I was thinking of saying this myself .. but when I read this at Eternalsoul’s site I finally came to the point of writing about it! Every one in the Indian media is gloating over the victory of Bobby Jindal. But who is this Bobby (Piyush) Jindal?
He is the son of Indian immigrants and who converted while he was in his undergrad college – because he found in Bible what he couldn’t find in Hinduism. He laments the fact that his parents could not forgive him, but he hardly ever understands why he could never get to see their point of view. In my view, he is as opportunistic as the politicians come. From a devout Hindu to a converted Catholic seems to be an excellent story for the right wing Christian Republicans as the ideal “immigrant story”, but to me it has clear stamp of opportunism!
Here is his story in his own words:
As Jindal readily confessed in that article, “it never occurred to me that I should consider any other religion; to be a Hindu was an aspect of my Indian identity.” Thus, when a childhood friend, intent on converting the world, first introduced him to Christianity by warning him “you and your parents are going to hell,” he recalls that he “was hardly convinced.” Jindal was also “angered by the arrogance of my Southern Baptist friend who claimed his faith was the one true path to God.” That’s because he realized that his friend sought to “deny the experience of billions of people who have never seen a copy of the Bible.”
Nevertheless the event did succeed in motivating him to “examine Hinduism on its own merits and doctrines” even as he was “searching for an objectively true faith that would lead me to God.” Simultaneously he began reading the Bible “to disprove the Christian faith I was learning both to admire and despise.” That was also a time when he “was touched by the love and simplicity of a Christian girl who dreamt of becoming a Supreme Court justice so she could stop her country from “killing unborn babies.”
As he delved deeper into the Bible, says Jindal, “I saw myself in many of the parables and felt as if the Bible had been written especially for me. After reading every book I could find on the historical accuracy of the Bible and Christianity, I was convinced that the Bible had remained unaltered throughout the centuries and that circumstances surrounding Christ’s death led to the conversions of thousands.”
Jindal admits that up to that point his perspective remained intellectual and not spiritual.
The next decisive event in Jindal’s spiritual quest came in the form of a short, black and white film depicting the crucifixion of Christ. As he recalled, “For the first time I actually imagined what it meant for the Son of God to be humiliated and even killed for my sake. Although the movie did not convince me that anything was true, it did force me to wonder if Christians were right. I realized that if the Gospel stories were true, if Christ really was the Son of God, it was arrogant of me to reject Him and question the gift of salvation.”
It required many hours of discussion with a pastor before he was “ready to take that leap of faith and accept Christ into my life.” It would be another two years before he would be baptized into the Catholic faith. But in deference to his parent’s wishes Jindal reveals that he chose to have the ceremony in Providence rather than in Baton Rouge.
I have nothing against Christians but in my personal view Christianity has downgraded Christ’s spiritual self itself in many ways. I love Christ’s spiritual self, but what is dished out in the name of Christianity is quite often shameful. It is used by missionaries to further the wars of colonial powers. It still is. Here is an interesting way of putting it by an African:
When he (missionary) first came – he had the Bible and I had the land. Now, he has the land and I have the Bible!
If one was to go to Africa, one can understand how the entire paraphernalia of the missions are used to rob the natives.
So, before the Indians become so happy at Jindal’s winning of the Governor’s post – one ought to ask him… what were those things in Hinduism that made him incur the wrath of his parents and convert?
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