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World News \ Asia

Indian leaders’ messages for Easter, Good Friday ‎

President Pranab Mukherjee (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) - RV

President Pranab Mukherjee (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) - RV

15/04/2017 14:29

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have issued messages for the Christian observances of Easter and Good Friday this year, expressing appreciation for the values that Christ lived and died for.  "On the joyous occasion of Easter, I extend best wishes and felicitations to all my countrymen in India and abroad, especially to my Christian brothers and sisters,” the Indian President wrote in a brief message on the eve of Easter, April 15.  “May this Easter be a time of renewal and rejuvenation,” Mukherjee wrote, adding, “The teachings of Lord Jesus Christ inspire us to lead a life filled with truth, forgiveness, love and selfless service.”  “Let us unite together to eradicate violence and hatred from society. Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of the weak and downtrodden,” the Mukherjee wrote.

Earlier on Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed esteem for the service and sacrifice of Christ, saying his life was devoted to mitigating human suffering.  "Today, on Good Friday, we remember the service & sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His was a life devoted to mitigating human suffering," he tweeted. 

On Good Friday Christians commemorate the suffering and the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ with his death by crucifixion. Good Friday is part of the Holy Week, the final week in the 40-day Lenten period when Christians specially give in to fasting, abstinence, prayer and good works, in preparation for  their greatest feast, Easter or the Resurrection of Christ from death.  Good Friday is the part of the so-called Easter triduum or the final 3 days, including Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, climaxing to Easter on Sunday.

Good Friday is a public holiday in India.  However, the federal government this year decided to observe Good Friday as “’Digital India Day.”  However, the state government of Meghalaya,in northeast India, has decided against observing Digital India Day on April 14 because it coincides with Good Friday, an important occasion for the state’s Christian-majority population.  Chief minister Mukul Sangma took strong exception to the NDA government’s decision to hold the event on a sacred day, and stated that it was an attempt to “dilute the secular fabric of the nation”.  He said on Tuesday, he would be “writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi because it is necessary for me to express concern on behalf of the people with special reference to the Northeast, which has a significant Christian population.”

Nearly 75% of Meghalaya’s two-million population (Census 2011) are Christians. Other states in north-east India with a Christian-majority population are Nagaland (88%) and Mizoram (87%).2014.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared that December 25, Christmas Day, would be observed as Good Governance Day. There was much objection expressed about it but it was ignored.  

15/04/2017 14:29