Gandhi on Conversion by SM MichaelSVD – my reply

July 9, 2009 at 7:13 am 8 comments

This is my response to the following blog by S.M. Michael.

http://blogs.expressindia.com/showblogdetails.php?contentid=371747#

Fr. Sebastian Maria Michael S.V.D., is professor in sociology and anthropology at the University of Mumbai. Also the director of the Andheri Institute of Indian Culture in Mumbai, he was appointed consultor of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in January 2009. Contributing editor of “MissionToday”, a quarterly published from the Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, Meghalaya, his paper on “Christian Sannyasin’s view of Religious Freedom” can be found in”A Dialogue: Hindu-Christian Cosmology and Religion.”

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I found ‘Gandhi on Conversion’, a very shallow article of the whole issue of Conversion by  Fr. S.M.Michael SVD(Society of the Divine Word) I would have expected him to be more judicious and prudent in the usages of words and quotes  for clarification, support, or accusations.
I fail to understand why the whole debate on conversion should be straitjacketed with Gandhi’s life and works.- and a few reformers. It is true that when one wants to substantiate one only picks what is relevant. And it is true that Gandhi who is called the Father of the nation and who is being held by the Congress as its unique leader did state that ‘If I had power and could legislate, the first thing I would ban is conversions” It is puzzling why Fr.Michael thinks that Gandhi’s views on conversion are very limited by his location in the social structure from where he came. Does that mean that one’s views will depend on world wide roaming and outside a social structure to make it unlimited? To me it seems a crude and immature way of evaluation of ideas and statements made by renowned persons. For that matter every Indian has a location in a social structure-whether we like it or not. Every country in the world has its own social structure. Be it the UK, USA Australian etc. Does this limitation on the basis of location in the social structure apply only to Gandhi or to Ambedkar, Jotirao Phule et al and even Fr Michael SVD. The validity is that from that location alone one views the community, the nation and the world. Can one have any other choice? Along with this, the experiences one had, has, will also influence one’s perception.Greatness depends on the ability to gauge the merits and the demerits of that structure and strife to remove the oppression of that structure. I think that’s what Gandhi tried to do by his own example and his different works. For a personal note I must confess I am no admirer of the whole range of Gandhian philosophy or his political thought.
In trying to compare the Gandhi’s view on conversion with Ambedkar Fr Michael SVD has tripped on his very premise on conversion.. Each one will have one’s own perception one’s own “charisma” But did Ambedkar become a Christian? Can Fr Michael SVDalso give the reasons why Ambedkar rejected Christianity? Because he found the social structure as oppressive within the official church and its followers as in the outside society. Fr Michael SVD should know that one should not try to remove the dust in another’s eye when one has a beam in one’s own. So when Michael svd falls back on Ambedkar’s statement that he is “born a Hindu but will not die as one” he should go the whole way and not be selective to prove his point- which he accused the votaries of Sangh Parivar of quoting Gandhi on conversion for their selective use of Gandhian views. Not even the Congress party uses any of Gandhian views .For that matter Swami Vivekananda’s remark ‘Be born in a religion,but do not die in a religion’ shows the great heights to which this renowned monk of India attained. Heavens do not follow a divisive policies or a social structure and when one attains that bliss everything falls-there is no religion.
The author has brought in Raja Rammohan Roy(1772-1833) and again made a comparison to Dayanand Saraswati.(1824-1883) I am unable to touch the point which he is laboring to make. Every reformer and religious leader has tried to bring in changes and reform religion. Reform was not only restricted to the Hindu religion. Fr Michael SVD will admit that in Christianity too there are at least two major trends-one progressive and the other conservative .There are many more- neither this nor that and now the recent trend is to simply discard the Roman Catholic church teachings. This is what has happened and happening in Europe. No wonder the Church has focused on India. Islamic countries are closed to them and it will not dare to convert. China is closed and the Christians countries are no longer Christian in the real term so that leaves India for its business of conversion. Even the Popes had their own biases depending on their world vision and their goals.
Every Pope thought he wanted to reform the church and mind you every Pope thought he was infallible. But here we have Hindu religious leaders and Hindu reformers who do not make such dogmatic claims but are striving in their way to purify Hinduism, to invigorate it and to disseminate the substance and remove the chaff from it. We had Pope JohnXX111 who through his Vatican documents wanted to reform the antiquated and stifling church. He brought in pluralism and an openness which was refreshing but did not find full support.
I would not agree that Gandhi’s attitude to the ‘Untouchables’ was derogatory. When he considered them less intelligent than the cows it was only a way of saying that they will not be able to distinguish between the relative merits of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. May be it was crudely put forth. But this is applicable to the majority of us-the common people are least bothered and will not perceive and discern the differences. Why does the church constantly refer to its followers as ‘flock’ of sheep does it not indicate that Catholics  are as dumb as the flock and that they will simply follow with no ability to question, discern and argue. Why then does the church continue to use this derogatory term even now in the 21st century?At least in comparison the cow is a higher animal-it is worshipped and its milk is next best to the mother’s milk. So Fr Michael SVD need not pull out that remark by Gandhi and use it as a yardstick to pass a judgment that he was derogatory of the Harijans. He does acknowledges that Gandhi repeated harped on the evils of Untouchability, he adopted a dalit girl as his daughter, he decided to live with the Untouchables  to become one with them, he started the Harijan Sevak Sangh and of course he symbolically called the Untouchables Harijans(children of God) all this is swept aside and the comparison to the cow negates everything else. This is simply ridiculous.

Can Michael cite one from the Catholic church who could match the same zeal and works that Gandhi had and did .Yet the Catholic Church wants to convert the Harijans- precisely because till date the poor harijans are not able to discern and not bothered to discern the difference between religions .They are engaged to keep their fires burning, to grapple with the daily needs. It is not to every dalit home that  Rahul Gandhi will visit to realize still in what conditions they are and the Church with its towering spires within a hamlet of the deprived Harijans stand as a defiance of Truth and an arrogance of power and prestige unrelated to the reality. The aam admi is a slogan and the symbolism of which Fr Michael now talks of, is revealed in the various schemes the Congress has worked out  and it is to these signs and symbols that the ‘flock’ was asked to ardently appeal to the heavens to be voted back in power. It is for this party that ‘fatwas’ were issues to the ‘flock’ to keep the symbolism alive. So why look down on tokenism Fr Michael SVD to make an effective thesis on Hinduism and what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is all about should study Sanatana Dharma –then he will understand what Hindutva really is instead of branding it as militant. It is completely wrong to state that “the concern for social reform at the beginning of the Indian nationalist movement was given a back seat with the emergence of militant Hindu nationalism.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was established in 1925” precisely to give an impetus to the national movement. We were against not only a colonizer but also the colonizer was a proselytizer. The role of the RSS was accepted by Nehru and other national leaders.It is sheer ignorance to put the national movement and the reform movement on the same level. Michael SVD utters the word ‘militant’ as though it is a bad word! Bad only when Hindus are militant. Are the Evangelical churches not militant-Is the Catholic Church not militant?

A Hindu country with its majority people Hindus will talk, act and respond to the colonizer from a Hindu ethos. A nation, a national culture is basically Hindu. Why is it that when catholic/Christians hear the word ‘Hindu’ they suffer from some sort of a phobia? But when one refers to Christian countries, Islamic countries there is no resentment. That was the reality-a Hindu ethos that engulfed this nation. It is in this background that the demand was made by Fr Jerome D’ Souza sj in the constituent Assembly for Arts 29,30 and 31.This on the plea to safeguard the Christian ethos. When you talk of a Christian ethos and demanded for its safeguard in the Indian Constitution a Fundamental Right does the Hindus not have a right to identify nation and national culture as basically Hindu. Hindus do not have divided loyalties. Islam and Christianity had their loyalties outside India and were migrant religions. These did not divest religion from their respective cultures-Muslim culture and Christian culture.

Truth hurts. Hindus can be burned, raped, their swamijis can be butchered-their ashrams can be ransacked, no voice will be raised and neither Rome nor the European Union will even utter a whimper. But rape of a nun, push down a few rickety rackety halls called churches –Rome will through its internuncio ask the government for explanation, the European Union will at its summit express its concern to the Prime Minister who had to confess that the Kandhamal incident was a blot on India. What does this show? That Christians have their leaders and their loyalties outside India. The Hindus- don’t fall back on any outsider because they have no loyalties outside, since they have no masters outside. Even the cause for the militancy is not taken into account. Hindus have been massacred, Hindu pandits have been driven away from the Valley and are today refugees in their land-this has to be taken in their stride and no justice is demanded. Should the Hindus just sit back and watch this show-talk of militancy? Injustice after injustice is being heaped on them and Michael mentions ‘militancy’.
Today if there is a rethink whatever be the motive to inculturation then it clearly goes to prove that Catholic official church was western in its content and Roman in its outlook and culture, The Hindu religion belong and sprang from this soil and was not imported. It is part and particle of this soil. It sprang from within. The Spirit did not move in India two thousand year ago only-but was and is and ever will be. There is surely an amalgamation of nation, nationalism and culture. The point to be noted is with the forcing down of Christianity by the economic and political invaders they tried to thrust their culture also. Because for them religion and culture was one too. Hence we have Christian names –does not matter if they are pagan names. Why is the Catholic Church now going in for inculturation? Because it wants an identify with the Indians is the best explanation; and the worst -so that it can easily proselytize the gullible people –make the
herds of cows into flocks of sheep.
The word ‘militant’ is antithesis for Sanatana Dharma.and to Hinduism.Had it been militant world religions feeling from their own birth countries would not have found a place here. Militancy is something inherent in Christianity right from its inception. I will not blame Michael SVD because in the seminar training the history of the church is only a watered down version. This is done purposely because Church history will put to shame any decent human being-the  violence, the blood letting, the persecution history of the church, its deeply entrenchment in corruption, conspiracy ,the papacy and the kings-the illegitimacy of the papacy, papal power play with politics, all this is world history. The Catholics be they priests and lay people hardly know about this. Today they see the benevolent church patronizing them, feeding the poor and going about doing social work. It is this that Jesus called the white washed tombs and the worm eating corpses within. It is this that Jesus branded as hypocrites.

To whom did the Inquisition belong, from where did the mafia originate? Who burned men and women on the stakes? What were the Crusades? What kind of weapons of torture did Rome use? Some are still kept as exhibits in the Vatican. This is the parampara of the Catholic Church. The past has a link with the present and points to the future. What is hypocritical is the accusing finger pointing towards the Hindus-the Sangh Parivars and all its allied organizations Can anyone accuse the Hindus and Hinduism of this kind of massacre, brutality and perversity? Yes, the caste system can be put at the doorstep of Manu and is the only blot but which today the Catholic Church follows more rigidly. The Congress uses it and perpetuates it for its vote bank politics etching and re- etching it into the soco-political fabric of the nation for its power.This is reinforced by Christianity. Different churches, same church divided
into two-cemeteries are separate-for the Harijans and the upper caste. Even the corpses are segregated and Untouchablity followed in the very letter and spirit. I would reject the tokenism and the symbolic gestures by the Catholic Church.

In our own country what was the spree of conversion? What were the methods used to convert people-if it was open force, destruction of thousands of temples and idols, Hindu icons, Christianization of lives and live styles- today it is camouflaged with social work from distribution of food, to seats in the educational institutions. The destruction of thousands of temples was right and the damaging of a few churches under great provocation today is wrong. The building of churches on every available space-on government poorumboke land is right but the building of Ram temple –the faith of a people is wrong. Should the Ram temple then be built in Mecca or in Vatican?

The whole debate on Conversion should be thrown open and not held within the parameters of Pandita Ramabai,Gandhi,Jotirao Phule,Ambedkar .We are experiencing the tensions, the ruptures, the destruction of the culture ,the invasion of India by other religions, the global interference in our affairs, the poverty exploitation, the cows becoming ‘flocks’, the commercialization of conversion, the business that is conversion all this and more we have data and our own personal experiences. Conversion is a process-a life long of seeking and a free choice make after enlightenment.With ignorance where can discernment come-with hunger eating your entrails where can free option come. So money plays a role and this in the name of god and religion. Let the debate on conversion then spread and be wide open….  It is a destruction of everything ancient and precious of a heritage held sacred. It is the imposition of a superior god making those following other gods as inferior. Is this not worse than a social structure of which Michael SVD pointed as limiting Gandhi’s perception?
The activities of the Christian missionaries are a fraud on the nation because it is not their business to convert Hindus to Christianity. What does that imply-that they have a better and a superior god and that what they follow is better than what the others are following. Conversion is a business and a money spinning one. Apart from that it forgets that religion has its own cultural practices and its own ethos. The Hindus have no two loyalties-unlike the Catholics-one to Rome and another to the political party which is in power. So it is a divided loyalty – goes against nationalism. This is exactly why China closed its doors to Christianity and threw out the missionaries. It has its own national catholic church.

It was not just shocking but a blatant falsehood and an insult when Michael SVD states the “Hindutuva forces which eliminated Gandhi, the Father of the nation, perpetrators of rape, looting and murder now tries to take shelter under Gandhi’s shadow without even having a remorse of their guilt.” Note how Gandhi has been suddenly elevated by him to suit his condemnation of the Hindutva forces. I would like to elaborate on this because Michael is completely in the dark about the church to which he belongs, about the Jesus whom he would claim as his leader, about guilt and remorse of which he accuses others not to have.

Remorse and guilt for what? For assassinating of Gandhi? Political history shows how assassinations on the basis of ideology have been common. History does elevate the assassin after much research and when truth comes out and is upheld by historians. Godse’s last address to the Court was that he had no regret because Gandhi abetted and authored the creation of a theocratic country. This was done by cutting off this motherland of ours .What was the reason because the Muslims said that they will not be able to live with the Hindus-to put it in simple words. Now look at the consequence of that action of Gandhi. Of course Godse‘s soul was secular to its core and he could not reconcile to the fact that part of this country could become a theocratic State. Today the so called secularists who proclaim to be secular are the most communal. But why does Michael fault the present day Hindutuva forces? Is he playing vote bank politics? Sins of your father is on you and hence this is a permanent blot-like the original sin (which most Catholics do not believe) Are all the Sikhs guilty of the assassination of Indira Gandhi? If so then on Michael’s own il/logic then all the Catholics are guilty of the massacre and the destruction of the Hindus in this country. They have to wash their guilt they have to be remorseful. At least let the official Catholic church in India follow Pope John Paul 11 who asked for forgiveness for the past errors of the Roman Catholic Church during a solemn mass in St Peter’s Basilica on March 14th 2000 “we ask for forgiveness for divisions between Christians, for use of violence in the name of truth, and for the diffidence and hostility engaged against followers of their religions” Now either Michael SVD should fault the Pope or adhere to his forgiveness seeking. If he faults the Pope he can get back with his reasons. If he adheres to the Pope then he has to stop faulting others, disengage in hostility against the followers of other religions. Forgiveness means a resolution not to commit the same.-only then can there be absolution. Michael SVD should know that better than me.

Finally desist from picking at one rape here and another rape when it is a nun and play cheap politics by accusing the Hindutva forces. Hundreds are being raped and murdered across the country not by the Hindutva forces But it seems that the Christians wait to catch the Hindus in some violation. With murder and rape right in the capital of this country and in the highways and byways of this country are an everyday affair it is disturbing to find an ominous silence. Does violation become a violation and its gravity depending on the perpetrator and the victim? He who has not sinned let him cast the first stone-does it ring a bell in Michael’s memory?  Women and children are rape within the home, in the workplace, in moving vehicles, in police stations- the Catholic Church is silent as though it does not matter. But if a nun is rape then the whole country is violently shaken like an earthquake. This outrage can be understood if nuns are at least not sexually molested and violated within their convents by priests. It seems that in the rape of a nun there is politics and that is another form of exploitation…Do not continue to crucify the Truth. ‘Amen’(read it too)
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

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Entry filed under: conversion, personal thoughts, rejoinder, religion. Tags: , .

Horrors of the 11/26 THE DAMN RODENT

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kedar  |  July 9, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Basically , one gets what one deserves..

    HIndu’s and Indians traditionally are meek fence sitters.. neither here no there.. They are happy as long as they are not asked to take a position.. Our great NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT philosophy is a prime example..
    So we are happy being a “Secular” country.. and have to live with what comes with not taking a stand ..

    Reply
    • 2. Dr Mrs Hilda Raja  |  July 9, 2009 at 11:36 am

      You are right Kedar too long the majority of the people were indifferent.When I mean majority I am referring to the Hindus.Either as you stated they are fence sitters or they just don’t bother.But now there seem to be an awakening because it hurts.Suddenly they have realised that the are being discriminated against and are even refugees in their own country.So lets hope that this awakening will help us see the light at the end of the tunnel.All the best to you

      Reply
  • 3. Sita  |  July 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I dont think that is so.Why? becauseIndians especially Hindus ,as a religious group have been oppressed by first the Muslim Invasion and then the Christian Colonialism.The reason this has an impact on the Society and their social response to issues are governed by the need for security as per the need theory in pychology.After being told for so many years that they are idolators and their history is nothing they had started to believe it. When we got Independence from the British,only the government left.Not theirbias in- thinking[just as in the Panchatantra story-a lie repeated four times would be believed as true].For example,when the constitution was written why did they think secular is good and Conversions should be allowed.Even now I am seeing people only on the defensive when we are accused of having numerous Gods,that actually Hinduism is really monotheistic and that many Gods are wrong interpretation.Why should there not be many Gods;whats wrong with polytheism?
    I am seeing a changing response from my childhood to the current times on issues such as these.
    Another reason is their religion which teaches them to get away from dushtas- “dushtanaikkandal doora vilagu” and other such aphorisms that pepper their religious[dharmic] thought.Another thing is their congregations are not like those of the church or Mosque,where they were constantly admonished to defend their Faith.This ,too, is changing now.but not to the extent that is done in the Church/mosque.We are only told to adhere to our religious duties and maintain Devotion to God at our personal level.

    Reply
    • 4. hildaraja  |  July 11, 2009 at 2:15 am

      The problem Sita is that Hinduism wasmuch maligned.Even Hindus did notkno their own religion.Those so called educated were eductedin minority managed institutions.The poor hardly bothered to comprehend the nunances of Hinduism.In fact when I interview poor hindus-the snwer they gave’why religion-(matham)but god yes-we want -at least someone to whom we canunload our burden.If properly nterpreted then Hinduism is beautiful.The man gods -is that god cannot be contained in one image-he/she can anything and everything-dependingon your choice.Thereis no dogmas to thrust something from above.Once you reach Self reaslisation then you will see that everything drops and you are god-in perfect unisonI am only now learning Hinduism and having being born andbrought up as a catholic I find that this religion of Hinduism captures the parampara of this country-the unending quest for the Eternal and the sceinftif temper within,the freedom and the respect for each to choose one’s path to the Eternal-Unfortunaelt rites and rituals which have meaning have not be explained and ubnderstood-performed in such a routinised way that people misinterpret that Hinduism is only rites and ruituals with no substance and meaning-this is completely wrong.Another aspect as you said-the coloniers left butr unloaded their biases and prejudices-their education system and theuir cricket culture-the Indians have imbibed all these .Love

      Reply
  • 5. Sita  |  July 11, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Ma’am ,Even if one was born in this religion ,one could not understand it or be able to interpret it comprehensively.Many people even if they are born Hindus ,though they say theier religion is great,ask in the next breath,what is wrong if people are converted thru inducements.,so what if the traditions die out?
    Another issue is interpretation of contentious issues like Caste or women’s issues.Even these issues were because of Invasions and Colonialism only.For example Sati was not a general practice amongst Hindu widows until the Muslim invasion and the dishonourable treatment meted to the captured women.Child marriages was either due to mimicing the practices of the new masters or out of fear for girls/women’s safety.I feel even Caste oppression was mimicing the new masters only and was not inherent [only the oppression] in the society.People were treated with basic respect and decency regardless of the work they did.This theory came across my mind when one reads the stories that are told us whether the Panchatantra or hithopadesa or the Vetala Panchavimsati and Bhojaraja Tales.They seem to reflect the practices of those times , which were very open and not degrading unless one breaks rules of common decency [what is called humanrights today]which attracted stiff punishment and censure.women also seem very articulate and knowledgable and bold[even by todays standards].
    I was reminded of what you had taught in the Pedagogy of the oppressed where we are told the oppresssed become even bigger oppressors of those under them. We can’t know for sure as the invaders had destroyed even our libraries and literary works.and killed those who knew anything .The Indian society became more exclusivist with these invasions.
    But all this would remain in the area of conjectures unless we do more research on what is extant of India’s literary treasures.

    Reply
  • 6. rajeev khaneja  |  April 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Everone who knows little abou european history would know about the misdeeds of the church and even after division of church and reformation it remains full of courption,few are reported.First let Fr Michael explain,what happened in Sacred Heat Church,Andheri,in 1998,Why then parish priest and his fellow Fe Anthony Furtado,svd,was removed after allegations of fraud,involvement with ladies,blackmail of lady parishners by him and why was he dismissed.Also other fellow Fr Jayshilan,svd was alleged to have fathered children during his stay at Papua,Nwe Guina.let him first look into his own house .Also ask him a question could any of european country allow converstion of christians and give the vip status given to priests (if you call them so).church is involved in moneylaundering,fraud,sexual involment etc.but i hold majority of hindus equily responsible as to allow this to happen.

    Reply
  • 7. Sita  |  December 14, 2014 at 7:10 am

    ‘Opposition targets government on conversion in Agra’… ‘Bid to impose Hindutva agenda”…This and more we heard and saw in Parliament on ‘gthar wapsi’. According to Mayawati, ‘Secularism is part of the Constitution-they (read RSS) are violating the basic tenets, BJP has a hand in it’. It was all pandemonium let loose in both the Houses with members dashing into the well. It seems as though some new danger has been sighted by them some danger to the Constitution and to the secular fabric of India.

    Suddenly the MPs have become sensitive to upholding the Constitution when they do not even uphold the oath they take to function without fear or favor…. It seems that at least occasionally the MPs are conscious that we have a Constitution. When the UPA government was in power the Constitution was eroded and every tenet of it dented and over ridden. But what I cannot understand is the fact that conversions have been always forced. This was the strategy from time immemorial. Not only in India but the world over

    But let us focus on India alone now. It has been a continuous conversion business. The invaders who came to India did not just stop with plundering the country and becoming rulers but they brought along their missionaries and their churches. First it was the Dutch, then the Portuguese then the French and finally the English. All these indulged in ruthless conversion through force and whatever methods possible. The poor Indians had no other option but bend to the powerful.

    This is relevant to realize that all Indians-have their ancestry in Hinduism. St Francis Xavier used every force-fraud and even the Inquisition to convert Hindus. Those who did not fall in line had to flee or were tortured and killed. History records his barbarism and the brutality with which he dealt with the Hindus. Places of worship were raided-destroyed and his public punishment was chopping off the hand for those who followed any form of Hinduism. The pillar where these unfortunate ones were dragged and hand chopped off is called the Pillar –De- Amputation.This pillar even today exists in Old Goa. This is the reason why the victims of Francis Xavier oppose the public display of his corpse. But the Church has raised him as a saint .

    That may be old history but what about the much revered Mother Theresa. Did she not use blackmail to convert? Innocent children who were dying-the old and the infirm were baptized all under the garb of caring for them. They were not even aware of what was happening to them. They were in pain and in utter misery. Today the church looks on innocently. So when one says there should be no forced conversions I am flabbergasted because all conversions have some sort of a force-be it physical, psychological or social. Allurements and enticements were used especially where there is starvation and disease and pain and hopelessness. How did the North East States become Christians-due to their volition? I know a Salesian priest who used to write to my husband to send money for conversion. He even revealed that ‘the priests do not go openly but through the catechist(a low level functionary of the Church) we approach the tribal people and give them money and promise other benefits’ .So for a loaf of bread for a few rotis and for a few rupees these unfortunate ones are ready to change their religion. Is this faith or force? Has this changed? Not one of the so called political leaders raised their voices against Mother Theresa’s blatant conversion business? Where was the Constitutional norm then? Where was secularism then? So it is only when the Hindus engage in ‘ghar wapsi’ that our political netas become aware of the Constitution and secularism and cry themselves hoarse-They then pose as great defenders and champions of secularism. This is a fraud and an injustice. This double standard is what they always resort to.

    When I was working in a village project in the outskirts of Chennai-near Mahabalipuram many of the SC families told me that they were converted by the local parish priest. This they said was for their children to get admission in a minority run institution and or to get some employment. They did not mention cash .I am fully aware that the tactics used in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh (may be in other States also of which I do not have first hand knowledge) the priests tell them plainly to continue with their Hindu names and enter in their application forms as SCs so that they get all the benefits due to the SCs but in reality they are all Christians. So Varadan becomes Victor for the Church record but for government records he continues to be Varadan. Take the example of Andhra \Pradesh’s former Chief Minister Rajasekaran Reddy.Many thought he was a Hindu but his first name is Samuel. These are not exception cases but the normal rule-the double deception that the Christians used. The thousands of conversions that he affected through the evangelical church of his by giving them money and luring them with other promises is well known to those in AP

    But a reading of the historical data on Church history will be an eye opener for those who today think that ‘ghar wapsi’ is against the Constitution and secularism. Where did this notion of secularism go when thousands of years conversion was only through force? In recent times too it is covertly done. Whether some netas like it or not how does one account for the millions of other religious followers. Does it mean that on their own accord through faith and belief and enlightenment they all got converted?

    Did the Muslims not convert through the sword? Is there no love jihadi?It is common for the Muslim/Christian to marry a Hindu and then later convert the partner to the Muslim /Christian religion. But as far as I know the Hindus did not go in for conversion. Today one talks of ‘ghar wapsi’-I fail to understand why this full throated Opposition.Where did this opposition go when conversions were taking place in India earlier and now only through some form of force. The Constitution has paved the way for this business by granting Minority Rights to the Minorities. Hence right from a tender age children are segregated in Christian institutions and in Madrassas-and groomed to think that they are different from others on the basis of religion. So we Christians think and proclaim that we have the ONE true God…Children brainwashed thus are subjected to forced-an intellectual force- where by they think in terms of differences and grow up thus in ghettos. We have Catholic doctrine for the Catholics, Bible classes for the Christians and Ethics for the Hindus. All this in Minority institutions which is run on government money. I do not know if other education Institutions also follows the same. Is this secularism? As though the Catholics and the Christiansand the Muslims do not need ethics!!!

    Why is it when one says that India is a Hindu country there is so much of opposition and anger-but then one says that Pakistan is a Muslim country and so are other Middle East countriesthere is no adverse reaction. If in conversation one terms the UK/US and other European countries as Christian countries there is no objection. Why this allergy to call India a Hindu country? That does not mean others cannot live here and that does not mean that secularism is thrown out. It simply means that Hinduism was in India as far as memory goes-it is as old as this country. Hinduism sprung from the soil of this country and did not come from any other shores-unlike other religions. So what is the problem in calling a spade a spade? Similarly when one talks of Hindutva the so called secularists see red. Is it wrong or against secularism to be nationalist and a patriot? I think it a weakness and a phobia of the so called ‘secularists’. After all let us be honest when Jinnah wanted Pakistan the reason he gave was that the Muslims will not be able to coexist with the Hindus.So he wanted the country to be partition which was done. Now can the Hindus not have their own ethos and their own religion and their own perception of nationalism? What is the problem in accepting this simple truth that this in no way destroys secularism.

    For that matter it is the politicians who are hell bend in destroying secularism. Why even the demand of reservation on the basis of religion is anti-secular. For the sake of vote bank politics the political leaders divide the people. We have other religious leaders even threatening the Hindus. The political leaders simply looked the other way when conversions in large numbers were taking place. But now that the Hindus have started the ‘ghar wapsi’ they pretend to be shocked that secularism is being destroyed. I remember some years ago in Trichirapally in Tamilnadu one of the pastors baptized even those who were not present because their names were on the list but were unable to attend the service. It is well known that evangelical churches look for numbers and even poach on other churches members. Foreign funds flow in depending on numbers. One has to watch a couple of channels in the TV to realize this. The psychological blackmail that these pastors indulge in is a fraud and vulnerable people fall a prey to it. The testimonies of cures-the revelations etc are all a fraud inflicted on a vulnerable already affected and afflicted populace. The political netas are not worried about this. As long as it is not Hinduism they simply look the other way. It seems to be a sin or an aberration if one is a devote Hindu but if one is a devote Christian /Muslim then it is not frowned upon. And that the devoutness of being a Christian/Muslim mean…even when it comes to following the anti-secular dictates of their religion like the ‘fatwa.It is no secret that Muslim scholars keep on repeating that Islam is a peace loving religion. Is that what the world experience –see in the Islamic countries. Even another Islamic sect is not tolerated. The World Human Rights forums do not raise their voices against the persecution, the killings, the beheadings and above all the terrorism unleashed by religion. It is only when the Hindus raise their voices and reconvert then hackles are raised that it is unconstitutional and against secularism. This is not only a double standard but an injustice and a display of a warped perception.

    Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

    Vadodara,Gujarat
    This is ma’am’s current thoughts on this topic currently

    Reply
  • 8. BOBBY  |  February 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I’m not a supporter or Modi or Kejriwal or Rahul. I’m neither a Hindu, nor a Christian. I prefer to call myself Humanist

    Thus I would like respond to your reply to SM MICHEAL.

    Rahul Gandhi once said a sentence regarding Modi: If he can attack, let him attack the Content and not the Subject.

    Your response to him is like this. He wrote at an ideological level and social level. You responded to him at a religious level and a personal level. You belittled yourself by your very biased response. If you really were able to, you would’ve chosen to take the ARGUMENTS and not the PERSON.

    His article had some bias yes. If that is called BIAS I’d call your response as FANATIC. One running thread I found in your response is this: First correct yourself then talk about others.

    If there is a question why did you give bribe, I’m sure you’d not answer ‘what about that guy? He also bribed’. That’s not an answer at all. So why do both of you justify rape by playing a blame game.

    First learnt to be an Indian without being led by conversions, fundamentalists. All that is going on in Indian polity is…. Being a Hindu, Christian and a Muslim and others. SM MICHEAL justifies Christianity. You justify Hinduism. Both are one and the same

    An Indian is one who follows the Constitution. Not one whose lineage is traced back to Aryans.

    Reply

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