ASIA NEWS REPORT
by Nirmala Carvalho
number refers to the disparity between males and females reported in the last
national census (2011). In the parishes of the Archdiocese 37 million lamps and
candles will be lit. For the director of the Catholic weekly The Examiner,
spiritual and sexual health formation can bring about a change in attitude that
respects the dignity and sacredness of human beings. The message of the Bishops'
Conference for Indian Republic Day.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The campaign "37 million lights" begins tomorrow,
commissioned by the Archdiocese of Mumbai to sensitize the community to all
forms of violence against women: sex-selective abortion, female feticide, dowry
murders, rapes, maternal and child mortality. Today India celebrates its 63rd
Republic Day, and the debate on the role of women, after the New
Delhi gang rape is still alive. The Archdiocese initiative comes in this
context, to reiterate the position taken by the Church from the outset. The
title refers to data from the last national census (Census 2011), which states
that the disparity between men and women in the population is 37 million.
For this reason, tomorrow evening the parishes of the Archdiocese will
symbolically light (in total) 37 million lamps and candles.
Fr. Anthony Charanghat, editor of the archdiocesan weekly The
Examiner, told AsiaNews: "In India, sexual violence against women is
ancient and widespread as patriarchy. Crimes such as rape, dowry murders, acid
attacks, honour crimes, child brides and human trafficking are the order of the
day. senseless violence and manic brutality inflicted on the victim [New Delhi,
ed] have shaken the conscience of many middle-class citizens, who consider
Gender Equality as important as the fight against poverty. " However, "this
movement must go on until justice is done for all our daughters and sisters who
have been violated."
According to the priest, protest and indignation at such crimes "must be
translated into reasoned not impulsive actions". Instead of "invoking draconian
penalties or death for those who commit rape", more than anything else "we need
a change in mentality reached through spiritual and sexual health education,
while respecting the dignity and sacredness of the human being."
In his message for the Indian Republic Day, even the Bishops' Conference
(CBCI) returned to the issue of violence against women. The bishops stress that
"violence against women and children - not only rapes, but all cases of female
infanticide and feticide, harassment, rape, honour and dowry killings - crumble
the pillars of society and the nation, stopping the path to peace and
To defeat these plagues, the CBCI reiterates the importance of "total
formation of the person, which should help parents, teachers, elders, spiritual
leaders and authorities," and the futility of "dehumanizing measures such as the
death penalty or chemical castration. " The desire for revenge "must give way to
forgiveness," noting that "human life is a precious gift of God, which no one
has the right to take away."
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