The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Donald Coggan, has been on a five-day visit to India.?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Donald Coggan, has been on a five-day visit to India. He arrived there on Monday (25 October) from Pakistan and the next day he visited the memorial to Mahatma gandhi in New Delhi. His stay co-incides with growing controversy over the Indian Government's birth control programme, which the Archbishop spoke in favour of.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Coggan, the world's leading Anglican churchman, laid a wreath on the memorial before visiting a nearby home for old people and an Anglican church where he conducted the service. During his stay, Dr. Coggan advised Indian Christians to support the family planning programme of the Indian Government. But, he said, a method acceptable to the people, which respected individual freedom and human dignity, still had to be worked out.
Dr. Coggan warned of the urgent need to check the population explosion in India. He stressed the need for a massive educational campaign for the success of the family planning programme. The Archbishop said it was time for Indian to control its population growth to solve growing economic, educational and social problems.
During his stay, Dr. Coggan visited an old peoples home, and was also due to meet the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who had just told Parliament that a number of people were killed in family planning riots last week outside the capital, New Delhi. She did not say how many died, but opposition spokesmen have claimed over 50 people were killed when police fired on crowds protesting against the possibility of compulsory sterilisation. Mrs. Gandhi also confirmed there were riots in Calcutta last month against birth control measures. The Indian Prime Minister said her government did not approve of compulsory birth control.