New Delhi: After controversy over a letter by Delhi’s Archbishop Anil Couto calling Christians to pray and fast before the 2019 general elections, retired Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribiero, in his article for The Times of India, said, “A Hindu Rashtra would make my country nothing less than a saffron Pakistan.”
Earlier Ribiero’s column in The Indian Express in 2017, also drew flak, in which he wrote about his fears of living as a Christian in India. Defending the Archbishop who had raised concerns over the current “turbulent political atmosphere” which has threatened the democratic institutions and social fabric of the country, Ribiero in his article in TOI wrote about the shrinking space for dissent in the country, especially for minority communities, claiming that there were far too many Christians who had second thoughts about a BJP government, even before the 8 May circular was sent.
Ribeiro said Archbishop was not the only Indian to have raised such concerns. He claimed he knew countless Hindus, good, solid citizens of our country, who have condemned the covert and overt attempts to demolish institutions, attacks that portend the end of our secular fabric.
Reacting to Union Minister KJ Alphons’ statement in which he asked ‘godmen’ to stay away from political comments, Ribiero pointed out that the BJP has appointed a ‘godman’ as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Asserting that the BJP government, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was different from the one that is ruling now, Ribeiro lamented that the current Modi government raises doubts and questions the patriotism of the minorities.
Ribeiro stated that in a Hindu Rashtra, he being a minority, should be prepared for a second class citizenship without top jobs, but he is not willing to accept being “falsely accused of being anti-national and pilloried on that count.