Christians Demand Apology from Ramesh over 'Barbaric' Remark

Bhubaneswar, April 4 (IANS) A Christian group Sunday demanded an unconditional apology from union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh for terming the wearing of the traditional convocation robe as a "barbaric colonial practice".

Describing Ramesh's statement as remarks against Pope and Christians around the world, Sajan K. George, president of the Bangalore-based Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said the remarks have deeply offended religious sentiment.

"The practice of wearing a traditional coloured gown during a convocation ceremony at any university is a barbaric colonial practice. Why can't we wear simple dress instead of these gowns," Ramesh said at the seventh convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) at Bhopal Friday.

Ramesh had publicly removed his gown and said: "Why cannot we have convocation in simple dress instead of coming dressed up as medieval vicars and popes."

"GCIC strongly condemns such insensitive remarks by the honorable minister. We are all the more concerned that the minister has chosen Bhopal, the epicenter of persecution against Christians in India to demean Pope," George said.

"The minister spoke with utter irresponsibility and with lack of respect for the Pope and with a display of incredible cynicism towards the church and millions of people around the world."

"The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) demands from him an unconditional apology for such insensitive remarks," he added.


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  • Fredrick Correa, Nairobi, Kenya

    Sun, Apr 04 2010

    When a man uses police dress in a drama, he does not become a policeman. Similarly when someone uses a dress used by medieval vicars and popes, he does not become a vicar or a pope. If someone is uncomfortable or feels unworthy to use any dress, so be it. The minister could have come out with simple dress rather than passing those uncalled for remarks and drama in front of the people. Regarding an apology from him, forget it, if he had passed those remarks intentionally. There will be many similar minded people who will support him. So do not waste your time in waiting for an apology. In the meantime, wish you all a Happy Easter. May the risen Lord bring peace to your families.

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  • V. Thomas, Bahrain

    Sun, Apr 04 2010

    We should not mind such statements from an irresponsible, illiterate, uncultured person. As commented by Mr. Marian D'Souza, it seems that he has lost his mental balance. In the meantime, I wish 'Daiji' team, all my dearest Christian brothers and sisters a very...very happy EASTER. May our risen Lord, who defeated death, be our true shepherd, unite us as one flock and lead us to our Heavenly Father.

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  • Shammi, Karnataka

    Sun, Apr 04 2010

    Nobody has the right to term religious outfits as "Barbaric".Be it pope's robes,muslim burqa's or swamiji's saffron outfit.Every individual has the right to wear the outfit in which he/she is comfortable with modesty.If somebody has some problem with such outfits of any religion then let him plz be transferred to animal category as he has no tension of wearing anything apart frm fur clothes if he/she wishes n wander in jungles.

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  • Marian D'Souza, Mangalore Falnir

    Sun, Apr 04 2010

    It is high time that Jairam Ramesh is dropped from the Central Council of Ministers because he has been a total failure in his ministry in every issue of importance, be it climate change, global warming, BT brinjal controversy.He seems to have lost his mental balance.

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  • Fredrick Castelino, Udyavara

    Sun, Apr 04 2010

    It is irresponsible view of the minister. He need not interfere in the religious activities of catholics. It is purely tradition. Why the judges of courts have to wear the british implemented uniform. That is not of Indian tradition. The judges also have to wear the Indian dress like jubba and pyjama. First he has to change the dress of bureaucrats and interfere in the culture of catholics.

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