Karnataka CM promises to dole more funds for Christians

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

FKCAKarnataka, January 29, 2012: The CSF calls for Respecting the Christians of Karnataka & giving them religious freedom, rather than “bheek” said Joseph Dias, general secretary reacting to the following press report. “Rs. 50 crores or Rs.150 crores cannot purchase the loyalty of Christians, who expend more than this on their social services in the state of Karnataka alone. Don’t try to bribe Christians or buy Christian NGOs and appoint Christians of credibility to Karnataka’s minority forums. Don’t create a divide between Catholics or Christians, as we are all one in Jesus Christ” he added. Please find below a report on the programme:

Promising to ensure that the allocation of Rs 50 crore this year for the newly formed Christian Development Council (CDC), the first of its kind body set up in Karnataka, within the remaining two months of the current financial year, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday assured that higher allocation would be made in the annual budget for the year 2012-13.

Addressing the largely attended annual Federation Day programme of the Federation of Konkani Catholic Christians (FKCA), the Chief Minister said though the formation of the Council, announced in the budget for 2011-12, was delayed, allocations of nearly Rs 35 crore had just been completed and the funds would be released for different purposes like education, churches and other social service organisations within this month itself. The balance amount would be spent within the next two months of the current financial year, he said.

The Chief Minister, who responded to the appeal made by Ronald Colaco, Chairman of the International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations (IFKCA), for appointing a member of the minority of the Christian Community, preferably belonging to the Catholics as they formed roughly 75 per cent of the Christian population in the State, instead of having it under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, said the decision was taken to ensure that the Christian Development Council functioned in the right direction in the initial stages.

”I assure you that eventually a suitable representative of the Christian community would be made the chairman. The government wants to ensure that the money is utilised properly,” he said the 13 representatives for serving as members were chosen from among the community itself. He also explained that the government was keen to ensure that all the budgetary schemes and allocations were utilised properly. Nearly 70 per cent of the budgetary allocations have been spent and steps would be taken to ensure that the balance amount is spent within the next two months, he said.

Bishop of Bellary Diocese Most Rev Dr Henry D’Souza presided over the function due to the inability of the Bangalore Archbishop Most Rev Dr Bernard Moras to attend on account of indisposition.

Catholic be Made Chairman of CDC: Colaco

Earlier, Ronald Colaco warmly complimented the Chief Minister for the government for its gesture of setting up the Christian Development Council and also thanked him for responding the demands of IFKCA and other leaders of the community for withdrawing the cases against the innocent youth in the cases pertaining to the attacks against churches in Mangalore and other places in 2008.

”You have given us the bullocks and also the cart. But the rein that can ensure the bullocks pull the cart are with you. Please give them to a person from the community. We will ensure that the money is properly utilised,” he said pointing out that no other government has done so much for the Christians as the present government despite the community’s contribution and service in the fields of education, health care and social service.

Pointing out that the intimations to the courts regarding the State Cabinet’s decision on withdrawal of cases has already reached, according to information available to him, Colaco applauded Gowda for the Government’s prompt action as normally it required at least six months. However, he brought to the notice of the Chief Minister that two cases pertaining to the church attacks against 22 Christian youth in Ullal and Bantwal had been inadvertently left out and demanded that immediate steps be taken for withdrawal of these two cases. The relevant papers pertaining to the two cases were also presented to the Chief Minister.

He also urged the Chief Minister to increase the fund for Christian development to Rs 150 crore in the next budget, to which Sadananda Gowda instantly assured that it would be done.

”Fulfill BSY’s Promise on 2 acre land for FKCA”

Ronald Colaco also urged the Chief Minister to ensure that his predecessor B S Yeddyurappa’s promise of granting 2 acres of land to FKCA when he attended the FKCA Day two years back was implemented immediately by giving appropriate directions to the BDA or the Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner to allot the land.

The Chief Minister, who later conferred the three prestigious FKCA awards for the year to eminent Konkani cultural activist and co-founder of Mandd Sobhann and Kalaangan Eric Alexander Ozario (Life-Time Achievement), leading Kannada writer and Central Sahitya Academy Bal Puraskaar awardee Na (Norbert) D’Souza (Professional Excellence) and leading builder and Managing Director of Lancy Constructions Lancy Mascarenhas (Entrepreneur of the Year), impressed the largely attended crowd by arriving on time and beginning his speech with the opening remarks in Konkani: ”Tumkaam Sakdaamk Mhaje Namaskaar” (My Greetings to All of You). He also spoke a few sentences in Tulu. He also underscored the need for respecting all religions and serving fellow human beings.

CM too says, ‘Love Thy Neighbour’

”If everybody followed the single-most important teaching of Jesus Christ to love thy neighbour, the country and the world will be a much better place to live. There will not be any differences of caste, religion or colour,” he said.

”Language is an important tool that brings all people together. While Tulu and Konkani speaking people bond together when they hear their languages in the coastal region, Kannada brings people of Karnataka nearer in the national capital of Delhi while Hindi brings all Indians together in foreign countries. The mother tongues brings people of different region together and serves as a forum for unity and cultural bonding,” he said pointing out ”Unity in Diversity” is India’s greatest strength in spite the differences of culture, languages, ethnicity and regions.

Gowda complimented Na D’Souza for his contribution to Kannada literature and environmental concerns while Eric Ozario had enriched the Konkani language and culture through music and singing and Lancy Mascarenhas had made all Konkani speaking people proud with his accomplishments as a renowned builder.

Bishop Henry D’Souza appreciated the gesture of the FKCA in honouring the eminent personalities of the community for their service to society, the language and culture and the state. The differences of language, religion, culture or castes should not be allowed to become barriers and whatever artificial barriers that divide mankind must be broken and demolished through the self-less service like the contribution of Ronald Colaco and the persons like the awardees, he said pointing out that humanity will be able to attain its quest for divinity when all human beings learn to truly love their fellow human beings, especially the less fortunate sections.

”We need to dream big and strive to fulfill these dreams. We need to have high values and utilise our knowledge and skills for the well-being of society,” he said adding: ”Yesterday is like a waste paper, today is like the newspaper and tomorrow will be a question paper while life is an answer paper before God. It is how we answer that is most important.”…

The FKCA Day function was preceded by a solemn mass concelebrated with the Bellary Bishop Most Rev Dr Henry D’Souza as the main celebrant. IFKCA Chairman Ronald Colaco, the Bellary Bishop and FKCA Chairman Valerian Fernandes honoured the Chief Minister by presenting a shawl and a memento.

FKCA Secretary Robert Cutinha presented the annual report of the Federation. Ms Ida D’Cunha introduced the Chief Minister, while Lionel D’Souza, who ably compered the entire programme, also introduced Ronald Colaco and Bishop Henry D’Souza. The three eminent awardees were introduced by Alwyn Mendonca (Lancy Mascarenhas), Edward D’Souza (Eric Ozario) and Anita D’Souza (Na D’Souza). Naveen D’Souza proposed a vote of thanks.

– daijiworld

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