X
UCA News

KERALA LATIN CATHOLICS INTENSIFY STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

Updated: May 27, 1992 05:00 PM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Share this article :

Leaders of 2 million Latin Catholics in southern Kerala state have intensified their fight to be recognized politically.

The state chief minister, two bishops and a federal minister met with government officials to plead their cause on May 9 in Kollam, about 2,800 kilometer south of New Delhi.

The Latin Catholic community forms 7 percent of the state´s 29 million people. The leaders allege that the community is denied "any covetable office" in the state though they have enough qualified people.

The Kerala Latin Catholic Association (KLCA) staged a token fast before the state secretariat March 25 protesting what they called "government discrimination."

There are five Latin Catholic members in the ruling front of the state, they point out, but none is included in the council of ministers.

The leaders say their community is denied representation in "all vital government services."

"Smaller communities in Kerala have representation in public services and the council of ministers," KLCA general secretary Antony Ambatt said.

KLCA submitted a charter of demands to Chief Minister K. Karunakaran July 25, 1991. It demands reserved seats for Latin Catholics in government jobs in proportion to their population.

The association also wants its people included in the list of "Other Eligible Communities" of Kerala to facilitate special educational concessions from the government.

KLCA asked the government to develop the coastal belt of Kerala where Latin Catholics, most of them fisherfolk, live. The leaders say their people face "acute poverty" during monsoon seasons due to fewer fish and rougher seas.

Also, these traditional fishermen cannot compete with crews using mechanized fishing boats, Ambatt says.

KLCA wants the government to find solutions to these community problems. But the "government´s response is indifference and negligence," says Ambatt.

This encouraged KLCA to take the path of agitation. All Latin Catholic members of the state legislative assembly participated in the protest.

"We are not against the government; it is only to open the eyes of the government," said Dominque Presentation, a KLCA leader.

During the Kollam meeting, Karunakaran promised to do "everything possible to keep happy this toiling lot."

Federal Minister S. Krishnakumar, who won a majority in the coastal Kollam constituency in the last election, also promised to help solve the problems of Latin Catholics.

Bishop Joseph Fernandez of Quilon and Bishop Peter Chenaparampil of coastal Alleppey dioceses also spoke for Latin Catholics.

Latin Catholics comprise the second largest Catholic group in Kerala having nine out of 24 dioceses.

END

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia