Special Correspondent

Seeks chairperson’s resignation

Terms suggestions on nunhood thoughtless

Says commission’s findings baseless

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala on Friday demanded that Women’s Commission chairperson D. Sreedevi should resign from the post and tender an apology for the panel’s recent recommendations against initiation of young girls as nuns.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Chennithala said such “thoughtless” recommendations would only serve to hurt the religious sentiments of the people. He said the Commission did not have the powers to make such recommendations on the basis of an individual petition. The commission had powers only to examine the complaint in its legal context. He maintained that the Church was following the Canon Laws in the country and the Commission’s findings were baseless.

He alleged that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was attempting to attack the religious beliefs and rites, particularly of Christian institutions. “This is nothing but the CPI(M)’s agenda against religion. Education Minister M.A. Baby was the first to launch the attack against the Church, followed by CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. He said the government was using various institutions under its control to hit out at religious institutions.

He also condemned the tendency of organisations such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) to take the law into their hands by running violent campaigns against evangelists of various Christian denominations, including those belonging to the Pentecost church and Hindu sanyasis. The government and the police should take action to end this trend, he said.

Regarding the hike in fuel prices, the KPCC president said the State government should either withdraw Sales Tax on petroleum products or adopt the strategy of several States, including West Bengal, to provide Sales Tax concessions. The fact that the government was unable to take a decision indicated the rift between the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister, he said.