Malankara Church Should Take A New Political Stand By Using “ Right to Reject”

Written By: on Feb 29th, 2012 and filed under Columns, Opinions.


This is the high time for the Malankara Church to change the political policy, because the Church is getting no Justice. Even though it is having the clear favourable verdict from the Supreme Court of India, and also a number of favourable verdicts from the local courts of Kerala. Both the fronts UDF and LDF, playing vote politics. They are not bothered about our sentiments. They only need our votes.

It is clearly evident that both UDF and LDF did injustice to our Church, the second largest Christian body of voters in Kerala, continuously rejecting justice, by not ready to implement court verdicts, by denying assembly and parliament seats to Orthodox Church members. Still now our people are not aware of this. For an Orthodox Faithful, our Church should be the first priority, then only political sentiments. We have to know this and to acknowledge this reality.

When we examine, the approaches of both fronts in the past, it is clear that, they are not bothered about implementing justice. We know, during the time of LDF government, Jacobite fraction got permission to visit the Tombs of our Church fathers in Thrikunnathu Seminary during Perunal, and they are allowed to offer prayers. Since then, they are continuously getting permission every year, and this year, H.B. Thomas I, played the drama of offering Holy Qurbana there.

We have to go back to the past years, During the time of H.H Mathews II Bava, Bava wished to enter the Manarcadu Church, on the ground of Supreme Court Judgment, but Antony Government, denied Police protection.

Six months back, we got a completely favourable verdict, in case of Kolenchery Church, and our Bava Thirumeni went on Hunger strike, in the end Oommen Chandy, promised, within 15 days, they will implement court verdict. But still now, it is not implemented. But after a few weeks of Kolenchery verdict, Patriarchal fraction got a favourable verdict in Puthenkuriz and Oommen Chandy government helped them to implement the verdict.
As Bava Thirumeni said recently, Political leaders are thinking Malankara Church leaders and faithful are fools. No, we are not fools. It is the high time for us to prove that we are not fools. In Piravom, the byelection is coming. UDF is having a Jacobite member as their candidate. And LDF is having Mr M.J.Jacob, a so called Orthodox Member, we do not know, whether he is a believer of Jesus, because he is a member of CPM, an atheist political party. And CPM also, not ready to give justice to us.

So, in this situation, what is our option? To whom should we give votes? Definitely Church should demonstrate our grievance, protest and feelings through this election. Then how? Can we support Anoop? Or give support to LDF candidate? In my opinion, we should not give support to both. Church should take an impartial stand. We should not give support to both fronts. At the same time we have to show our protests. It should not be by boycotting the election. But through participating the election.

Recently, in an unique case, some voters sought to exercise their “right to reject” during polling in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections second phase in Gorakhpur. However, with no such provision in electoral laws, they were allowed to put on record their decision to abstain as they did not consider any candidate deserving enough. Polling officials were taken by surprise when some half a dozen voters came down to their polling booths and demanded endorsement of their right to reject all candidates in the fray in Gorakhpur. The Malankara Orthodox Church members can use this opportunity, if we don’t like both UDF and LDF candidates…I think we should use “right to reject” in Piravom bypoll, because both fronts cheated us in one way or the other…

Dear brothers and sisters, stand firm against the injustice…we don’t want the untrustworthy politicians. Our Church is claiming that we have 22000 votes in Piravom. If so Our Church should instruct our people in Piravom to use “ right to reject” opportunity. This is a unique chance to show our protest through election to both fronts who are behind us only for our votes. They need only our votes. During the election time, all major leaders of political parties will visit our Metropolitans and seek their support. After getting our votes they simply avoid us.

Our Church leaders should not go behind this cheap politicians and political parties. We have our own identity; don’t put our identity and uniqueness of our Church under the Political parties. Not only in Piravom election, but in all the future elections, both assembly and Parliament elections, church can take this stand. We can give our votes to all candidates who are eligible and giving moral support to us, irrespective of caste, creed and politics. If we feel all are not eligible, we should reject them by visiting the polling booths, and record our attendance, but not giving our votes.

Fr.Thomas Philipose from Aurangabad

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Disclaimer: Indian Orthodox Herald does not moderate or edit the comments posted in this column. All opinions are solely of the writers and IOH holds no responsibility what so ever for the views written here below.

9 Responses for “Malankara Church Should Take A New Political Stand By Using “ Right to Reject””

  1. joy says:

    Members of orthodox church consists of believers having different political ideologies. It would be prudent and wise not to run before a particular political ideology. The church should take a non-partisan attitude in politics and it is better to keep the option open to the faithful. Adopting and implementing a particular political ideology by church dignitories will no doubt be detrimental to the unification and integration of this mighrty oriental orthodox church. If any church dignatory would like to implement and associate with any particular political party can do so by resigning from the church position and join actively in politics and leave the faithful to live peacefully. The present day trend of joining to a political faction by church is a modern phenomena. We can take our forefathers as example.

  2. I could feel certain frustrations. However, mixing religious faith/spirituality with political or material gain is not very spiritual, orthodox or religious. What is the foundational principle of church members who shift their political stand on each election? Nothing. Let legislature, judiciary and executive branches of government render their responsibilities without violating our rights; let church and its members be aware of their calling, rights and responsibilities. The other side of legalism is moral-ism. Retribution is not the right mode of operation, if so Jesus Christ would not have been crucified.

  3. Mathew says:

    Dear Reni Daniel ,

    I feel it’s a very stupid argument because of your vested interest.
    The Bible says the top most agenda for a ruler should be submitting to God Almighty and providing justice to everybody. Was Mr Chandy doing it? Yes agreed Chandy is not doing that. Same question I will ask to the church-Is the church is doing that ?..the common man is not getting any benefit from church including jobs in our institution without donation in lakhs is one among that. The brawl is happening in the street and all in name of God.

  4. Grace. P says:

    Dear S.Jacob,
    Your concern is understood by me and other readers like me.

    I think to be “as gentle and peaceful as the dove and as sharp as the serpant” does not call for

    1. ‘Bhava Thirumeni has not spoken anything about this to the Piravom voters’ is your natural concern. If Bhava Thirumeni speaks any thing for or against any candidate at Piravom, the non partisan approach to politics of our Church will be lost. Also the right Oriental Orthodox Christian approach, of respect for the secular tenant of the Indian constitution, of non partisanship in politics(except in critical situations like the Vimochana Samaram etc.) ; and our full and completete partisanship to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; will be spoiled.

    Dear S.Jacob, we and our Church have gone through many very severe persecutions in yester years, and God has upheld us. And the severest of them all is from and by the Jacobite faction; who are but our brothers. And Cain and Habel were brothers. The persecuions of the the church has happened many times in history, from with in like the present one from the so called Anticochan throne and the so called Shreshta one in lies, deception and even murder.

    2. To answer your second concen. It shall mean and remind us to be “as gentle and peaceful as the dove and as sharp as the serpant”.
    Wish you the best,S. Jacob, for your love for the Church, which is the love for the truth, who is Jusus Christ, our Lord.
    Truth is a person.
    Regards,
    Grace. P

  5. s jacob says:

    Politics is everywhere, in state as well as in church level. This is the best chance (Piravom Bye election) to protest against government’s inability to maintain & provide justice to Orthodox Church, regarding the recent issues in Kolenchery.

    There are two things which makes me sick !
    1) Bhava Thirumeni has not spoken anything about this to the Piravom voters, except for Severios thirumeni, stating his disagreement on government, on Asianet /press conference
    And Mr VJ Paulose has very well made use of this, saying that Orthodox hasnt mentioned about, whom they are going to vote, from Kottayam(from Superiors).

    2) Does that mean the head quarters of Orthodox still feel that Chief Minister, is the right person to bring justice to Orthodox people in Piravom/Ernakulam .

    If it was any other relegious factions , they would have clearly stated their intentions , well ahead of time , and made an impact on this election results.

    And if this continues,Church’s inability to guide/direct their people to gain their rights through democratic power, i feels like Orthodox churches and beleivers will be gone, atleast in next 1-2 decades, at least from these places, where the opponents behaves like errants.

  6. Grace. P says:

    Politics, poetry or literature, doctor or nursing, industry or business, engineering or scientific researher etc. are all noble professions. And there is no blemish in any one of them. The dirtying of them all and politics included is the sinful activities of man, ie, us the people of Kerala.

    Unlike Catholicism and Protestantism, Orthodox and specifically Oriental Orthodoxy is the truest expression of genuine Christianity. And this, which is our faith has never, let me emphasise, never opposed science; where as Catholicism and Potestanticism have persecuted and tormented scientist like Galelio Galeeli etc. So is the case of Politics and the stand of true Christianity which is the Oriental Orthodox doctrine. We shall not run away from Politics.

    We are not against politics but should rather have political knowledge and resulting opinions. But in instances of clear cut violation of justice and partiality to insolent might by the present and past Chief Ministers of Kerala we should deplore them.

    And just because one of these Chief Minsters is member of our Church, should never prompt us to be partial to him and encourage him to be even more unjust by that. This may even result in him loosing eternal bliss in heaven and be dumped in hell. So it is all the more necessary to see that his soul reaches heaven by pointing out his injustice. And to the other we must profess to give up his atheism and turn to Christ and join our church.

    And all the (so appearing) peace making advocates who write in such forums – to be submissive and silent- to injustice, should do well to learn more about the greatness of our faith and Church and stop making mockery of the gospel itself by their so called peace mongering – in Piravom elections.

    Regards,
    Grace. P

  7. Reni Daniel says:

    Do not be fooled by politicians’s slogan of DEVELOPMENT.
    When I was child, I was amazed to see an autorikshaw coming to my small sleepy town. As the number of autorikshaws increased, I thought I was living in a modern town. Now I know it was stupid because they have really spoiled my small town.

    This agenda of DEVELOPMENT is fixed by greedy Businessmen and supported by corrupt beaurocrats. The Bible says the top most agenda for a ruler should be submitting to God Almighty and providing justice to everybody. Was Mr Chandy doing it?

  8. Reni Daniel says:

    While I agree with Fr.Thomas Philipose on having the option of Rejection in the Electronic Voting machine, in this PIRVAM ELECTION we should show our unity and strength. Every Orthodox voter in Piravam knows what to do. This is clear from teh comments in the Malayalam section of Herald.

    Our Church should aim to develop a political insight in the Church

  9. Reni Daniel says:

    Though our sabha does not have a political bias and is independent, political consciousness of Church members should be encouraged. We haev been sidelines not because of numbers but due to our lack of interest in politcal matters.
    Political Quotent is the measure. Hope our leaders are hearing this message.

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