"I believe that the RSS is ready to dialogue with Christians"

Christian wing within the RSS Kerala priest welcomes it others say no
news RSS Wednesday, January 06, 2016 - 15:31

An apparent attempt by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to set up a Christian wing within the organization similar to that of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch has evoked mixed reactions from the community.

ET had reported on Monday that the RSS has held meetings with Christian leaders to set up the ‘Rashtirya Isai Manch’ in an effort to reach out to members of the community.

"On December 17, 4-5 Archbishops, 40-50 Reverend Bishops from across 10 to 12 states met and it was decided to develop a movement. This is preparing the ground to lay the seeds for an organization," Indresh Kumar, member of RSS' National Executive, told ET.

The move however has evoked varied response from the Christian clergy and community in India.

Speaking to The News Minute, Father Paul Thelakat, a spokesperson of Ernakulam- Angamaly diocese said, “I do welcome the proposal for good relations as a step in the right direction of dialogue and mutual discussion.”

He added, “I believe that the RSS  is ready to dialogue with Christians and not to impose anything on the Christians but to listen to the  followers of  another religion and  to create a better atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.” 

However, a pro-Christian media website reported that several leaders within the community allege that this move of ‘purported incorporation of Christians’ was nothing but a ‘political ploy’.

According to media reports, the RSS which is usually seen as a hard-line Hindu organization and is close to the current Modi-led government held meetings with Christian leaders in New Delhi on December 17 regarding this.

Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad and Bishop Bharanikulangara told UCANews that these reports of such an organization being formed were unfounded and baseless.

This comes after there were allegations that RSS-backed groups burnt down a church in east Delhi in November 2014.

Lately, the ‘intolerance’ debate had been a prominent subject in the country’s politics with many artists, writers and actors giving up their awards as a mark of protest against the current government alleging that it created an environment of communal disharmony.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.