Panaji, Aug 25 (IANS) Less than a week after the Goa Church warned of a Nazi Germany like scenario in contemporary Goa and India, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that efforts were on to “destroy” the coastal state’s communal harmony.
“So that inspite of a lot of efforts to destroy it (communal harmony) by some people, by trying to divide the society on communal lines, I think people know very well,” Parrikar told reporters here.
Parrikar also told reporters at his ancestral home in Parra village, 20 km north of Panaji, that Ganesh Chaturthi was a festival for people of all religions in Goa and recalled fondly how he used to visit Catholic homes in the neighbourhood on Christmas Day.
“In Goa, Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of everyone, Hindu, Catholic, Muslim. Christmas is festival of everyone. It is also enjoyed. For example in this house, when I grew up we had a Catholic family here, we have a Catholic family there. I used to go and enjoy Christmas at their place,” Parrikar said.
“I wish that people enjoy the next year, as a prosperous year, peaceful year, as a year of peace and love. That is the symbol of Ganesh Chaturthi,” he added.
Last week, an article in a periodical published by the influential Roman Catholic Church had drawn a parallel between conditions in Nazi Germany and contemporary India, while subtly asking voters of Panaji assembly constituency not to vote for Parrikar, who was contesting the August 23 by-poll.
“In 2012, everyone thought in terms of having a corruption free Goa. This thinking continues till 2014 but from then and increasingly everyday, what we are witnessing in India is nothing but a constitutional holocaust. Corruption is very bad, communalism is worse, but Nazism is worse than both,” the article said.
“Anybody who has read William Shirer’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’ or Allan Bullocks’ ‘A Study of Tyranny’ or Hitler’s own ‘Mein Kampf’ will find an extraordinary identity between the growth and rampage of Nazism in Germany in 1933 onwards and India in 2014,” it said.
Around 26 per cent of the state’s 1.5 million people are Catholic for whom the Church is a spiritual and religious guide.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the biggest Hindu festivals in the state, got underway on Friday.
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