‘Remark undid KCBC’s efforts, retract,’ Church journal tells Pamplany

In a hard-hitting editorial, Sathyadeepam — the mouthpiece of the archdiocese — accused Pamplany of “belittling” the larger farming community and “nullifying” all the efforts made so far by the KCBC.

Published: 24th March 2023 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2023 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany

Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese has summarily rejected Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany’s  remark that the Church will help the BJP break its jinx in the state if it raises the price of rubber.  In a hard-hitting editorial, Sathyadeepam — the mouthpiece of the archdiocese — accused Pamplany of “belittling” the larger farming community and “nullifying” all the efforts made so far by the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) and the synod to the cause of farmers. It also asked the bishop to retract the controversial remark.

Titled ‘Parajayapetta Prasthavana’ (Failed Statement), the editorial lamented that no one bothered to remind the bishop about the one-year-long farmers’ struggle against the Union government. “It’s unfortunate,” it said, and wondered who’s idea was it to play “rubber politics” to find a solution to farmers’ problems. Only the politics behind the bishop’s statement is being discussed, the editorial said.  

“There is no doubt that we have to respond politically to realise our demands and protests that turn into votes have value in a democracy. But it (the bishop’s statement) dangerously diluted the problems faced by the farmers and this is something that can’t be condoned,” the editorial said. 

It added that the right to vote is personal, and “any external interference or assertion of rights is anti-democratic”. Further, Pamplany’s statement gives the impression that the farmers in the state comprised of only those who cultivate rubber. And all their problems will be solved once the price of rubber is hiked to Rs 300.  

“It has dangerously simplified and utterly failed to represent the problems faced by farmers,” the editorial said. This statement ignores the fact that the problems faced by farmers in the state are regional.

How can ‘anti-farmer’ BJP be saviour, asks editorial

The challenges faced by farmers in Malabar are not the same as the ones faced by those in Idukki. Things are different again in Kuttanad, it said. “It is ironical to say that a party which has been in power in the Centre and has done nothing to mitigate the problems caused by the liberal import policies of ASEAN will do anything now,” the editorial said. There is no doubt that Kerala’s recent agrarian issues are due to the brutal neglect by left and right-wing governments. Agricultural Kerala has seen it happen during the buffer zone determination. “How can the BJP, which has adopted an anti-farmer stance as its basic policy, be the saviour? The Church leadership should stand with the farmers, not the other way around. It is irresponsible to risk their self-esteem for just Rs 300,” the editorial added.


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