MUMBAI, (CSF Press statement) — The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) and a number of community NGOs such as Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum, Association of Concerned Catholics, Catholics for the Preservation of the Faith, etc. take strong exception to a priest being caricatured in the film “Kya Super Kool Hai Hum” by bollywood and shown in poor light.
The movie by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms, starring Riteish Deshmukh and Tusshar Kapoor has a scene of a priest solemnizing a wedding of dogs, which makes a mockery of the Christian sacrament of marriage and the faith. A person dressed in a priest’s robe conducts the marital wows, asking the two dogs to accept each other as husband and wife. We call upon the Censor Board to cut the objectionable scene, failing which the groups will intensify their agitation and file police complaints.
“If the clergy of any other religion was depicted in such a light, would that community keep quiet? asked Joseph Dias and added – “That because Christians don’t retaliate and are non-violent, they are being taken for granted.
The CSF has also called for a ban on a soon to be released Malayalam filmn amed `Pithavum Puthranum Parisudhathmavum’ (Father Son and Holy Spirit) based on the story of the book ‘Amen’ written by Sr. Jesme.. It is directed by T. Deepesh, in which a B grade actress, Rajashri Ponnappa plays the role of a nun. In the words of the director – “I have explored the lives of two nuns in a nunnery and have touched on various aspects, including homosexuality and abortion”.
Hundreds of Christians have joined The CSF online protest, calling for the ban on the movie and action against publishing anti-Church material, which is a misrepresentation of the community and Christianity, by highlighting the unsubstantiated views of a few. Such publicity seeks to tarnish the fair name of the Church, with allegations of sex, murder, abortion and scandal. The community groups will soon hold a public meeting to express solidarity with the Church hierarchy and clergy, most of whom have been defamed needlessly.
We do not deny the possibility of delinquent clergy and advocate that the law takes its course, as and when such cases come to be known. The ‘sins’ of a few cannot be allowed to tarnish the image of millions of Catholics and Christians. The CSF has also given a clarion call to personal holiness and prayer – as an appropriate and fitting Christian response to the situation.
Joseph Dias, The CSF general secretary said that it opposed the adverse publicity, which is increasingly being seen in the mass media, for the following reasons: No names, no specifics and no proofs are offered for the slander of lakhs of priests and nuns. It affects the image and is a matter of concern for not just Catholics, who in India number approximately 18 million, but also that of millions of other Christians in the country.
The issue relates not just to the rights of all of us, who are equal Indian citizens, but such ridicule is a violation of our basic human freedom of religion. The damage done by such unsubstantiated lies or even half-truths is unimaginable. And the least we must do is raise our voice in favour of the thousands of nuns, priests and bishops, whose character has been unjustly assassinated.
“We cannot remain quiet, even as the vast majority of these ‘good’ shepherds suffer silently in selfless service, without blemish. While the culprits are negligible, even if one were to admit their crimes; it is faultless rest, who have been unfairly targeted or are victims of a campaign to get at the Church or Christianity… Such false propaganda will do the community – grave harm and is likely to be misused by communal forces, who are attacking and persecuting Christians all over India. Our conscience does not allow a callous, insensitive and irresponsible smear campaign with such wide ranging effects to go unchallenged”, the CSF general secretary added.
The CSF questions whether, it is fair that a couple of ex-clergy women or men, resorting to and aided by yellow journalism can wreck such damage? Since sensationalism, especially of the taboo kind sells, it can be safely assumed that these ex-clerics would have made more money than they would otherwise have had. The media which serves such concocted cocktail, undoubtedly sells more. But is it responsible and credible? We call upon the Government and the Censor Board, whose responsibility it is, to preserve public order to intervene immediately.
Joseph Dias +91 9769 555657
The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF)
Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum
Assn. of Concerned Catholics
Catholics for the Preservation of the Faith