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No turbulent political atmosphere in country, says minorities panel chief after Delhi Archbishop’s letter

National Commission for Minorities chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi says Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto should refrain from statements that can “vitiate” the atmosphere.

india Updated: May 23, 2018 13:56 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto recently kicked up a storm with his remark that a turbulent political atmosphere posed a threat to India’s democratic principles and secular fabric, a charge rejected by the government which said the comment reflected his prejudiced mindset.
Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto recently kicked up a storm with his remark that a turbulent political atmosphere posed a threat to India’s democratic principles and secular fabric, a charge rejected by the government which said the comment reflected his prejudiced mindset. (File photo)

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi on Wednesday dismissed Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto’s remark about a “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country and said he should refrain from statements that can “vitiate” the atmosphere.

Rizvi also said that the central government “was working for everyone” and did not indulge in discrimination based on religion.

“There is no turbulent political atmosphere prevailing. There is no atmosphere of fear prevailing in the country. But the letter he (the archbishop) has written certainly will lead to an atmosphere of fear,” Rizvi told PTI.

“He should refrain from making such statements. Such letters vitiate the atmosphere in the country,” the NCM chairperson added.

The Delhi archbishop kicked up a storm with his remark that a “turbulent political atmosphere” posed a threat to India’s democratic principles and secular fabric, a charge rejected by the government which said the comment reflected his “prejudiced” mindset.

Couto had written a letter to all parish priests and religious institutions in the Delhi archdiocese a few days before the May 12 Karnataka elections, calling for a “prayer campaign” ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The archbishop, who also asked Christians to fast every Friday “for the nation”, on Tuesday clarified that his letter had nothing to do with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)