<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session I </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session I Wednesday, October 27, 1999/Kartika 5, 1921 (Saka)

Title: Regarding Pope John Paul-II visit to India.

11.59 hrs.

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DAS MUNSI(RAIGANJ): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have given notices for discussion under Rule 193 and also Calling Attention on Pope John Paul's visit to India because his security is causing a lot of concern in the country. We want a full-fledged discussion either under Rule 193 or under the Calling Attention. A notice has been served. It concerns not only the Christian community but the entire image of the nation in the whole world. On the one hand the Minister of Home Affairs said in Gujarat that he would be a State guest and he would be protected and on the other hand, right under the nose of the North Block, at Vijay Chowk, the area which falls under Section 144, the VHP and the RSS elements burnt the effigy of Pope John Paul. This is a serious matter and the country cannot afford to ignore this incident because the hon Prime Minister made a commitment and the Presidential Address also had made a commitment for the total democratic polity and secularism. I feel and I demand that an important issue like this cannot be ignored by this House. There should be a discussion and the Government should come forward because earlier ....(Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (BOLPUR): There should be an assurance from the Minister of Home Affairs. (Interruptions)

12.00 hrs.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please let him finish.

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, earlier in 1992, when a similar question was raised whether Babri Masjid will be protected or not, a Chief minister gave a commitment to the Supreme Court, with affidavit, that there shall be total protection. Yet it was not done. We demand from the Government that their commitment must be total and the Christian community as a whole in this country should feel protected. The Home Minister must react immediately...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Will you please resume your seat, Shri Acharia? I am on my legs. Shri Radhakrishnan, Please resume your seat. I am on my legs. Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi has mentioned a subject on which the Government wants to react. If all of you stand up together, how can I call all of you at a time? Now I am calling Shri Suresh Kurup.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: I am giving you the chance before the hon. Home Minister reacts. Do you want to say anything, Shri Suresh Kurup?

SHRI SURESH KURUP (KOTTAYAM): Sir, I have given a notice. Pope John Paul II...(Interruptions)

SHRI K. YERRANNAIDU (SRIKAKULAM): Sir, either you should allow the Home Minister to react or...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Mr. Yerrannaidu, I am calling those who have given notice.

SHRI SURESH KURUP : Sir, Pope John Paul II is the head of a sovereign State and also the spiritual head of millions of Christians all over the world. The Vishva Hindu Parishad has taken out a vicious campaign against this visit of the Holy Father. This is a logical extension of their vicious campaign against the Christian minorities in this country. The Government is keeping mum on this. They should come forward with a clear-cut statement as to what is their attitude regarding the visit. This is a great and historic occasion and should be treated like that...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Mr. Suresh, the Government wants to react. Please be brief.

SHRI SURESH KURUP : Let me complete my statement, Sir. Now they are taking out a yatra from Goa to Delhi and they are threatening that they will take out protest rallies against the Papal visit. What is the attitude of the Government, we would like to know.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: He will tell. Now, Shri Basudeb Acharia.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Will you please take your seat, Mr. Ramdas? I have called Shri Basudeb Acharia.

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): Sir, the campaign unleashed by Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in regard to the visit of Pope John Paul II...(Interruptions)

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SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA : Sir, the Vishva Hindu Parishad have already started a yatra from Goa to Delhi...(Interruptions). This has created communal disharmony in the country and this will also create adverse relations with another country. The Government has not yet reacted.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Hon. Members, all mobile phones should be put off.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Not only put off, they should not be brought here.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: They are all bringing here.

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA: Sir, the Government has not yet reacted to the action which is being taken by Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Government has not distanced itself from the action of these two mass organisations of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I demand that this House should condemn and the Government should also come out with a statement ...(Interruptions)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI : These are not two mass organisations, these are two fascist organisations.

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA : Yes, fascist organisations. I stand corrected.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please, Shri Acharia.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : Shri Acharia, please complete. You are taking too much time.

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SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, the Government should make a statement in this House. ...(Interruptions) Pope John Paul II is not only a religious leader but he is also the Head of a State. What is the plan and programme of the Government maintaining communal harmony in the country? ...(Interruptions) We have the experience. We have seen what happened at the time of demolition of the Babri Masjid. In spite of the undertaking given by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Babri Masjid was demolished on 6th of December, 1992. ...(Interruptions)

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Please conclude. Shri K. Francis George to speak now.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : Shri Acharia, this is not a full scale discussion. This is zero hour. You have to mention the subject. The Government wants to react. This is not a full scale debate.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, that was organised by the Chief Minister in 1992. By that started the communal disharmony in our country....(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : You are not helping me. I am trying to help you.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Sir, I demand that the Government should make a statement in regard to this. ...(Interruptions)

SHRI TARIT BARAN TOPDAR (BARRACKPORE): That case is still pending. The Minister of Home Affairs is an accused in that case. Do not forget that the case is still pending. ...(Interruptions)

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... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : Shri Radhakrishnan, you are not Francis George. I called Shri George to speak. He is a new Member. Please listen to him.

SHRI K. FRANCIS GEORGE (IDUKKI) : Sir, we are extremely pained and sorry to say that the visit of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II is being marred by this kind of vicious campaign by the Sangh Pariwar. We have now met the hon. Prime Minister regarding this. The hon. Prime Minister has said that the Government respects all religions. The Pope is coming here as a Head of State on our own invitation. Subsequently the hon. Minister of Home Affairs also made a statement to that effect. But what are we seeing now? The Sangh Pariwar is going ahead with its campaign of hate and distrust. What has the Government done upto now? The Government has not taken any decision or step so far. ...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : The hon. Minister of Home Affairs wants to react.

SHRI K. FRANCIS GEORGE : Sir, please let me complete. We would like to know as to what the Government proposes to do regarding the Yatra which is being taken out by the Sangh Pariwar from Goa to Delhi. ...(Interruptions) Sir, you are not allowing me. ...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : He has given notice.

SHRI K. FRANCIS GEORGE : Sir, I have also given notice. All of us would like to know as to what the Government proposes to do. Will the Government take action against the Sangh Pariwar elements? Is the Government ready to stop the Yatra which is being proposed by the Sangh Pariwar? We want to have a clear answer from the Government. Thank you very much. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : Shri P.C. Thomas, please resume your seat. I have called Shri V. M. Sudheeran.

SHRI V.M. SUDHEERAN (ALLEPPEY) : Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, I have two points to make. One is that the visit of such a holy personage, Pope John Paul II, is a historic event and it is in the fitness of things that Parliament extend its welcome to the visiting Pope. I request the hon. Speaker to take appropriate steps and to see that the whole House welcomes the Holy Father.

The second point is that some communal elements are trying to create some undesirable situation in this country. That has to be condemned. Sir, through you I request the hon. Prime Minister and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to take appropriate steps to stop the attempt of the V.H.P., the R.S.S. and others to spoil the atmosphere. ...(Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Rawat, you are a senior Member. You should know the procedure.

... (Interruptions)

PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT (AJMER): Sir, kindly allow me. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: This is not the way to attract the attention of the Presiding Officer.

... (Interruptions)

PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT : Only one side is coming before you.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please resume your seat.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Paranjpe, you are not to stand up and say anything and everything. If there is anything unparliamentary, I will ask him to withdraw. Do not do like this.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Katiyar, please resume your seat.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Katiyar, this is too much. Please resume your seat. I want your Whip to prevail on you. What is this? How to conduct this House?

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Shri Ramdas, please resume your seat.

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Why should he divert the issue?

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SHRI VIJAY KUMAR MALHOTRA : How can he talk about this?

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: It is a sensitive issue. I request the hon. Members that they should be very careful in choosing their words. These are emotional matters. Therefore, kindly see that you confine yourself to the subject without bringing any extraneous matters into it.

SHRI BENI PRASAD VERMA : I am very alert.

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Verma, please conclude.

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