Q: Amit Shah was recently in Kerala. He wants minorities to be well received by and related to the BJP. Both our cardinals and representatives of other Churches met him. Some people have a feeling that Christian communities in Goa and Kerala are trying to reach out to the BJP to safeguard the interests of the Church, unconcerned about issues that are at stake for the country and for the people as a whole. Is such a thing really happening? Do you think the BJP is ready to dilute its RSS ideology, which excludes the minorities, the marginalized and the low castes?
A: “We should dialogue with one and all, but we should not give up our core values and identity. We have no dislike for anybody and consider no one as an enemy. We are an inclusive people. We are a people who respect even those who have a dissenting opinion. Even when they attack us, we are sensitive to them. We should forgive people who persecute us. We are in a democratic country where we have all types of parties and ideologies. Dialogue and respect do not amount to giving up of one’s identity or surren-dering of one’s values. That’s why it is called dialogue or conversation. The core identities and values will always be res-pected. If they are com-promised, it is a walking into and is no more dialogue at all. I feel that the BJP has no one shade all through. They have all sorts of shades and opinions; there are hard core, soft core and broad minded people among them. There is plenty of variety, and we need to take note of it and dialogue with all with respect and openness, but without giving up our values. We live in an interconnected world; nobody can survive without give and take. All parties, including the BJP and us, have to think in that line.”
Bp Henry D’ Sousa
Diocese of Bellary