My grandfather was a Muslim, my mother a Christian, and I am a Hindu – Nalini Rathnam

Seventh Day Adventist Publication

Nalini RathnamShortly after my baptism, on entering my teens I had lots of questions about Christianity which I would pose to my parents, siblings and the pastors in church. Suffice to say I got no answers save the proverbial, “Have faith. Do not question. Just believe.” – Nalini Rathnam

I hail from the most nationally integrated family I know. My maternal grandfather was John Ali Baksh. (John? Ali Baksh? … Yes!) Ali Baksh was a zamindar in Lahore—in pre-partition India. He was 17 when the missionaries gave him refuge in the church when he was being targeted by his uncles and step brothers for his father’s property. Ali Baksh was considered a real “catch” for the missionaries: he was not poor or downtrodden, he was heir to his father’s vast lands and wealth, and above all, a Muslim. My mother was born a Christian, her full name was Margaret Olive Mehrunissa Ali Baksh.

My father hailed from Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka. His ancestors were weavers. There was a time when a worm got into the cocoons and the crops were lost. Dad’s ancestors were Hindu—but, of course! Dad was poor as a church mouse and studied under the proverbial lamppost to complete his education. He was a bright student and a phenomenal stenographer. The missionaries got to him. He converted and served the mission as an evangelist and the best stenographer the church had ever seen. My father was a Seventh-Day Adventist. Like the Jews, the Adventists consider Saturday the 7th day of the week, hence the Sabbath—following the Gregorian calendar. That is pretty much where the similarity ends. Adventists believe in Jesus being the Savior unlike the Jews.

Dad saw Mom in a church ceremony in Lahore and fell in love with her. They married, had 8 children—the last one being yours truly. We were raised as Seventh Day Adventists.

As a toddler and later when I was well into my teens, my memories are vivid of being taught “you are in the light and all your Hindu friends are in the dark … you must bring them into the light.” I remember how in school, I used to feel sorry for all my Hindu friends (many of them are friends till date)—as they were in the “darkness”. Our banter used to be—me saying, “God and Jesus created the world in 7 days”, and my Hindu friends saying, “How silly … Brahma created the world”. So on and so forth. I remember how much of a “sinner” I felt growing up as I was not able to bring a single friend “into the fold and into the light”. I was very confused, angry and guilty. I could not preach.

At age 11, after attending Sabbath school regularly—I took a decision to get baptised in the Seventh Day Adventist church in Spicer College Pune … then Poona. That was a really holy day. Being baptised by my favorite pastor—Pastor Crump was the most liberating and awe-inspiring experience of my childhood. Our baptisms are carried out in the exact same way as John the Baptist used to, except not in a river, but a huge tank filled with water. We wore long grey robes, stepped into the tank, and the Pastor said, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit I baptise you”. Then he covered our mouths with a clean white handkerchief, dipped us in the water and pulled us back up after a few seconds. Lo and behold! We were now free of our past sins and we were pure. As an 11-year-old, I now wonder what “sins”?

Shortly after my baptism, on entering my teens I had lots of questions about Christianity which I would pose to my parents, siblings and the pastors in church. This is not the time or place to go into them, suffice to say I got no answers … save the proverbial “Have faith. Do not question. Just believe”

Over the years, I was drawn more and more towards the tenets of Hindu philosophy. (Can we stop calling it a religion, please?) I must say here that my mother always had the Bible, Bhagavad Gita and the Quran next to her bedside table. She told us about the good things in all religions and her knowledge of Islam as a religion and as a culture was manifold. Except for the fact that she was a Christian, her upbringing was more along Islamic traditions, and her language was Urdu. She could not read Hindi. She was a Montessori teacher and in her spare time taught Urdu to hundreds of students till the day she died.

She believed though that her saviour was indeed Jesus.

I married a Hindu and had an Arya Samaj wedding. I consider myself Hindu and have long ago stopped worshipping in a church. I have conversations with Ganesh, Ganapati … and in my heart I am a Hindu. I do not visit temples regularly nor do I want to convert anybody to my way of thinking.

I wish as Hindus, we would stop being apologists.

I thoroughly understand evangelism, and my problems with all missionaries is: Why do I have to change my first name or add a Western name to my birth name to prove I am Christian? Why can I not retain my Hindu or Muslim name and still “be in the fold” as it were? Why do many brides wear gowns to their weddings instead of the sari? Or like many, wear the sari but with a veil? Why does religion interfere with culture? Why interfere with the tribal culture in the North East under the garb of religion?

Why is Mother Teresa considered selfless?

Her bigger agenda like all Christian missionaries was to convert and bring people to the fold. That is the whole purpose of being a missionary for God’s sake! Pardon the pun! It’s almost like a vow you take when being ordained a priest or pastor.

Jesus told his twelve disciples the following and I quote from the Bible:

Mark 16:15 — And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Mathew 28:19-20 — Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Romans 10:10-17 — For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Why is it wrong if Mohan Bhagwat or any other says it like it is? I am not holding a brief for Mohan Bhagwat, so even before you all who are reading this … start to smirk … stop right there! I am Indian first and last! No faith, no religion, no belief, no tenet can alter the fact that I am well and truly Indian. I hold a brief for no one, against no religion—but I have the fundamental right to question.

Hence, I have the right to question critics of Hinduism, or the critics of Hindus, when they argue, “the Christian missionaries are at least looking after the poor and needy. Why do the Hindus not do the same for their own”? I always believed that the basis of Hindu philosophy was the theory of karma. Am I wrong?

No, I don’t think so. So that answers that question.

The Bible also says “as you sow so shall you reap”, but with a difference—that whatever you sow you will reap in this one life only. You only die once is the theory.

The Bible rejects the idea of reincarnation; therefore, it does not support the idea of karma.

All those holding a brief for the good lady Mother Teresa, I admired her too. But I am not into Hindu bashing nor do I have my blinders on. I know her agenda was conversion. She was a Christian missionary—if she did not convert others she would be going against the very tenets of what Jesus said.

I end with her quote at the Scripps Clinic in California below:

Mother Teresa encouraged members of her order to baptise dying patients, without regard to the individual’s religion. In a speech at the Scripps Clinic in California in January 1992, she said: “Something very beautiful … not one has died without receiving the special ticket for St. Peter, as we call it. We call baptism ticket for St. Peter. We ask the person, do you want a blessing by which your sins will be forgiven and you receive God? They have never refused. So 29,000 have died in that one house [in Kalighat] from the time we began in 1952.” 

I rest my case. – Opindia, 26 February 2017

» (Ethel) Nalini Rathnam is a theatre actress, script consultant, and award-winning casting director in Mumbai. This article is her personal story and represents her own views. Images have been added by the editor.

Seventh-Day Adventist Baptism IndiaSeventh-Day Adventist Mass Baptism India


 

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Why Nepal has one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian populations – Danielle Preiss

A Swiss missionary talks to a Nepali woman about the Bible in Kathmandu

Danielle PreissChurches mushroom throughout the Kathmandu Valley and across the terraced hills. Proselytizing remains illegal, but with political instability and weak law enforcement, that doesn’t stop it from happening. – Danielle Preiss

Famous for its high peaks and wind-whipped prayer flags, Hindu-majority Nepal used to be a nation unreached by Christianity.

Now the country has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world, according to the World Christian Database, which tracks global trends in Christianity.

Bishwa Mani Pokharel, news chief at Nepal’s Nagarik newspaper, pulls out copies of the census to show the statistical gallop of Christianity across Nepal. It listed no Christians in 1951 and just 458 in 1961. By 2001, there were nearly 102,000. A decade later that number had more than tripled to more than 375,000. Pokharel and others think the increase is really much higher but inaccurately reported.

“Before, when the Christians had a party, they slaughtered a chicken. Now, they slaughter a goat,” says Pokharel, who has been reporting on the conversions. That extra meat, he explains, is necessary to feed all of the new people who’ve joined the guest list.

Much of this growth can be attributed to Nepal’s internal changes. Before 1950, Nepal was closed to foreigners. Mountain climbing changed that. And starting with the Maoist Civil War of the 1990s and culminating with the end of the monarchy in 2008, the country has transitioned from a Hindu kingdom to a communist-led secular republic with greater freedom of religion. Encouraging someone to convert to another religion was always illegal, but as Nepal eased away from its official Hindu status, the rules lightened up.

Churches now mushroom throughout the Kathmandu Valley and across the terraced hills. Proselytizing remains illegal, but with political instability and weak law enforcement, that doesn’t stop it from happening.

Meanwhile, the earthquake last year may have strengthened the Christian surge. Where the government—long mired in political instability—has failed to help poor villagers, aid groups have trickled in to fill gaps, some of them carrying a message of salvation.

Climbing for Christ (C4C), an evangelical group based in Rochester, N.Y., is one.

Pledging to bring the Gospel “where others cannot or will not go,” the group began its “Mission: Nepal” in 2008. In 2011, it dedicated the first church in the village of Dapcha, 25 miles east of Kathmandu. Today, Dapcha—with a population of just 1,000 families—is home to three churches.

“They found some sick people and broken families and talked to them and prayed for them, and miraculously these people were convinced and began to follow Christ,” said Tej Rokka, pastor of the C4C partner ministry, Savior Alone Redeems Asians. “They distributed some food for the people, and clothes. Because of that, people began to listen to them.”

After the earthquake, C4C sent relief materials such as tents and money for food and first-aid items to congregants in Dapcha and other affected areas. Gary Fallesen, C4C’s founder and president, and a team were also in Nepal in October helping rebuild the earthquake-damaged house that belongs to the family of Sumitra Pariyar, a young woman who believes she was healed from paralysis and seizures by her acceptance of Christ.

Lauren Leve, a professor in the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is researching women who have converted to Christianity in Nepal. She found that as in the case of Pariyar, many of these conversions were related to illness.

Others point to the Hindu caste system as an impetus. Though outlawed in 2001, caste discrimination is still widely practiced, particularly in rural Nepal, where people on the lower rungs suffer systematic abuse passed on between generations. Many converts come from these lower castes, and missionaries point to Christianity as a way to escape. “It’s the only way out,” says Fallesen. “Socially there’s nothing they can do to change that and then we come along and we share about Jesus and the love he has for them.” The system still exists, Fallesen says, but no longer has power over them.

Nepali leaders aren’t happy about the Christianity boom. Before the release of the country’s first constitution this September, debates swelled over whether to scrap secularism and go back to an official Hindu designation. While Christians and other religious minorities feared a clampdown on religious freedom, the Hindu right insisted secularism would allow Christianity to take over. The British ambassador in Nepal ran afoul of this sentiment in 2014 after telling Parliament the right to change religions should be included in the constitution. Pro-Hindu groups accused him of supporting proselytizing and called for his resignation. When lawmakers did ensure secularism in the constitution, police needed water cannons and tear gas to dispel angry Hindu protesters.

Leve thinks laws against proselytizing aren’t the best way for the Nepali government to keep conversions down. “What it needs to do is ramp up the public health and social support infrastructure so that its citizens are getting what they need from the state,” she says. “When public hospitals start to provide effective health services, when there’s a social safety net in place post-earthquake or any other time, you will see fewer people expressing any interest in Christianity.”

For Fallesen, this need for material goods can be a foot in the door to a conversation about Jesus. He said his team starts by building relationships with villagers to find out what their problems are. “Usually the solution to those needs is to share about Jesus,” he says.

Rokka, the Nepali pastor who is also C4C’s country representative, shows off the audio Bibles the team uses to minister to the illiterate in Nepal. People think the local language recordings of the New Testament are cellphones or MP3 players, he explained. He said that even when they find out what the gadget is, they’re still excited to get a new device.

Few avenues exist here for the rural poor to better their situation. For more than a decade, many parents have sent their children to “orphanages” in Kathmandu, where they hope they’ll get better resources and education than what’s available in their villages. The problem of false orphanages has grown so out of control that the U.S. and other countries banned international adoptions from Nepal in 2010. There were simply too many “orphans” with parents.

C4C supports an orphanage, too. Not all the kids are orphans in the western sense, Fallesen explained, but they come from families that don’t have the ability to properly care for them. How do these families feel about their kids getting baptized? “Some are happy, some are not. Some now want to take them out from the home,” said Rokka, whose ministry runs the orphanage. But the parents don’t typically act on their concerns, he added. “They have no way to help them. Anyway [the children] are getting help here, so [the parents] think, OK, let it be.”

Rokka came to the faith as a child after his mother died. He says some people convinced his father to send him and his brother to an orphanage run by an Indian missionary. Rokka estimates that 90 percent of the children he grew up with have since started their own ministries.

Sitting outside their Dapcha house, an elderly couple expresses disdain for the churches popping up around them. “We don’t go there,” the woman says, waving her hand dismissively and mimicking someone in Christian prayer. She then pretends to handle Buddhist prayer beads. “We say ‘om mani padme om,'” she says, using the Buddhist mantra to declare her faith.

To Christian relief workers like Fallesen, the importance of bringing Nepalis to Christianity outweighs the concerns expressed by nonbelievers. “If I have a choice between possibly offending you or saying OK, whatever you believe is fine, but I believe in my heart if you don’t believe in Jesus, you’re going to go to hell, well, then I’m going to take the risk of offending you,” he says.

So C4C has its sights on more remote areas of Nepal. Land was just purchased for its newest church in the hard-to-reach far west district of Humla, where Fallesen says the Nepali population of seven Christian men has grown to 150 men and women. The church will be strategically placed at the point where Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims begin the trek to Mount Kailash, a holy site for both religions. – NPR, 3 February 2016

» Danielle Preiss is an American radio and print journalist in Kathmandu.

 


 

Arunachal Pradesh: Aggressive proselytisation is killing indigenous faiths – Aravindan Neelakandan

Christians in Arunachal Pradesh

Aravindan NeelakandanConversions in Arunachal Pradesh are not mere problems of religion but of utmost strategic importance given the presence of Christian terrorist organisations in the region. … Losing ‘souls’ to aggressive religious bodies is a dangerous threat to the vibrancy and survivability of India’s mutli-religious fabric. – Aravindan Neelakandan

In August 2017 the Pema Khandu led BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh approved the establishment of the “Department of Indigenous Faith & Cultural Affairs” at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister had stated that the indigenous communities of Arunachal Pradesh need to take “specific steps to preserve and protect them from disappearing into oblivion”.

According to news reports Christian lobbying organisations quickly began opposing the government move. They alleged that “through its move to create a department to protect the indigenous faiths, the state government was taking aim at the Church.”

The secretary of the Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) was quoted as saying that the government’s aim was “to target the Church by putting pressure on it, but the government should not interfere in religious matters and treat all religious groups equally”.

Demographic data—as pointed out by many—has been largely pointing to an increasing number of conversions in the state.

In 2001 Christians formed 18.7 per cent of the population in Arunachal Pradesh. A decade later, in 2011 this number has been reported as 30 per cent, officially. The actual number is likely to be much higher.

The increase in Christian population is also accompanied by the diminishing of local spiritual traditions like Donyi-Polo, Rangfraa and Buddhist tribal groups. The Christian claim is that the teachings of Jesus Christ attract the tribals who face a lot of problems. Christianity is said to have “reformed” the tribes.

A look into the incidents of past one decade shows another picture which is not just different but much scarier than the benign picture provided by lobbyist groups.

In August 2004, months after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had come to power at the centre, four tribal villages in Tirap—Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh had some visitors. The visitors carried assault automatic weapons and told the villagers that they should either convert to Christianity or face execution. The visitors were secessionists belonging to the two rival factions of NSCN—appropriately named National Socialist Council of Nagaland, a terror group fighting for a Christian socialist theocracy. The villagers had to flee fearing torture and death. They belonged to the indigenous religious streams of Arunachal and a syncretic tradition of Buddhism. (The Assam Tribune, 23 August, 2004)

Such gun-point conversions were condemned by the joint Buddhist session of the Purvanchal Buddhist Bhikkhu Sangha and Purvanchal Buddhist Association of both the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. They strongly condemned “the heinous atrocities committed by the militants on the peace-loving Buddhists and tribes” and issued a press release saying that aggressive proselytism in Arunachal Pradesh was a violation of human rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

What followed was a deafening silence from both the mainstream media and the government. Throughout the UPA government’s decade-long stint, aggressive proselytising continued in Arunachal Pradesh, so much so that in 2010 when Tikhak Buddhists of Changlang district in the state celebrated Buddha Purnima, security forces had to provide them protection. The NSCN had issued a threat to Buddhist villagers to convert to Christianity. They were also warned not to celebrate Buddhist functions and if they did, they would face dire consequences.

An agonised Venerable Aggadhamma, the highest Buddhist leader of the province, told reporters that the NSCN terrorists were setting seven day deadlines for villagers to convert to Christianity. Ven Aggadhamma even sent a memorandum to then prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Union Home Ministry, the President as well as the Minority Commission (The Indian Express, 28 May, 2010).

It is a telling comment on the nature of mainstream media that nothing except minimal reportage happened. No outrages, no op-eds and no cartoons were published against such aggressive attempts to convert people of indigenous faith. That the hyper-proselytisation drive in Arunachal Pradesh correlates with the UPA regime period may not be accidental at all. The rate of conversions has been high despite there being legal restrictions against aggressive conversions in the state.

The current Khandu government, meanwhile, has been made to bow to the pressures of international lobbying groups and bodies such as the ACF. It is apparently toying with the idea of using a different name for the body being set up for protesting indigenous culture and faiths.

That a strategically important border state of India has to go through such issues is a cause of deep worry. Conversions in this state are not mere problems of religion but of utmost strategic importance given the presence of Christian terrorist organisations in the region.

When we lose territory there is a possibility that we can regain it. But losing ‘souls’ to aggressive religious bodies is a far more dangerous threat to the vibrancy and survivability of India’s multicultural, mutli-religious fabric. – Swarajya, 27 October 2017

» Aravindan Neelakandan is an author, economist and psychologist. He is a post-socialist thinker of cultural evolutionism and Indian ethnogenesis. He is known for the book Breaking India, which he co-authored with Rajiv Malhotra.

St Joseph's Cathedral, Itanagar, Arunachal PradeshCatholic priest Itanagar Arunachal PradeshTribal Christian converts in Arunachal Pradesh

See also


 

Christian perception manipulation vis-à-vis Hindus – Vinay V. Joshi

Catholic priests meet Yogi

Vinay JoshiWith a tight grip on Indian media and Indian intelligentsia, Christian groups carefully and tactically plant news about religious persecution, which does not always reflect the ground reality. They have a strong global network of media houses and web portals, which they fully utilise to spread the word globally, – Vinay V. Joshi

“Déjà vu feeling once again!” wrote a user on microblogging social media platform while posting a photograph of Catholic Christian leaders meeting UP CM Yogi Adityanath at his office in Lucknow. The media covered the meeting on April 22, 2017 with the headline, “Catholic priests meet Yogi, request freedom to worship without fear”. The Catholic leader Fr. Gerald John Mathias told the media that, “We requested the chief minister to ensure the safety and security of our places of worship, and the freedom to worship without fear” But what makes that social media user to feel “déjà vu” in this simple visit? Nothing abnormal in expecting freedom to worship, isn’t it?

The reason behind the sense of déjà vu is simple, but very hard to find out. Such statements and carefully manufactured narratives are part and parcel of Indian Christian groups’ Perception Management Mechanism. They are masters in developing convenient narratives, manufacturing perceptions subtly demonising their opponent i.e. Hindu organizations.

BJP registered a colossal victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in March 2017 with 325 seats, it was a brute majority in the recent past. Everyone in BJP- NDA camp was celebrating it and opposition was busy in finding all new excuses and developing narratives for the pitiable electoral debacle. But highly professional and ruthless executors, the Catholics in India, were busy in their time-tested game of delivering subtle message to their followers and to Hindus in India. The message was loud and clear, that the newly elected BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, headed by Yogi Adityanath is going unleash state terror against Christians in the state. Keeping in mind the same, they met UP CM Yogi Adityanath and ensured ample media coverage was given to the event. The central, but subtle message of the meeting was that the Christians are never safe under a BJP rule and Hindutva groups are likely to attack Christians in UP.

Before we delve into the so called cases of Christian persecution in India; either under BJP’s Hindutva rule or by Hindutva groups under non-BJP rule, let us look at the hypersensitive, propagandist and the malicious rhetoric by Christian leadership in India, solely aimed at manipulating perception about the so-called atrocious acts and deeds of India’s Hindu groups and BJP.

Whenever any Hindu organisation announces a programme, or any elections approach wherein the BJP is likely to emerge victorious, then the well-established Christian leaders, denominations and groups indulge in aggressive media propaganda, expressing concerns about the safety of common Christians in India. The whole swathe of mainstream Indian media gives prominent place to such manipulative propaganda by Christian groups, helping them to establish clear edge over Hindu groups in the battle of perception. Without proper knowledge and exposure to the issue, the bystanders develop a negative attitude towards Hindu organisations, while simultaneously believing Christians as the poor victims of majoritarian violence.

How Perceptions are manipulated?

With a tight grip on Indian media and Indian intelligentsia, the Christian groups carefully and tactically plant news about religious persecution, which does not always reflect the ground reality. They have a strong global network of media houses and web portals, which they fully utilise to spread the word globally, once the news is published in the Indian media. It makes cascading effect globally, reporting and publishing the same story in a different form. Then, the so-called social activists, human rights groups and tribal rights bodies jump into fray, to seek stringent action against Hindu groups. Veteran author, journalist and researcher Mr. Arun Shourie has coined a meaningful term to this well-oiled propaganda machinery (ref: Harvesting Our Souls). He used to call it as the “eco chamber” in which the false news of Christian persecution or anti-Christian violence continues to make rounds locally and globally for months together.

Here we have compiled a list of a few incidents wherein the Christian groups have used their propaganda machinery to create a false persecution narrative by accusing Hindu groups of perpetrating incidents in which they had no role in reality. Let us have a brief look into each of these incidents.

Case 01: When 2004 general elections were approaching and the BJP led NDA under Vajpayee was seeking reelection, The Baptist Press published a report on April 26, 2004 with a heading, “Indian Christians apprehensive as general elections proceed”. The report says, on the one hand, BJP is wooing Christian voters by inducting Christian leaders in its fold, especially in Kerala and on the other hand, it is supporting militant Hindu organisations like RSS and Bajrang Dal! The article also has strong objection to the BJP manifesto, which makes a reference to legislation of anti-conversion law for putting a stop on unethical conversions. It says, though BJP is seducing minorities for electoral gains, “BJP’s national leadership leaves one in no doubt that the party and the NDA are wedded to the communal politics of the RSS”.  Also the report has expressed its reservations to re-conversion programs held by VHP, though there was neither force nor inducement in it and has branded the reconversion programs as anti-minority.

The report also claims that violence against Christians in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh were orchestrated by BJP, interestingly no organisational connection could be established by independent probes and investigating agencies. Yet, Christian groups keep repeating these allegations.

Manipulated Perception: What they wanted to convey to Indian people and the world audience was that BJP and its ideological mentor RSS conglomerate are not safe for Christians and there would be an existential threat to Christians if BJP returns back to power after general elections.

Case 02: Sangh affiliated organizations arranged grand Shabari Kumbh in Dangs tribal area of Gujarat in 2006 to create awareness about rich tribal traditions among tribals mostly falling prey to deceitful conversion tactics of Christian missionaries. The program was on positive note and it had nothing to do with violence or coercion. Yet, the All India Christian Council (AICC) and All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations launched scathing attack against Shabri Kumbh and demanded ban on it

The All India Christian Council (AICC) President, Dr. Joseph D’Souza demanded central government’s intervention to ban Kumbh, since, according to him, Sangh Parivar was conspiring to create another Godhra type disturbance. What does it mean? Who was the perpetrator of Godhra? Who conspired to burn the train packed with karsevaks? Was it Sangh Parivar?

AICC also created a propaganda saying RSS was trying to “Hinduise” the tribals inhabiting the Dang region, which was a Congress bastion, politically!” Subtle argument in this propaganda was that, if tribals get proselytised then it is OK, but they must not be mainstreamed into larger Hindu society!

To further reinforce their propaganda, they even brought in the non-existing environmental concerns! As per AICC, Kumbh would have inflicted irreparable damage to Dangs environment. They reminded RSS of the noble Hindu tradition quoting that there are only four Kumbh Melas as per Hindu traditions. While at other times, these same people have ridiculed traditional Kumbh Melas, now they invoking the sanctity and traditional validity of the Four Kumbh Melas to discredit RSS Kumbh!

Manipulated Perception: RSS does not respect Hindu traditions, The Kumbh arranged by RSS is going to destroy tribal culture by forcefully Hinudising them and the function will cost local environment dearly.

Case 03: The Evangelical Alliance Foundation published a report titled, “Shabri Kumbh Mela threatens 800 Christians in Dangs”.

The said report is concocted assertions, singularly focused at tarnishing the image of RSS and its affiliates. The report says, “Hindu nationalist groups and their militant factions will hold Kumbh (Hindu festival) in Gujarat, called ‘Shabri Kumbh Mela’, to deal a death-blow to Christian missions”. As per Evangelical Association, the two aims of Kumbh were, “to convert tribal people to militant Hindu nationalism, and to emancipate them of Christianity, as it challenges the status quo and threatens to liberate the enslaved tribal”. One would like to ask them, who is enslaving the Indian Tribal? Which status quo is Christianity challenging? Who has assigned this “noble” task to Christians?

The report notes that RSS has invented whole new mythology of Shabri Goddess and deliberately developing the pilgrimage site in the name of Shabri!

The report further mentions that Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) had filed a petition in Supreme Court against a CD which was getting sold in Gujarat and Maharashtra, openly appealing for killing and beheading Christians. As per ANHAD petition, the CD was produced by Kumbh Committee. The question is, despite the SC directing the state and central governments to investigate the matter, why did the investigation stop as soon as the Kumbh concluded? Why did ANHAD silently pulled out its SC petition? The answer is obvious.

Let us not forget to mention that ANHAD is the same organization which was vocal during Godhra riot cases and were trying to grill then Gujarat CM Modi and Amit Shah. They also share a clear bonhomie with Christian missionaries in Gujarat’s tribal belt.

Finally, the EA Foundation report ends with an appeal for urgent prayers to safeguard 8000 Christians of Dang to save them from Hindu fury!

Manipulated Perception: While reporting the news of Shabri Kumbh, the report repeatedly used terms like fanatic, radical, militant Hindu groups arranging Kumbh in Dang. Uninformed readers would definitely get an impression that the RSS is hunting and killing Muslims and Christians everywhere in India!

Case 04: Let us take another interesting news, third in Kumbh matter. The newspaper DNA has published this news with title, “Activists demand ban on Kumbh“. The activist in the report is Shabnam Hashmi of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy who had demanded a ban on the Kumbh, as, according to her, it attempted to forcefully convert tribals into religion! But, the same activist, who apparently feels so strongly about maintaining the different way of worship of the tribal society, never showed similar concerns when Christian missionaries were carrying out conversion programmes in the Dangs region.

Though, the report makes a mention about the RSS plans to stop conversions by Christian groups, there is not a single word censuring conversion activities carried by Christian groups.

Manipulated PerceptionThis is one more example of managing perceptions. The report aimed to create an impression that tribals were different from Hindus and that RSS led Kumbh was trying to convert them to Hinduism.

Case 05: Christian Today portal declared that “Church fears BJP coming to power” before 2009 general elections, in which BJP actually failed to perform. The apex body of Catholic Christians in India, Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) declared, “The Catholic Bishops Conference of India expressed apprehensions over the electoral victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which it fears might continue its ghastly attitude over minorities”. What is the basis of these apprehensions? Which factors really compelled Christians to fear about BJP’s possible electoral victory? The CBCI statement says that BJP is accused of fanning communal feelings and pursuing Hindutva agenda, which instigates violence against minorities, the Kandhamal violence against Christians being evidence of it. The CBCI conveniently ignored the fact that it was the brutal murder of Hindu saint Swami Lakshamanananda Saraswati, the most revered figure among Kandhamal tribals, which triggered the violence that broke out in the aftermath of his murder and BJP was nowhere in the picture..

Another allegation made by CBCI was that Hindutva groups tried to amend the constitution to take away minority rights during the last BJP rule. The fact that BJP neither had majority on its own in the parliament nor had any tight hold over its alliance discredits any such allegations about ‘amending constitution’!

Manipulated PerceptionCBCI, which boasts of being a responsible body, carefully spreading lies that every incidence where a person belonging to minority community is a victim is due to RSS-BJP! At a time when BJP did not even have political strength in the parliament to touch the constitution, CBCI blames BJP for trying to tamper with the constitution. The CBCI openly blames RSS for violence against Christians in the Kandhamal region ignoring the fact that the violence was actually triggered by the murder of a Hindu religious leader and was a spontaneous and unorganized response. The underlying message in their report was that BJP and RSS commit violence against minorities and do not honour the constitution and hence defeating them in the 2009 elections was the need of the hour to safeguard Indian Constitution and minority community!

Case 06: After Sonia-Manmohan led UPA alliance wrested power for a second consecutive term in 2009, the portal of Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, CathNews declared, “Indian Christians rejoice at election of secular government”! On day one itself, Catholics declared UPA government as secular government, despite the fact that the Congress party has a dubious track record of tampering with the constitution in the famous Shah Bano case to appease minority vote bank.

But, the Catholics portal declared that UPA is a secular government, for the singular reason that they would turn a blind eye towards the rampant evangelisation of the poor and gullible Indians by Church!

The ecumenical All India Christian Council (AICC) joyously saluted the Indians for their “consummate and decisive” rejection of divisive and sectarian (read BJP) political forces in the elections. Another Christian leader Fr. Hector D’Souza, who heads the Jesuits in South Asia, expressed hope that the new secular government would stop atrocities and persecutions of religious minorities in India, such as attacks on Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa and other states. Which are these “other states” where Christians are attacked? No mention of the incidences and states where it happened. To create fabrication, ambiguity is a must! It keeps people guessing.

Manipulated PerceptionThrough this report, they conveniently portrayed the Congress led UPA as the “secular” front, while insinuating that RSS-BJP were communal forces. Despite the fact that the Kandhamal riots happened when the UPA was at the centre, they manipulated the message to portray BJP as the culprit and to convey that minorities will not be safe under BJP, since RSS conglomerate is anti-minority with deep hatred for Christians and Muslims!

Case 07: When Narmada Kumbh was organized in Central India’s tribal belt of Mandla, the Christian Today website in one of its stories warned people to be “Beware of Sangh Kumbh Melas”. Since Narmada Kumbh, which to create awareness about the rich tribal culture, posed a threat to conversion activities of Christian missionaries, they declared the Kumbh as a political gathering and demanded the enforcement of anti-conversion laws against those doing Ghar-Wapasi!

Another argument in the report was that Hinduism “came” from outside and thus making a reference to the controversial Aryan Migration Theory, which has been repeatedly challenged by many scholars and archaeologists!

Yet another point made in the article is that the Sangh Parivar organizes all kinds of melas in areas legally protected to preserve the traditions and cultures of tribals and other aboriginals under Schedule Five of the Constitution. The question is, if that is the case, then what are Jesuits and Christian missionaries doing in those protected lands?

Manipulated PerceptionWhile Christian missionaries in India are encroaching upon traditional tribal areas and values by deceitfully evangelizing them in day light, they have developed a strong propaganda machinery and a tactical use of media to camouflage their own proselytisation activities and instead create a perception that it is the Hindu organisations like RSS who are involved in unconstitutional and communal activities! IndiaFacts, 27 September 2017

» Vinay V. Joshi  is the Director of Institute for Conflict Research and Resolution (ICRR), a defense and security think tank based in Guwahati.

Missionary Visa

Sri Krishna vs. Jesus Christ in Warsaw Court – Media Report

Krishna & Gopis

A Catholic nun in Warsaw, Poland, wanted ISKCON banned because its followers were glorifying a character called Krishna “who had loose morals,” having married 16,000 women called Gopikas. – Media Report

With the rapid spread of Hinduism worldwide, a Catholic nun in Warsaw, Poland, filed a case against ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) regarding Lord Krishna.

The case came up in court. The nun stated that ISKCON was spreading its activities and gaining followers in Poland. She wanted ISKCON banned because its followers were glorifying a character called Krishna “who had loose morals,” having married 16,000 women called Gopikas.

The ISKCON defendant requested the judge, “Please ask the nun to repeat the oath she took when she was ordained as a nun.” The judge asked the nun to recite the oath loudly. She would not. The ISKCON man asked permission if he could read out the oath for the nun. Go ahead, said the judge. The oath said in effect that the nun was married to Jesus Christ.

The ISKCON man said, “Your Lordship! Lord Krishna is alleged to have ‘married’ 16,000 women only. There are more than a million nuns who assert that they are married to Jesus Christ. Between the two, Krishna and Jesus, who has a loose character? And what about the nuns?”

The case was dismissed.

Nun

Video: Interview with Brooke Boon, founder of Holy (Christian) Yoga – Rajiv Malhotra

Holy (Christian) Yoga

Holy (Christian) Yoga

Holy Yoga exists to carry the (Christian) gospel to the ends of the earth through the modality of yoga. – Brooke Boon

See full essay by Joe Suozzo (analysed by Rajiv Malhotra in the video above).

 

The Ambedkar they don’t want you to know about – Aravindan Neelakandan

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Aravindan NeelakandanMaybe Baba Saheb’s ideas were first ignored and then misrepresented precisely because the intelligentsia knew that those ideas would not fit into the “left-liberal” narrative. Being a prolific scholar and a patriot, Dr Ambedkar recorded his observations on a myriad of topics, events, problems and debates of his times. Here are seven aspects of those which the Old Media and the leftist academic cartel do not want Indians to know about.

1. Dr Ambedkar considered the mahavakyas of Upanishads the spiritual basis of democracy

In his famous speech to the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal, Dr Ambedkar made the suggestion that Hindus need not look anywhere outside their scriptures to build a society based on the principles of liberty, fraternity and equality. They could look into the Upanishads for those values, he said.

Later in his scathing attack on Hinduism in the book Riddles of Hinduism, he not only revisited the idea but elaborated on it. He took the three mahavakyas—Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, and Tatvamasi—and named their combined purport. He wrote:

To support democracy because we are all children of God is a very weak foundation for democracy to rest on. That is why democracy is so shaky wherever it made to rest on such a foundation. But to recognize and realize that you and I are parts of the same cosmic principle leaves room for no other theory of associated life except democracy. It does not merely preach democracy. It makes democracy an obligation of one and all.

2. Dr Ambedkar considered the Hindu Civil Code the first step towards a Uniform Civil Code

The same Dr Ambedkar who rejected outright the inhuman and outdated aspects of smrithi traditions also demonstrated that the same tradition, with all its diversity, could be distilled to create a Hindu law that had prominent space for social democracy and gender justice.

He saw the Hindu Code Bill (HCB) as instrumental in moulding Hindu society into a unitary one based on the principles of liberty and equality. In a lecture delivered on 11 January 1950, he declared:

The present bill is progressive. This is an effort to try to have one civil law for all the citizens under the constitution of India. The law is based on the religious scriptures of the Hindus.

While for Nehru the HCB was perhaps a political device to obfuscate between the Hindu traditionalists and Hindu nationalists, thus making himself the champion of liberal democracy within the Congress, for Dr Ambedkar the HCB was a tool for creating a strong and healthy Hindu society which could become the basis for the modern Indian state.

3. Dr Ambedkar was against giving Indus water to Pakistan without Pakistan acknowledging Indian farmers’ first rights over the river

British economist Henry Vincent Hodson occupied many key positions in the colonial government as the Director of the Empire Division of the Ministry of Information and Constitutional Advisor to the Viceroy. In his book The Great Divide: Britain-India-Pakistan (1969), he gives a detailed account of how Dr Ambedkar refused Pakistan the Indus water and how Mountbatten intervened on behalf of Pakistan:

At a meeting of ministerial representatives from India and Pakistan on 3rd May (1948), Dr Ambedkar, for India, insisted that no water could be supplied until Pakistan accepted India’s legal claim that all the water belonged to East Punjab, who had the right to do with it as they wished. The chief Pakistan representative, Mr Gulam Mohammed, came to see Lord Mountbatten after the meeting had broken down on this point. The Governor General immediately phoned Pandit Nehru and expressed his disgust that miserable peasants and refugees were being made to suffer when the matter was still under negotiation. Pandit Nehru agreed and undertook to get the conference going again and break the deadlock.

4. Dr Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit to be the national language of India

As it is now well known, Dr Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit to be the national language of India. The Sunday Hindustan Standard dated 11 September 1949, reported that Baba Saheb, as law minister, wanted Sanskrit to be the official language of the Union. In the Executive Committee of the All India Scheduled Caste Federation, Dr Ambedkar reiterated the same.

Later, when the creation of linguistic states became a burning issue, Dr Ambedkar was in favour of the creation of such states. While he recognised that there was an inherent danger in the creation of linguistic states, he believed that it was a danger “a wise and firm statesman could avert”.

Towards that end, Dr Ambedkar made the following strong recommendation:

The only way I can think of meeting the danger is to provide in the Constitution that the regional language shall not be the official language of the State. The official language of the State shall be Hindi and until India becomes fit for this purpose English. … Since Indians wish to unite and develop a common culture it is the bounden duty of all Indians to own up Hindi as their language. Any Indian who does not accept this proposal as part and parcel of a linguistic State has no right to be an Indian. He … cannot be an Indian in the real sense of the word except in a geographical sense.

This recommendation goes beyond recommending Hindi as the official language. It also recognises the need to develop India as a culturally united nation-state. It also rejects the territorial conceptualisation of nationhood and advocates strong cultural nationalism as the basis for nationhood “in the real sense”.

5. Dr Ambedkar wanted an Indian army free of the preponderances of elements hostile to India

In his mercilessly objective analysis of the demographic nature of the pre-Partition Indian Army, Dr Ambedkar showed how the Indian Army in the north-western region of India was having a very high proportion of Islamists. He exposed as false the British reasoning that it was because the North-Western province Muslims were martial races while most of the Hindus were not. He stated that it was actually the rebellion of “1857 which was the real cause of the preponderance in the Indian Army of the men of the North-West” and not the so-called martial and non-martial classes theory, which termed “a purely arbitrary and artificial distinction”.

Pointing out the gross inequalities and inherent insecurities against the Hindus in the pre-Partition Indian Army, Dr Ambedkar wrote about the need for “getting rid of the Muslim preponderance in the Indian Army”.

The bulk of this amount of Rs. 52 crores which is spent on the Army … is contributed by the Hindu Provinces and is spent on an Army which for the most part consists of non-Hindus! How many Hindus are aware of this tragedy? How many know at whose cost this tragedy is being enacted? Today the Hindus are not responsible for it because they cannot prevent it. The question is whether they will allow this tragedy to continue.

While Dr Ambedkar’s statement about the complete exchange of populations between India and Pakistan as part of the Partition formula is well-known, his views of keeping Indian institutions like the army free of the preponderance of elements hostile to Indian national life is not well-known.

6. Dr Ambedkar viewed with suspicion the missionary support for the movement of Dalit causes

In his preface to Prof Lakshmi Narasu’s book, the Essentials of Buddhism, he pointed out that the missionary support for social reforms was not because of any real concern but only as a means for proselytisation. He wrote:

That was the era when Christian Missionaries were not only countenancing the social reform movement but viewed it with high favour as marking a half-way house between orthodox Hinduism and conversion to Christianity. It did not take long for them to change their views and look upon such progressive movements as constituting a real hindrance to proselytization.

It is interesting to note that the Collected Works of Dr. Ambedkar (Vol. 17) also includes a letter written to Dr Ambedkar by Babu Jagivan Ram, another tall leader of the Scheduled Communities. This letter was from the files of the British CID of Bihar province and is part of a Special Officer’s report, dated 9 March 1937.

Addressing Baba Saheb as “my dear Doctor Saheb”, Babu Jagajivan Ram cautioned against one Mr Baldeo Prasad Jaiswal of Allahabad. “No person of Bihar is with him. He has his office located in a Catholic Church here and everything is being manoeuvred by missionaries”, wrote Babu Jagajivan Ram and went on to point out that “he will not be able to have a gathering of more than one hundred Depressed Classes”. “He can, of course, invite thousands of Muhammamidans and Christians as he did at Lucknow. I take strong objection of this method. We should have genuine Depressed Classes conferences”, so the letter concludes.

The letter shows that both the leaders were averse in principle to the missionary meddling in the movements of Scheduled Communities. That the letter ended in the files of the British CID also shows an interest or involvement of the colonial government against them.

7. Dr Ambedkar wanted the Indian state to run an Indian Priest Service for Hinduism

In his work, Annihilation of Caste, Dr Ambedkar wanted the state to create a body of Hindu priests in the line of civil services. Priesthood would cease to be hereditary” because of this, he believed. According to him, every Hindu must be eligible for being a priest. The examination for Hindu priesthood, he believed, should be “prescribed by the State”. “No ceremony performed by a priest who does not hold a sanad shall be deemed to be valid in law, and it should be made penal [=punishable] for a person who has no sanad to officiate as a priest.”

Further he stated that “the number of priests should be limited by law according to the requirements of the State, as is done in the case of the I.C.S.”

Though at the outset it definitely looks like and most probably is unjustifiable to have state control over religious matters, this also effectively makes the state the patron of Hinduism. If the Indian state is to establish a corruption-free, Hindu Priest Service body, which constantly updates and adapts itself to the changing situations, then nothing can be more desirable to political Hindus than such a body of Hindu priests.

Interestingly, this dream of Dr Ambedkar may be realised through a most practical scheme of the Madhya Pradesh government. – Swarajya, 14 April 2017

» Aravindan Neelakandan is an author, economist and psychologist. He is a post-socialist thinker of cultural evolutionism and Indian ethnogenesis. He is known for the book Breaking India, which he co-authored with Rajiv Malhotra.

Ambedkar Quote