Re: H.H.Bava Thirumeni's press interview - NerkuNer at Malayala Monoram
- --- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, P.V.Mathew, Cochin <IndianOrthodox@...> wrote:
>The duty of spiritual leaders is to promote spiritual values to their community, and to the country as a whole. No doubt these values could get presented to their own community through the adoption of a 'Christian approach' while these same values ought to contribute in shaping public opinion in matters of national interest in a more generalized manner. For example, it was rightful on our Kochubava Thirumeni's part to raise his voice against the 'abuse' of pesticides in a manner detrimental to the local population there.
> The TV channel's labour was not lost in that the message that came out of the interview was that the Orthodox Church was not a force to reckon with in Kerala's political arena. While it is alright for the Head of the Church to declare that the Church does not (and should not) get involved in politics, it is entirely another matter to give the impression that the Orthodox voters are a non-entity in the State's electoral politics. This, when every community and religious grouping in Kerala is shouting from the roof tops that they can tilt the electoral balance one way or the other, even though their real strength may not something to write home about.
Having said the above, considering that our spiritual leaderships are expected to provide us with the rightful direction insofar as proper values-based decision-making is concerned, it comes across as a natural extension for the members of the community to be conscious of the sensitivity, or otherwise, being shown by political parties upon the presentation of legitimate expectations before them. In other words, it would be upon the foundation of rightful Christian values that decision-making takes place during voting by a Christian, for one. As such, if all religious communities in India were to promote the correct values, an enlightened citizenry can be expected to take decisions (for voting, or otherwise) with a proper sense of responsibility. This, in my view, is the right way forward for spiritual leaders - i.e. focussing on finding resolutions to matters plaguing mankind, more than the specific act of voting. Missing out on this balance could end up pitting one community against the other as competitors which is never a desirable (nor 'Christian', by any figment of imagination) eventuality.
(Let me also make a side-point arising from the above.....much of such messages (critical, or otherwise) in ICON, with its transparency, have only contributed to sharpening the thought processes and arriving at rightful decisions, as against acting as impediments to the general good.)
Needless to say thus, just as any other citizen has a right to speak up on any matter of public interest, so do the spiritual leaders too. After all, considering that the spiritual leaders have a larger duty to ensure the establishment of proper values within the overall society, wouldn't their speaking up on conscience-matters of national, or local, interest be a just enactment of their duties? And, their having done their duty, wouldn't it be the duty of the members of the community to actively work, in whatever ways they could, to ensure the fulfilment of these values within the society?
Yours in Christ!
John Jacob, Pune