ASIA/INDIA - Television to announce the Gospel: Salesian television producer presents peace and justice programmes

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Calcutta (Fides Service) - The presence of the Catholic Church in the means of communication in India is growing but on the other hand the media often tend to spread false ideas and prejudice with regard to Christian communities.
This is why the Catholic Bishops’ Conference decided some time ago to increase efforts to use the media to spread the message of the Gospel and provide correct information with regard to the activity of Catholic communities.
Part of this move is a new television programme based on the themes of peace and justice of which Salesian Fr Robin Gomes is in charge. The initiative was launched by a Calcutta television channel. The series of weekly half hour programmes called Amrita Katha began on Sunday 7 August as the first programme broadcast by Star News.
“We have a monthly theme which we develop over four Sunday programmes with suitable Biblical passages and other words of wisdom”, producer Fr Gomes told the Salesian bulletin Ans. The priest, who has produced radio and television programmes for over 15 years in India and the Philippines, is also director of the Nitika Don Bosco Cultural Institute which specialises in communications.
The Church in India is convinved the media can help build peace by promoting values of tolerance and reconciliation. It is necessary to be on the watch to dismiss falsity and distortion of facts and invented lies, the Indian bishops say.
One recent episode is a demonstration: Christians in Karnataka are concerned because Udaya TV a private channel continues to accuse Catholic priests and missionaries of proselytising and making concversion by fraud. Recently the programme mentioned Religious who care for the Child Jesus shrine in Bangalore exposing them to the threat of possibile violence by Hindu fundamentalist groups. Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore reported the fact to the authorities and has asked the laity to pay careful attention and to report any falsity announced by the TV channel in question.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/9/2005 righe: 28 parole: 290)