account for nearly 26 percent of the state’s population.

On Thursday, Dhavalikar while speaking during a congratulatory motion in the state legislature, had said that India could well be on a path to becoming a Hindu nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Both comments had triggered uproar in the state’s political and social circles, with the Congress legislature wing staging walkout in the state legislative assembly Friday in protest against the remark.

Fernandes says the remarks only go on to expose the “ignorance of the person” who made them and that the ministers were straying from the oath they had sworn to protect the Constitution of the country.
The NCP charged Francis D’Souza with “heresy” and demanded that the Goa church seek an explanation from him about his claim of being a “Christian Hindu”.

“D’Souza has committed heresy by claiming he is a Christian-Hindu. You can either be a Christian or a Hindu. The Church should demand an explanation from him and if he fails to explain this term, then he should be ex-communicated from the religion,” Nationalist Congress Party leader Trajano D’Mello told a press conference at the party’s state headquarters on Saturday.

D’Mello claimed that the deputy chief minister had been brainwashed by the BJP. “What he has said is nothing less than sacrilege and an insult to all Christians. We are all proud Indians, but you cannot mix two religions for political purposes,” said D’Mello, a Christian himself.
The Congress too demanded the dismissal of Deepak Dhavalikar and Francis D’Souza.

Congress state president John Fernandes also criticised his own party MLAs for not faulting Dhavalikar immediately after his controversial comments made on the floor of the state assembly on Thursday.

“We will be presenting a memorandum to the Goa governor demanding the dismissal of the two ministers over their comments. If that fails, we will also seek legal recourse to drop the two ministers, who have sworn to abide by the constitution,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes, however, said he expected more from his legislators. Asked why the Congress legislature party waited to raise the issue only after an outcry in the media, Fernandes said: “Yes, they should have been more vigilant. They should have raised the issue immediately after he (Dhavalikar) said it.” (IANS)