All India Catholic Union

Founded in 1919, Registered under Societies Registration Act 1860
Representating the Catholic Laity of India through 120 Diocesan Units Nationwide

About Us

All India Catholic Union was established in 1919, registered under Societies Registration Act 1860 and it is the representative of the Catholic Laity, of India with affiliated units nationwide.

AICU is a democratic federation with affiliated Catholic Associations across the Diocese/Districts in India. It is a non political body, and it seeks to represent and strengthen the Catholic Community and country, in the socio-religious, political, and economic fields.

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PAUL ANTONY MULLASSERY APPOINTED AS THE NEW BISHOP

In the light of the Communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Msgr. Paul Antony Mullassery, until now Vicar General of Quilon, as the new Bishop of Quilon.
This provision was made public in Rome on Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, at noon local time, corresponding to 15:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.
Rev. Msgr. Paul Antony Mullassery was born on 15th January, 1960, at Kaithakody, Diocese of Quilon. He did his studies at St. Raphael’s Minor Seminary, Quilon, at the Trinity Lyceum and at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva. He was ordained Priest on 22nd December, 1984, for the Diocese of Quilon. He obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He served the Diocese in the following ministries: Asst. Parish Priest, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Punalur (1985-1986); Asst. Parish Priest, St. Michael’s Church, Kumbalam (1985-1986); Parish Priest, Thee King’s Church, Vadakkumthala (1986-1987); Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church, Padappakara (1987-1988); Joint Director, Catechesis and Bible Apostolate and Prefect at St. Raphael’s Minor Seminary, Quilon (1988-1990); Parish Priest, Infant Jesus Cathedral, Quilon (1995-2002); Chancellor of the Diocesan Curia (1997-2006); Parish Priest, Holy Cross Church, Tangasseri (2002-2004); Rector, St. Raphael’s Seminary, Quilon (2004-2006); Episcopal Vicar and Pro-Vicar General, in Quilon (2006-2010); Episcopal Vicar for pastoral ministries (2006-2011); Spiritual Director, St. Raphael’s Seminary, Quilon (2014-2017). Since 1995, he is Judge of the Diocesan Tribunal; since 1997, he is professor of Canon Law at Bhodhi Institute of Theology, Tillery, Kollam (the Capuchin Theology Seminary); since 2013 Judicial Vicar, and since 2017 he is the Vicar General of the Diocese of Quilon. In 2006 he was granted the title of Chaplain of His Holiness.

Tamil Christians protest against violence, harassment

Thousands of Christians took to the streets during protests across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on April 17 to demand government action to stop what they call increasing harassment and violence against Christians.

Some 20,000 Christians from various denominations filled roads in at least 16 cities and towns shouting slogans against government inaction to check anti-Christian activities allegedly carried out by upper-caste Hindu groups.

The Synod of Pentecostal Churches in Tamil Nadu organized the protest as Christians have been subjected to at least 15 cases of violence in the first three months of this year.

Incidents include the mysterious death of a pastor who was found dead a week after he complained to police about harassment from hard-line Hindus.

"We are facing lot of persecution in our state," synod general secretary K.B. Edison told ucanews.com.

"The peaceful protest was to get the attention of the state and federal government about the serious need for security and protection of the Christian minority.

"In the past four years we have faced many challenges. Our churches are being attacked, they are being burned, pastors' lives are under threat. We are not able to bear these atrocities. They are even burning Bibles.

"We have approached the state government several times but disappointingly no action has been taken."

Nehemiah Christie, the synod's director of legislation and regulations, told ucanews.com that both Protestant and Catholic denominations joined the protest.

He said administrative bodies — including the police — have been apathetic to act against violence committed by Hindu groups because of the strong religious and caste biases in the state.

Catholic Father Gregory Rajan of the Infant Jesus Cathedral of Salem supported the protest. "Hindu extremist forces are behind the attacks," said Father Rajan.

The priest said a lack of strong political leadership in the state remains a major issue. Tamil Nadu is not ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the local political party — named All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam — which runs the government "is depending on the BJP for policy and advice on the affairs of the state. Naturally, the local Hindu forces feel emboldened to attack Christians," he said.

Published data shows violence against Christians has increased across India since the BJP came to power in New Delhi in 2014 in a landslide victory. Hindu groups took the BJP's victory as a mandate to step up violence against religious minorities in their push to establish a nation ruled by a Hindu upper-caste hegemony.

Attacks have been increasing in India, said Persecution Relief, an ecumenical forum that records Christian persecution in India. There were 736 reported attacks against Christians in 2017, up from 348 in 2016, the forum said.

Local Christian leaders say most of their new members come from the lower strata of the caste-ridden Tamil society. Higher-caste people oppose any Christian gatherings because they believe they pollute their area.

Higher-caste people also believe those in economically and socially poor castes can be attacked and harassed with impunity, Christie said.

He said their protest program was supported by some mainstream political parties such as the Communist Party of India and some Buddhist and Muslim leaders in the state.

"It is an assurance that they will stand by us to ensure that the constitutional rights of minorities be protected," Christie said.

"Our demands are very simple. Growing violence against Christians and police complicity are matters of deep concern. We want the government to act to end all forms of fascist aggression against Christians and to uphold the rule of law."

Christians are the largest minority in the state, forming 4.5 million or some 6 percent of its 72 million people. A majority of them — plus the state's 4.2 million Muslims — come from castes considered low in the social hierarchy.

Zonal Rink Football tournament

The Vikhroli Unit of The Bombay Catholic Sabha organised a Zonal Rink Football tournament on Sunday, 25th March, 2018 at the Ravindra Mhatre grounds, Vikhroli East.

Thirteen teams from the Community participated in this event. The average attendance on the ground was in the region of 450 to 500 persons. The purpose of organizing this tournament is to encourage n inculcate a competitive spirit and fair play in the game.

We are grateful and owe our sincere thanks to our sponsors n benefactors for their support n encouragement in order to make this event a reality .
We thank the under mentioned persons for gracing the event with their presence for which we are grateful.
1. Mrs. Janet Dsouza General Secretary, All Indian Mahila Congress
2. Mr. Lawrence Dsouza Ex. Vice President BCS.
3. Mr. Raphael Dsouza President AICU.
4. Senior inspector of Police Mr. Sanjay More from Vikhroli Police Station.
5. Mr. Bona Misquitta Thane Deanery Councillor .
6. Mr. Ivan Lemos Executive Committe member .
7. Mr. Felix Aranha Executive Committee member
8. Mrs. Pauline Serro Vice Chairperson Mulund unit
9. Mrs. Manisha Rahate NCP corporator
10. Mr. Upendre Sawant Shiv Sena Corporator
11. Mr. Jayant Dandekar MNS Ward President
12. Mr. Prashant Das
NCP Taluka President.

The Winners were awarded a cash prize together with an attractive trophy and gold medals. The Runners up were awarded cash prize along with a trophy n Silver medals. The third Place were awarded cash prize a trophy n Bronze medals.
In addition Trophies of appreciation and mementos were awarded to various categories - Outstanding Player of the tournament , best Goalkeeper , up Coming players.
We owe our thanks and gratitude to our main sponsors M/s. Godrej Industries, The Model Cooperative Bank and Aaron travels.

UN marks International Day of Happiness

Every year on March 20, the United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to join in celebrating the International Day of Happiness.

Happiness and well-being

The UN General Assembly, in a resolution document on July 12, 2012, declared the annual observance recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

The resolution also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

Happiness report

On the occasion of World Happiness day, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes the World Happiness Report which contains rankings of national happiness and analysis of the data from various perspectives. The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migrationwithin and between countries.

Finland the happiest

Finland came out on top in the happiness scale. It was followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.

All the top countries tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

Finland topped both the rankings, with the happiest immigrants, and the happiest population in general.

Worst performers

Burundi, that has had problems of civil wars, coup attempts, poverty and security, took over from the Central African Republic as the unhappiest place in the world. Surprisingly, five other nations, viz. Rwanda, Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Central African Republic – rank below Syria in the happiness report.

UN chief on Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The United Nations chief has called on people worldwide to think about how they can better promote tolerance, inclusion and respect for diversity.

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on the eve of the March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Much remains to be done

In a speech to the General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, he noted that while there has been progress since the Declaration’s adoption 70 years ago – for example, in the advancement of the rights of women, children, indigenous people and persons with disabilities – there is still far to go in ending discriminatory attitudes, actions and practices.

He cited the case of the “egregious treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,” anti-Semitismand anti-Muslim hatred.

The 21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the 69 people killed during a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, on that day in 1960. The UN General Assembly proclaimed the international day in 1966 to increase its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Growing intolerance

Guterres expressed concern over issues such as gender inequality, “alarming rise” in xenophobia, racism and intolerance, and a resurgence in far-right political parties and neo-Nazi viewpoints.

Refugees and migrants, he noted, are also being denied their rights, apart from being falsely vilified as threats to the societies they seek to join.

Hate mongers

The Secretary-General urged all to “eliminate messages of hatred – the concept of ‘us’ and ‘them’; the false attitude that we can accept some and reject and exclude others simply for how they look, where they worship or who they love.”

The UN Secy-Gen urged all to "stand up to leaders who spread their toxic vison of racial superiority — especially when they couch it in sanitized language to denigrate migrants and foreigners." He spoke abut the urgency to protect young people from these forces of intolerance and division. "We cannot allow extremist ideologies to become normalized and legitimized in our societies," Guterres added.

News

Nagpur Archbishop dies in sleep

Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur died while on a visit to New Delhi April 19, said a communique from Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI). He was 75.

Archbishop Abraham came to New Delhi to join the Hindi Region Bishops’ Council annual meeting, hosted by Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto. He was accommodated at the CBCI center close to the Delhi Archbishop’s house.

Archbishop Abraham had planned to catch an April 19 early flight to Nagpur, as there was some urgent matter to be attended to. The night watchman was asked to wake him up around 4.30 a.m.

When the watchman did not succeed to get any response from Archbishop Abraham, he went and opened the unlocked room and found Archbishop Abraham lying in his bed motionless, the communique said.

The CBCI officials were informed and the body was immediately taken to Holy Family Hospital, where death at early morning hours (between 12 mid night and 1 a.m.) was confirmed.

The body was flown to Nagpur at night and funeral will be held at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Nagpur April 23.

Archbishop Viruthakulangara was born on June 5, 1943 in Kerala and ordained a priest on October 28, 1969.

He began serving as parish priest and District Superior of Sendhwa Parish of Khargon, Madhya Pradesh.

He became a bishop at the very early age of 34, when named bishop of Khandwa diocese in 1977.

After two decades in1998, he took charge as Metropolitan Archbishop of Nagpur.

Kerala closer to get another saint

Thrissur:
The canonisation process of Sr Mariyam Thressia, the founder of the Holy Family congregation of nuns in Kerala, is a step closer now. An expert team in Vatican has approved a miracle, the survival of a child born with acute respiratory failure, attributed to her intercession.

Christopher, son of Joshy and Shibi from Choondal in Kanavamkod in Thrissur, was baptised the day he was born as doctors feared he would not live long. The child’s lungs were underdeveloped. His heart had three holes. He could have died any day.

But he survived. On April 9, 2009, the doctors testified that the boy was cured.

Christopher’s family avers that they owe the child’s life to the prayers of Sr Thressia. They said that they prayed for the child with a relic of the beatified nun.

Mariam Thressia was born to Anna and Thoma of the Mankudiyan family at Chirammel in Puthenchirayil near Mala on April 26, 1876. She joined a convent when she was just nine years old. She founded the Holy Family congregation on May 14, 1914. She died on June 8, 1926.

The Vatican has been perusing the process to declare the nun a saint. The case of Christopher has given a fillip to the process.

Christopher outlived the medical prognosis but he had difficulty in speaking as a child. The family said that he got better after they took him to pray at the tomb of Sr Thressia.

The case for elevating the nun as a saint has two more stages to pass - a debate in the curia and the approval of the Pope’s office.

Fr Benedict Vadakkekkara and Sr Rosmin Mathew are leading the proceedings.

Karnataka notifies minority tag to Lingayats, amid protests

Bangalore:
The Karnataka government on Friday notified minority religion status to Lingayats amid protests by some sections of the community.

"The state Social Welfare Department has issued a notification terming Lingayat followers of 12th century social reformer Basava's philosophy (tatva) as a religious minority," an official told IANS here.

The notification comes three days after the state cabinet decided to grant the status to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats who are believers of Basava ideology.

Lingayats, who worship Hindu god Shiva as their deity, and Veerashaiva Lingayats constitute the largest community (17 per cent) in the southern state.

The notification, however, omitted 'Veerashaiva' word to Lingayats as then UPA government had in 2013 rejected the state government's proposal to grant religious minority status to them (Veerashaivas) as they are considered to be Shaivaites and hence cannot get a separate religious tag.

Earlier in the day, the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha urged the state government not to grant minority religion status to the community and withdraw the cabinet decision.

"Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats are one and the same. They cannot be treated separately from followers of Basava as Panchacharyas founded the Veerashaiva, which is an ancient religion," Mahasabha President and state Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa told reporters here.

The Mahasabha urged the state government not to divide the community.

"The state government should go back and revisit the report that was submitted to the UPA government on the issue after which the decision to grant the religious minority status to Veerashaiva Lingayats and Lingayats was earlier stopped," added Shivashankarappa.

BJP's state unit president and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddurappa termed the government move as an election gimmick and accused the ruling Congress of dividing the people on religious and caste basis.

"The Congress government is dividing society on emotional issues. There is only one Lingayat-Veerashaiva. The separate religion tag to Lingayats is an election gimmick. It is an attempt to mislead the people," Yeddyurappa said earlier.



LJP to move Supreme Court against dilution of anti-atrocities Act

New Delhi:
NDA constituent Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Thursday said it will move Supreme Court against the order that dilutes the stringent provisions under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Minister and LJP President Ram Vilas Paswan also urged the government to file a review petition as the rights of oppressed classes were compromised.

"There is anguish among people from SC and ST communities over the order. There is feeling of insecurity as the court's order can be misused. Our party demands that the government should file a review plea against the dilution of provisions on the Act. Our party will also file a separate review petition," he said

LJP Parliamentary Party Board Chairman Chirag Paswan noted that the act "was the only weapon" that SCs, and STs had for their protection. "Our party leaders and workers have raised concerns over its dilution. So our party has decided to file a separate review petition in the court. It will mostly be done next week."

Ram Vilas Paswan said he was Minister of Labour and Welfare in V.P. Singh government when the anti-atrocities act was passed in 1989 to protect SCs and STs from caste slurs and discrimination.

In 1996, several amendments were made in it to strengthen it further, he added.

The party also expressed its opposition to the proposal of separate Lingayat religion saying the SCs and STs in the fold would lose benefits like reservation.

"At present, SCs and STs under Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religions get reservation benefits. If new religion of Lingayats come, these communities would not get those benefits. So LJP is against separate Lingayat religion," said Ram Vilas Paswan.

Taking a dig at Congress, he recalled that the Manmohan Singh-led government had in 2013 rejected the proposal by the All India Veershaiva Mahasabha to grant religious minority status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayats on the grounds that they were a sect of Hindus and not an independent religion.


Indian journalists face newer forms of intimidation

Srinagar:
Six months after journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at the door of her residence in Bengaluru in southern India, outspoken writer K.S. Bhagwan faces a death threat in the same state of Karnataka.

The murder of Lankesh, known for being a critic of Hindu extremism, has created national outrage against the use of violence and murder to suppress free speech and non-conformist writings.

"With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of 'anti-national' thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media," says Reporters Without Borders in its latest report.

The atmosphere of intolerance increased after the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014 in a landslide victory, which Hindu groups took as mandate to accelerate their goal of making India a Hindu-only nation, critics say.

An average of three journalists are killed each year in India, according to the Press Freedom Index, which ranked the country 136th out of 180 nations. More than 70 journalists have been killed in India in the past 24 years.

Besides death and intimidation, "journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government," Reporters Without Borders said.

The government has no direct control of the media, said Sidharth Bhatia, a senior journalist. "But there are pressures from owners, managements, advertisers and sometimes political parties. It is not the happiest of situations," Bhatia told ucanews.com.

Indian laws and regulations are also used to check journalistic freedom, says Mukund Padmanabhan, editor of India's leading newspaper, The Hindu.

"Sometimes it is the government and sometimes other groups that use these laws against journalists," he said.

Indian laws that deal with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language can be used against journalists. Their works can be interpreted as acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony or deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings. Violation of these laws can be punished with imprisonment, Padmanabhan said.

More than 100 million copies are printed each day of about 82,000 newspapers and periodicals published in languages including English, Hindu and Urdu. India also has 400 satellite news channels in 18 languages for a population of 1.2 billion people.

India has one of the biggest media markets in the world, attracting companies more interested in profit and forming public opinion than in journalistic values.

A report compiled by Indian news portal The Hoot shows that in 2017 alone there were 54 attacks on journalists in India. They were mostly carried out by political parties, drug peddlers and officials accused of corruption.

Geeta Seshu, the Mumbai-based consulting editor of The Hoot, does not believe law enforcement acts efficiently against those attacking journalists.

She said in several cases the police's first response to a threat, attack or killing of a journalist was to claim that the victim was not a journalist or that the attack was not related to work.

"There is a deflection and that becomes the narrative. That becomes the course of the investigation also. And, unfortunately, our criminal justice system depends a lot on the local police report and investigation," Seshu said.

Police are responsible for the first stages in any investigation. Applying faulty and appropriate sections of the law, not clearly recording witness statements or not protecting vulnerable witnesses, and not following up on preliminary investigations could damage justice, she said.

Social media attacks are a newer threat, said Shahid Sidiqi, editor of Urdu newspaper Nai Duniya (New World). "Once a journalist does any story against a particular political party, he is trolled ruthlessly and abused. This exposes him to even greater threats," Sidiqi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his own way of undermining media, according to Hamia Qazi, a research scholar at the journalism department of Kashmir University.

"Since coming to power, he hasn't held a single media conference to take direct questions from the media. Rather, he has been selectively giving interviews to handpicked media persons. This has set a trend of undermining the media and their authority to question the government," Qazi said.

Lankesh's murder was a warning to those speaking against Hindu extremism, with the government suspected of indirectly supporting those intimidating non-conformist journalists.

Freelance photojournalist Kamran Yusuf was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on charges of being involved in anti-India protests in Kashmir.

He was jailed but released on bail on March 14. One charge against him was not covering pro-government stories as a journalist.

After the Lankesh murder, investigators arrested K.T. Naveen Kumar, leader of Hindu Yuva Sena (Young Army of Hindus). Local media reported that his interrogation revealed a plan to kill writer Bhagwan in Mysuru.

Journalists working for local media outlets are "often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government's tacit consent," said the Reporters Without Borders report.





Srinagar:
Six months after journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at the door of her residence in Bengaluru in southern India, outspoken writer K.S. Bhagwan faces a death threat in the same state of Karnataka.

The murder of Lankesh, known for being a critic of Hindu extremism, has created national outrage against the use of violence and murder to suppress free speech and non-conformist writings.

"With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of 'anti-national' thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media," says Reporters Without Borders in its latest report.

The atmosphere of intolerance increased after the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014 in a landslide victory, which Hindu groups took as mandate to accelerate their goal of making India a Hindu-only nation, critics say.

An average of three journalists are killed each year in India, according to the Press Freedom Index, which ranked the country 136th out of 180 nations. More than 70 journalists have been killed in India in the past 24 years.

Besides death and intimidation, "journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government," Reporters Without Borders said.

The government has no direct control of the media, said Sidharth Bhatia, a senior journalist. "But there are pressures from owners, managements, advertisers and sometimes political parties. It is not the happiest of situations," Bhatia told ucanews.com.

Indian laws and regulations are also used to check journalistic freedom, says Mukund Padmanabhan, editor of India's leading newspaper, The Hindu.

"Sometimes it is the government and sometimes other groups that use these laws against journalists," he said.

Indian laws that deal with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language can be used against journalists. Their works can be interpreted as acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony or deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings. Violation of these laws can be punished with imprisonment, Padmanabhan said.

More than 100 million copies are printed each day of about 82,000 newspapers and periodicals published in languages including English, Hindu and Urdu. India also has 400 satellite news channels in 18 languages for a population of 1.2 billion people.

India has one of the biggest media markets in the world, attracting companies more interested in profit and forming public opinion than in journalistic values.

A report compiled by Indian news portal The Hoot shows that in 2017 alone there were 54 attacks on journalists in India. They were mostly carried out by political parties, drug peddlers and officials accused of corruption.

Geeta Seshu, the Mumbai-based consulting editor of The Hoot, does not believe law enforcement acts efficiently against those attacking journalists.

She said in several cases the police's first response to a threat, attack or killing of a journalist was to claim that the victim was not a journalist or that the attack was not related to work.

"There is a deflection and that becomes the narrative. That becomes the course of the investigation also. And, unfortunately, our criminal justice system depends a lot on the local police report and investigation," Seshu said.

Police are responsible for the first stages in any investigation. Applying faulty and appropriate sections of the law, not clearly recording witness statements or not protecting vulnerable witnesses, and not following up on preliminary investigations could damage justice, she said.

Social media attacks are a newer threat, said Shahid Sidiqi, editor of Urdu newspaper Nai Duniya (New World). "Once a journalist does any story against a particular political party, he is trolled ruthlessly and abused. This exposes him to even greater threats," Sidiqi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his own way of undermining media, according to Hamia Qazi, a research scholar at the journalism department of Kashmir University.

"Since coming to power, he hasn't held a single media conference to take direct questions from the media. Rather, he has been selectively giving interviews to handpicked media persons. This has set a trend of undermining the media and their authority to question the government," Qazi said.

Lankesh's murder was a warning to those speaking against Hindu extremism, with the government suspected of indirectly supporting those intimidating non-conformist journalists.

Freelance photojournalist Kamran Yusuf was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on charges of being involved in anti-India protests in Kashmir.

He was jailed but released on bail on March 14. One charge against him was not covering pro-government stories as a journalist.

After the Lankesh murder, investigators arrested K.T. Naveen Kumar, leader of Hindu Yuva Sena (Young Army of Hindus). Local media reported that his interrogation revealed a plan to kill writer Bhagwan in Mysuru.

Journalists working for local media outlets are "often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government's tacit consent," said the Reporters Without Borders report.







History

When the first All India Catholic Conference was held in 1919, under the eminent leadership of Prof. A. Soares, F.A.C. Rebello & Prof. C. J. Varkey, plans for the formation of this organization were laid down and in 1930 an organized union of the Catholic Laity the All India Catholic League was formed at a National Level and under it's patronage the first All India Catholic Congress was convened at Pune in 1934.

In 1940, this organized body was named Catholic Union of India and Prof. M. Ratnaswamy, the then Vice - Chancellor, Anna Malai University was the first National President and Prof. A. Soares was the first Secretary General.

In 1966 Catholic Union of India was registered at Chennai, under the Societies Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). Subsequently the name was changed to All India Catholic Union

Roles Played

AICU is the forerunner in all legitimate causes for Catholics in India. Its prime aim is to protect national, political and social interest and rights of the Catholics. The united strength of the Catholics in India successfully fought under the leadership of Catholic Union of India (CUI) against Niyogi Committee Report, O.P. Tyagi Bill in 1978, Kerala Education Bill. Christmas satyagraha for justice, peace and national integration in 1990, Census awareness campaign in 1991, Dalit Christian Rally in the Capital in 1993 & 1996, litigation relating to the Supreme Court's 50% Minority Institutions Judgement in 1993. A recent cause taken by the Union is equal rights for the Dalit Christians, the Christian Personal Laws, and representation against the atrocities on Churches and Christian Institutions starting with Gajraula and Jogeshwari nuns incident, till date taking place in Orissa, Bihar, UP, MP, Gujarat and various other parts of the Country.

AICU now established a voice and presence with the "powers that be" across the Country. AICU works in the area of Human Rights and social justice. AICU's protests against atrocities on Minorities and Human Rights have been quoted in Parliament during the confidence motion debate in February 1998 and in India Today (August 15, 1998). AICU with the active involvement of CBCI has forged a National Christian Front of all mainline Churches to deal with protection and promotion of rights and interests.

Objectives

  • star Service in Unity
    Our Motto
  • star To represent and articulate the aspirations of Laity
    Our Mandate
  • star To be a powerful body in service of community and country
    Our Vision

The aims and objects of the All India Catholic Union shall be:

  • To spread the influence of Catholic ideals and principles in Indian public life through any medium of communication and to promote unity and solidarity among the people of India through Christian endeavour.
  • To be the exponent of Catholic opinion and to make representations to authorities and public bodies in all matters affecting Catholics.
  • To rouse the civic, social and national consciousness of Catholics, to help them to play a useful and effective part in the public life of the country and to make their full contribution to national unity and welfare.
  • To promote unity and solidarity among Catholics of India, inter alia, by promoting the establishment of Catholic Associations/Sabhas/Unions where they do not exist and by co-ordinating their activities.
  • To safeguard by all lawful means the legitimate rights, liberties and interest of the Catholic Community particularly those guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
  • To promote measures to raise the economic, educational and social condition of Catholics including Catholics and to run or to assist in running economic projects, educational institutions or social welfare schemes.
  • To perform works of charity for those in need, irrespective of race, caste, community or creed.
  • To take over and manage the assets and properties, if any, belonging to the unregistered society of the Union functioning from the year 1945 or standing in the name of the Union and to continue the management of the affairs assets and properties of the Union as heretofore.
  • To hold and manage the assets and properties already acquired by the unregistered Union and to acquire hereafter by purchase, lease, mortgage, loan, gift, grant, legacy, bequest, exchange, right, privilege or otherwise from any person, company, society, government, or institution or any body whatsoever moveable or immovable properties of all description deemed necessary for the objects of the Union and to alienate by way of sale, exchange, hiring out, gift or otherwise the properties of the Union as may be necessary or appropriate for the achievements of the objects of the Union.
  • To borrow or raise funds in any manner the Union may think fit.
  • To receive any gift, whether money or property, moveable or immoveable, for the fulfilment of the objects of the Union.
  • To co-operate with other bodies or societies having similar aim or aims which are not inconsistent with the objects of the Union for the purpose of promoting or achieving the objects of the Union.
  • To organize symposium, seminars, regional, national, international conventions and congresses.
  • To affiliate itself to other International Catholic Unions and Organisations.
  • To do all other things necessary or incidental to carry out the aims and objects of the Union, and
  • To devote itself to promote renewal within the Church and foster relationship through dialogue, collaboration and service between the Church and Society in keeping with the spirit, vision, approach, values, policies and programmes of the Second Vatican Council.

Lancy D'Cunha

National President

Elias Vas

National Vice President

A. Chinappan

Secretary General

Alexander Anthony

Honorary Treasurer

Administrative Office

The Secretary General
All India Catholic Union
Administrative Office,
Office No 604A, 6th Floor,
Dempo Trade Centre ,
EDC Complex,
Patto Plaza, Panaji, Goa 403 001
Ph: 91 0832 - 2438725 / 91 0832 - 2490250
Email: aicufile@yahoo.com

National President

Mr. Lancy D'Cunha
Ph: 07259020989
Email: lancydcunha@hotmail.com

National Vice President

Mr. Engr. Elias Vaz
Ph: 09822153833
Email: eliasvaz@gmail.com

Honorary Treasurer

Alexander Anthony