NGOs received a whopping Rs 17,208 crore from foreign donors in 2015-16 – Vijaita Singh

Debit Card & Cross

Vijaita SinghThere are 33,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that are required to file their annual returns with the Home Ministry. … Of the 16 major donors, at least 14 are Christian organisations, most of them based in the U.S. – Vijaita Singh

Foreign donations to Indian NGOs have surged since the NDA government came to power.

As per figures available with the Home Ministry, which regulates the flow of foreign funds to NGOs and associations in India, the 2015-16 fiscal saw a flow of Rs 17,208 crore from foreign donors, the highest in five years. There were donations of Rs 14,525 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 13,092 crore in 2013-14. In 2012-13, the foreign donations received totalled Rs 9,423 crore, and in 2011-12, Rs 10,334 crore.

There are 33,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that are required to file their annual returns with the Home Ministry, but only 19,000 received funds last year.

Of the 16 major donors, at least 14 are Christian organisations, most of them based in the U.S.

Last year, the Home Ministry put Colorado-based Christian NGO Compassion International on its watch-list as it was accused of funding Indian NGOs involved in religious conversions.

The crackdown against the Compassion International, which also figures in the list of the largest foreign donors, led to a diplomatic standoff with the United States. The U.S. Embassy wrote to the Centre, asking it to share evidence to support the allegations.

World Vision International, which is also based in the U.S., sent Rs 300 crore to Indian NGOs last year. Another U.S.-based donor, Give2Asia, sent Rs 105 crore while Canada-based Gospel For Asia sent Rs 830 crore.

Before it was put on the watch-list, the Compassion International had donated Rs 292 crore.

Clean-up exercise

Soon after the NDA government came to power in 2014, a massive clean-up exercise was taken up against NGOs registered under the FCRA. In 2015, the Home Ministry notified new rules, which required NGOs to give an undertaking that the acceptance of foreign funds is not likely to prejudicially affect the “sovereignty and integrity of India or impact friendly relations with foreign states and does not disrupt communal harmony.”

Under the annual returns category, the NGOs were asked to give an undertaking that the foreign funds were utilised in such a way that it did not affect the “security, strategic, scientific or economic interest, public interest, freedom or fairness of election to any legislature or harmony between religious, social, racial, linguistic group, caste or communities.”

The Home Ministry has cancelled the registration of over 10,000 NGOs in 2015 for not complying with the norms.

The registration of Greenpeace International was cancelled on the premise that it compromised the country’s “economic security”.

The MHA also cancelled the registration of Sabrang Trust, an NGO run by Gujarat-based social activist Teesta Setalvad’s and that of noted lawyer Indira Jaising’s Lawyers Collective. Ms. Setalvad and Ms. Jaising are known for their critical stand against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. – The Hindu, 20 February 2017

» Vijaita Singh is a senior assistant editor at The Hindu in New Delhi.

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Pope wants to visit India next year – PTI

Pope Francic

Joseph Kalathiparambil“What I understood is that the Pope wishes to visit India next year. An indication in this regard was given to me when I visited him at his residence at Santa Marta in Vatican,”  – Archbishop-designate Joseph Kalathiparambil

Pope Francis, Head of the Roman Catholic Church, is likely to visit India next year, a senior Catholic priest here said today.

Archbishop-designate Joseph Kalathiparambil, who returned from Vatican today, said an indication in this regard was conveyed to him when he visited the Pope at his residence.

“What I understood is that the Pope wishes to visit India next year. An indication in this regard was given to me when I visited him at his residence at Santa Marta in Vatican,” he said.

Kalathiparambil is set to take over as the Archbishop of Latin Archdiocese of Verapoly in Kerala on December 18.

Earlier, there were reports that Pope Francis would “almost certainly” visit India but no dates were specified.

Kalathiparambil said he requested the Pope to visit Kerala and Verapoly Archdiocese, and his response was positive.

Pope John Paul II is the only Pope to have visited Kerala, where the Catholic community has a strong presence. He had visited India for the first time for 10 days in 1986, and again in November 1999, his 89th Apostolic visit outside Italy, for the occasion of solemnly promulgating in the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, in New Delhi.

During his India visit in 1986, Pope John Paul II had visited the state to beatify Sister Alphonsa and Kuriakose Elias Chavara popularly known as Chavara Achen.

Prior to appointment as the archbishop, Kalathiparambil was serving as the Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People after being called for the assignment by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2011.

The 64-year-old bishop replaces Archbishop Francis Kallarakal, who has retired. – Business Standard, 24 November 2016

USCIRF gets its comeuppance from Modi Sarkar – Radha Rajan

USCIRF Catholic Team

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil Online“National security is threatened not only when our borders are threatened by foreign invaders in conventional war, but when our homes, communities and societies are threatened by religious invaders and terrorists. Christian missionaries and Islamic terrorists threaten Hindus and Hindu society. The right to revenge is as much the prerogative of Hindus as it is of the US. So USCIRF cannot preach to India what America has never practiced.” – Radha Rajan

United States Commission on International Religious FreedomModi Sarkar gladdened the hearts of Hindu nationalists when it refused to give visas to a company of American sewage inspectors called USCIRF which wanted to come to India to inspect the state of religious freedom in Modi’s India. The USCIRF bared its fangs in 2002 when the BJP led by Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power. The opening paragraph of a news report featured on the front page of The Hindu dated 2nd October, 2002, titled “Designate India, Pakistan as countries of particular concern,” reads thus: “The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended that the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, designate India, along with others, as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.”

According to this news report, the USCIRF was reacting to “periodic violence” against the religious minorities of the country, violence which has been on the increase because of the “rise in political influence of groups associated with the Sangh Parivar, a collection of Hindu extremist nationalist organizations that views non-Hindus as foreign to India and hence deserving of attack.”

This was a Freudian slip. “Hindu extremist nationalist organizations” is American verbose for RSS and significantly “nationalist” is pronounced in the same breath as “extremist”. It is a Freudian slip which exposed the open secret that America through the USCIRF and the Vatican were working in tandem to promote the cause of Jesus Christ. These were the exact words of Pope John Paul II when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in 1995: “… extreme nationalism does not continue to give rise to new forms of the aberrations of totalitarianism.” The Vatican set the precedent of speaking of nationalism in the same breath as extremism.

Modi Sarkar’s crackdown on foreign funds to NGOs, the government’s crackdown on Greenpeace and Ford Foundation has obviously rattled the white Christian world and expectedly, America brandished the USCIRF on India’s face. RSS, BJP and Narendra Modi will always be Military Industrial Complex’s anti-Christ and the USCIRF is just one puny weapon against Hindu India. In a replay of its 2002 report, the USCIRF in 2016 laments:

Robert P. George“We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas. As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit, Robert P. George, Chairman of USCIRF, a bipartisan body, said.

“USCIRF will continue to pursue a visit to India, given the ongoing reports from religious communities, civil society groups, and NGOs that the conditions for religious freedom in India have been deteriorating since 2014,” Mr George said. The annual report of USCIRF documents and categorises countries based on their religious freedom record. In 2015, the report had criticised India and had named BJP and affiliated bodies.

“Incidents of religiously-motivated and communal violence reportedly have increased for three consecutive years. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan tend to have the greatest number of religiously-motivated attacks and communal violence incidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase to religiously-divisive campaigning in advance of the country’s 2014 general election. Since the election, religious minority communities have been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups, such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP),” the report had said. (Reference)

The U.S was understandably incensed. Modi’s Hindu India was refusing to genuflect before all things American and rejection was bitter medicine. After all, the Italian Roman Catholic Sonia Gandhi led UPA had taken the unprecedented step of inviting the USCIRF to visit Gujarat and Orissa to write officious reports on religious freedom. The Vatican’s Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran was issued a visa to come to Mumbai for an inter-religious dialogue (whatever that means) in June 2009. The Gujarati padre Cedric Prakash was so emboldened by Sonia Gandhi’s ascendance in Indian politics that he dared to make the foolish claim that Narendra Modi must win the approval of western nations (read US) to become Prime Minister of India, and that the USCIRF visit has been welcomed by Gujaratis in America who want the US State Department to remove Modi from their anti-Christ list and give him a visa to the US!

To be told now by Modi Sarkar that they were not welcome brought the USCIRF sand castle down with a whine.

In 2002 when I read the USCIRF report my first impulse was to consign it to the trash can. And I would have, had this been the ranting of some American Southern Baptist group or some disgruntled Christian or Marxist NGO in one of their periodic diatribes against the RSS and the rising religious and political consciousness of the Hindus of this country; or the ranting of the Generic Church funded anti-Hindu human rights industry.

But this was the ranting of a statutory body of the US government, a Commission that was constituted by law, a Commission (which is however allegedly non-governmental), whose members work closely with the American State Department. The Commission is headed by the Ambassador-at Large and he is the Special Adviser to the US President and to the US Secretary of State on International Religious Freedom. And so, the very least that a native of a developing third world nation, whose country has been stood in the dock by this “damning indictment” can do, when faced by the impertinence of foreign busybodies, is to respond to this nonsense with a modicum of seriousness.

The smoking gun!The USCIRF hit list

In the first three years of its existence, from 1998 to 2001, the entire focus of the Commission is on China, Vietnam, Laos, Sudan and Burma. And these countries continue to remain on the hit list of this Commission not only because these countries are ruled either by Communist governments or by the military junta as in the case of Burma, but more interestingly, these countries have a marked antipathy towards Christianity and Christian missionaries. Contrary to the pious statements of this Commission that it is concerned about the lack of freedom of religion in these countries, and that its heart bleeds for the Buddhists and the Falun Gong, it is the refusal to allow Christian missionaries to operate in these countries that has incurred the wrath of this Commission.

The list then expands to include Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and now Pakistan and India. Please note there is a deafening silence on the Good Taliban/Bad Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 1998, despite strong protests from women’s groups in the USA about the Taliban’s treatment of women in Afghanistan. Of course, this silence has nothing to do with the fact that major American oil and gas companies were talking to the Taliban in the hope that the terrorists would agree to let them build pipelines across Afghanistan to transport oil and gas from the Central Asian republics. The alternative was Iran, but then Iran would have laughed the Americans out of town. So that was ruled out. The US needed Afghanistan and the Taliban came as a package deal.

The USCIRF and its rationale

The USCIRF was constituted in 1998 because the US had no international agenda at that time to project its superpower status. The WTO had become a reality, the Taliban were around, but the USA needed pipelines across Afghanistan more than it wanted freedom of religion from the Taliban. The Soviet Union had disappeared, the people of Iraq were being subjected to slow and unexciting genocide by US enforced and UN sanctioned total economic blockade and the US had no excitement that real cloak and dagger stuff can give to its national life.

Because 9/11 was still three years down the line and the invasion and occupation of Iraq as American pastime entertainment was still in the future, America was spoiling for a fight and so it discovered International Religious Freedom. The US passed the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998 and soon after it also constituted the Commission for IRF by law. The rationale for the Act is best expressed by the Act itself: SEC. 2. FINDINGS; POLICY.

Seal of the United States(a) FINDINGS—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The right to freedom of religion undergirds the very origin and existence of the United States. Many of our Nation’s founders fled religious persecution abroad, cherishing in their hearts and minds the ideal of religious freedom. They established in law, as a fundamental right and as a pillar of our Nation, the right to freedom of religion. From its birth to this day, the United States has prized this legacy of religious freedom and honoured this heritage by standing for religious freedom and offering refuge to those suffering religious persecution.

I will come to this hilarious self-description of “pillar of our nation” in just a while, but it will be interesting to see what triggered this pious decision to monitor international religious freedom in the rest of the world. There are two major causes for the US’ sudden love for religious freedom.

First: Religion was coming back in a big way in the former Soviet Union and in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine, in Georgia and Armenia the Church was once again becoming a force and an influence to contend with. While all these republics were Christian, none of them acknowledge the supremacy of the Vatican. Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Serbia are Eastern Orthodox while in Armenia, the Armenian Apostolic Church is in communion with Eastern Orthodox Church and Georgia too while Catholic, was not Roman Catholic.

They all had their own national churches and the hierarchy too was national. These republics refused to allow the Vatican, American and European churches, Catholic and Protestant, to open shop in their territories. Indeed, the climate was distinctly hostile to the expansionist designs of the Vatican and the American and European churches in the vulnerable soil of these fledgling nation-states. This of course incensed the US and the Vatican.

Second: Rapidly declining numbers of their flock in the West had the Vatican and the American and European churches looking for new territories to conquer, new peoples to evangelise and convert. They all turned their attention on Asia. On Easter’s eve in 1996, Pope John Paul II led 20,000 Roman Catholics in an Easter vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica. “In his homily John Paul II spoke specifically of Asia after having previously denounced discrimination against Catholics in Vietnam and China. He spoke of ‘the great desire of Christ and the Church to meet the populations and cultures of that immense continent, rich in history and noble traditions. You constitute in a certain way the answer of nations to the new evangelization,’ he said.”

The Vatican and Asia

The Vatican had decided that in the third millennium the Church would plant the cross in Asia and harvest the souls of the non-Christian and non-Muslim peoples of Asia—the Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and peoples of other non-proselytizing faiths that originated in India. To this end, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Asia was held in April/May of 1998 in the Vatican.

The Vietnamese government, as early as in January 1998 had refused permission to its bishops to attend the Synod. By April, China too had refused permission to the bishops in China and Taiwan to attend the Synod. On May 14th, a mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica brought to a close the work of the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops. According to Fides the Vatican news agency, “At the end of his homily, the Holy Father voiced his intention to visit Asia in the near future to present the post-synodal exhortation. This led to excited discussion among the Synod fathers about possible places for the visit. In the end they suggested a journey with three laps: Bombay, Manila, Hong Kong. Others suggested Jerusalem, Beijing, Calcutta, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo or Baghdad.”

The intention of the Vatican was clear. It intended for the Pope to make a high-profile visit to deliver the post-synodal exhortation in one of the Asian countries—China, Vietnam, India or Japan—countries where the majority of the population is non-Christian—Hindus or Buddhists. China of course and Vietnam too, promptly refused to allow the Pope to come visiting them. In India too there was growing awareness and unease about the intentions of the churches of the world to aggressively convert the Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs to the Christian religion and the Hindus were organizing themselves not only to expose the intentions of the Vatican and the American and European churches, but also to resist, militantly if need be, any and all attempts at religious conversion.

John Paul IIThe duplicity of the Vatican and the US 

One must see the US’ sudden love for international religious freedom against this background—of Asia’s growing hostility to Western trade war through globalization and Christian missionary activities, both of which historically have always acted in tandem. Pope John Paul II succeeded to the papacy precisely because he was Polish and Poland was the weakest link in the Soviet bloc—Roman Catholics like the people of Croatia and not Eastern Orthodox like Serbia or Russia. The Polish Pope John Paul II succeeded to the papacy because his mandate was clear—to exert pressure on the weakest link—on Poland and bring about the collapse of communism and consequently the Soviet Union.

The calculation being when communism fails, the West can step in with its IMF and the World Bank and capitalism and free market, and when the Soviet Union disappeared it would also signal the end of the already weakened and debilitated Eastern Orthodox Church and the Vatican can step in to open shop. A dream the West and the Vatican had nurtured and pursued unceasingly for more than five decades. They succeeded only partially. Communism failed, the Soviet Union disintegrated, but the Eastern Orthodox Church rose like the phoenix and reacted ferociously to the Vatican and other western churches attempting to open their industry in these territories.

One must also see the antipathy of the USA, the West and the Vatican to China, Vietnam, and Serbia in this context. While the USA passed the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998, the seeds of the Act were sown cleverly in 1995 itself, to coincide with the creation of the WTO, when Pope John Paul II was invited to address the UN General Assembly on 5 October 1995, to mark the 50th year of the UN. And he devoted his entire talk to the rights of people to freedom, to human rights, to the rights of nations to come into being and to exist (a call for enabling the fructifying of movements for self-determination, a forewarning of the creation of Croatia, East Timor).

It is one of the cleverest, most cunning speeches ever made. Every sentence should be read to mean that he is talking only of Christian interests, Christian political and religious rights. Wherever he appeals for diversity, he is appealing to those nations and peoples who are non-Christian to allow the Christian faith with its missionary agenda, to exist, to grow. And for the first time, the Church, and immediately thereafter American think tanks, begin to make a distinction between ‘patriotism’ which is in their view, positive, and ‘nationalism’ which in their view is negative, because it is synonymous with protectionism and shuts its doors on the face of religious and economic invaders.

One of the reasons cited by the US for constituting the USCIRF is: “Though not confined to a particular region or regime, religious persecution is often particularly widespread, systematic, and heinous under totalitarian governments and in countries with militant, politicized religious majorities.”

This is an accurate paraphrase of the Pope’s UNGA address in 1995 where he invents his own definition of nationalism and patriotism thus: “We need to clarify the essential difference between an unhealthy form of nationalism, which teaches contempt for other nations or cultures, and patriotism, which is a proper love of one’s country. True patriotism never seeks to advance the well-being of one’s own nation at the expense of others. For in the end, this would harm one’s own nation as well. Doing wrong damages both aggressor and victim. Nationalism, in its most radical form, is thus the antithesis of true patriotism, and today we must ensure that extreme nationalism does not continue to give rise to new forms of the aberrations of totalitarianism.”

USCIRF’s  hostile intent in 2002 when the BJP was in power in Delhi and its hostile intent now in 2016, when the BJP is in power again in Delhi must be seen as the Generic Church’s fear and antipathy for nationalism—in this case Hindu nationalism.

Patriotism, nationalism and all that crap

Now let us apply the Pope’s yardstick of “true patriotism” and “extreme nationalism” to religion, to Christianity and the Church specifically. If the Pope were indeed sincere about his call for allowing diversity to exist, about his devout respect for all cultures and traditions, he will acknowledge that all cultural values and traditions derive from the religion and faith of the people.

The US, USCIRF and the Generic Church must explain the basis for religious conversion and the determination of the Vatican to convert all peoples of the world to the Christian faith, to the Catholic faith to be exact. Will this allow for diversity, will this express respect for other cultures and traditions? Is this not an agenda for homogenization and does this not violate the principle of the right to existence of other religions and faiths? Has the Pope not learnt anything from the destruction and the total annihilation of the religions of the Native Americans and the Africans by the Church?

The West, of course, is rediscovering “nationalism” and is now beginning to understand the need for protectionism when globalization opened the borders of their countries to immigration. Now they realise how important it is to preserve their white Christian culture and way of life from the onslaught of third world natives and Muslim migrants. So while the USA and the West want Asians to open their borders to their capital and goods, and throw open the doors of our societies and homes to Christian missionaries, they frown upon religious and economic nationalism a.k.a. protectionism. They however want to clamp down on immigration, shut their borders to Asians, Africans and Syrian and other Middle East Muslim refugees to rediscover what it is to be American, British, German and French.

Our respect for the culture of others is therefore rooted in our respect for each community’s attempt to answer the question of human life. And here we can see how important it is to safeguard the fundamental right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, as the cornerstones of the structure of human rights and the foundation of every truly free society. No one is permitted to suppress those rights by using coercive power to impose an answer to the mystery of man.”

The irony of it all! The last line can be understood better if we know that the Vatican believes that the Catholic faith alone is the repository of all truth and it alone has the answer to the mystery of man. So when the Pope talks of coercive power and the use of coercive power to impose an answer, he is referring to regimes and governments which have refused the Vatican and Christianity even a toe-hold in their countries—China, Vietnam, Japan, Burma (Myanmar), and of course the Asian Islamic nations of Malaysia and Indonesia where to proselytize and distribute Christian propaganda material is a crime. What the Pope is in fact demanding is the Christian right to propagate, evangelise and carry out individual and mass conversions in Asian countries with very large non-Christian populations.

Obama has a Christian agenda for South AsiaThe deep pocket of human rights

The seeds for an intrusive and aggressive foreign policy eroding national sovereignty were sown as early as in the late 1980s and in the 1990s decade with the USA, the West, the Vatican and the European churches, which collectively I label the Generic Church, acting in tandem. Concrete shape for renewed aggression by the USA against the nations of Asia is given through the inequitable WTO and the designing of the deep pocket called “human rights.” It is a pocket deep enough to yield several agendas demanding unilateral or multilateral interference into domestic national affairs. Human rights can accommodate right to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, women’s rights, children’s rights, rights of labour, right to self-determination, right to—the list can be made as endless as the US wants.

But the striking absence of right to freedom from racial discrimination and the right to participatory democracy has not been noticed it would seem. The US is yet to begin the process of participatory democracy. The highest offices of this land of the brave and the home of the free are reserved for the white/Christian (Protestant)/male—President Barack Obama who bucked the White House trend is half white and half African, half Christian and half Muslim. As long as women, African American Christians and Muslims, Native Americans and Jews and American Indian Hindus do not get elected to the White House, the USCIRF should deny itself the luxury of pointing fingers at India. By this single act of commission alone, the US is guilty of several counts of religious and racial intolerance, undemocratic, and violator of all freedoms.

The US owes us an explanation now. Is the USCIRF empowered to monitor religious freedom only in the rest of the world or is it empowered to monitor systemic denial of religious rights within the USA too? Because there are enough documents to prove denial of the right to practice the rituals of their faith by Native American students in some American universities.

The US and USCIRF also owe the world an explanation on their silence and polite looking the other way when the Taliban incarcerated the women and children of Afghanistan in their homes. Now is the time to deal with the “pillar of our nation” joke. All of you, who are not averse to waging this intellectual war against our adversaries, must read without fail two books: A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present by Ward Churchill and American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David E. Stannard. Once you have read these two books, it is difficult to listen to or read anything the Pope or the USA is saying about freedom and human rights and democracy and pluralism without rolling on the ground in laughter.

“Religious freedom—the pillar of our nation”

What was that again? “The right to freedom of religion undergirds the very origin and existence of the United States. Many of our Nation’s founders fled religious persecution abroad, cherishing in their hearts and minds the ideal of religious freedom. They established in law, as a fundamental right and as a pillar of our Nation, the right to freedom of religion.”

Now let us see what these noble nation’s founders, “who fled religious persecution abroad,” did to the Native Americans in the name of the Church and Christianity, in the name of religion. There is an encyclical by the Pope in the 15th century severely condemning the genocide of Native Americans. The Pope says that as long as these barbaric natives are fit to receive the message of Christ, their lives should be spared and should be elevated into the service of Christ.

From then on begins the savage christianising of the Native Americans. They are driven like so much cattle into Christian missions and there they are put to hard labour by the priests who think hard labour is good for the soul of Native Americans. They thought the same thing about the Africans whom they transported into North America later. Hard labour is always good for the non-white, non-Christian peoples of the world, particularly if the labour is for furthering the trade and economy of white Christian colonising nations.

In the words of Ward Churchill: “In actuality, the missions were death-mills in which Indians, often delivered en masse by the military, were allotted an average of seven feet by two feet of living space in what one observer described as ‘specially constructed cattle pens’. Although forced to perform arduous agricultural labour by the priests from morning to night, six days a week, the captives were provided no more than 1400 calories per day in low nutrient foods, with missions like San Antonio and San Miguel supplying as little as 715 calories per day.”

Probably most remarkable in this regard is Fray Junipero Serra in charge of the northern California mission complex during its peak period, and a man whose personal brutality was noteworthy even by those standards (he appears to have delighted in the direct torture of victims, had to be restrained from hanging Indians in lots, a la Columbus, and is quoted as asserting that the entire race of Indians should be put to the knife).

Having been canonized a saint by the Catholic Church, Serra’s visage, forty feet tall, today peers serenely down upon motorists driving south from San Francisco along Highway 101 from its vantage point on a prominent bluff. Another statue of Serra, a much smaller bronze which has stood for decades before San Francisco’s city hall, is being moved to a park.

Officials denied requests from local Native Americans that it be placed in storage, out of public view, however, offering the compromise of affixing a new plaque to address native concerns about the incipient saint’s legacy. (Hindus of India and Jews of the world please note, ‘Mother’ Teresa and ‘Hitler’s Pope’ are both all set to be canonized as the new saints of the twentieth century in the Catholic pantheon, a gesture of gratitude for services rendered in the cause of furthering the Catholic Church in difficult times and in difficult climes). Church lobbyists however have undermined even that paltry gesture, preventing the inclusion of wording which might have revealed something of the true nature of the mass murder and cultural demolition over which Serra presided. Both man and mission, the Vatican insisted, were devoted to ‘‘mercy and compassion.”

In passing this Act on International Religious Freedom, the US is basing its case on the noble founders of the nation, on “the pillars of our nation”—a nation that was built on the blood and sweat of genocide and slavery—both of which were practiced in the name of the Christian faith!

Tribals from various states of India hold placards during a protest against Christian missionaries in New Delhi in 2011. The demonstrators appealed to authorities to protect the culture of indigenous people, claiming that evangelical Christian missionaries are forcing them to convert to Christianity.What is right for you, is right for me

The US has set several precedents post September 11—precedents worthy of emulation: The right to revenge, the right to pre-emptive strikes when faced with threats to national security, the right to demonstrative nationalism/protectionism. The USCIRF must ask itself why other religious minorities in India, the Parsis, the Sikhs, the Buddhists and Jains never face the problems that Christians and Muslims in India face at the hands of “Hindu extremists”? Why did the US carpet bomb Iraq and Afghanistan?

National security is threatened not only when our borders are threatened by foreign invaders in conventional war, but when our homes, communities and societies are threatened by religious invaders and terrorists. Christian missionaries and Islamic terrorists threaten Hindus and Hindu society. The right to revenge is as much the prerogative of Hindus as it is of the US. So USCIRF cannot preach to India what America has never practiced.

As for their litany about rising Hindu extremism/nationalism threatening the secular, pluralistic, democratic fibre of the country, and all that, the Indian State is democratic and secular. The Indian nation is not. The Indian nation, like most nations of the world, is religious. And the rich diversity, not pluralism, which is inherent in Hindu worldview, has been a living tradition for over two thousand years, when the first Christian and Muslim missionaries/traders/invaders begin to appear in our country, not because of the USCIRF or the UN or the Indian Constitution or the Human rights industry, but because this nation is a timeless civilization.

It has existed for centuries because the nation was Hindu. The Hindu thought is assimilatory, not exclusivist like the Abrahamic faiths. And it is this nation which is being threatened by the missionary activities of Christian fundamentalists and the secessionist activities of Islamic fundamentalists. The Hindus have survived 600 years of Muslim barbarism, 200 years of savage colonialism. We survived violent partition in 1947, and we are living with the twin monsters of ascendant jihadi Islam and extremist evangelical church—both monsters which were fed and fattened by Sonia Gandhi and her foreign masters.

Hindus have the right to exist, the right to protect their faith, the right to territory, the right to defend their women and children, the right to their unique worldview powered by Dharma, right to revenge and the right to pre-emptive strikes against their aggressors.

NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds: Anti-National IndustryClosing Word

Readers are invited to visit www.vigilonline.com to read the path-breaking book NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds: Anti-nation Industry which is a veritable who’s who (polite for Rogue’s Gallery) of all anti-Indian forces which come in different packages, with different names, in different contexts. The PDF version of the book is here.

The USCIRF held a special meeting on the Gujarat riots and all the usual suspects were wined and dined by America to provide grist for its anti-Hindu mill; Appendices 7 and 8 deal with the USCIRF. Incidentally, in the chapter “Singing for their Supper” readers will meet the original didi, Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande who too was wined and dined by the US State Department.     

Nirmala DeshpandeIndian activist takes Bush to task

David Scafenberg, Sentinel Staff Writer, Excerpt from India Abroad (September 5, 2003): Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande pulls no punches at meetings with administration officials—complains US reaction to Gujarat riots was not strong enough. Deshpande, 74, pointed to the lack of a strong reaction from US Govt. to the sectarian carnage in Gujarat, which she said was state sponsored. She lamented the victims had not seen justice either through the police or judicial systems. At the State Dept., Deshpande—known for her campaigns covering thousands of miles with the likes of freedom fighter Vinoba Bhave—met with Diana Barnes, Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. At the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, she met with Patricia Carley, a senior policy analyst. She met with staffers of the hierarchy of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, addressed a community meeting at University of Maryland and interacted with the media. She said part of her trip would be to convince non-resident Indians and the Indian-American community not to contribute to the extremist groups. “We would like to make our friends aware of the reality and those who subscribe to these views that if you really love India, you should not do anything that would harm India. What these people are doing in Gujarat and trying to do in other states will harm India in a very big way.” Her trip is being sponsored by NRIs for Secular and Harmonious India. In Washington, she was accompanied to the meetings by John Prabhudoss, Executive Director, Policy Institute for Religion and State, and Kaleem Kawaja, coordinator, NRIs for a Secular and Harmonious India.

Indians who depose before the US State Department or before the USCIRF are anti-national, period. They squeal against their own countrymen, they express to a foreign Government their distrust of their country’s democratic institutions, they abuse their country’s police and armed forces, and they wail, “Indian democracy is in peril, come and save us.” And if you are Arundhati Roy, you will add, “Me slave, you king”, for better effect. Some of these anti-national Indian informers actually think it is an honour to be summoned to appear before the US Government to squeal against their country. Professor Sumit Ganguly, University of Texas, who also passes himself off as ‘expat journalist’ has appeared more than once before the USCIRF and his opening sentence at one such appearance in September 2000 was, “I consider it an honour and a privilege to be asked to testify before this Commission today.” Now, this kind of slavish deference must have been music to American ears and they summoned the good and willing professor again in 2002. The USCIRF held a special hearing on “Communal violence in Gujarat, India and the US response” and those that were summoned to depose and those that appeared obediently before their masters on June 10, 2002 were Teesta Setalvad, Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor Sumit Ganguly and Father Cedric Prakash. The URL of the proceedings of this hearing is presented to readers in Appendix 7 and is a must-read for the sheer anti-nation, anti-Hindu intent not only of the Indians who deposed before an alien government but for the anti-India, anti-Hindu intent of the USCIRF itself. The comments made by the commissioners about India are an unmitigated piece of impertinence. Didi Deshpande, let us not forget, deposed before the US Government in September 2003. Neither the USCIRF nor the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor ever felt compelled to hold a hearing on the genocide of the Hindus of Kashmir or the ongoing violence and acts of terror by Christian terrorists in the North-East and Muslim terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Readers will note that these anti-national Indian worthies while auditing their country and its democratic institutions before the Americans also shed a few obligatory and insincere tears for the Hindus of Bangladesh! Not a tear for the Hindus at home—those that were killed and terrorised to flee from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, for the Hindu women and children killed in the Sabarmati Express in Godhra or for the Hindu victims of the Mumbai blasts and riots. – Vigil Online, 7 March 2016

Protest outside US Embassy, New Delhi

Aggressive evangelism makes ‘ghar wapsi’ pale in comparison – Pawan Deshpande

Pawan Deshpande“The Christian percentage of the Indian populace has grown by a staggering 150 per cent. In other words, India now has more Christians than any First World country aside from the United States and Russia according to Pew Research’s Religion & Public Life Project.” – Pawan Deshpande

Ghar Wapsi event in AgraOver the past month, Indian media has tirelessly covered and attacked the RSS for its plans to convert several thousand Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. The press hubbub was largely stirred up by parties in the Opposition such as the defeated Indian National Congress, West Bengal’s All India Trinamool Congress, and the Marxist parties, which criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though these reconversions were not sanctioned by a government entity. The media glare and politicisation of the events eventually put so much pressure on the RSS that it shelved its plans temporarily.

All along, the media and the Indian Left have thoroughly scrutinised the RSS for its self-proclaimed delusional ambitions to rid the nation of Christians as proclaimed by RSS pracharak Rajeshwar Singh, “Ek din in girijagharo ki deewarein bhi gir jayengi aur hamara desh sirf hinduon ka hoga” (One day these churches will crumble and our country will belong to the Hindus alone). But the dialogue on this drive has completely ignored the unbridled conversion of Hindus to Christianity in the past few decades.

Quantifying the enormous scale of conversions to Christianity in India is difficult because the means of doing so have been secretive, as the media has largely failed to cover this issue, and because the previous government took steps to conceal India’s current religious demography.

Every decade, the Government of India conducts a national census inquiring the populace about many details such as their age, household conditions, access to utilities, literacy level, ownership of vehicles, children and many other aspects of their lives. Among these questions is a question about their religious affiliation. The last official Indian census to publish statistics about the nation’s religious demography was in 2001. At that time, 2.34 per cent of the nation’s population were reported to be Christians; 14 years have passed since the survey, and many Christians and Hindus alike estimate that this percentage has greatly increased in the intervening years.

The problem is that there are no official numbers to verify these claims. Though the census was re-conducted in 2011, the government, in an unprecedented manner, deliberately chose not to publish the census data for this question without any explanation. Why would the government hide this information? Some credible observers presume that the numbers would be hard to swallow for India’s Hindu majority—it’s quite possible that Hindus may now consist of less than 80 per cent of the population in part due to a slightly higher Muslim fertility rate—“not too large to swamp India’s Hindu majority in the foreseeable future,” the linked analysis says—in conjunction with conversions of Hindus to Christianity, the rate of which is unknown.

YSR taking communion from a Christian priest.Fearing a political backlash from Hindu voters in the 2014 elections, the then ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, known for cashing in on classic vote-bank politics and crude minorityism, likely felt that the truth of India’s religious demography was best kept secret.

With no official census figures, the next best source of data to ascertain the current Christian percentage of India is Christian missionary organisations. One of the most well regarded missionary almanacs for missionaries, Operation World—launched as a reference book and prayer guide by Patrick Johnstone and continued by Jason Mandryk and regarded by most evangelicals as the definitive volume of prayer information about the world—published that as of 2010, 5.84 per cent of India was Christian equating to 71 million adherents.

Unlike the previous government of India, evangelicals are quite proud of this as stated by Dick McClain, president and CEO of The Mission Society: “With more than 71 million claiming Christianity, India is now the eighth largest Christian nation in the world.”

If true, then, in less than a decade, the Christian percentage of the Indian populace has grown by a staggering 150 per cent. In other words, India now has more Christians than any First World country aside from the United States and Russia according to Pew Research’s Religion & Public Life Project.

India’s Muslim population as a percentage has largely grown as a result of a higher fertility rate and by undocumented cross-national immigration from Bangladesh. On the other hand, India’s Christian population has had trouble sustaining its numbers through reproduction alone. At times, the Christian fertility rate in India has plunged so much that in 2009, the churches in Mizoram and Kerala incentivized their communities to have at least four children per family. If India’s Christian population cannot grow by virtue of fertility rates, has there been massive immigration of Christians to India? No. But read on.

In 2001, according to official census data, three states in the northeast of India, namely Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya, were majority Christian. It is unknown which other states are now Christian majority, and whether Christians grew at the expense of Hindus alone, though that is very likely as Muslims and followers of other faiths are rarely reported to embrace Christianity.

In 2014, a blog post in The New York Times speculated that another north-eastern Indian state, Arunachal Pradesh, was likely home to a Christian majority, having gone from 1 per cent Christian population in the 1971 census to a 18.7 per cent in 2001. The report estimated that hundreds of thousands of inhabitants in the state had adopted Christianity in the past decade allured by promises of faith healers, and benefits administered through Christian institutions such as free healthcare and education. But Arunachal Pradesh, with a total statewide headcount of 1.2 million, alone cannot explain the large growth in India’s Christian population.

Christian Money Though an official headcount for India’s Christian percentage is unobtainable at this time, the 2010 Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of the Indian government does offer clues on how well funded—and large scale—missionary organisations are. The FCRA was created for the Indian government to ensure that funding of Indian NGOs from foreign entities is ethical and used for good ends. For example, the act seeks to filter out funding to NGOs that indulge in activities to manipulate the country’s political system, corrupt the government, or work against nation’s interests, such as engaging in religious conversion through inducement or force.

Though well-intentioned, the FCRA does not really do its job as revealed in their annual report. Missionary organisations that engage in predatory proselytising, including conditioning of aid distributions, compose the majority of the list of the largest recipients and donors out of all NGOs in India. According to the 2011-2012 report, seven of the top 15 Indian foreign-funded NGOs are missionary Christian organisations that received a total of Rs 879 crore that year:

– World Vision Of India
– Believers Church India
– Indian Society Of Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
– Caruna Bal Vikas
– Gospel For Asia
– Compassion East India
– Missionaries of Charity

On the other side of the money trail, seven missionary Christian organisations are in the top 15 list having provided a total of Rs 512 crore:

– Compassion International
– The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints
– Kindernothilfe
– General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists
– WORT & TAT Allgemeine Missions Geselischaft
– Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
– Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst

The top 15 is followed by a long trail of other churches and ministries infusing billions of dollars of funds for converting Indians to Christianity.

World Vision missionary in UttarakhandThe Conversion Wars

Taking a chapter from the playbook of Christian missionaries, the modus operandi that the RSS has adopted for reconversions has been through economic enticements rather than genuine spiritual attraction. For example, Sufia Begum, a 76-year-old former Muslim who converted to Hinduism, explained her true reason for the change of faith, “The RSS people assured us that they will provide us better place to live, better food and schooling for my grandsons. I don’t mind change of religion, as religion doesn’t give us food to eat.”

Similarly, in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, aid workers from Gospel For Asia and the Believers Church, transported hundreds of villagers of Akkaraipettai in Tamil Nadu, India, to a location six miles away. Away from the oversight of government officials, the aid workers distributed disaster relief supplies such as sleeping mats, plates, saris, 55-pound bags of rice and a book of Biblical verses that condemned alcohol and abortion. The missionaries also established an orphanage housing 108 primarily Hindu children, again outside of government oversight, and taught the orphans to recite Christian prayers six times per day.

To better protect the vulnerable victims of these conversion wars, several Indian states have proposed or even passed “Anti-Conversion Laws”. Rather than preventing conversion of faith outright, these laws typically require an individual to register with the government when they seek to change religions, enabling the government to ensure that the conversion is not being made under duress or through enticements. These laws extend the common concept of religious freedom to also encompass the right to freedom from religious intrusion and exploitation.

While many Hindu organisations support such legislation, many Christian organisations which benefit from such unethical practices have protested against these laws, claiming that they impinge on one’s freedom to adopt a new faith. Under pressure from evangelical Christian groups, such laws have drawn scrutiny from governmental bodies outside of India such as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Shuddhi YagnaGhar Wapsi: Just a Finger in the Dyke

The RSS, Indian leftist parties and the Indian press are all guilty of portraying the ghar wapsi event as the harbinger of the eradication of minorities in India as evidenced by rhetorical statements by Rajeshwar Singh, the RSS organiser of the recent ghar wapsi, such as “Just wait and watch. 31 December 2021 is the last for Christianity and Islam in this country”.

Rather than using ghar wapsi as yet another obvious opportunity to criticise the RSS and the Modi government, the event should instead be used to force a larger, urgent and direly needed discussion regarding the ethics and practice of predatory proselytization that continues to endanger India’s religious harmony and pluralistic ethos. – Swaraja, 14 January 2015

» Pawan Deshpande is on the Executive Council of the Hindu American Foundation, and a CEO of a software company based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Missionary Target
Missionary Target Window

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Dharm Jagran spends Rs 50 lakh a month to ‘bring back home’ converted Hindus – Rajiv Srivastava

Reconverting to Hinduism

Hindu activist raising the Bhagwa Dwaj over a Cross.“Re-conversion holds no meaning if the members of the caste they belong to don’t accept them back into their fold, … and … [an effort is made] to ensure that the re-converted families aren’t discouraged. The cost on an average the Dharm Jagran has to bear on community feasting comes to around Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per month.” – Rajiv Srivastava

For reconversion or ‘ghar wapsi‘ of Hindu families that converted to other religions, outfits like Dharm Jagran have to bear a huge cost. An offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayemsewak Sangh (RSS), Dharm Jagran coughs up on an average Rs 8 to 10 lakh per month alone mainly as fuel cost and some miscellaneous expenses in the western UP area alone.

Claiming that on an average 1,000 families are re-converted, mostly in western UP region in a month, the cost incurred on such programmes comes to around Rs 50 lakh per month. The average cost incurred on each family comes to around Rs 5,000, Dharm Jagran’s western UP in charge Rajeshwar Singh told TOI.

The fuel cost incurred is meant for the outfit’s about 100 full-time volunteers, whose job is to identify people who converted to other religions from Hinduism, make them aware about what good they are missing by not being a Hindu and convince them to re-convert. ‘Ghar wapsi‘ is what Rajeshwar Singh called this re-conversion as.

Interestingly, this is not the only expenditure incurred by the Dharm Jagran. Since most of these volunteers are full-timers, they have a task in hand to carry on such awareness campaigns in the region throughout the year. On most of the occasions, once a family gets convinced to re-convert, volunteers have to pay for the affidavit on behalf of the family head, Ajay Sinha, a full-timer (as they are called within the organization) from Shahjahanpur told TOI. Interestingly, the requirement of affidavits is mandatory only in case of certified Christian converts, Rajeshwar told TOI, added that while for the ghar wapsi of those whom he refers to as “crypto-Christians”, there is no need for certificate as such people are not converted on papers but have adopted the tradition and culture associated with Christianity.

Since the number of certified Christians is far less as compared to the ‘crypto’ category, the expenditure on affidavits hardly comes to Rs 2,000 per month, he said. According to a rough estimate, ghar wapsi of around 1,000 families is done on an average every month in the western UP area, Rajeshwar claimed.

Though not every time, the organization also spends money for holding ‘shuddhi yagya‘ (purification ritual), a must for those who are reconverting. Since most of the times such yagyas are held with the contribution from Shuddhi Yagnaeither the family re-converting or through voluntary contribution by like-minded people, the average expenditure on such yagyas comes to Rs 20,000 per month per district, Rajeshwar said.

But holding shuddhi yagyas or submitting affidavits is not end the job for the Hindu outfit. The fact that the re-conversion holds no meaning if the members of the caste they belong to don’t accept them back into their fold, he said and added that [an effort is made] to ensure that the re-converted families aren’t discouraged. The cost on an average the outfit has to bear on community feasting comes to around Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per month.

A full-time volunteer from Meerut praant requesting anonymity said on an average RSS provides Rs 12 to 15 lakh as annual budget to each of Dharm Jagran’s praants and rest is through contributions from the respective districts. This funding by the RSS is reviewed annually, he said.

Such expenditure is nothing in view of the impact of such efforts, said Ajay from Shahjahanpur. Rajeshwar claims members from other communities claim to spend at least Rs 3 crore on one family that converts to their religion from Hinduism. Rajeshwar claimed he was busy with his aim of ‘ghar wapsi‘ of around 20,000 families or 1.25 lakh individuals in December. – The Times of India, 22 September 2014

The Christianising of Arunachal Pradesh – Max Bearak

Max Bearak“In the 1980s and earlier, barely any convents or Christian institutions existed in Arunachal as missionary work was, as it still is, outlawed under the Freedom of Indigenous Faith Act of 1978. These days, in spite of the law, Christian schools, hospitals and churches abound, particularly in central Arunachal, where the state’s most populous and powerful tribe, the Nyishis, live.” – Max Bearak

India Crossed-Out: Christian missionaries meet no opposition from Hindu organisations today.Though the event they advertised had passed a month earlier, the neon-colored posters remained, clinging to the state capital’s walls, lampposts and store-fronts. On them were invitations to Indigenous Faith Day celebrations on Dec. 1, with slogans like “Culture without faith is body without soul,” and, more pointedly, “Imitation of alien faith is slavery.”

Implicit in the slogans for the event, which began in 2011, is the idea that this northeastern state, populated mostly by tribal people, is being stripped of its distinctive religious identity as hundreds of thousands have converted to Christianity.

Most outsiders hear about this remote Himalayan state in the context of tensions with China over repeated border incursions and blueprints to build hundreds of dams on its icy, blue rivers. But most Arunachal Pradesh residents are more concerned with adapting to a society increasingly drawn along religious rather than tribal lines.

In Itanagar’s residential neighborhoods, most households identify themselves with religious markers — a star lantern for Christians, and a white flag with a red sun, for animists. “We’re at a junction where we are dichotomizing,” said Toku Tayu Stephen, the catechist at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Itanagar.

Hundreds of thousands in this mountainous and sparsely populated state have converted to Christianity in recent years, and the trend has accelerated exponentially over the past four decades. The 1971 census showed less than 1 percent of Arunachal Pradesh’s residents called themselves Christian, but in 2001, 19 percent of the state’s total population and 26 percent of the tribal population put themselves in that category.

St Joseph's Church in ItanagarWhile religious data for the 2011 census hasn’t been released yet, many observers say that it is likely that Christians now form a majority of the approximately 1.4 million people in the state, with some tribes almost fully converted.

Less than a decade ago, Arunachal Pradesh was the only state in India to have a majority population adhering to tribal religions. Tribes in other northeast Indian states like the now-solidly Christian Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland converted much earlier, while Hinduism dominates the plains of Assam.

Anthropologists like Stuart Blackburn, who have chronicled social change in Arunachal’s tribes, contend that Christianity’s infiltration into Arunachal Pradesh began slowly, mostly through locals who descended into the Assamese plains to be educated in well-regarded missionary schools there, only to return with a new religious zeal, as well as English-language skills and new names like John and James.

In the 1980s and earlier, barely any convents or Christian institutions existed in Arunachal as missionary work was, as it still is, outlawed under the Freedom of Indigenous Faith Act of 1978. These days, in spite of the law, Christian schools, hospitals and churches abound, particularly in central Arunachal, where the state’s most populous and powerful tribe, the Nyishis, live.

The state’s chief minister, Nabam Tuki, who is both a Nyishi and a Christian, donated some of the funds used to build St. Joseph’s Cathedral where Mr. Stephen, 41, has been a catechist for two years.

“1978 didn’t matter,” said Mr. Stephen, who was the son of an animist priest but converted at a convent school in Assam as a boy. “Our first concern was to come back home and heal people. So much disease was there in our villages. We showed people that God could send miracles, and many people wanted to convert right away.”

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam TukiBut there were other reasons to convert – some practical, like the need for better education and healthcare, which churches promised to bring, and others more spiritual. “Our people are religious by nature,” said Mr. Stephen. “We’ve always believed in a supreme being who will smite you if you sin, and we’ve always had a mother figure like Mary.”

Mr. Stephen said that people, especially in rural areas, are still coming around to “the truth,” and that Christianity was largely a unifying force in a state that has dozens of tribes whom often fought each other.

He said that during Christmas and Easter seasons, pastors from cities like Itanagar visited villages where residents had been waiting for months to be officially converted, and performed mass baptisms. “People are just waiting,” he said, “especially to be freed from sickness.”

Nani Bath, a professor of political science at Rajiv Gandhi University near Itanagar, said many tribals converted out of a desire to be modern, since Christianity was often seen in the same boat as modernity.

“See, at these churches, you’d have guys playing guitar and pretty girls singing in English, and no one was allowed to drink, which was very rampant both then and now in this state,” he said.

Lisa Lomdak, a linguist and colleague of Professor Bath’s, said that for those with a 21st-century mindset, the traditional wedding practice of slaughtering dozens of mithuns, a type of mountain bovine, was disagreeable.

For others, she said, the ritual slaughter was just too expensive, and converting to Christianity was one way to save money.

Flag of the Donyi-Polo religionProfessor Lomdak, herself a follower of the Donyi-Polo faith, an organized form of animism that translates as “sun-moon,” lamented that conversions are part of a larger erosion of tribal culture and endangerment of local language.

“Even if our kids speak our language, they aren’t fluent,” she said. “They aren’t even competent. Wherever there is dish TV, you’ll see kids excelling in English and Hindi. And when kids sing old tribal songs, other kids tell them to stop because ‘those are not Jesus songs.’”

Tribal religion has adapted some of the modern forms of worship in response to its dwindling followers. Within the past five years, locals say, the Donyi-Polo faith has become more institutionalized in its practices, as its leaders have realized that it suffers from being seen as a disorganized and time-worn default religion.

From its age-old pantheon, the cosmic duo of Donyi and Polo have been promoted as the primary gods, while previously absent elements like prayer halls, designated holidays, chant books, the use of incense and ringing bells and the visual depiction of gods and goddesses have been introduced.

To many, these spiritual building blocks are eerily reminiscent of Hinduism’s. Professor Bath said right-wing Hindu organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or R.S.S., finance Donyi-Polo schools and cultural centers, promoting it as a unified Arunachali religion. The R.S.S. is aligned politically with the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has lost ground in a state where Christians have gained increasing power through the Congress Party.

Tribal converts in an Itanagar churchLast month, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of R.S.S., traveled to Pasighat, in the eastern part of the state, to address 600 members of his organization at the Donyi-Polo Vidya Niketan, one of the schools funded by the Hindu nationalist organization. At numerous R.S.S.-sponsored events, the life of Talom Rukbo, the father of modern, institutionalized Donyi-Poloism, has been memorialized.

Professor Lomdak said some Hindus may see tribal animist faiths simply as a substratum of their own. She acknowledged that the borders between her religion and Hinduism were blurry. All the same, she worried that Christianity, and not Hinduism, would prove most corrosive to her state’s indigenous culture.

Mr. Stephen, having just left a Mass given in the Nyishi language, presented a different take on the transformation. “Before criticizing, they should really ask themselves how ‘alien’ Christianity really is,” he said. “Already, in the towns and also the villages, this religion is becoming our tradition.” – The New York Times, 4 February 2014

Conversion: The ‘final solution’ for Hindus – Gautam Sen

Dr. Gautam Sen“The Christian church and their Western patrons do not expect to convert a majority of India’s people in a short span of time. They are working patiently to convert sufficient numbers in strategic locations, in different parts of India, to acquire an electoral veto. Despite determined efforts at concealment of census evidence, it seems likely that Christians already comprise 8% of India’s population. They surely dream of the 60% conversion to Christianity achieved within a generation in the Republic of Korea, but would be happy to settle for an interim 15% in India.” – Dr. Gautam Sen 

Spanish Pirate Francis Xavier SJ: He is known as the Scourge of the Coromandel Coast.In the centuries to come, Adolf Hitler is likely to be anointed a saint. In common with other Christian mass murderers like the conquistador Francis Xavier, the subjugator of Goa, Hitler too accomplished a cherished historic goal of Christianity. He destroyed the enemies of Christ the Saviour without mercy although he sought familiar secular goals as well. Christian rulers never shied away from genocide, as Charlemagne, the early ninth century Holy Roman Emperor, demonstrated by killing heathens en masse. His reign is revered as the origin of Europe, inspiring both Adolf Hitler and the founders of the European Union. Supreme Christian ideologues like Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther also affirmed their support for torture and execution of unbelievers, always in the name of the Divine!

For countless centuries the elimination of Jewry had been earnestly sought and attempted in constant pogroms of shocking bloodlust. Adolf Hitler deployed scientific methods to pretty much wipe out European Jewry outside Russia, although it is that country, where Jews survived, which has been routinely accused of anti-Semitism. The Christian celebration of Hitler’s celestial achievement has had to be deferred because his unspeakably brutal methods provoked horror in the wider world, but, it may be surmised, church leaders and the devout quietly breathed a sigh of relief.

The supposed ‘murderers of Christ’ and enemies of the only faith had been dealt a blow of severity that curtailed their perceived poisonous presence in the midst of Europe’s Christian communities. In addition to the religious and mythological basis of Christian hatred of Judaism, its enormous intellectual prowess and footprint were regarded as a serious threat to Christian ideological ascendancy. Jewish fidelity to learning and intellectual traditions only grew stronger in the face of relentless oppression, the community surviving by cultivating the sacred word, when all else seemed to falter. It is a poignant echo of the survival of Hindus through the oral traditions of countless generations of Brahmins who passed on scriptural knowledge to their descendants even as they suffered mercilessly at the hands of barbarian iconoclasts.

Pius XII & Adolf HitlerThe physical liquidation of European Jews was followed by their effective banishment to an unenviable Middle Eastern location. Jews may have felt they had no choice in the aftermath of the holocaust, but they have been placed in situation of permanent war, where their survival is not guaranteed. Tragically, a gifted community, whose intellectual and aesthetic attainments are without parallel, has been transformed into modern Spartans. Only the ability to fight wars is what ultimately counts for a Jew because survival must take priority over other goals. The apparent influence of the US Jewish lobby is a paradoxical confirmation of the plight of the Jewish people, obliged to defend a homeland under permanent siege and an existential situation inimical to the integrity of the intellectual and spiritual traditions of Judaism.

Hindus and their spiritual and intellectual purveyors, Brahmins, are the other community sullenly detested by Christianity. This is the one other group that poses a serious ideological challenge, with a radically alternative perspective to the Christian worldview, which has been its enduring camouflage for white European world domination. The physical liquidation of Brahmins, considered the key to the survival of Hinduism as a faith, is judged unnecessary because the destruction of their spiritual and religious integrity will apparently suffice to subdue them. As a prelude, determined and successful efforts have been made to divide Hindus along caste axes within India itself. Once Indian caste identities were distorted and deepened by British officials in the nineteenth century, it became feasible to engage in massive political intervention within Indian society itself.

HAF with US Congressman McDermottThe strategy adopted, to which all Christian denominations have since adhered unwaveringly over time, is to portray Hinduism as purely a vehicle for oppression by the upper castes, especially Brahmins. They equate Hinduism with caste alone and successfully portrayed it as a form of egregious racial oppression, akin to apartheid that cannot be tolerated. In the past few months, huge strides have been taken by church lobbyists in Europe and the UK to ensure official condemnation of caste as a form of oppression, the subtext identifying it with racism. Some Hindu groups in the US and the UK, (not least HAF’s damaging and uninformed Caste report) have unintentionally, or perhaps even knowingly, abetted this diabolical conspiracy by mea culpa hyperventilation about supposed caste crimes.

It is a cause of profound dismay that Anglicised and Americanised Hindus are collaborators in the unfolding drama of their own annihilation. Even ostensible Hindu office bearers of the Sangh in the UK and US are apt to introduce themselves as interfaith dialogue practitioners rather than nurturers and defenders of Hinduism. Their desire to engage with Christians and their churches is evidently unstoppable and animus towards anyone who dissents, intense. Some Hindu groups even allowed the Anglican Church hierarchy, in the UK for example, to select Hindu interlocutors for their mutual dialogue. It means only Hindus whom the Church finds agreeable have access to public platforms. Of course acquiescence to the preferences of Christian groups assures formal recognition from the governmental authorities and access to financial assistance.

World Vision Headquarters, Washington: This Christian missionary organisation is the largest  operating in India. It has direct connections to the White House and the CIA.The incitement of Hindus against each other by church organisations and other arms length institutions like Christian educational establishments in India, has been well entrenched for over two hundred years. Church organisations and their political patrons, US governmental agencies in particular, are active in many parts of India, from Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Their cloak is the fiction of charitable works and succour for the poor, even as they preside over millions of deaths elsewhere! Maharashtra was witness to murderous pogroms against Brahmins in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, in which the church played a discreet inflammatory role. Nagaland and Mizoram were basically gifts made by Nehru to the global church and the US, in part, because he wanted to project himself as a liberal, world statesman in the mould of Woodrow Wilson rather than a mere native politician.

The prodigious funding required to sponsor robust Christian evangelical movements across India has been readily available, from foreign intelligence services, church organisations and myriad charitable fronts controlled by either. Subversion in India is coordinated between Christian churches, foreign governments and other institutions like the Ford Foundation. Anybody with a significant public profile in India usually becomes a recipient of Ford or Rockefeller largesse.

Scandinavian US satellites have also become increasingly active in Christian evangelical activities because they are viewed as Nepali Christian converts demanding cemetary land belonging to the Pashupati Shiva Temple, Kathmanduinnocuous despite their transparent Nazi past. German church organisations are involved as well and all of them are currently engaged in a massive Christian evangelical drive in Nepal. Bribed local politicians of all political parties are in the pockets of these organisations and the Maoist leadership is actually Christian and the Maoist label merely a cover to facilitate religious conversion. They aim to turn Nepal into a Nagaland adjacent to the Chinese border, the only land access the US can acquire easily.

The Christian church and their Western patrons do not expect to convert a majority of India’s people in a short span of time. They are working patiently to convert sufficient numbers in strategic locations, in different parts of India, to acquire an electoral veto. Despite determined efforts at concealment of census evidence, it seems likely that Christians already comprise 8% of India’s population. They surely dream of the 60% conversion to Christianity achieved within a generation in the Republic of Korea, but would be happy to settle for an interim 15% in India. It would give them a veto, in conjunction with the Muslim vote bank, over Indian parliamentary politics and foreign policy.

They see Muslims as imperative temporary allies, which accounts for the campaigns against Narendra Modi, especially over the US visa issue. But the Christian church is confident that Muslims will have less success than them in getting Hindus to convert voluntarily when personal and professional pressures make life as a Hindu intolerable. They justly have grounds for optimism because, with their relatively modest existing foothold, they have already seized effective control of India’s fate through a mere former waitress. She is likely to ascend to sainthood alongside Adolf Hitler, for her services to Christ the Lord, although her fascist late father will probably be smiling from his afterlife vantage point.

M. Karunanidhi with Catholic bishops of Tamil NaduIn the estimate of Christian organisations, Hindu political influence has been expunged from Tamil Nadu and Kerala completely and Andhra Pradesh, where religious conversions have surged, will almost certainly follow. They rightly judge an Anglicised, secular West Bengal polity as instinctively anti-Hindu and subliminally sympathetic to Christianity although it is wrapped in a bogus secular guise. They rejoice in total control over the strategic locations of Nagaland and the Mizoram, whose importance exceeds their territory and population size and expect Arunachal Pradesh to succumb to Christian blandishment, which means bribery and blackmail.

Jayalalitha with Tamil Nadu bishopsThis political goal of subverting India from within was adopted more than sixty years ago by Anglo-American Governments, keen to deploy Indian manpower and resources in Cold war ventures. It has taken a while to come within striking distance of this historic aim though the Cold War, if not their grand imperial aspirations, has waned. In the meantime, Christian leaders quietly celebrate the ferocity with which former Hindus, especially of high caste background, loathe all things polytheist and Hindu. They also note with satisfaction that the grandparents of the foremost Muslim intellectual of the twentieth century, who abhorred idolatry, were Kashmiri Brahmins. They do not see the need to physically eliminate a majority of Brahmins because their skills will be useful for imperial rule, once they have succumbed to ruthless machinations. – India Facts, 18 December 2013

* The term ‘final solution‘ used in the title of this article, was Nazi Germany’s plan during World War II to exterminate the Jewish people in Nazi occupied Europe, which resulted in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust and the destruction of Jewish communities in continental Europe. – Editor

» Dr Gautam Sen taught international political economy Political Science at the London School of Economics.