During the virtual inaugural session of the 90th birth anniversary celebrations of Reverend Dr Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the head of Marthoma Church, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India fared much better compared to some other countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday.
"Earlier this year, some people had predicted that the impact of the virus in India would be very severe. Due to lockdown, many initiatives have been taken by the Government and in this people-driven fight, India is much better placed than many other nations. India's recovery rate is rising," Modi said in his address. He further warned that the time was not apt to "let our guard down".
Further stating about Dr Joseph Mar Thoma’s contribution to society, Modi added that he has devoted his life for the betterment of the nation, “he has been particularly passionate about the removal of poverty, healthcare and women empowerment and education," he added.
"India has always been open to spiritual influences from many sources. The Mar Thoma Church is closely linked with the noble ideals of Saint Thomas, the Apostle of Lord Christ. With Saint Thomas, we associate humility. He rightly said 'Humility which is a virtue, is always fruitful in good works'. It is with this spirit of humility that the Mar Thoma Church has worked to bring a positive difference in the lives of our fellow Indians. They have done so in areas such as healthcare and education and also played a role in India's freedom struggle. The Church was at the forefront of working towards national integration,” Modi added.
PM also reminded the resistance of the Church against the Emergency in 1984. " This Church fought the Emergency. It is a matter of immense pride that the Mar Thoma Church is firmly rooted in Indian values. The contribution of the Church has also been recognized at the national level", he said.
A large number of the followers of the Mar Thoma Church with over 1.6 million (approx) followers across the globe, participated in the programme through video conference.
"Today India is saying- we will produce locally and also buy local products. This will light the lamp of prosperity in the homes of many, as well as strengthen our nation. The Mar Thoma Church, in line with its values, will surely rise to the occasion and play a key role in India's growth trajectory in the times to come," said Modi.
During the end of the address, the PM greeted the Mar Thoma Metropolitan and wished him "long life and best health."