New Delhi: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday
made a strong pitch for roping in organisations like those run
by Catholic Church to bring development in Maoist-hit areas
but asked them to respect the `Lakshman Rekha` and not engage
in "religious mobilisation".
"I expect Caritas to respect the sentiment of not
getting involved in religious mobilisation. That is not the
objective," Ramesh said inaugurating the golden jubilee
celebrations of Caritas India, a Catholic organisation.
"The objective is to use the powers of the organisation
like yours to help us breakdown the deficit of trust between
the Government and the tribal communities. That is our
objective," he said.
Addressing a packed audience of Catholic priests
including Archbishops and bishops, the Minister said he does
not talk about Caritas as a Catholic organisation but as a
social organisation run by Catholics.
Focusing on the issue of Maoist influence, Ramesh said
the challenge is "how we deal with the whole issue of Maoist
violence which is spreading across large parts of tribal
"Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. All central Indian tribal belt
today is in the grip of what our Prime Minister has described
as the most serious internal security challenge of our
The Minister said that people in these areas are unable to
carry out their very existence in peace, normalcy and harmony
because of the growing incidents of an ideology that is
dedicated to the overthrowing all democratic institutions.
He said that organisations like Caritas and Ramkrishna
Mission have a very important role to play in such areas,
"provided social organisations respect certain `Lakshman
Foreseeing a possible opposition from BJP-ruled Jharkhand
for involving Caritas India in Maoist-hit areas, Ramesh said
"you must be prepared for this" and said "the ultimate
objective of course is to create an environment in which peace