The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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RSS turns gun on Pope

Kanyakumari, July 6: The RSS today criticised Pope John Paul II for interfering in the country’s internal affairs and urged the Centre to “lodge a strong protest with the Pope for his uncalled for exhortation to Christian missionaries to carry on their campaign of conversions”.

The reference was to the Pope’s reported accusation that “free exercise of the natural right to religious freedom” is prohibited in India.

The Sangh dubbed his reported statement against some states’ anti-conversion laws unjust and a direct challenge to the country’s sovereignty.

“…India is a land of peace and tolerance (but this) should not be construed as a licence to anyone to infringe on our national ethos and disturb peace,” the Sangh said. The organisation exhorted Christians not to submit to the dictates of “an extra-territorial authority and vilify their own countrymen”.

The Pope’s reported comments came in for scrutiny today on the last day of the two-day RSS national executive here, which adopted a resolution condemning them.

The resolution said the Pope, addressing Indian bishops in the Vatican recently, “made an uncalled for interference in the internal affairs of the country”.

The resolution quoted the Pope as saying: “Unfortunately, in some regions the state authorities have yielded to the pressures of these extremists and have passed unjust conversion laws…” He reportedly urged the Church in India to “courageously” continue with evangelisation.

Conversion, the Sangh said, was not just a change of the form of worship or prayer, but a subversion of national loyalty.

Nexus slur on CPM

The RSS today condemned CPM “violence on Hindus” in Bengal and alleged that the Marxists had joined hands with Muslim elements in the state. The Sangh further alleged that the Left was preventing youths, including those of the RSS, from participating in Hindu activities.

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