Christian group demands apology from Ramesh for speaking against gowns

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Bangalore, Apr 4 (ANI): A Christian group on Sunday demanded an unconditional apology from Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh for his remark against wearing graduation gown during university convocation.

Describing Ramesh's statement as against Pope and Christian Community, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) president Sajan K George, said the remarks have deeply offended community's religious sentiment.

"GCIC strongly condemns such insensitive remarks by the honourable minister. We are all the more concerned that the minister has chosen Bhopal, the epicentre of persecution against Christians in India to demean Pope," George said.

"The minister spoke with utter irresponsibility and with lack of respect for the Pope and with a display of incredible cynicism towards the church and millions of people around the world," he added.

The GCIC also demanded an apology from Ramesh.

"The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) demands from him an unconditional apology for such insensitive remarks," George said.

Addressing the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) convocation in Bhopal on Friday Ramesh had called wearing of the traditional convocation robe as a "barbaric colonial practice".

"The practice of wearing a traditional coloured gown during a convocation ceremony at any university is a barbaric colonial practice. Why can't we wear simple dress instead of these gowns," Ramesh said.

Ramesh had publicly removed his gown and asked: "Why cannot we have convocation in simple dress instead of coming dressed up as medieval vicars and popes."

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday had also called for a nation-wide debate over wearing graduation gown.

Former Union Human Resource Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murali Manohar Joshi also supported Ramesh saying wearing ceremonial gown was a western practice inspired by Christianity and not suitable for Indian culture or climate. (ANI)

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