100 Days of President Ram Nath Kovind in Christian India

Published 07 November 2017  |  
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President Ram Nath Kovind has completed 100 days in office on Nov.1, according to officials of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Amid increasing persecution against Christians in the BJP-ruled country, Kovind's 100 days in office has been unexpectedly smooth for Christians.

After his comments on Islam, Christianity and reservation in 2010, the minorities feared his coming to power.

However, when Kovind took over on July 25 as the 14th president, he appreciated the work of Christians for the poor and the oppressed. He lauded the contribution of Christians to the growing riches of the country's education, culture, and nation-building.

He made himself heard above the ambient political noise.

When a group of Catholic bishops met him on Aug. 24, he said Christians occupy a small percent of the country's population, exactly less than 2.5 percent, yet they have always served and will continue to serve the nation in the field of health, education and other areas, especially helping the poor and the downtrodden.

On Sept. 20, at a speech in Delhi's Jesus and Mary College, he praised the contribution of Christians to education.

He said, "Here I must note that the Christian community, whose history in India goes back 2,000 years and which has contributed so much to our shared culture, has carved a special role for itself in education. Missionary institutions such as this one have become symbols of scholarship, dedicated teaching and academic excellence."

Earlier this month, Kovind travelled to Kerala soon after BJP criticized it as a "land of violence" and talked about its culture of mutual understanding of faiths.

"Kerala's spiritual consciousness is well beyond faith and religious distinctions. The Christian community here is one of the oldest not only in India, but anywhere in the world. The first mosque to be built in India is in Kerala... Kerala also has a rich Jewish heritage. Jews settled here, I am given to understand, after the Romans drove them out of Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago," said Kovind at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Kollam on Oct. 10.

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