New Delhi: Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, the youngest of the Cardinals in the Vatican, on Wednesday said India has a rich legacy of diversity in faith and rise of fundamentalism is an alarming sign.
The Cardinal from Kerala, who has just returned from Vatican after his recent elevation, said vote bank politics will cripple democracy and the country.
"Fundamentalism is an alarming sign of disintegration. It is a sign of alarm to us and democratic values," he said during an interaction with journalists here.
Fundamentalist approach by any party is not good. Parties should win elections on merit, he said.
"Our Constitution is shaped by our culture which is shaped by the majority community`s approach to minorities. It reflects the Indian ethos and we have to live those ethos," he said.
The Cardinal, who is one of the Cardinals who will be eligible to vote in the selection of next Pope, also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister AK Antony.
He said during his interaction with Pope Benedict, he told him that his elevation was a great honour to India and the Indian Church.
He said India has always spoken of one world and quoted the Sanskrit saying "Vasudhaiva kudumbakam".
Asked about the controversy over the death of an Indian woman in Ireland, he declined to comment on a specific case saying full details have not come out as of now.
He said human life is precious and a decision can be taken to save the life but the Church also stands by the principle that to save a life, you cannot kill another life.