Mother Mary statue in tribal attire stirs row in Jharkhand

published on June 18, 2013

RANCHI: The statue of Mother Mary wearing a red border sari and holding Jesus Christ in a way tribal women of Jharkhand
hold their babies, by tying them to a white cloth, has been creating
controversies in the city for the past few days. A procession was taken
out by the
Sarna society against this statue on Monday.

The statue was unveiled by Cardinal Telesphor P Toppo in a church at Singpur village in Dhurwa recently.

Dharmguru (priest) of Sarna societyBandhan Tigga
said, “Anybody can wear a white sari with red border but making Mother
Marry wear it seems to be a tactic to convert the Sarna tribals into
Christianity. Mother Mary was a foreigner and showing her as a tribal
woman is definitely not correct.”

The Sarnas worship Mother
Nature or Maa Sarna. Tigga said the Christians are trying to establish
Mother Mary as Maa Sarna to confuse the people of Sarna society. “Red
border means a lot in Sarna dharm. Our women
wear white sari with red border during auspicious times. If the idol of
Mother Mary is shown in the getup of a tribal woman then 100 years from
now people will think that Mother Mary was a tribal from Jharkhand,” he said.

Sarna society is demanding the removal of that particular statue. Tigga
said, “We do not want any kind of conflict between the two communities.
All we want is that either the statue should be removed or the attire
should be changed so that Mother Mary doesn’t look like a tribal woman.
If it is not done then we will intensify the protest.”

talking to a section of media a week ago, Cardinal Telesphor P Toppo,
(who is now in Rome) said the controversy is a result of politics.

“It is a policy of divide and rule. Elections are coming up and there
are some people who are acting to get advantage. They want a conflict
between Christians and non Christians,” he said.

Read full report @

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