Philipose Mar Chrysostom worked for the weak and the persecuted: M.A. Baby

The book authored by M.A Baby  

Senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Philipose Mar Chrysostom stood with and worked for the weak and the persecuted, just as Jesus Christ, recalls M.A. Baby, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member.

“He was active, alert to the happenings around him,” Mr. Baby, on his way back after paying tributes to Mar Chrysostom, told The Hindu over the phone.

Mr. Baby had an enduring and enriching relationship with Mar Chrysostom which led to the former bringing out a volume, Christ, Marx and Sree Narayana Guru; A Colloquy by Mar Chrysostom Senior Metropolitan and MA Baby.

The book, containing long conversations between the duo, was initially published in Malayalam. The conversations weren’t forced and veered around the issues of faith, atheism, the Charvaka philosophy and touched on figures such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Sree Narayana Guru, even Pope Francis. It also had short pieces written by Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, and several others on their impression of the senior Church functionary. “A part of the conversations had been telecast on Kairali TV following which we held long conversations which resulted in that book. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote an introduction to it when it was published in English,” says Mr. Baby.

Mar Chrysostom took an active interest in the People’s Planning Programme of the LDF government in the late 1990s. “He once called me, expressing his desire to donate his eyes after death. I went over and saw that he had completed all formalities to donate his eyes after death. This was inspirational for the government to launch its Darshanam programme. An organ donated by you is harvested after your death, but it also shows that the organs stay alive for some more time after you’re dead. It has philosophical dimensions,” says Mr. Baby.

“He was sharp and witty and there was this incident of him coming home for lunch. At an event later, he said when he was fiddling with the sharp bones of fried pearl spot (karimeen pollichathu), I, a minister then, just kept staring at him while my wife carefully removed the fish bones, as his mother would have done, to help him out. So, she deserves to be the minister, not Baby sir, he announced with a smile, as he looked at me from the corner of his eye,” recalls Mr. Baby.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 8:36:35 AM |

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