Archbishop Menamparambil Of Guwahati Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
By SAR NEWS
GUWAHATI, Assam (SAR NEWS) – An Indian Catholic archbishop has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to bring peace among the warring ethnic communities in Northeast India.
Archbishop Thomas Menamparambil of Guwahati was nominated by a popular Italian magazine, “Il Bollettino Salesiano”, which also published an article on Menamparambil titled “A Bishop for Nobel Prize”, in its June edition.
The 74-year-old archbishop told the media June 13 here that “I had not expected the nomination, but was overwhelmed by it. I was told about the possibility of such a development during my visit to Rome last month.”
He said the award did not matter while carrying out peace initiatives. “I will continue my mission for peace, irrespective of whether I get any recognition or award. The need of the hour is adopting a non-confrontational attitude, tolerance and respect for each other for lasting peace in society,” the archbishop said.
During the last fifteen years, Menamparambil has successfully led seven major peace initiatives — Bodo-Adivasi in 1996, Kuki-Paite in 1998, Dimasa-Hmar in 2003, Karbi-Kuki in 2003, Dimasa-Karbi in 2004, Bodo-Muslim at Udalguri in 2010 and Rabha-Garo in 2011.
“The people associated with Church negotiating peace in a conflict situation may not be considered a politically correct act, but when Church leaders and eminent citizens from warring factions join me in the conflict resolution process, it is making the Word of God come alive in the lives of people,” he said.
Menamparambil was born in Pala in Kerala’s Kottayam district. He was appointed bishop of Dibrugarh in Assam, before taking the reins of Guwahati in 1995.
Menamparambil is presently the president of Northeast India Bishops’ conference, National Chairman of Bishops Commission for Education and Culture and Chairman of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference Commission for Evangelisation. A member of several Vatican Commissions, he is a recipient of the prestigious Mumbai-based Maschio Humanitarian Award in 1998.
He has also authored a book “Towards a Sense of Responsibility” on the various issues relating to peace and probity in public life.