The article below, “Help Us To Help Them” by Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD, chief propagandist and spokesman for the New Delhi Roman Catholic Archdiocese, is presumptuous, arrogant, untruthful, and in your face Hindu-baiting discourse. Having first created the Maoist problem among its tribal and dalit converts in central India, the Church through Fr. Dominic now offers to solve the problem and accuses the RSS and VHP of refusing to help. The RSS and VHP have no obligation to help the Church clean up the mess it has created by alienating its evangelized members from their native religion and culture, and would be misguided and foolish to join hands with an institution that has 2000 years of crime behind it and is implicated in the murder of VHP leader Swami Lakshmananda of Kandhamal. On the other hand, the RSS and the VHP are doing educational and social work among the tribals and Dalits of central India and are obstructed in this work by the Christian missionaries who feel they have a monopoly on “developing” and “progressing” – i.e. converting – the poor and downtrodden of India.
Fr. Dominic Emmanuel is a part-time Bollywood actor among other special talents, and has a long record of Hindu-baiting and telling lies for Jesus and the Church. Search “Dominic Emmanuel” at www.christianaggression.org and you will soon know this dishonest priest better than he knows himself.
We have inserted our comments between the article’s paragraphs. Dr. Hilda Raja’s rejoinder follows Fr. Dominic’s column. – Ishwar Sharan
Even as the debate on how exactly to tackle the menace of Maoist/Naxalite violence keeps raging within the government on the one hand, and in the media – which also occasionally allows the voice of the Maoist sympathisers – on the other, more and more innocent lives are being lost.
One wonders where the ‘buck’ will finally stop.
Well, let us pray that it is not the Vatican! India is an independent country and the buck stops with the Government of India.
Last month when the Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi wrote in Congress mouthpiece Sandesh that “The rise of Naxalism is a reflection of the need for our development initiatives to reach the grassroots, especially in our most backward districts. This is why our government is putting in place more targeted development schemes for our most backward districts”, it seemed clear where the debate would finally rest. No one doubted her intentions.
A close look at the historical facts will show that the rise of Naxalism in a region coincides with the activity of Christian missionaries in the same region. Maoist leaders by their own admission say that most of their cadre are Christian converts.
Unfortunately, two days after her observations, the Maoists struck again, this time a line bus carrying civilians, though several special police officers (SPO) had boarded it too. The bus was blown up in the same area where 75 CRPF personnel had previously lost their lives when their convoy was attacked. The toll this time was 50. Following the dastardly incident, while sympathisers found it difficult to come to the Maoists’ defence, the government still dithered on the exact course of action it should take. This brought a new angle to the debate.
The new debate was not centered only on whether to take the help of army or about airstrikes/support etc, but about a two-pronged approach to the problem. This would include development as a long-term measure and military/police action as a short term measure to contain violence.
This is plain common sense. Fr. Dominic might also try to acquire some and stop seeking notoriety in the newspapers.
What is, however, missing in the current debate is the role of civil society and NGOs as a third force — going beyond writing articles or shouting their lungs off in television studios to more concrete action at the grassroots.
The Roman Catholic Church is not a “civil society” in any sense. So lets stop playing word games, Fr. Dominic. Civil society in the form of numerous Hindu NGO’s are there in the jungles doing social and educational work. That they don’t get exposure in the Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle is because they are not Christian enough to rate the coveted space.
Social scientist Kancha Ilaiah, decrying the recent Maoist violence, wrote in a newspaper article that “about 50 years ago, the tribals of this region [North East] were as illiterate as those of Dandakaranya. But today Mizoram has 95 per cent literacy (more than Kerala), Manipur has 68.87 per cent, Meghalaya 63.31 per cent and Nagaland 66.11 per cent¿.This educational development has to be seen in the background of the committed activities of missionaries.
Prof. Kancha Ilaiah is a paid missionary loudspeaker in Hyderabad. His usual job is to make virulent attacks on Brahmins in the Deccan Chronicle, then Hindus in general if one has been rude to him. Lets not depend too much on his “social science”.
They averted violent struggles and at the same time, ensured the uplift of tribals. It was a slow but sure process of development and empowerment”.
How is it that these missionary developed Dalits and tribals have turned to violence? Is it because the missionary has failed in the development process? Or because the Church has instigated them to violence against a predominantly non-Christian society (as the Church has done in many other countries for centuries)?
I know I am treading on hazardous ground and offering dynamite to the right-wing RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal to pounce on me, saying that in the states mentioned above, the majority are now Christians — repeating the same old stereotype, of missionaries being out to ‘convert’ the gullible masses.
The stereotype is true – that is how it became a stereotype, stupid!
A missionary by definition is a converter of heathens.
And who is more right wing than the Roman Catholic Church? The Church has supported a large number of autocrats and dictators in history; so far the RSS and VHP cannot be accused of this political crime.
Why I still dare write it is because I know as well as they do that their allegations are not at all true. Rather than entering into a debate and reiterating what the missionaries have been saying ad nauseam that the RSS and its front organisations – many of them involved in Kandhamal-type violence – need not worry about the work of Christians as three consecutive censuses in India have clearly registered a slow but sure decline in the Christian community’s numbers here. Nor is there a single case proved so far of any conversion that goes contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
Hey, Dominic, was Justice Niyogi a liar? His report exposed your fraudulent thesis a long time ago.
What we need today is another Justice Niyogi to tell us the truth about Indian priests and their catamites.
The Kandhamal violence was started by Christians when they murdered Swami Lakshmanananda and his disciples. The whole of the Kandhamal story disproves your claims that missionary development brings peace and progress, Fr. Dominic.
The work of education begun by Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the sixteenth century in Goa, and continued later the eighteenth century by William Carey in Bengal, and which goes on to this day, has been all for the development of the subcontinent — and after Independence for the poor and backward classes of India. If there were conversions, as indeed there were, and will continue to be, then it was by those who freely chose to embrace the religion of those who gave them human dignity and made them stand for their own fundamental human rights.
This is a bare-faced lie! Fr. Dominic’s arrogance and deceit knows no limits when he dares to drag in the name of one of history’s arch criminals, ‘St.’ Francis Xavier, whose career in India was so shameful even the Jesuits wish to disown him.
Francis Xavier forcefully baptised children and their parents on the Coromandel Coast, then instigated them to destroy the village temples they had worshipped in for generations. Is this not the ultimate religious perversion? He called in the Inquisition to Goa – the most cruel and horrific Church tribunal – because he believed that the Hindu heathen could only be “educated” and “developed” by vile torture and force of arms.
We have the full record of Xavier’s crimes in his own words. Today he would be taken to court for crimes against humanity.
If the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other outfits, instead of being paranoid about the Christians’ work for the poor, would, as Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi keeps saying, “please join hands with us to work for the education and development of Dalits and the poor”, they would not only help in eliminating the menace of Maoist violence but they would also come to know the truth about religious conversions.
Well, well, well! The Christian missionaries of Kandhamal, Orissa, had Swami Lakshmanananda killed because he was doing social work among the tribals of Orissa! Now we are to join hands with these same murderous Christians to continue the good work Swami Lakshmananda was killed for!
The RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu NGOs are already doing educational and social work for the Dalits, tribals, and poor where ever they are found in India. It is another matter that they are not doing “enough” work. Only they don’t crow about it in public like the Church, and the “secular” christianised newspapers like the Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle don’t give them any space or positive exposure because they represent the majority Hindu community not the favoured and politically correct minority community.
Thus while the government decides on what action is to be taken, hopefully avoiding bloodshed on both sides, the need of the hour is for all to come together and join hands to free those areas not only of Maoist/Naxal violence but also provide freedom to our tribals from hunger, disease and darkness of ignorance which keeps them under-developed and out of the mainstream. And what should stop us from working together? – The Indian Express, Mumbai, June 7, 2010.
Are we to join hands with the Christian arsonist to put out the Christian-Maoist fire?
This article is an untruthful, in your face provocation to all thoughtful Hindus, and has been created by a very perverted and deceitful Catholic priest. We wonder why the New Delhi Archdiocese still keeps him? Certainly he does no honour to the Church in India or, indeed, to Christianity in India. – IS
Fr. Dominic claims that the Roman Catholic Church is a civil society too and “unlike some other NGOs, it is willing to help tackle the Maoists in tribal areas”. He already starts with a judgmental attitude – “unlike the others” (reminds me of the Pharisee and the Publican). He upholds the Roman Catholic Church as willing! He finds a lacuna in the two-prong strategy suggested to deal with the Maoists unrest and violence – namely development as the long term measure and military /police action as a short term measure – to arrest the violence. That lacuna the Roman Catholic Church will fill. Let’s presume that Fr Dominic wants to add the civil society (read Roman Catholic Church) as the third force to the Centre and State forces, which on the surface appears seems harmless. But scratch the surface and it smacks of an arrogance founded on untruths and distorted history – a holier than thou attitude.
What is the logic for this out reach “Help us to help them”? That the development record of the tribal areas has showed remarkable “development” especially in the area of literacy and education thanks to the committed activities of the missionaries.?
So Mizoram has a 95 percent literacy, Manipur 68.87, Meghalaya 63.31 and Nagaland 66.11 percent. This is really a record achievement because all these states then stand above the national average.
Fr. Dominic also points out that this educational development has to be seen against the background of the committed activities of the missionaries. They averted violent struggle and ensured upliftment of the tribals. Against this background one is tempted to ask Fr. Dominic: then what went wrong? From averting violent struggle to now bloodletting and killing of the innocents. From upliftment which the missionaries ensured of the tribals, the down slide is because of lack of development that there is unrest and disillusionment.
So how did the resultant of the committed activities of the missionaries evaporate?
Were the Dalits and tribals empowered to violence? Did the missionary activities empower them to kill the innocents?
Is Fr. Dominic toying with Liberation Theology?
Jesus did not preach or engage himself in violence for liberation? He took upon himself all the violence. Yet the Catholic Church has a history of violence and persecution.
If after the committed activities of the missionaries resulted in violence and deprivation of the tribals, then what is the logic in inviting others to “help us to help them” point? Why should this help be channelised through the Roman Catholic Church?
On the stereotyping of conversion: the appeal then to “help us (the committed missionaries) to help them (the already empowered tribals).
What was all this empowerment then meant to be if it was not directed chiefly to conversion? With such a high literacy rate they are not able to stand? The fact is that the committed activities gave them literacy and a Bible, but kept them impoverished.
It is just not the same stereotype repetition that missionaries are out to convert gullible masses: it is the recorded history of this country. It is experiential declaration: it is simply stating what the reality is.
This cannot be denied by brushing it aside as stereotype repetition. The very word “missionary” already denotes one who is a proselytizer.
That development work is a side business is something which Fr Dominic cannot deny. The North Eastern States today with almost a 90-95 percent Christians speaks volumes. What happened to their tribal religion and culture? Are we to believe that the tribals opted for the religion of those who empowered them? One is reminded of East Timor.
The reference to Goa: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel tries to paint a rosy picture of the Catholic Church engaged in educating the uneducated Indians. But mention of Goa does not auger well for this exchange because Fr. Dominic cannot hide the Inquisition and the forced conversion, the destruction of thousands of temples and idols, and the building of churches. This is also missionary activity engaged in by the Catholic Church.
Fr Dominic is very generous to add that, “If there were conversions, indeed as there were, and will continue to be, then it was by those who freely chose to embrace the religion of those who gave them human dignity and made them stand for their fundamental human rights.
May be Fr Dominic thinks that we are unaware of the state of affairs in the Catholic Church of the Schedule Castes ( ‘dalits’). Either Fr. Dominic is ignorant of history – I mean Church history – or he thinks that others are, He tries to depict the “committed activities” of the Catholic Church as those of a benevolent patron instilling empowerment for human rights into the dehumanized and savage Indians.
Fr. Dominic needs to please check on world history if the Church bestowed human rights wherever it went to “educate” and to uplift “the poor”.
For the sake of recapitulating: the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church (there are different bibles upheld by different churches) clearly depicts how Jesus stood against the religious leaders and the civil authorities precisely because both these denied human rights. And hence both conspired and crucified him.
Coming to the history of our country we Indians were not savages. Christianity is only 2000 years old but Hinduism is the oldest and most ancient religion which did not believe in a God who is tyrannical. It was a sum total of all the exalted spiritual experiences of sages and saints. It was and is an inclusive pluralism and holistic catholicism. It was built on freedom and not straitjacketed to believe only what the Roman Catholic Church’s religious leader the pope believed in.
India’s spirituality had also the traditional knowledge be it astronomy, astrology, medicine – ayurveda and a host of traditional sciences – integrated with her spirituality. It is in this rich and learned milieu that the Roman Catholic Church descends to “educate” and “uplift”. But what was its first and primary motive – destroy, demolish and then convert [viz. Francis Xavier]. Injected an exclusiveness -Vatican’s God is the only God; Vatican’s knowledge needs to percolate and run down in bits and starts; Vatican’s authority must reign supreme with Vatican’s God.
Is this a foundation for human rights? Is this empowerment of people? Is this individual uniqueness to experience God and seek Him in one own’s culture and locale?
The same story goes on. India’s Constitution was not given by Rome or the Roman Catholic Church, neither was it inspired by it. The brutal burning and the killing of the Jews – the decimating of whole nations of people down the centuries is the paramparaof the Roman Catholic Church – that the Pope goes on asking forgiveness, and here is Fr. Dominic holding forth on “the work of education began by Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the sixteen century in Goa, continued later in the 18th century by William Carey in Bengal, and which goes on to this day, has been all for development of the subcontinent – and after independence for the poor and backward classes of India”
There seems to be a new version and a new script – with of course gaps.
It is a tragedy that Fr. Dominic looks upon the activities of the missionaries as making us stand on our feet and enabling us to demand our human fundamental rights. This is an insult to the people of India coming from one of the Roman Catholic clergy. India was much ahead …we did not have to wait for Rome to tell us that the world was round.
It is in the God-filled ethos of our country that the missionaries started their persecution because of their belief that they must convert. The denial of human rights, the suppression of freedom of speech and worship, the killings and the massacres, the destruction of our culture, the persecution the oppression and the coercion to convert to Christianity are all quietly buried by Fr Dominic. This is like white-washing the tombs wherein lay the decaying and the worm-eaten corpses. No wonder Jesus called the religious leaders as white washed tombs.
It is uncharitable that Fr. Dominic indicts the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and other outfits as being paranoid and wants them to shed it and “join hands with us in eliminating the menace of Maoists violence”. People are not morons – who created the Maoists menace and violence now why invite the others to help to eliminate it?
Fr. Dominic forgets that he had accepted the committed missionary activities the Christians were engaged in and now suddenly after the brutal attacks by the Maoists which had the support of the local bishop and the so called human rights activists, find themselves unable to put back the genie which they released.
Fr. Dominic needs to answer who was responsible for the brutal massacre of Swami Lakshmananda and his three ashramites right within their own ashram. Was he also not working for the uplift of tribals? Instead of helping him to help them why was he done away with? Now only the backlash is being highlighted.
It must be granted that all must unite at least for the future to work together. This calls for certain clarifications.
Is Fr. Dominic representing all the Christian churches or only the Roman Catholic Church? He is aware of the kind of work the Evangelical churches are engaged in? Does he hold a brief for them – or is his appeal exclusively from the Roman Catholic Church to the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and others to “Help us to help them”? This has to be clearly elucidated. What is the meaning of “the Roman Catholic Church is civil society too”?
After all the “Help us help them” casts a shadow because from the 16th century having worked for development and uplift of the poor, and after Independence the committed activities continued and now to say that we need to come together, and join hands “to free those areas not only of Maoists/Naxals violence but also to provide freedom to our tribals from hunger, disease and darkness of ignorance which keeps them under-developed and out of the main stream”.
There are glaring contradictions from what has been told of the committed missionary activities including the highest literacy levels and now this dismal picture of gloom and deprivation calls for accountability. Where had all the funds gone and towards what? The “civil” society – the NGOs, the different Churches which empowered the downtrodden to stand for their human rights are equally accountable as the Government of India for the total failure – callousness, indifference and anti-people policies. Into this cauldron Fr. Dominic’s invite “Help us to help them” seems to be pathetically a melodrama.
» Fr. Dominic is the chief propagandist and spokesman for the New Delhi Archdiocese. His column regularly appears in the Deccan Chronicle and he continues to makes the same spurious claims today as he did in 2010. The Deccan Chronicle (whose chairman T. Venkattram Reddy and managing director T. Ravi Vinayak Reddy have been arrested for alleged bank fraud (14/2/15)), is a more than willing mouthpiece for the Church in India.
» Dr. Mrs. Hilda Raja is a retired professor of social sciences from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She blogs here.
Filed under: christianity, conversion, hinduism, inculturation, india, interfaith dialogue, neo-colonialism, psychological warfare, roman catholic church | Tagged: catholic church, conversion, dominic emmanuel, hinduism, interfaith dialogue, missionary activity, religious politics, secularism-nehruism |