North East Bishops issue 7-point election guideline
In this season of election, the Bishops in North East India have issued a seven-point guideline to the people to choose the right leaders.
In a Pastoral letter addressed to all the Catholic Faithful of the North East India, Most Rev. Dominic Jala, the President of the North East India Regional Bishop’s Council (NEIRBC), called upon everyone to exercise their franchise. “Voting at every election is a sacred duty and obligation of every citizen”, the letter reads, calling everyone to rise above the many dividing walls like religion, cultures and castes.
The President emphasises that the Catholic Church does not identify herself with any political party and highlights some of the growing concerns in the country like the huge gap between the rich and the poor, meager wage to the unorganized labour section, former distress, and corruption at all levels.
In this context, the President issues a seven-point guideline to elect leaders who will contribute to a government that will:
- work for an economy that seeks especially to help the poor and under privileged, protecting their dignity, working for their uplift and enabling them to play a role in nation building
- promote probity in public life and thus seek to root out corruption at all levels
- ensure a totally safe environment for all people, particularly women and children
- safeguard the rights of tribals over land, water and forests
- take particular care of Dalits and ensure that they are not discriminated against, granting equal rights to all Dalits
- promote communal harmony and a spirit of national integrity through inter-religious dialogue and understanding
- take steps to protect the environment, preserving the riches of nature for the future generations.
The letter ends with a prayer for the leaders from the North East India to work together to bring the concerns of the region to the national arena for the over-all development of the Country.
The 2019 general elections will be contested in seven phases beginning from April 11 to May 19 with the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura going to Lok Sabha polls in different phases.