Hindu hardliners criticize archbishop for talking politics

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India's governing Hindu nationalists have criticized the archbishop of New Delhi for airing his view that a turbulent political atmosphere is posing a threat to the country's democratic principles.

The president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah, accused the archbishop of trying to divide people on the basis of religion.

A top party lawmaker, Subramanian Swamy, on Wednesday demanded the scrapping of diplomatic ties with the Vatican because the archbishop's remarks.

Archbishop Anil Couto, in a May 8 letter sent to New Delhi's Catholic churches, urged members to pray for democracy and for marginalized people ahead of national elections next year.

Minorities have complained of rising attacks by Hindu hardliners against them since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.