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Home > News > PTI

Sangh Parivar criticises Pope's remarks

May 20, 2006 21:19 IST

Pope Benedict XVI earned the wrath of the Sangh Parivar on Saturday for his comments that there were 'disturbing signs of religious intolerance' in India and 'reprehensible attempt' to enact 'discriminatory' laws against 'fundamental right of religious freedom'.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh andVishwa Hindu Parishadsaid on Saturday that the Pope's remarks made while receiving India's new envoy Amitava Tripathi were not relevant to India and 'exposed his ignorance' about traditions and laws in this country.

"There is much more freedom here than in many countries. Freedom of religion does not mean conversions by coercion and allurements," BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

The Pope on Thursday said 'the disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions in the nation (India), including the reprehensible attempt to legislate clearly discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom, must be firmly rejected'.

He said their rejection was necessary 'as not only unconstitutional, but also as contrary to the highest ideals of India's founding fathers, who believed in a nation of peaceful co-existence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups'.

Attacking the pontiff, Javadekar said the state Assemblies had the power to enact such legislations. "Such laws are not against conversion by conviction but if people convert en masse, motives have to be there," he said.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Mindless Pope

This nation was always friendly to foreign religions. Now this over friendly nature has brought our nation on the verge of another partition rather multiple ...

Posted by Indian

Sub: Conversion on own - who stops!

My dear pope, Your words are seen by the world. You are considered ( by virtue of the seat & its predecers) as one of ...

Posted by Vijay

Sub: Pope kaun hota hai?

The Pope is cordially invited to live in India and experience if he has religious freedom or not. He has no locus standi to question ...

Posted by Girish

Sub: religious freedom

I think the Pope must be feeling that there should be religious freedom in his own territory and temple worship he may introduced shortly.

Posted by S.Hariharan



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