Panaji: In a severe critique of the BJP-led Goa government, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao said far-reaching decisions were being taken without transparency and quoted from ancient Hindu scriptures to underline the importance of collective governance and universal brotherhood.

“Does this say something to the local situation in the state where we are witnessing far-reaching decisions being taken by a few people without taking into confidence legitimate stakeholders and the people for whose benefit these decisions are being taken?” Ferrao said at a civic reception organised at the Bishop’s Palace in Panaji.

Ferrao also quoted the Upanishads to underline the importance of working together, at the event attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Governor Mridula Sinha, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and ministers of the coalition government.

“In fact, we find an echo if this in our own ancient Maha Upanishad which teaches that the whole world is one family. ‘Vasudaiva kuttumbakam’ is indeed an oft quoted maxim,” Ferrao said.

Everyone working together would mean those in the government along with people in the environment movement, from the business, scientific and religious spheres as well as people whose lives are being affected. This would call for a certain sense of interdependence shared by all, said Ferrao, the religious and spiritual leader of Goa’s Roman Catholic community which accounts for more than a quarter of the state’s population of 1.5 million.

He also said it was necessary to go back to traditional family values, instilled through generations, and that families should wake up to “social mission or dharma”.

“It is therefore important to awaken our families to their social mission or dharma, to inaugurate a new society in our country, particularly in our state, a society where the age-old family values are cherished and strongly relied upon, while meeting with ever new and difficult challenges, so typical of the present time,” Ferrao said.

At a time when the ethos of openness, tolerance and unity in our country is being threatened, the celebration of Christmas becomes a reaffirmation of the Rig Vedic maxim that says ‘let noble thoughts come from all directions’, he added.

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