Indira govt. acted tough against Catholic bodies: WikiLeaks

India imposed strict conditions on appointment of bishops in the country after they opposed the mass sterilization drive.


New Delhi:

A recent revelation by the WikiLeaks has stated that the former Indira Gandhi government in India acted tough against Catholic bodies for resisting the compulsory sterilization program.

This was revealed after the WikiLeaks released the Kissinger Cables, a cache of US diplomatic cables.

According to a November 12, 1976 cable sent from New Delhi to the Department of State, India imposed strict conditions on appointment of bishops in the country after they opposed the mass sterilization drive.

The cable says Cardinal Picachy confirmed to a consular officer that the Catholic Church was continuing to have difficulties with the government regarding the appointment of bishops and their senior clergy members.

According to the website, Picachy was born in 1916 and was appointed the archbishop of Kolkata in May 1969 and later elevated as a cardinal in May 1976.

“Within the last 30 days, MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) Vatican desk officer (Gokale) had presented to the Vatican representative in New Delhi a draft of a diplomatic note on which comments were requested. The note had three basic points.

All appointments to Vicar general, heads of bishops, archbishops, cardinals and directors of schools were to be sent to the GOI (Government of India) at least two months in advance of announcement. All appointments must have the full consent of the Government of India before being announced and the appointments be Indian nationals.” When queried why India was raising this matter now, he said he didn’t know but had to assume that it was “because of the Church’s successful stand against compulsory sterilization.”

The cable adds, quoting Picachy, that the 99 per cent of Catholics would stand behind the Church if the appointments were announced without the government’s approval but the Church would eventually have to suffer consequences.

Picachy told the US diplomat that they were trying to delay a reply to the government till the annual meeting of Catholic bishops. He said the matter of ‘full consent’ in posting bishops was non-negotiable and the Church could not agree to it.

Source: new indian express

Indira Gandhi , Sterlization Program , Catholic Bodies

English: The saree Indira Gandhi wore at the t...

Saree Indira Gandhi wore at her death




  1. April 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have met Mrs. Gandhi many many years ago; perhaps what she did she thought, was for the good of the country; no matter what, we all must accept that she was the only MAN in her cabinet, and in a joke I once mentioned this to Rajiv. The way in which the sterilization programme was conducted was perhaps not the most correct way; but then will people listen if you coax them ? Remember there was no late night T V so it was the only form of recreation and perhaps time pass; If I am correctly informed there were no rampant cases of rape and molestation in those days so maybe a little good came out of it. Wikileaks is a sensation making affair, so how much of what they dish out is factual is a matter to be assessed and verified.


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