Italian magazine proposes Indian archbishop for Nobel Prize

Guwahati: A mass circulated Italian magazine has recommended Archbishop of Guwahati Thomas Menamparampil for the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for his initiative in brokering peace in the region’s conflicts.

“I never worked or craved for any recognition, but I am simply overwhelmed by the nomination,” the archbishop said.

“I would continue with my work and my mission for peace irrespective of whether I get any recognition or award.”

The archbishop’s name has been nominated by the popular Italian magazine “Il Bollettino Salesiano”, which also published a four-page story on Menamparampil in its June edition titled “A Bishop for Nobel Prize”.

The 74-year-old Menamparampil, a popular figure in the northeast, has for years been engaged in brokering peace and resolving conflicts among various ethnic groups in the region.

He also has the distinction of being the first Indian bishop to have composed the Vatican’s Good Friday prayers.

Pope Benedict XVI used these prayers for the “Way of the Cross” at Vatican on Good Friday.

The archbishop has successfully led seven major peace initiatives in the last 15 years, starting from intervening in the Bodo-Adivasi conflict in Assam, to the Kuki-Paite clashes in Manipur, besides several other raging ethnic issues.

His efforts have led to the cooling of frayed tempers.

“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,” Menamparampil said.

Besides being a special invitee to the synod of Bishops for Asia and on the Word of God, Menamparampil is currently 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, the prelate is a recipient of the prestigious Mumbai-based Maschio Humanitarian Award in 1998. (IANS)