NEW DELHI: “Render unto Caesar”, seems to be Modi Government’s policy when it comes to secularism. Making it clear that using religious events as a means for minority appeasement is passé, Modi Government has refused to grant the Catholic Church’s demand to revise the dates of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, on the ground that it would clash with the decennial exposition of St Francis Xavier’s.
The IFFI is scheduled from November 20 to 30 while the exposition, one of the most awaited event for catholic community, would be held from November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2015. The remains of St. Francis Xavier, also called the ‘Patron Saint of Goa’, are kept on public display at the Old Goa Church complex every 10 years.
The exposition is an international event with even Pope Francis expected to pay a visit at one point of time and the Church had requested the government to prepone or postpone the dates of the IFFI. But the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has refused the appeal and has given a go ahead for the film festival.
“There is no question of the dates of the film festival being changed or changing the venue as it is an international festival with a regular character and fixed calendar,’’ said an official with the I&B Ministry.
“Exposition happens only once in 10 years and it is an international event...When two international events are held at the same time, there can be too many issues for the authorities to handle,’’ said Fr Vincent Geo of Relics Exposition committee.