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

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