Bishop comes under fire for saying political martyrs are those who died getting into 'unnecessary fights'
Kannur | A Catholic archbishop in Kerala has courted controversy by stating that political martyrs are those who died after getting into "unnecessary fights", a statement that was criticised by political leaders in the state on Sunday.
At a Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM) event held on Saturday, Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany said that the martyrdom of the 12 apostles of Jesus was different from that of political martyrs.
"The martyrdom of the Apostles is not like that of the political martyrs. Some of the political martyrs are those who got shot after getting into unnecessary fights with someone or some are those who fell from bridges while fleeing from the police after some protests. But the 12 martyred apostles (of Jesus) are those who sacrificed their lives for truth, and the wellbeing of the world," Pamplany said.
The video went viral on Sunday after which senior Left leaders including LDF convenor E P Jayarajan and senior Left leader P Jayarajan criticised the statement.
P Jayarajan asked Pamplany whether Gandhiji was killed after he engaged in some "unnecessary fight" with someone.
"How can he insult the martyrs? They are called martyrs after they lost their lives when the communal or fascist forces murdered them. There are martyrs from various political parties and religions," E P Jayarajan said.
The LDF convenor also said that "such baseless comments" against the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for society cannot be accepted.
"Earlier, he (Bishop Pamplany) made the statement that BJP will get a seat if the rubber price is increased to Rs 300 per kg. So we are not giving any importance to his statement," P Jayarajan said.
He was referring to Pamplany's statement on March 19 this year in which he said that if the Centre promised to increase the rate of rubber procurement to Rs 300 per kilogram, BJP's dearth of an MP from the southern state would be addressed. His statement had created ripples in the political waters of the state.
P Jayarajan also pointed out that many Christians were martyred in the recent Manipur riots.
Meanwhile, the BJP came out in support of the Bishop and said the "attack" on the senior cleric was anti-democratic.
"It is the CPI(M) which makes martyrs out of those who get into unnecessary fights with others... The Bishop exposed the CPI(M). Political violence happens only in places where the Left party is strong. They are the ones who celebrate the death of martyrs," BJP state chief K Surendran claimed.