Kolkata archbishop calls Mamata Banerjee leader of 'national stature', slams lynching incidents, says attempts to polarise

Days after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's speech at Saint Stephen's College was scrapped, the archbishop of Kolkata has come out in support of her, calling her a "leader of national stature who has the conviction to take all together", according to a report in The Economic Times.

 Kolkata archbishop calls Mamata Banerjee leader of national stature, slams lynching incidents, says attempts to polarise

File image of Reverend Thomas D'Souza. Image courtesy: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta

“Mamata didi has always supported us and she does it for all communities,” Reverend Thomas D'Souza told the newspaper.  She is the one who expresses courage and speaks at critical moments. Her efforts to work for objectivity and idea of inclusiveness have always been appreciated.”

D'Souza also spoke about the the lynchings that were occurring across India. "...I do not want to take names of any political party or comment on any individual. I would only like to say that the rule of law and the Constitution of the country should be upheld. Any attempt to polarise and divide people should be discouraged and condemned. Anything that takes away somebody’s freedom to live life should never be allowed to continue with."

This is not the first time that the vociferous archbishop has made headlines with his remarks.

In July PTI reported, D'Souza made headlines by slamming exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen's controversial tweet criticising Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity.

Nasreen tweeted:"Mother Teresa charity home sells babies, it is nothing new. Mother Teresa was involved with many illegal, inhumane, immoral, unethical, unprincipled, wicked, fraudulent, barbaric acts. Please don't try to protect criminals only because they are famous."

Nasreen was responding to Banerjee accusing the BJP of making "malicious" attempts to malign the name of Missionaries of Charity when two staff members of its Ranchi-based shelter home were arrested for allegedly selling babies.  D'Souza rejected Nasreen's allegations as "baseless and untrue".

"This is not at all true. The author can say whatever she wants but that will not be able to tarnish Mother's image. Her image will remain impeccable and she will be remembered for all that she has done. If someone says something like this, it doesn't diminish Mother's integrity. I will not say anything more than this." The Archbishop said people like Nasreen who have not understood Mother's work properly say such things.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 31, 2018 16:54:31 IST