Why is bishop’s innocuous letter asking Catholics to pray for India being seen as an attack on Modi?


It is a measure of the divisions that the Bharatiya Janata Party has engendered that a letter of instruction from the Archbishop of the Delhi Diocese to its churches to pray for the nation is being construed as an attack on the Narendra Modi-led government.The Sangh-sympathising section of media claim that the note is an instance of church interference in politics, and Hindutva hell-raisers on television and the social networks have characterised the church’s call for a prayer campaign as #churchvsmodi and #churchagainstmodi.
Since the letter and the prayer are of a general nature, referencing constitutional values and democratic institutions, it’s worth asking why Modi’s most ardent supporters see this as an attack on him.Is it that in his letter to his diocese calling for a campaign of prayer, the archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto writes, “We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere that poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our constitution and the secular fabric of the nation”?This is something that many, including Yashwant Sinha, former BJP MP, Union minister and until recently a leading light of the party’s “margadarshak mandal.