The Vicious Circle of Conversions in India
S. Shankar mulls over the activities of Christian missionaries
Before independence when Mahatama Gandhi began his movement against untouchability, Christian missionaries were greatly upset. The reason they gave for their anger was that Gandhi was interfering with the fundamental principles of Hindu faith. God knows since when did untouchability become a “fundamental principle” of Hinduism!
Then, when the chief minister of Travancore, C.P. Ramaswami Aiyyar opened the doors of all Hindu temples of the state for Harijans, the missionaries were worried no end. it is worth noting that the biggest opposition to this bold step came from the Christian missionaries, not from the purity-minded Brahmins. So much so that even the Archbishop of Canterbury in Britain voiced his criticism to the opening of Hindu temples to all Harijans. In his words, “this step will prove to be a big setback to the efforts to convert Harijans of India to Christianity.”
That is why Gandhiji said again and again that missionaries lacked a spirit of universal humanity. They are only interested in increasing their numbers. Missionaries even today have the same attitude toward dalits and tribals. They are not the helpers of poor and downtrodden — they are their hunters. This is the reason for all the turbulence in various tribal areas of the country where the missionaries are active.
Be it the earthquake in Gujarat, the tsunami in Asia, or the destruction in Iraq, every social upheaval and human tragedy makes missionaries drool about the vast opportunities it presents for them to harvest souls and prey on helpless people for conversions. They do not even bother to hide this thinking of theirs.
Three years ago, when the tsunami struck many Asian countries bringing death and devastation all around, the missionaries openly offered deals that involved conversion in exchange for material help. Similar news was received from Madurai in India. In Jakarata, an American evangelical organization called World Help refused to adopt 50 orphan children when the Indonesian government gave clear orders to it to ensure that they are not converted in exchange for assistance.
Despite this, the Indian media doesn’t get tired day in and day out of praising missionaries for their “charity’ work, while the formidable network of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams and their no-strings-attached help to all poor tribals does not even find a mention.
Gandhi ji considered conversions by missionaries as one of the major causes for unnecessary violence in the world. The incidents in Orissa are the latest proof of this truth. Today we are able to see from our own eyes the seditious and poisonous results of the aggressive conversion programme going on in the North East since the time of the British rule. The Liberation Theology of Christian missionaries is notorious in the whole world for creating social unrest and revolutions in pagan lands. Anybody can easily see the imperial and colonial nature of this vicious ideology.
From 1977-97, V. S. Naupal studied the psychology of the people of Pakistan, Inodnesia, Malaysia and Iran. He concluded as a result of his research that in all the converts to the Semitic faiths anywhere in the world, a psychological disease is found that reflects itself in their total and hate-filled rejection of their culture, ancestors and collective history of their own country.
Conversion to Islam or Christianity is not as simple as changing one’s personal faith at an individual level. We should never forget the warning of Swami Vivekanand that every Hindu who converts to Islam or Christianity is not only a Hindu less but an enemy more. Assam, Kashmir and Orissa in different eras of history have been proving this warning correct and far-sighted. We may avoid this bitter truth as much as we want, but our future will never be safe till we do not seriously consider it and reflect upon it.
Jhabua, Dang, Keonjhar and now Kandhmal – in the last ten years, violence that engulfed these and other parts of the India is a direct result of the missionary politics and activities. But this is the point that is deliberately ignored in any discussion on these events. The biggest share of blame for this lies at the door of the communist intellectuals who even today have a stranglehold over Indian media, politics and academics.
It is widely known that these intellectuals never discuss or mention anything which they feel will result in a gain for the BJP. Missionaries and Western powers know this very well, and hence exploit these people to their maximum advantage. Be it our nuclear strategy, environmental issues, economic reforms, violence in Gujarat and Kashmir or defending conversions – these communist intellectuals act as the spokespersons of the Western governments in any discussion and debate about these issues. These people — and no one else — are the real strength behind the missionary apparatus in India. This is the reason why missionaries are unable to be as aggressive in China or Arab countries as they are in India.
Western governments as a matter of carefully thought-out strategy provide economic, diplomatic and political support to missionary organizations to carry out conversions throughout the world. The US government considers Christian evangelism as an inseparable part of its foreign policy.
Here is an article that I translated from Dainik jagaran, which seems to be the best newspaper in India. (It has the largest print run of 21 million copies every day.)