The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that religion is a personal choice and it should always remain free from any coercion or allurement. He was inaugurating the civic reception in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) accorded to honour Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan on completion of 100 years of age. Shri Singh pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi runs a government at the Centre which firmly believes in taking every section of our society along and build a New India. The goal is Development with unity and the dream of making our nation great again can be realised only when the people of India stand united.The Home Minister said that India has been united not because one religion or some theological thought held the political power or exercised control over the system. This great nation is united because it provides space to peaceful coexistence of multiple thoughts and theologies. The problems faced by this country had always been addressed through a unique interplay of ideas and the biggest living proof of this interplay of ideas is our Constitution.Rajnath Singh said that the ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ should be maintained in this country and continue cementing the pillars of United India. He said unity is our strength and we all must work to strengthen the bonds of unity, amity and harmony in our society. Shri Singh said this should be our resolve today when we are celebrating the birth centenary of Mar Chrysostom.
The Union Home Minister said the life and work of Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan is an inspiration not only to the people of Kerala or to the Christian community, but to the entire nation. His life is a shining example of how God can be worshipped through selfless service for the society and the humanity. Mar Chrysostom has endeared himself to all sections of Kerala Society through his inspiring words and works. The basic quality of Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan is his attitude of universal goodwill and his concern for the development and wellbeing of the entire community of citizens, transcending any narrow sectarian consideration. Considering his valuable contributions to Indian society for well over six decades, the Government of India has conferred Mar Chrysostom by awarding the ‘Padma Bhushan’ this year. By felicitating him with ‘Padma Bhushan’, the Government has not only shown respect towards him but also recognised his tremendous contribution, said Union Home Minister. While remaining true to his own Faith Mar Chrysostom has been able to raise himself above all sectarian considerations and divisions. He has motivated all sections of our society to love each other for the common good.
Rajnath Singh pointed out that Mar Chrysostom is a man of prayer and he also works as a social reformer. His contribution towards the empowerment of weaker sections of our society is also noteworthy. He has dedicated his life to God through service of fellow human beings.The Chief Minister Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan presided over the function. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Prof. P.J. Kurien, Minister for Tourism and Co-operation Shri. Kadakampally Surendran, Leader of Opposition Shri. Ramesh Chennithala, Shri. Shashi Tharoor (MP), Shri. V. Muraleedharan (MP), Mayor Shri. V.K. Prashanth and a host of other dignitaries including Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan were present on the occasion.Earlier, Union Home Minister inaugurated the 19th Navaoli Jyothirdinam celebrations at Santigiri Ashram in Thiruvananthapuram. Speaking on the occasion, Shri. Rajnath Singh lauded the activities of Santigiri Ashram which not only spreads the light of spirituality but also take care of comprehensive healthcare of the society.Shri Rajnath Singh offered floral tributes at the lotus Parnasala at Santigiri Ashram and interacted with Ashram inmates. Bahrain Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa was the Chief Guest at the function.