Thiruvalla: Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on April 30 urged people to not mix religion and politics.
Naidu was speaking at a civic reception organized in honor of Philipose Mar Chrysostom, seniormost metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on his 101st birthday. The function in Thiruvalla also marked the diamond jubilee of the ordination of Reverend Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan.
The vice president suggested that religious leaders give spiritual guidance while politicians take inspiration from the country’s noble heritage to provide a clear polity.
“I hope these two strands — religion and politics- are not mixed up and religious leaders give spiritual guidance to every human being and political leaders take inspiration from our noble heritage to provide a clean polity,” Naidu said.
Religious shrines are places of devotion and potential sites of social and community education, he said, adding that if they stray from their path and dabble in politics and issue unwarranted divisive statements, they become dysfunctional.
Naidu also said it was time to nourish and re-discover a positive energy, a source of harmony, understanding, respect, a perennial fountainhead of the timeless values that India has stood for.
Lauding the contribution of Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Naidu said he showered his blessings with good humor and pleasant demeanor.
Chrysostom internalized the essence of Christianity and propagated its tenets through his words and actions, he added.
Naidu said the Mar Thoma Church, with deep roots in the history of Independent India, has always stood for freedom and justice and recalled its protest against the Emergency.
P J Kurian, Rajya Sabha deputy Chairman and state minister for water resources Mathew T Thomas were among those attended the function.
(Source: The Times of India)