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Hindu group criticizes Pope for 'challenging pluralism'. (World).

NEW DELHI -- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Noun 1. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - an all-male organization begun in 1925 to foster nationalism in India's Hindus
National Volunteers Association

secret society - a society that conceals its activities from nonmembers
 (RSS), a right-wing Hindu group that is closely tied to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Bharatiya Janata party (bär`ətēə jän`ətə) [Hindi,=Indian People's party] (BJP), Indian political party that espouses Hindu nationalism. , has accused Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born Karol J√≥zef Wojtyła   of challenging the country's pluralism with his remarks against anti-conversion laws in the country (NCR World Briefs, June 6) and has asked the government to register a protest with the Holy See.

A spokesman for the group, Ram Madhav, told a news conference June 6 the pope's statement was "misplaced" and amounted to "a total disregard for India's cultural plurality."

Madhav justified the laws against conversion as necessary, alleging that Christian missioners have been "aggressively wooing the poor with allurements." He said Christian missionaries cause "tensions" and pose "a serious threat to peace and harmony" in India.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the World Hindu Council, considered the religious wing of the RSS, also criticized the pope.

Under the Indian Constitution, the country is secular and treats all religions equally. The RSS leads the movement to make India a Hindu nation. Opposition parties and others accuse the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of carrying out attacks on Christians and Muslims.
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Author:Coday, Dennis
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 20, 2003
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