New Delhi: Rural Development Minister Jairam
Ramesh on Friday slammed social and religious organisations for
taking public positions on developmental issues saying it was
against national interest.
Citing the example of Church`s role in mobilising people
against Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu and
uranium mining in Meghalaya, Ramesh said Hindu, Christian or
Muslim-faith based organisations "must not be seen as
"...Pardon my saying so, there is a feeling that
sometimes organisations, social organisations end up taking
positions on issues that go against developmental
imperatives," he said during his inaugural address at the
Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Caritas India, a Catholic
"Archbishop, even in your state of Kerala, faith-based
organisations sometimes end up taking positions on public
issues which are seen to be anti-growth and anti-development,"
he told Archbishop Catholicos Baselios Cleemis, who hails from
Ramesh said it was not possible to meet the energy demand
of the country by rejecting everything in the name of ecology.
"...rejecting everything in the name of ecology. How it
is possible for India to grow? If dams are already ruled out,
if coal mining is going to be ruled out and if nuclear energy
is also going to be ruled out, how are we going to grow", he
"1.3 billion people... population increasing by 12
million a year. We are going to add 500 million people in the
next 30 years. A growing country requires energy. How are we
going to fulfil these things," he said.
He added, "I seek your forgiveness, if I have crossed the
`Lakshman Rekha`. Please take what I have said in the right
spirit. I speak to you as a friend, a colleague, an advocate
somebody who believes that you have the power to do good...But
in the process of doing good, one should not create ripples,
which create doubts about people`s motives."