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Sunday, 12 June 2011

These Things Can Happen Only in India an article by Dr. Bhyrappa


Novelist, essayist, thinker and philosopher, Dr. Bhyrappa, 74, is one of India's foremost modern-day writers. Immensely popular both within India and abroad, he has been among the top-selling authors of Kannada, Hindi and Marathi, for the past several years.  Dr.Bhyrappa's works do not fit into any specific genre of contemporary Indian literature, because of the range of topics they deal with. His major works have been the centre of several public debates. His latest novel ‘Avarana’ has seen 17 reprints in a matter of a few months, since its publication. The novel deals with sensitive religious issues, including the tenuous Hindu-Muslim relationship. All his novels are well-researched and thought-provoking.

These Things Can Happen Only in India MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!


Proselytizing activities of Christian missionaries have been going on in India for four long centuries. The political ascent of Sonia Gandhi in the recent years has, however, brought much vigour into these activities -- a fact known to everyone, but deliberately overlooked by the main-stream media, both print and electronic. But a few sporadic reactions to these proselytizing activities, especially in the states of Orissa and Karnataka, have, however, received enormous, front-page publicity. National news papers and television channels, self-styled secularists and so-called intellectuals, the leftist press have, between them, so distorted and blown these reactions out of proportion that one would think that India today is on the brink of a communal catastrophe. The tenor of the media reports and the coverage makes it obvious to everyone that the representatives of the media are working in tandem with proselytizing agents. The followers of Sonia Gandhi, ‘secularists and intellectuals’ have all made the pitch shriller and done everything possible to paint Hindu organizations, Hindu institutions, Hindu religious heads, and the BJP governments black and to put India in a bad light, internationally. The central government, controlled as it is by Sonia Gandhi, is only too keen to take political advantage of the situation and to dismiss the BJP governments. The fear of a political back-lash that is likely to re-install the dismissed governments is the only thing that is holding it back.

The central government and the leftist press (especially the English press) are both quick to blame the Bajrang Dal for every communal fracas. But what precisely is the role of the Bajrang Dal in these disturbances? How many such incidents get blamed on the Dal? How many of them are the inevitable expressions of the pent up feelings of the people who have been witness to the missionary activities that lured their neighbours into Christianity through inducement and false propaganda? Answers to these pertinent questions have never been sought.

Francois Gautier, a French journalist living in India, has this to say of large-scale Christianization that is taking place under Sonia Gandhi’s dispensation.

“I am a westerner and a born Christian. I was mainly brought up in catholic schools. My uncle, Father Guy Gautier, a gem of a man, was the parish head of the beautiful Saint Jean de Montmartre church in Paris; my father, Jacques Gautier, a famous artist in France and a truly good person if there ever was one, was a fervent catholic all his life, went to church nearly every day and lived by his Christian values. Yet, I am a little uneasy when I see how much Christianity is taking over India under the reign of Sonia Gandhi: according to a 2001 census, there are about 2.34 million Christians in India; not even 2.5% of the nation, a negligible amount. Yet there are today five Christian chief ministers in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

“One should add that the majority of politicians in Sonia Gandhi's closed circle are either Christians or Muslims. She seems to have no confidence in Hindus. Ambika Soni, a Christian, is General Secretary of the Congress and a very powerful person, with close access to Sonia Gandhi. Oscar Fernandes is Union Programme Implementation Minister. Margaret Alwa is the eminence grise of Maharashtra. Karnataka is virtually controlled by AK Anthony, whose secretaries are all from the Southern Christian association. Valson Thampu, a Hindu hater, is Chairman NCERT curriculum Review Committee, John Dayal, another known Hindu baiter, has been named by Sonia Gandhi in the National Integration Council ; and Kancha Ilaya, who hates Hindus, is being allowed by the Indian Government to lobby with the UN and US Congress so that caste discrimination in India is taken-up by these bodies.

“I have nothing personally against Sonia Gandhi….. But nevertheless, since she is at the top, Christian conversions in India seem to have gone in overdrive. More than 4,000 foreign Christian missionaries are involved in conversion activities across different states. In Tripura, there were no Christians at independence; there are 120.000 today, a 90% increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1710 Christians in 1961, but 1,2 million today, as well as 780 churches! In Andhra Pradesh, churches are coming-up every day in far flung villages and there was even an attempt to set-up one near Tirupati. Many of the North-East separatist movements, such as the Mizo or the Bodos, are not only Christian dominated, but also sometimes function with the covert backing of the missionaries…..More than 20,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam and Manipur in the past two decades. This is an India where you see today Swami Avimukteshwarananda Saraswathi of Dwarka Peeth, made to disembark from an Indian Airlines flight for carrying his holy dand, a thin bamboo stick which is a symbol of their spiritual designation, inside the aircraft cabin.

“In my country, France, a Christian majority nation , it would be unthinkable to have Hindus - or even Indian born French for that matter - in so many positions of power. Impossible also to find a non-elected, non French, non-Christian person being the absolute ruler of the country behind the scene as Sonia Gandhi is in India. Indians like to say that the greatness of India is that it accepts a foreigner and a Christian like Sonia Gandhi. But is it not rather a weakness, and an aberration? Can't we find a worthy leader amongst one billion Indians?” (Here I have quoted excerpts from his article. For the complete text please visit www.francoisgautier.com)

The pope’s visit to India was greatly celebrated in the mass media. The press and the television channels made the visit seem like a national festival. The President, the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues all lined up to receive the pope and gave him the kind of reception reserved for visiting heads of state. When some Hindu organizations objected to the official reception on the ground that the pope was a religious head visiting India to propagate Christianity, the English press and some pretentious groups that called themselves progressive branded these organizations fundamental. What did the pope say? He openly stated: “Just as in the first millennium the cross was planted on the soil of Europe and in the Second in that of Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent.” The pope made no bones about the purpose of his visit; but the press and the progressive groups that had called the Hindu organizations fundamental now maintained a studied silence.

The spread of Christianity in the countries that had earlier been following their own faiths with quiet dignity is as follows: Angola (90%), Burundi (78%), Cameroon(35%), Central African Republic (82%), Chad (33%), Congo (62%), East Timor (98%), Ethiopia (52%), Equatorial Guinea (94%), Gabon (78%), Kenya (25%), Liberia (68%), Mozambique (31%), Nigeria (52%), Papa New Guinea (97%), Philippines (84%), Rwanda (69%), South Africa(78%), South Korea(49%), Sudan (30%), Tanzania (20%), Togo (23%), Uganda (70%), Zaire (90%).

Every year about USD 145 billion comes from the US alone for Christian proselytizing work. The world over, USD 1.1 billion gets spent on proselytizing research. This research covers about 180 topics, in 300 different languages. Around 1,75,000 related books and articles get published in 500 different languages. The cost of each conversion is USD 33,000. Not that every person who gets converted to Christianity gets this money. This amount includes various items of expenditure such as research, propaganda, administration, and planning. In 1500 AD, the number of people engaged in the missionary work was 3,00,000. Today it is 64.80 crore. Of these, about 54% are non-whites. In other words, the whites have, using their vast financial resources, recruited and trained non-whites to carry out the proselytizing work, much the same way the British paid handsome salaries to Indian soldiers and used them to rule India.

In the final analysis, what end do these conversions serve? The Hindu can never grasp this question. For him spirituality is a quest for enlightenment. He seeks this enlightenment in solitude – in the hermitage in a forest glade, in a cave atop a hill, in the freezing chillness of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. For him spirituality is not reaching out; it is a solitary inward journey. He believes that he cannot speak of a truth that he himself has not realized. Moreover, what does he preach? “Withdraw into yourself.” “Know yourself.” The only way the Hindu can get his ideas across is not through propaganda, but through discussion, which he calls Jignasa. This approach is completely alien to Christianity.


To understand Christianity, one has to know a little about prophetic religions. Each of these religions traces its origin to a prophet. Judaism, founded by Prophet Abraham, is the earliest of these religions. Christianity, founded by Jesus Christ, is modified Judaism. Islam, founded by Prophet Mohammed, has adopted many things from Judaism. There is a common thread running through these three prophetic religions: “God is not directly accessible to you. You are all sinners. God is cruel and mighty. He metes out punishment without any mercy. If you believe and follow me, you will escape eternal hell. The alternative is endless suffering in hell. You must believe and make other people believers too. Do everything you can, use force if necessary, but increase the number of believers. This is your religious duty as well as moral obligation.” Prophet Mohammed sanctioned the use of extreme force, including slavery and death, to punish the non-believers. The use of force against non-believers is an integral part of the Koran and is mentioned in it in several places. No prophet can tolerate the gods of other faiths. I have profiled this mindset in my novel ‘Avarana.’

No Satisfactory Reply:

Christ, too, is a prophet. It is generally believed that he spoke of a love and a tolerance different to Prophet Abraham’s. Some research scholars, however, doubt Christ ever existed. Even if he did, he was, they believe, nothing like the Christ portrayed in the New---------------- Testament. These doubts got compounded after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The fact is it was Paul who structured Christianity the way it is practised today. Whatever may be the historical facts, the Bible and the Koran are the same, in their underlying principle that those who did not accept them in totality would suffer eternal hell. On the wrong assumption that Jews were responsible for the crucifying of Christ, Christians, who later became powerful, began to persecute and convert Jews. Those who refused to convert were tortured. Jews suffered heavily at the hands of other religions; they are still suffering in a way – this is, perhaps, the reason why they are not into conversions themselves. When Hitler killed nearly six million Jews in gas chambers, Pope Pious the VIII, who was aware of what was happening in Germany, did not utter a word. The Pope – now known as the Hitler Pope – could have wielded his influence and checked the unspeakable atrocities committed by Hitler, a fellow-Christian. The allegation that Pope Pious the VIII acquiesced in the killing of Jews is strong. So far Christians have not been able to give any satisfactory reply to this allegation.

The Goa Inquisition is another example of church-sponsored cruelty. The atrocities committed by the Portuguese clergy during the 250 years between 1560 and 1817 have been well documented. The Inquisition-related statute ran into 250 pages. Those who refused to become Christians would be given up to the Goa Inquisition. These people would be mercilessly tortured in a house set apart for this purpose, right in the presence of their relatives. They would be badly beaten, their eye lashes would be pulled out, their bones would be broken, and finally they would be slowly dismembered. Their cries of anguish and pain would cut through the stillness of night and fill the neighbourhood. (The horrors against humanity perpetuated by Stalin, too, can be traced to the Christian Inquisition.)

Diogo de Borba, a Christian priest, and Miguel Vaz, the Vicar General of Goa, had prepared a 41-point code to persecute Hindus. In the year 1566, Antano de Noronha, the Viceroy of Goa, issued an official proclamation to make the code operational. The proclamation was made applicable to entire Portuguese Goa. As per the proclamation, no new Hindu temple could be built in the region of Goa under the Portuguese King. No one could carry out any work relating to the upkeep of any existing Hindu temple. The penalty of violating this order was the demolition of the temple and the confiscation of all its wealth. The proclamation also authorized the spending of this wealth on any pious work.

The other stipulations included prohibition against the use of musical instruments in Hindu weddings; complete ban on the worship of Hindu deities, at the time of marriage; ban on wedding related activities, such as distribution of veelya (betel leaves, arecanut, fruits and flowers), distribution of wedding invitations and preparation for the wedding repast. There were restrictions on the wearing of the dhothi by Hindu men and the blouse by Hindu women, on observing the fortnightly ekadashi fast, on performing Hindu obsequies (including the 12th day rite), on growing tulasi in the back or the front yard of any house.

An official declaration dated September 22nd, 1570, exempted Hindus who became converts to Christianity from paying taxes for 15 years, so long as they did not use their Hindu family names or Hindu surnames.

This article is too short to list everything that went on during that time. Further details and particulars can be had from The Goa Inquisition by A.K Priolkar (Voice of India, New Delhi.) The pages 79 to 84, ibid, give all the particulars relating to the Hindu temples destroyed under the Portuguese rule. The well-researched book contains a long list of reference material chronicled or authored by the contemporary Portuguese. So far as the destruction of the Hindu temples and the cruelty meted out to Hindus, Christian rulers of India were as bad as the earlier Muslim rulers. Unable to tolerate the relentless persecution, hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled to neighbouring Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka. These Hindus now identify themselves as Konkani Hindus. Brahmin sub-sects such as Saraswaths and Gowd Saraswaths too fled from Goa to save themselves as well as their faith.

In his work Malabar and the Portuguese (Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997 reprint) famous historian K.M.Panickar writes about Syrian Christians (in the 12th Chapter, titled Portuguese Religious Policy in Malabar). The Hindu kings gave full freedom to Syrian Christians to practise their religion. This fact has been recorded by the Portuguese travellers of that time themselves. But the same Christians switched their loyalty to the Portuguese King, at the first opportunity, and turned against their Hindu kings who had till then sheltered and protected them. They gifted their holy insignia and ancient religious documents to Vasco da Gama, and advised him to usurp Hindu kingdoms. They promised him their complete help and suggested that he build a fortress at Granganur. For their tolerance and generosity, this is the reward the Hindu kings got from Christians. Portuguese Viceroy was later instructed to get the Cochin king himself converted to Christianity.

To State the Obvious:

Renaissance did have a civilizing effect on Christianity. The establishment of colonies in different parts of the world, the growth of technology, science and related developments brought about a change in the thinking of upper-class Europeans. They became aware of different faiths and beliefs and began to question the authority of the church. Political powers that challenged the authority of the church encouraged Protestantism. The birth of modern sciences such as physics, biology and sociology brought about new intellectual awareness and people began to reject theology. For its very survival, the church re-christened its beliefs as Christian Science and advanced an argument that faith cannot be analyzed through scientific methods.

The British, who colonized the entire Indian sub-continent, broke away from the Vatican and founded the Church of England. The British rulers were not ready to antagonize the Indian masses by directly meddling in religious affairs. For political expediency, they made it seem that the missionary activities in India had no official support. Both the Government and the missionaries, however, had a single object: to destroy the true identity of Indians, so that they could rule India without hindrance. Macaulay’s education policy, the theory that Aryans invaded India; the twisted interpretations of Indian history, varnashrama system and the smruthis that regulated social conduct; the argument that Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs were not Hindus; the Aryan-Dravidian theory, alienation of Muslims -- all these became part of the curricula at the schools and the universities. Soon a new crop of Indians, completely ignorant of the real India, grew. Missionaries, who were quick to harvest this crop, began to denigrate, quite freely now, the Hindu beliefs and practices and went about mass conversions. Those who became converts to Christianity were given government employment, out-of-turn promotions and pay increments. Meanwhile, schools, colleges and hospitals -- which were in fact tools of religious conversions -- were allowed to come-up everywhere. Large tracts of government land were given free of cost to these institutions. Indian rulers too were compelled to support these institutions. Allopathic system replaced traditional systems of medicine. The converts were conditioned by both the church and the administration to be more loyal to the British. The church ensured that the converts totally changed their names, morals, mores, outlook and life-styles to be in consonance with the Christian thinking. Unfortunately, many Indians were na├»ve enough to admire the ability of the British to build huge educational institutions, hospitals and such. (Are we not building better and bigger institutions now?) Let me, however, not overlook one point: they used and are still using their hospitals mostly to impart medical education to Christians and to help them acquire specialized knowledge.

One example will suffice to illustrate the kind of massive support the British citizens had to do everything they did. When I was young, I used to hear many elders admire the efficiency, and the spirit of adventure of the British planters, who turned, according to them, impregnable jungles into coffee estates. “How adventurous these people are!” they would loudly wonder. “Can we ever do anything like this?” they would ask. One day, a senior retired revenue officer explained to me how the British established their huge plantations. The Resident in Bangalore would send a letter to the local administration, with a ‘request’ that the planter named be given a suitable piece of land to set up a plantation. The Deputy Commissioner would forward the letter to the amildar concerned. The amildar in turn would instruct a revenue inspector to accompany the planter – or Bili Dore (the white king), as the British were commonly called -- on a horse back to identify a suitable piece of land. From the vantage point of a hill top, the Bili Dore would indicate, with his finger, the extent of land he needed. The revenue inspector would then get the land surveyed and send a report of this to his official superiors. In a matter of few weeks, the land would be conveyed to the planter. The planter would then cut all the good trees, sell the timber, and, with that money, go about establishing the plantation. The Imperial Bank of India would give him a generous loan at 1% interest per annum which the planter would repay only after the plantation began to yield. In the meantime, he would build a huge British Bungalow at a lovely spot and enjoy himself. This way, each planter came to own thousands of acres. How adventurous! Could a cowardly Indian ever think of such an adventure! Some elderly people still remember seeing the Natives and Dogs Not Allowed sign at the entrance to the Sakaleshpur Planters’ Association.

There is a vast difference between the three desert-born prophetic religions and the faiths that took birth in India. Every prophet asserts: “I am the sole representative of God and what I say is the Truth. If you do not accept the word of God expressed through me and surrender yourselves completely to me, you will suffer forever in hell. Spread the word far and wide, using force, if necessary. This is your fundamental duty as well as the only true measure of your obedience.” Prophetic religions are thus, by definition, bigoted. The Indian faith, on the other hand, has its roots in the hoary Vedas, which proclaim ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti (the truth is one; the wise speak of it in different ways.) This tenet, so completely open in its outlook, has found expression in the later faiths that branched out of the Vedic faith. Syadvada (may be/ perhaps) is, for example, one of the principles of Jainism. Nobody can ever claim that his viewpoint is the only correct viewpoint, because another viewpoint may be just as valid. Two conflicting viewpoints can, thus, be equally valid, at the same time. Jainism, in fact, recognizes the possibility of the existence of at least seven different and differing points of view, in any given context. This reasoning is just another expression of ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti. All Indian faiths accepted this tenet as valid: bigotry, the principal trait of prophetic religions, therefore, has no place in Indian thought. The Vedic rishis were not prophets. Keonaard Elst, a Belgian scholar of comparative religion, makes a mention of this fact in his Psychology of Prophetism. In the last chapter of the book, he writes that prophets, who claim a special kinship with God, are egotists; where as the Vedic rishis spoke of the universal truth that anybody could realize, at a higher level of consciousness. This higher level of consciousness, writes Keonaard Elst, can be attained by anybody, through sadhana, a structured effort that involves physical and mental training. All those who are seriously interested in the topic must read this book. Buddha, too, was not a prophet. He was a rishi who belonged to the Vedic tradition. His enlightened views are not opposed to Upanishadic thought. For more information on this subject, one can read the book A Constructive Survey of the Upanishadic Philosophy, by R.D.Ranade. It is significant that Upanishads and similar systems of thought such as Buddhism and Jainism speak of a way of life, rather than a belief: dharma as opposed to dogma.

This Is No Way to Asses the Worth of A Religion:

Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti tenet had made the Indian mind so mellow that when the predatory religions launched their attacks on India and her beliefs, Indian religious leaders were in a state of torpor. When the soldiers of the predatory religions killed and maimed countless people, when our women and children were subjected to unspeakable atrocities, Indian religious leaders went about saying that only the attackers were bad, but not their religions – so wrapped up were they in ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti.

A story is often told of Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi, the pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sharadha Petham during the early part of the last century, to illustrate the tolerant attitude of Hindus. When a westerner expressed to the Swamiji his desire to embrace Hinduism, the Swamiji told him, “If you want to be a Hindu be a good Christian.” Did not the Swamiji realize the simple truth that a good Christian is one who goes about converting others to Christianity, with zeal? Was the Swamiji so completely steeped in the ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti tenet? Or was he unable to break out of the Hindu tradition of not letting non-Hindus into its fold? These questions will remain unanswered. When Muslims were engaged in forcible conversions, when the Goa Inquisition was subjecting Hindus to horrors, when the British missionaries were engaged in proselytizing work (disguised as social service), Hindu religious leaders did not bother to subject the religious texts of these predatory religions to critical examination. Vidyaranya, the principal force behind the establishment of the Vijayanagar kingdom, was aware of the cultural and political crisis India was going through, in those days; but, to the best of my knowledge, he has not analysed and written any critical commentary on the predatory religions. The only two Swamis who took up the task were, so far as I know, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi and Swami Vivekananda.

The ignorance about the predatory religions on the part of earlier as well as contemporary Hindu religious heads is shared by the majority of educated Hindus. This ignorance has acted as a stimulant to the Jihaadis willing to sacrifice their lives for a religion and the missionaries engaged in relentless proselytizing work in remote underdeveloped villages and tribal hamlets.

From the point of view of economy and equity it is, perhaps, acceptable to measure the worth of a faith by its utility value. In the West, welfare states exist. These states take care of the basic needs of their citizens, such as education, health, employment and the welfare of the aged. This situation led to the perception that religion and service were two different things. The situation in India, however, is different. When the state here has failed to meet the basic needs, the religious institutions are trying to do what the state has failed to do. A few decades ago, our people used to admire the Christian institutions saying, “Look at them. How deeply they are involved in social work. They so efficiently manage schools, hospitals and orphanages. What is our religion doing?” Now many Hindu institutions too are managing such establishments. But is it truly the responsibility of religious institutions to promote economic and social well-being? It is no doubt a laudatory thing that these institutions, at least, are doing what the state has failed to do. But what about the primary purpose of religious institutions? How many of them are promoting spiritual well-being? How many of them are the centres of philosophy? There is a void in man which material wealth cannot fill. How successful have our religious institutions been in filling this void? Spirituality is the lamp that gives out the light of morality. It is the function of religion to keep this lamp glowing. We must, therefore, measure the true worth of religion not by its utility value, but by its spiritual value.

In 1975, I was in Tokyo as an Indian representative at a UNESCO sponsored month-long seminar, on moral education. One of the activities included a visit to a few Japanese schools to study how well they were imparting moral education. One of the schools visited was a missionary school. Having got all the relevant particulars, I asked the principal of the school, a Japanese Christian, how different or special his school was, when it came to imparting moral education.

“A good question,” he said. “Our school is very special.”

“How?”

“About thirty of our students embraced Christianity, after they became adults.”

Where is the courage?

For these people morality is Christianity and a non-Christian can, therefore, never be moral. A well known Muslim once said this of Mahatma Gandhi: “He may be a Mahatma but he is inferior to the worst Muslim, because he is not a Muslim.” It is difficult to convince such people that morality is independent of one’s religious beliefs. Nor can these people grasp the subtle concept that it is wrong to use money or muscle power to expand their religions.

Mother Teresa, who had won world-wide acclaim in her life time, is now on the verge of being declared a  Saint by the Vatican. I have a question about her. Did she allow the orphans in her orphanages to learn and follow their respective faiths? After her death, I visited her ashram, Missionaries of Charity, at Kolkatta, seeking an answer to this question. All the orphans sheltered in their orphanages were Christians. Evidently, every non-Christian among them had been converted to Christianity. Wasn’t Mother Teresa’s social service a proselytizing tool? With the financial help from the Vatican and the enormous publicity generated by the western media and their Indian counterpart, which merely echo the views of their western masters, Mother Teresa became larger than life-size. For a person to be declared a Saint, he must have worked at least a few miracles in his lifetime. To fulfil this Vatican requirement, a few nuns belonging to the Missionaries of Charity gave a statement that they were witness to the miracles performed by Mother Teresa. When these nuns made the statement, our intellectuals, who had publicly challenged Sai Baba to prove his credibility, kept a meaningful silence.

What I am about to narrate is what I had seen, as a boy in my village, about sixty years ago. On hearing a drum, mounted on a bull, the villagers would come out of their houses in hordes shouting, “Siddaganga Swamy has come for alms.” Sri Sri Sivakumaraswamy, who has just turned hundred and was about forty years old then, would come by a bullock cart to collect alms. The villagers would bring out sacks of millet, chillies, pulses and other farm produce, load them on to their carts and take them to Siddaganga Mutt which was about forty miles away. Large quantities of grains would, this way, reach the Mutt. The Swamiji never asked anybody for grains: the contribution was voluntary. The Swamiji would, however, say, “If there are any poor children in your village, please send them to me. We will feed and educate them.” The Mutt did not have many children then. It gradually grew in size and there are about 8,000 children, at present. True to his vow of poverty, the Swamiji would visit three to four villages a day to seek alms. What he collected went into Dasoha, the mass feeding of the poor and the hungry. The Swamiji fed and educated children belonging to all faiths, including Muslims, but he never tried to impose his faith on them. His principle was not to change their faiths, but to shape their character. Recently, when he turned hundred, the newspapers, that too local newspapers, wrote a little about him. He never got the kind of publicity that Mother Teresa got. There is, however, no need to feel bad about this. A true Yogi does not seek publicity: he is a disinterested worker. He looks on himself as an agent of god: he thinks that things get done not by him, but through him. To think that he is the doer is to inflate his ego and an egotist cannot go up the spiritual ladder. This detached approach to work is called Ishvarapranidhaana, one of the five principles in the second stage of the Yogasadhana. Malladihalli Raghavendra Swamy, Baba Amte, Dr. Sudarshan of BR Hills are a few examples of Ishvarapranidhaana. Though these people have served humanity with far greater distinction than Mother Teresa, they have not got a fraction of publicity that she got. It is understandable: their work was not the glorification of Christ, was it?

Who is there to implement?

Thousands of Christians who believe that a true Christian has to engage in conversions are today busy in proselytizing work in far flung villages and tribal areas. The foreign Christians behind them are always ready to provide money, training and political and public support, if something were to go amiss. Hindus know only to lose and they have never known what it is to gain. There is a law to regulate conversions.

This law has been upheld by courts. But who is there to enforce this law? If Hindus complain against proselytizing work, the media will immediately project them as fundamentalists. The police refuse to act. Christian organisations of various denominations, political parties having different ideologies, various organisations and pretentious intellectuals of different shades, all come together to condemn those who complain. The government will label these people anti-social and have them arrested. Right from the days of Nehru, the Congress has trampled on the feelings of Hindus with impunity and defended itself brazenly. Mahatma Gandhi’s grip on the party had loosened even before the independence. Nehru’s outlook and ideology had always been opposed to Gandhi’s. Currently this party is being controlled by a Christian lady from Vatican. It is impossible for any Congress man to survive in the party, unless he is willing to kowtow to Sonia Gandhi. When the sole aim of every Congress politician is to stay in power and to amass wealth, how can anybody expect them to have the courage to speak against Christianization under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership or to condemn conversions?. It is one of the principles of Indian communists to hate Hindus. The so-called intellectuals have been trained in the Macaulay tradition.

Non-Congress politicians like Deve Gowda, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lallu Prasad Yadav have their eyes glued to the votes of the religious minorities. They all share an irrational hatred of the BJP, generally perceived as a pro-Hindu party. A few of these politicians have mastered the art of suspending their deeprooted religious beliefs, for petty political gains. They visit, with great fervour, temples where Vedic worship is conducted; they surreptitiously sacrifice animals to propitiate their Gods; they spend lakhs of rupees and get 21 or 51 or 101 Vedic priests to perform homas; they smear their foreheads with holy ash; and, in the end, visit a mosque to lament the fact that they are Hindus and express their desire to be born as Muslims in their next lives. If they cannot practise double standards, how can democracy survive in India? This is their concern. They fast until lunch-break in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi to register their opposition to those who oppose conversions.

The Dalits oppose the anti-conversion law, because they think that once such a law is in place, they can no longer threaten that they will get converted to Christianity or Islam, en masse. They, however, oppose the efforts of the church to get the benefit of reservations to Dalit Christians, because they are not willing to share the benefit with the converts. The Dalit intellectuals, having induced ordinary Dalits to discard the pictures of Hindu Gods, including that of Goddess Maramma, and to embrace Buddhism, get themselves registered as Hindu Dalits in government records. Having extended the benefit of reservation to Muslims, Samuel Rajashekar Reddy is now scheming to extend the same benefits to Christians. When Hindu religious heads present a petition for anti-conversion law, all these schemers advise the Hindu religious heads to mind their business. What exactly is the business of these religious heads, anyway? Is it just to bless innumerable politicians who fall at their feet at the time of elections and to pose for photographs with the right hand in the blessing posture?

Whose Moral Responsibility Is It?

In these circumstances, when some Hindu youth and Hindus from the regions where Christianisation is rampant try to check proselytizing activities, the media will whip themselves up into frenzy. Christians, who have, globally, established economic and military hegemony, raise this issue in every possible international forum and scream that Christians are under threat in India. In France, for example, children cannot wear religious symbols to school. To foster a sense of oneness among children, the government there has banned the wearing of head scarves by Muslim girls and the turbans by Sikh boys. When Manmohan Singh recently visited France, he requested President Sarkozy to allow Sikh boys to wear their religious symbols to school. There is nothing wrong in this. But the same man agreed with the French president that Christians in India were under threat and assured him that he would initiate stern action against the people behind communal disturbances, on his return to India – he did not even attempt putting things in perspective. He is now scheming to impose the President Rule in Orissa and Karnataka and bring his party back to power in these two states, through the back door.

In a situation like this, if a few Hindus reach the conclusion that violence is the only way to safeguard Hindu interests and later go underground to escape the law, who is to blame? When the government and the political parties lack the political will to contain Muslim terrorism, a few people might readily allow themselves to be persuaded that they have to take the initiative to protect Indian culture. After 9/11 attack not a single terrorist-related incident has taken place in the U.S., whereas in India people die in terror attacks on a daily basis. It is, perhaps, unrealistic to expect our politician, whose only aim is to cling on to power using every available means, fair or fowl, to act. It is the objective of the terrorists to unnerve the country completely through repeated terrorist attacks and then to seize power. This, indeed, was the method used by Lenin and Mao Tse-tung. Prachanda of Nepal and our home grown naxalites, too, have similar strategy. Many Hindus feel frustrated today. If a few of them take to acts of desperation, can mere orchestrated condemnation set things right?

It is time our casteist politicians and the media and the intellectuals who share this casteist mindset pondered this question and acted with a little sincerity.

Francois Gautier concludes his article with these words: “Are we heading then towards a Christian India under Sonia Gandhi's helm? It would be a tremendous loss not only to India, but also to the world. For in India, you find the only living spirituality left on this planet.”






Those interested in this subject can peruse the following works:
1. ARUN SHOURIE : HARVESTING OUR SOULS (ASA).
2. ARUN SHOURIE : MISSIONARIES IN INDIA (ASA).
3. MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE : WOMAN, CHURCH AND STATE (VOICE OF INDIA, NEW DELHI).
4. SITARAM GOEL : CATHOLIC ASHRAMS: Sannyasins or Swindlers? (VOICE OF INDIA).
5. SITARAM GOEL : HISTORY OF HINDU-CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTERS (A.D.304 to 1996) (VOICE OF INDIA.NEW DELHI).

2 comments:

  1. Jai shari ram,

    Thnx for this collective information. I was on same notion and agree with you on you every point. But now its time to take out the solution. We need to fight back because its dharma yudhh now. Please give us guidance that what should we do. We need strong leader...

    Jai ho

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