Hope Modi would stick to his promise to govern for all: prelate

The writing is on the wall. Let us now stop speculating. There is certainly the difference between Modi the Campaigner approaching his constituents seeking their votes and Modi the Prime Minister of one of the largest Democracy in the world. As Prime Minister, he belongs to entire population and the entire population is under his care, irrespective of their allegiance to him or others. Therefore, let us not speculate but keep our fingers crossed and wait. Let us be positive and hope for best. While we trust in him; will he be able to reign in fringe elements within his party? That is the BIG question. – GREG

He said that Modi could prove divisive, “side-lining” minority groups and stoking discrimination and prejudice.


Archbishop John Barwa


Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar has said that the new Indian government could spell disaster for minority groups if it did not remain true to its promise to govern for all.

Archbishop Barwa said he hoped new Prime Minister Narendra Modi would stick to his promise to govern for every community, irrespective of caste or creed, tackling widespread corruption and providing good governance.

But he also spoke of grave fears that Modi, whose BJP party is described as a Hindu nationalist, could prove divisive, “side-lining” minority groups and stoking discrimination and prejudice.

The archbishop, who was interviewed by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, spoke against a backdrop persecution in his diocese, which in successive waves in 2007 and 2008, killed over 100 people and prompted up to 50,000 to flee their homes after a spate of attacks on Christian communities.

Speaking during a visit to Aid to the Church in Need (UK)’s national office in Sutton, Surrey, Archbishop Barwa said: “After having experienced the trauma and destructions [resulting] from a fundamentalist approach, now this party and Modi have [secured] such a high majority, surely inside of us there is a kind of fear, an anxiety, a worry.”

“I am worried of – let us say – a side-lining of minorities because in our past experiences we have – not only in Odisha but elsewhere – gone through suffering, struggle and persecution,” he added.

The prelate, during the interview, spoke of fears of an increase in discrimination against minorities amid concerns that the new government may be ambivalent in its response to oppression against Christians and other minorities.

But the archbishop highlighted Modi’s election pledge to govern for all – including smaller faith groups and less influential ethnic groups.

“Everybody was attracted by [Modi’s] slogan that there will be developmental activity, developmental progress whether they are Dalits, or they are Tribals or they are Hindus or they are Christians.” He said he “hoped and believed” this inclusive agenda would be “translated into reality”.

Highlighting the need to work for better inter-faith relations, he said that media work was crucial to breaking down barriers with other religious groups and described initiatives aimed at including non-Christians in major Church celebrations.

Source: ICN



  1. Isaac Gomes said,

    May 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Archbishop John Barwa’s ( Cuttack-Bhubaneswar) apprehensions about Narendra Modi has striking resemblance to an article captioned “Indian Christians Under A Narendra Modi Led Government” dated 21 May 2014, by Shehzad Poonawalla who warns that those ‘who think only Muslims ought to be cautious about Mr.Modi, think again! Evidence suggests that Christians too will have to brace themselves up for a rather challenging period as Modi’s “majority government” exhibits “majoritarian symptoms”’.

    Shehzad is a 1st generation, self-made, 26 year old, lawyer-activist engaged in politics and civil rights movement. He is the youngest Additional Private Secretary to Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Govt of India. I came to read the article through a friend who had received it from JESA Secretariat, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi.

    MY RESPONSE to JESA and Shehzad Poonawalla was as follows:

    Thank you for the informative article which I find instigating too. It is an attempt to dig out ghosts from the past and invoke the evil spirits which are now asleep at least in Narendra Modi.

    If we only look back and dig the past, then there is no way forward – All the international peace talk between Israel and Palestine (where our Pope is now) and India & Pakistan, would be REDUNDANT AND FUTILE. What an irony! Even JESA does not believe in the initiative of our Pope and tries to propagate articles by Shehzad Poonawalla which only help in fear phobia. To be alert is one thing, but to deliberately create fear phobia and isolate minorities from the mainstream is very dangerous and a waste of talent of a brilliant and very young lawyer-activist engaged in politics and civil rights movement. At least this article is not civil rights movement.

    Why can’t the leaders of the Christian Community make the first move of participating in the Modi Government (Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio was present yesterday during Modi’s Oath Taking Ceremony at New Delhi), with a wish list of:
    • eco-friendly basic housing
    • preventive health care including sanitation
    • rainwater harvesting
    • renewable non-conventional energy
    • schemes for sustainable livelihood and
    • higher education?

    Modi should be given to understand that Christians and Muslims are not baying for his and NDA’s blood (tooth for tooth and eye for eye – as per the Old Testament) but they want to be a part of the mainstream and his good governance.

    This was Pope Francis’ message at on 23 May 2014 morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, as per Vatican Radio reports. The Pope said that there is no such thing as a sad Christian because the Holy Spirit teaches us to love and fills us with joy. So where is all this fear coming from?

    Isaac Gomes


  2. May 30, 2014 at 7:47 am

    All I can say is let wait, hope and pray.
    But the age old way of judging a horse before one bets on it, is to study the horse’s track record


  3. dmelloalex said,

    June 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    We can easily forget the wounds of Gujarat because it neither happened to me or to my family, but it’s impossible for the families whose loved ones cut off, thrown into fire, houses are burnt & not allowed to come back, will they forget? For them There is no future, everything belong to past.


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