Voice Of The People

Canonization of Mother Teresa

Jan Ki Baat attempts to decipher the mood of the public after the Indian officials’ visit to the Vatican, in the background of the recent efforts to canonize Mother Teresa by the Catholic Church. Pankaj Sahay, the author of Indiafacts, believes that Indian authorities’ visit to Rome gives a cognisance to religion and religious activity, which is constitutionally opposite to India’s beliefs. Article 14 of the Catholic Church, says Sahay, denies freedom for any other religious practice except Catholicism. Another author, B R Haran, voices his scepticism: the Catholic Church is known to use its powers to begin the Conversion process rampantly. A political activist, Radha Rajan, belives that Mother Teresa served her religion, her political ideology and her master by what she did. Rajan also claimed that Christian missionaries are soldiers fighting an unseen war by gathering numbers for the army of Christ.

India’s history with the Vatican authorities has been quite interesting. The last time a Pope visited India was in 1999. The visit’s intention was politically charged: he had asked his Asian bishops to evangelize the region by the end of the millennium. The Vatican has announced September 4, 2016, as the day when Mother Teresa would be officially canonized. The ruling party is to choose delegates to send to the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony. The delegation would be led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sushma Swaraj. The visit is a controversial one as nationalist group are already sceptical about the event. A section of the intelligentsia, too, has voice their concerns.

Diplomacy is significant to all democratic structures. Some who regard diplomatic relations as a series of political compulsion review this visit as exactly that. Modern India is secular and diplomatic. Are these concerns only part of the individuals’ paranoia? Can they be balanced (appeased?) by the government?


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