An open letter to John Dayal – Francois Gautier

John DayalDear John Dayal,

A few years back, you wrote a letter to Jenab Mohammad Hamid Ansari, then Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, where you complained of harassment of nuns and Christian workers at bus stops and rail stations in Tirupati government-owned areas and objecting to a request to have the Constitutionality of the Seven Tirumala Hills being made out of bounds to Christians.

Do you really think that for instance the Government of France would allow Hindu proselytisers in Lourdes, one of the most sacred places for Christians? Never. The French Government even has a branch of the Home Ministry looking into what they call ‘sects’. Amrita Anandamayi of Kerala is on that list. Although she has not committed any crimes except embracing people and although her followers are doing remarkable social work, as good as any Christian organisation in India, she is being harassed in France, the accounts of her group are being scrutinised, she faces difficulties in buying land and she has to keep a low profile.

Tirupati is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. Why should nuns and missionaries go there to convert innocent Hindus? It’s an affront to the majority community of this country who have always respected the Christian faith. Remember that the first Christian community of the world is the Syrian Christian in Kerala? *

Sonia GandhiDo Christians in India realize how much freedom they have here? Any preacher from abroad can come to India, rent huge grounds, organise prayer meetings, advertise in the national press, get media coverage…. Just try to do this in Saudi Arabia, or even China and see what will happen to your preachers!

Then you go on complaining of a “sustained hate campaign by the religious fanatics” of the so-called Sangh Parivar in Andhra Pradesh. But you must be knowing that thanks to Chief Minister Rajshekhar Reddy, who died in a helicopter accident, nearly 20% of Andhra Pradesh has converted to Christianity. His son Jagan Reddy is very much a Christian too – he has even erected a cross over his massive new house in Hyderabad. Yet his name sounds Hindu. Do Christians in high places need Hindu names to fool the gullible masses of Hindus?

Come on, Mr John Dayal, you are the one who is waging a systematic campaign of hate against Hindus. As a born Christian, I can see how Christianity is evolving slowly in the West, where it is becoming more and more accepted in the masses that there are other religions, such as Buddhism or Hinduism which have their own values. Yet in India, Christianity is becoming more and more rigid, more and more of a proselytising spirit, like it was fifty years ago in the West. Christians in India represent only 2.5% [maybe 5% today – Ed] of the population, yet they make so much noise, they occupy so much space in education, health care, journalism [and  Francois Gautierpolitics] that you would think that they constitute the majority of this country.

Again recently, you have targeted Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, respected not only by millions of Hindus, but also by many Christians in western countries and even by Muslims (he was received warmly last month in Pakistan). By doing this, you are showing that you are practising a Christianity that is obsolete, aggressive and maybe even dangerous.

It is time Christianity in India becomes a little more humble and quieter. Nobody is contesting your faith, but please leave alone ancient places of worship like Tirupathi and great sages such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. And remember: Sonia Gandhi may not be here forever …

Yours

Francois Gautier

* India’s political leaders are fond of telling their constituencies and the nation that Christianity arrived in India before it arrived in Europe. This historical conceit is not true. Apostle Paul says in Romans 15:24 & 15:28 that he plans to visit Spain (which apparently already had a Christian community). In Acts 19:21 he travels from Ephesus to Greece—Macedonia and Achaia—en route to Jerusalem and then Rome. This took place in the 40s CE—some historians say he was writing after 44 CE. So even if it was true that Apostle Thomas landed in Kerala in 52 CE—the spurious date is of 19th century origin—Christianity would still have arrived in Europe a decade earlier. – Editor

Baptism

3 Responses

  1. The greatest historical absurdity is St.Thomas visit to India. There had been complaint against Sir William Jones that getting fascinated by Bengal he twisted Indian history by identifying Polybothra as Patna and wherever reference to Indies was made it was taken to eastern India also. The confusion on identification of Indies comparing always with Egypt and Ethiopia suggests that Indies as referred in ancient literature is adjascent and east of Babylon covering southern Iran to Mathura and in the south from Gujarat to Muziris and does not refer to eastern and southern India at all. The Indies proper was the region between Bactria to Punjab. The region south of river Krishna to Tondi was never recognized and even Marco Polo got confused with Malabar and Mabar taken from Arab travellers. The amusing part of Tamil history is that from Kalabra rule Kerala did not integrate with Tamilnadu though during initial resurgence of later Cholas Kerala princes played a vital role but its coastal towns acted as transhipment centers. Though copius references are available in ancient Maritime literature Kerala cannot boast of historical evidences in inscriptions and copper plates unlike other three states. Though upto KulothungaI Kerala was ravaged by Cholas it was stopped afterwards probably Cholas considering the importance given to merchants guilds they did not want to jeopardize the interest of international merchants guilds operating in Kerala. Thus St.Thomas story is one prevalent among west Asian merchant community which was given a historical outlook by Portuguese. India is the only country where all kinds of mystism can be sold since people at large believe in the theory of probability rather than historical evidence.

  2. Two views about SG. Wish F. Gautiers words written comes asap.

    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=67887

    “In 1997, when then Congress President Sitaram Kesri came back from the toilet during a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, he discovered to his shock that in the twelve minutes that he had been absent from the meeting, the CWC had ousted him and brought Sonia Gandhi in as the new chief. Kesri had no option but to leave the office, his political career at an end. Since then, Sonia Gandhi has ensured a firm grip over the Congress Party, and has since then been able to change Cabinet ministers and Chief Ministers at will. Any sign of disloyalty to her and her two children Rahul and Priyanka are punished with immediate removal from office. Because their power and prosperity depends on their obedience to Sonia, the Congress Party “leaders” (although this name may be inaccurate, given that they are all essentially courtiers trembling in fear of “Madam”) seek to diligently obey her commands. Few of these seem to have much relation to governance, for the administration of India has gone from bad to awful during the six years that Sonia Gandhi has (in effect) led the government”.

    another one but by Gurumurthy

    http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/columnists/disgrace-bangaru-deify-q/386980.html

    “A year earlier, in 1997, she stormed into the Congress headquarters and occupied the party president’s chair when the reigning President Sitaram Kesri had gone to the toilet to ease himself and was kept locked inside long enough to make the presidential changeover smooth. As Congress president, she first gave a clean chit to Q, even asked the NDA government for proof against him! Keen to avoid hostility with Sonia, who had become the Opposition Leader in 1998, the NDA too preferred to be soft… “

  3. Koenraad Elst in top form. There are six articles on Meera Nanda in his blog This is the sixth one. . All rejoinders to Meera Nanda. Elst has handled Meera Nanda and Sanjay Subramaniam very well in the following article.

    http://koenraadelst.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/meera-nanda-against-hinduism-and-its.html

    another one is about Vijay Prashad.

    http://koenraadelst.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/another-secularist-whitewash-of-islam.html

    The last para below is very well written by Elst

    “Meanwhile, he is mistaken in alleging that Gautier and I “have a deep animus against Christian missionaries”. Both of us have gone out of our way to explicitate that we have Catholic priests among our relatives and that we have fond memories of them. At the same time, we have perfectly rational reasons for having our doubts about the missionary enterprise among the Hindus. But for those reasons, Vijay Prashad has to substitute an emotional”animus”, because the eye of the beholder cannot face a rational critique of his favoured religions.”

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