Saturday, April 19, 2008

Even an "atheist communist" treasures what Benedict had to tell the UN

Lenin Raghuvanshi of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (an Indian NGO) has appeared often in Asia News (an outreach of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, known by its Italian acronym, PIME). Here he is quoted as saying:
World leaders "must learn from the words pronounced yesterday by the pope at the UN, committing themselves to improving the situation of human rights in the world. Only in this way can we witness the birth of a new world, in which human dignity and the rights of man are protected and respected". This is the appeal issued to AsiaNews by Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights and the winner, in 2007, of the prestigious Gwuangju prize for human rights.

The activist, an atheist and communist, adds: "Benedict XVI is admired not only by Christians, but also by people like me. Today is a day of great hope: the concepts that the pope expressed before the United Nations are the foundation of coexistence in the world. I believe that he is a courageous defender of human rights and a great advocate for the dignity of man".
While it might surprise some that a communist can be a human rights activist, and is quoted often in an organ linked to the Vatican, nothing from India surprises me. :) (Indian Communists and other Leftists are a fascinating breed ... they run two State governments [West Bengal and Kerala, both with good market reforms, and admirable social policies], where they have been democratically elected (and booted out too), and support the coalition government at the Center from the outside. Support might be too strong a word: their reflexive protectionism, populism, anti-Americanism, anti-reform stance continues to hamstring the government, and does no good to the poor.)

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