Bengaluru, April 24: The Christian Community was shocked to learn from the media that Eshwarappa, a senior leader of the BJP Parry in Karnataka, had made a controversial statement in public against Christians. Speaking to the press reporters on his campaign trail at Bagalkot on April 9, he said: “The Christians like the Muslims were not given party tickets because Christians are not loyal to the country and not honest too”. According to a statement, Archbishop Peter Machado of Bengaluru and president, Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council, Eshwarappa’s statement has hurt the sentiments, not only of the Christians in the Karnataka State, but also the entire Christian Community in the Country.
The statement further said that everyone knows that the Christians are rendering their selfless services in various fields, particularly in educational, health and social fields with genuine care and concern for all without any discrimination. The Community outreaches God’s love to the needy, the underprivileged and the marginalized and helps them to live with human dignity. Dr Machado who is also president – All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights added that though ours is a minority community, our service to all humanity is, indeed, remarkable.
Eshwarappa’s statement that ‘Christians are not loyal to the country and not honest too’ is another condemnable statement that is highly deplorable. As proud citizens of the Country, the Christians do cherish patriotic spirit and promote it at all levels and it is an indisputable fact. Also, it is a well-known reality that many Christians have laid down their lives for the country and at present, thousands of Christians serve in all the three defense forces with utmost devotion and dedication. In the past, the Christian soldiers, commanders and others have laid down their lives for the country. St. Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Noble Peace Prize by the world community and Bharat Ratna by our own Government, was a Jewel of this country. Such being the case, passing such kind of defamatory and baseless remarks by a leader of high repute is condemnable.
Archbishop Machado said he intentionally refrained from making any public statement earlier as it would have led to public demonstrations all over the state and undoubtedly would have affected the peaceful conduct of the recently concluded parliamentary elections. Moreover, the general public would have interpreted the statement differently and might have given a political colouring to it.
Eshwarapa’s statement was not called for and by doing so, he has done a great harm to the Christian community and has discredited its credibility. Hence, Dr Machado made a request to him to withdraw his statement and tender an unconditional apology to the Christian community.
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