Attacks on religious places should be regarded as 'unacceptable aberrations': Jaitley

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday condemned the recent attacks on churches in the national capital, saying that such acts should be regarded as 'unacceptable aberrations' in a society as liberal as India.

New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday condemned the recent attacks on churches in the national capital, saying that such acts should be regarded as 'unacceptable aberrations' in a society as liberal as India.

"These (attacks) should be regarded as unacceptable aberrations in a society as liberal as India. And, therefore, the guilty responsible in one case have already been identified and brought to book," Jaitley said, at a function organised to celebrate the canonisation of Saint Euphrasia and Saint Chavara in New Delhi.

"But, I am quite certain that those mischief makers who indulge in incidents of this kind would have no space in India and certainly would not be spared," he added.

Stating that he was 'privileged' to be a part of the function, Jaitley said that the 'footprints' of the two saints are still recognised.

"The event is more celebratory as it celebrates the conferment and elevation of two great Indians to sainthood. These moments are very rare in history when such honour and elevation is conferred on saints emulating from a particular country," he said.

"The fact that Saint Kuriakose relinquished his body in 1871 and Mother Euphrasia relinquished her body in 1952. It is literally over decades, almost more than a century and half in one case, that their footprints are still recognised and noticed. It is a tribute to the immense contribution that they have made," he added.

The minister further said that he feels the celebratory moments are also moments for all of us to introspect from their lives.

"I have always thought to what distinguishes these great saints from ordinary mortals like us. While many of us are still attached to material benefits of life, they have captured and conquered most of these weaknesses. They are beyond anger, they have captured temptation, they have overcome any form of greed, they have overcome any form of ambition and have therefore dedicated themselves completely to the cause of humanity, which in their vision is inspired by the religion," Jaitley said.

"In India, we do have a very large number of cases where such great men and women inspired by religion to such an extent go in service to humanity and mankind and are more concerned with the cause of poor, the downtrodden, and underprivileged. This is where these people have worked," he added.

"We do have a large number of cases where such great men and women inspired by religion, go in service of humanity and humankind. We have a history of a very liberal tradition in India. At the time of independence, we allowed all religions to prosper and to propagate and serve the mankind. That is the tradition we live in and are inspired with," Jaitley added.

Concluding his talk Jaitley stressed on learning the message of service to the society from the life of these two saints.

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