NEW DELHI: A day after the Church denied allegations of funds from overseas to support the protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Project, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday slammed social and religious organisations for taking ‘public’ positions on developmental issues as it was ‘against national interests.’
He said this while addressing a packed audience of Catholic priests, Archbishops and bishops here after inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of Caritas India, a Catholic organisation. Citing the Koodankulam agitation, he said, “...Pardon my saying so, but there is a feeling that sometimes (social) organisations end up taking positions on issues that go against developmental imperatives.”
He also criticised the stand taken by the Church in the Mullaiperiyar dam row. “Archbishop, even in your state of Kerala, faith-based organisations sometimes end up taking positions on public issues, which are seen to be anti-growth and anti-development,” he told Archbishop Catholicos Baselios Cleemis.
It may be noted that the Church played a crucial role in the Mullaiperiyar struggle in Idukki, Kerala.
Saying that it was not possible to meet the energy demand of the country by rejecting everything in the name of ecology, the Union Minister slammed the Church’s role in mobilising people against uranium mining in Meghalaya.
Further, Hindu, Christian or Muslim-faith based organisations “must not be seen as anti-progress, anti-development.”
“By rejecting everything in the name of ecology, how it is possible for India to grow?,” Jairam Ramesh asked.