Communist leader criticises Catholic priests, praises Pope Francis

December 20, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Thiruvananthapuram, December 20, 2016: CPM politburo member M A Baby has said that communalists were enemies of art and they were trying to attack freedom of expression and art. Baby said in his Facebook post that the attacks had nothing to do with art, belief or religion.

Christian groups and Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) had recently held separate protests in Kerala against Malayalam literary magazine, Bhashaposhini, forcing the magazine to apologise and withdraw copies of its December issue from newsstands. The Christian groups were upset over a painting, in the inside pages, of Last Supper depicting nuns around Mata Hari instead of Apostles and Jesus. While BDJS, a partner of the BJP-led NDA, was offended by a photograph of a sculpture by RiyasKomu of revered Hindu social reformer Sree Narayana Guru on the magazine’s cover.

“Efforts were being made to depict that religious sentiments were hurt because of artistic expression,” Baby said. He alleged that Hindutva forces were growing in strength and their communalist politics were inspiring a section of Catholic priests.

Despite his criticism against the Catholic priests, Baby showered praises on Pope Francis. He pointed out that Pope Francis had a different and modern outlook.

On Dec 17, Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church head Cardinal George Alanchery had said that the illustration that appeared in the latest issue of Bhashaposhini hurt the believers’ sentiments.

“It should not have happened,’’ Cardinal Alancherysaid in a statement. He said that the illustration had insulted the last supper of Christ and lakhs of Catholic nuns. “It has come to notice that in many places the believers have come out in protest against the illustration,’’ he said.

“At the same time, the apology from the (magazine) management is seen as a creative step. However, the anguish and wound created by the stated picture would not fade away soon.’’ The cardinal had said that the incident should be a lesson for all to do responsible journalism.

In his Facebook post, Baby also criticised the protest against Komu’s sculpture of Sree Narayana Guru. He also exhorted the progressive minded people to keep a vigil against falling prey to political opponents’ propaganda.

– new indian express, indian express

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