Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had been quietly undertaking an outreach program with Christian institutions and the community after two letters, one by Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto and another by Archbishop of Goa Felipe Ferao, expressed feelings of insecurity in the community.
Mr. Naqvi met a delegation of the diocese of Delhi (Church of North India), which included Rev. Suresh Kumar, vice-president of the diocese, and principals of two schools run by the Church.
He will meet Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general, Catholic Bishops Conference of India, on Monday to take forward the outreach program. On Friday, Mr. Naqvi met Reverend Waris K. Masih, the Bishop of Delhi, but the meeting, Mr. Naqvi said, was part of the “Sampark for Samarthan” campaign of meeting influencers being run by the BJP.
“I have been meeting members of the Christian community and reaching out to them conveying the government’s work for all sections of society. The meeting with the Bishop of Delhi was, however, part of the ‘Sampark for Samarthan’ outreach. As for the letters written by the Bishops, all I can say with regard to that is that the only way forward that I see is contact and communication to dispel any such feelings. The Modi government is committed to development and equal treatment to all,” he said. “Apart from the meeting on Monday with the CBCI, I will be meeting other leaders of the community. There are several denominations among the Christian community and I will reach out to all,” he said.
The outreach was significant against the backdrop of the pastoral letter written by Archbishops Anil Couto indicating that the community felt insecure under the current government.