Q: What do you see will be the consequences of Nitish Kumar changing loyalty to the BJP in Bihar as far as the Catholic Church is concerned? What would be its consequences in the national politics? What will be future of their alliance in Bihar?
A: “The alliance between Nitish and BJP did not affect us earlier and it will not affect us in any way whatsoever now. It is all a political game being played. Nitish was not favourable to us in any way, nor was he inimical. So we a have peaceful coexistence with him. I do not know what shape his alliance with the BJP will take. We have to wait and see. Lalu is very much in favour of minorities and even in Church related matters he is very open to listen and talk. Nitish has not given me an opportunity to meet him personally. When our license for mass wine was cancelled after he brought in the liquor ban, I wanted to talk to him. I requested him for an appointment, but he has not obliged so far. We are safe and we are not adversely affected by the new alliance. His crossing over to the BJP is a very big blow to the unity of the national opposition. He could have really strengthened the grand alliance, but then, instead of strengthening, he chose to come out of it and joined hands with the BJP. The next election will definitely be a tough affair for Bihar. We already know how the BJP functions in different parts of the country; the same will happen in Bihar. We have already got a hint of it through the demand placed for RT from our schools. Notices are being sent in spite of the Supreme Court judgment that minority schools don’t come under RT. Schools which do not have minority protection will be targeted in the coming days. We don’t get minority status easily, because our applications don’t get cleared.”
Abp William D’Souza
Diocese of Patna