An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Killing Christians would not make Hinduism great!

While atrocities by VHP and Bajrang Dal continue in Orissa (nun raped . raped and burnt alive), the situation may be coming close to a President’s rule in that state.

It is unarguable that there is an inherent anger and dissatisfaction at the conversion activities of Christian missionaries in India and the way Popes – specially Pope John Paul II – have behaved when it came to this issue with respect to India and Asia, but somewhere a line has to be drawn!

These missionaries use foreign money to open schools and orphanages where none exist. In some cases they change the culture and beliefs while in others they remain fairly secular. I believe it depends which denomination is at work.

So, if “revenge” is what VHP and Bajrang Dal wants against these missionaries, then the work is clear cut – open bigger and better orphanages and swankier and more up-to-date and modern schools to sway the population to their side! After all there is a precedent in Arya Samaj movement. Even Swami Dayanand Saraswati realized this issue of conversion and he and his friends emphasized on creating great modern institutions of learning – like DAV schools and colleges. Hansraj College in Delhi – a top Delhi Univ college is an example of that!

Killing someone is no answer – however you may disagree with him or her. I think BJP needs to dissociate itself from the agenda of VHP/Bajrang Dal and again re-emphasize and bring out the dream of higher learning through really high quality institutions that Swami Dayanand once dreamt of. If BJP wants to invest in – time and money – let them invest in reviving the dwindling and dilapidated schools and colleges under the DAV management or even start new ones.

I truly feel – HONESTLY – that the Vedantic mind and knowledge reached a level never before and since seen in the world – at least from the honesty of exploration and ruthless questioning standpoint. There is, therefore, a VERY strong reason why those traditions need to revived and promoted! Questioning, that is piercing and relentless and that can make one go far away from faith and belief (which stops the exploration from reaching its logical conclusion) – and takes one to a level that only few have reached in last so many years – is what is required for the world today.

If the anger and vengeance of the zealous Hindus can be directed to blow away the shackles of faith and chains of religious belief… and bring back the ruthless skepticism of Maharishi Vasistha and Lord Krishna, then one thing is certain.. no one will want to jump to different boxes called religion just to be “free” -without realizing that another jail does not equal freedom!

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10 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    For once you have not worn the cap of the rabidly fundamental and feudal BJP and have spoken some semblance of truth. Otherwise truth is the first casualty in all your writings.Christianity in India is more than 2000 years old and India will remain united only if we celebrate its diversity. There will be no unity if uniformity(religion, language, culture or any other divisive agenda) is thrust on any community.

    Christians have a record of service. I am witness to many IAS officers and politicians (even from the BJP) begging(yes that is the word) for admission in Christian schools and colleges. There is a huge line for admissions in every school and college run by the church. Unlike a madrasa which will have 100 % muslims or missionary schools run by DAV or Ramakrishna mission which will have 95 % + Hindus, Christian schools almost always have a cosmopolitan character with not more than 20 % christians. Not Surprisingly there is absolutely no demand to study in saraswati shishu mandirs run by the RSS even amongst the hindu community.The record of the RSS in social service is so great that almost nobody knows about it. I am yet to come across any body who has said that he has been educated in an RSS missionary school and is extremely grateful for that. When health care in India was still under developed the Christian medical college at vellore was the last resort.

    It is very difficult to clean the sores of lepers, take care of the destitutes, run schools, orphanages and hospitals in remote areas where the state has abdicated its responsibility. What is easy is identifying an enemy(Pehle kasai phir isai) and then mobilising and polarising voters.
    SHAME ON YOU AND THE RSS FOR KILLLING OF CHRISTIANS AND RAPING THEIR NUNS.

    Let us examine the conversions debate. As a dalit I have been at the receiving end of upper caste outrage and one needs to be a Dalit to actually understand their plight. Dalit students are routinely humiliated and harassed at school. One reason why there are many drop outs.They are seated separately in the classroom and at mid-day meals in schools across the country.Dalit Students are slapped by the teacher and jeered at by upper castes for drinking water from the common pitcher. Segregation in hostels and in the dining rooms of the colleges they go to happens as a matter of routine. Discrimination dogs Dalit students at every turn, every level and also at the workplace. Although Dalits are not a caste but include people from hundreds of social groups that have suffered untouchability. Dalits are beaten up, even burnt alive, for drawing water from the village well. They have to walk kilometres on end to fetch water, are forced to live on the outskirts of the village, locked into an eternal form of indigenous apartheid.Men have had their eyes gouged out for marrying outside their caste and acid is thrown on dalit girls if they are seen in the company of caste hindus.The discrimination that pervades Dalit lives follows them after death too. They are denied the use of village graveyards. Dalits burying their dead in any place the upper castes object to could find the bodies of their loved ones torn out of the ground.I hate my religion and would love to embrace christianity if they provide me with dignity , with education, with health care and with employment.THE ULTIMATE INSULT IS BY MAHATMA GANDHI WHO CALLS US HARIJANS. I WISH WE WERE THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL THAN CHILDREN OF GOD.WE ARE MASTERS OF OUR OWN DESTINY AND WE WILL CHALK OUT OUR OWN FUTURE. CASTE HINDUS ARE NO LONGER OUR MAI BAAP.

    Persecution of minorities in a theocratic state or totalitarian regimes while condemnable, is fine,(If hindus are persecuted in pakistan it is ok because pakistan is a theocratic state) but totally unacceptable in a secular democracy. The adherents of the majority community should hang their head in shame when a tiny minority is subjected to the vicious assaults by the BAjrang Dal storm troopers.

    But in this season of soul-searching and internal reckoning, we are acting like a rabble of spoiled children, picking fights with one another rather than taking shared responsibility.

    This is a vicious, ruthless region, and has been throughout the six decades of our modern statehood. We have managed, near miraculously on occasion, to frustrate various enemy efforts to achieve our destruction. But seldom have those who seek to wipe us out been as confident as they are today that our elimination is close at hand. But we have yet to reach true national maturity. Such a state requires confronting the most acute of our dilemmas. The longer we leave it unresolved, the more threatening our internal climate becomes.

    We prevailed in our past wars here because our enemies were divided while we were united in the battle for our very existence. The danger now is of roles reversed – of a unified enemy bent on our destruction and a divided India at war with itself. Our rifts leave us vulnerable to our ruthless enemies, who are smacking their lips as they contemplate our elimination.

    Maturity requires making hard choices, and taking collective responsibility for them. We have grown old and are all of 60 years of age. It’s time for India to grow up.

  2. Anonymous says

    For once you have not worn the cap of the rabidly fundamental and feudal BJP and have spoken some semblance of truth. Otherwise truth is the first casualty in all your writings.Christianity in India is more than 2000 years old and India will remain united only if we celebrate its diversity. There will be no unity if uniformity(religion, language, culture or any other divisive agenda) is thrust on any community.

    Christians have a record of service. I am witness to many IAS officers and politicians (even from the BJP) begging(yes that is the word) for admission in Christian schools and colleges. There is a huge line for admissions in every school and college run by the church. Unlike a madrasa which will have 100 % muslims or missionary schools run by DAV or Ramakrishna mission which will have 95 % + Hindus, Christian schools almost always have a cosmopolitan character with not more than 20 % christians. Not Surprisingly there is absolutely no demand to study in saraswati shishu mandirs run by the RSS even amongst the hindu community.The record of the RSS in social service is so great that almost nobody knows about it. I am yet to come across any body who has said that he has been educated in an RSS missionary school and is extremely grateful for that. When health care in India was still under developed the Christian medical college at vellore was the last resort.

    It is very difficult to clean the sores of lepers, take care of the destitutes, run schools, orphanages and hospitals in remote areas where the state has abdicated its responsibility. What is easy is identifying an enemy(Pehle kasai phir isai) and then mobilising and polarising voters.
    SHAME ON YOU AND THE RSS FOR KILLLING OF CHRISTIANS AND RAPING THEIR NUNS.

    Let us examine the conversions debate. As a dalit I have been at the receiving end of upper caste outrage and one needs to be a Dalit to actually understand their plight. Dalit students are routinely humiliated and harassed at school. One reason why there are many drop outs.They are seated separately in the classroom and at mid-day meals in schools across the country.Dalit Students are slapped by the teacher and jeered at by upper castes for drinking water from the common pitcher. Segregation in hostels and in the dining rooms of the colleges they go to happens as a matter of routine. Discrimination dogs Dalit students at every turn, every level and also at the workplace. Although Dalits are not a caste but include people from hundreds of social groups that have suffered untouchability. Dalits are beaten up, even burnt alive, for drawing water from the village well. They have to walk kilometres on end to fetch water, are forced to live on the outskirts of the village, locked into an eternal form of indigenous apartheid.Men have had their eyes gouged out for marrying outside their caste and acid is thrown on dalit girls if they are seen in the company of caste hindus.The discrimination that pervades Dalit lives follows them after death too. They are denied the use of village graveyards. Dalits burying their dead in any place the upper castes object to could find the bodies of their loved ones torn out of the ground.I hate my religion and would love to embrace christianity if they provide me with dignity , with education, with health care and with employment.THE ULTIMATE INSULT IS BY MAHATMA GANDHI WHO CALLS US HARIJANS. I WISH WE WERE THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL THAN CHILDREN OF GOD.WE ARE MASTERS OF OUR OWN DESTINY AND WE WILL CHALK OUT OUR OWN FUTURE. CASTE HINDUS ARE NO LONGER OUR MAI BAAP.

    Persecution of minorities in a theocratic state or totalitarian regimes while condemnable, is fine,(If hindus are persecuted in pakistan it is ok because pakistan is a theocratic state) but totally unacceptable in a secular democracy. The adherents of the majority community should hang their head in shame when a tiny minority is subjected to the vicious assaults by the BAjrang Dal storm troopers.

    But in this season of soul-searching and internal reckoning, we are acting like a rabble of spoiled children, picking fights with one another rather than taking shared responsibility.

    This is a vicious, ruthless region, and has been throughout the six decades of our modern statehood. We have managed, near miraculously on occasion, to frustrate various enemy efforts to achieve our destruction. But seldom have those who seek to wipe us out been as confident as they are today that our elimination is close at hand. But we have yet to reach true national maturity. Such a state requires confronting the most acute of our dilemmas. The longer we leave it unresolved, the more threatening our internal climate becomes.

    We prevailed in our past wars here because our enemies were divided while we were united in the battle for our very existence. The danger now is of roles reversed – of a unified enemy bent on our destruction and a divided India at war with itself. Our rifts leave us vulnerable to our ruthless enemies, who are smacking their lips as they contemplate our elimination.

    Maturity requires making hard choices, and taking collective responsibility for them. We have grown old and are all of 60 years of age. It’s time for India to grow up.

  3. Desh says

    Anonymous – whatever you think I am is your problem.. not mine. I write what I feel is right or wrong… knowing fully well that its just an opinion.

    Caste system is an issue that should have been eliminated loong back. It is our misfortune that it wasn’t. Although it did start with the backing of the pundits etc.. it subsequently became a societal issue. Swami Vivekananda has rightly criticized Adi Shankara for missing the opportunity to bring the power of his intellect to change the way religion provided the sanctity to this menace. Having said that there is evidence that even change of religion have not taken away the segregation of Dalits in a lot of areas amongst the people of new religion either. And everyone knows the pain and suffering of the blacks in the Christian world as well. So, again, discrimination has nothing to do with a particular religion. Caste system started in the Hindu society and we are all responsible for it as a certain level and we should work hard to eliminate it.

  4. Desh says

    Anonymous – whatever you think I am is your problem.. not mine. I write what I feel is right or wrong… knowing fully well that its just an opinion.

    Caste system is an issue that should have been eliminated loong back. It is our misfortune that it wasn’t. Although it did start with the backing of the pundits etc.. it subsequently became a societal issue. Swami Vivekananda has rightly criticized Adi Shankara for missing the opportunity to bring the power of his intellect to change the way religion provided the sanctity to this menace. Having said that there is evidence that even change of religion have not taken away the segregation of Dalits in a lot of areas amongst the people of new religion either. And everyone knows the pain and suffering of the blacks in the Christian world as well. So, again, discrimination has nothing to do with a particular religion. Caste system started in the Hindu society and we are all responsible for it as a certain level and we should work hard to eliminate it.

  5. Anonymous says

    again skirting the real issues your only response is “oh look the situation is just as bad in other religions”.
    What is your response to any of the issues that i have raised? Since you are complicit in the crime spewing venom and poisoning young minds with your acid filled pen it will be asking too much for a coherent response.
    Shame on YOU and your partner organisation the bajrang dal.SHAME ON YOU.

  6. Anonymous says

    again skirting the real issues your only response is “oh look the situation is just as bad in other religions”.
    What is your response to any of the issues that i have raised? Since you are complicit in the crime spewing venom and poisoning young minds with your acid filled pen it will be asking too much for a coherent response.
    Shame on YOU and your partner organisation the bajrang dal.SHAME ON YOU.

  7. vishwa says

    Just a comment:
    If one looks back at history, there is hardly a social effort/movement that was successfully be suppressed by force. On the contrary, violent suppression gives the suppressed a moral legitimacy which sustains it. Well known examples of brutal suppressions which failed: the spread of Christianity in the first 4 centuries after Christ, the freedom-fighters movement in India and many other third-world countries, struggle against apartheid in South Africa, persecution of the Jews in Europe (and the discrimination against them in USA), Hitler’s violent crusade in Europe, Indonesian suppression in East Timor etc. So all the teachers/leaders/commentators need to learn this and keep repeating this.

    The better way to oppose something, if one feels it is justifiable for the common good, is to make a proposal to establish a law against it which is what the United States and the British used to do for multiple centuries. Case in point: immigration to US from Asia was banned by law from 1920s to mid 1960s. The mere act to making a law will subject it to scrutiny and prevent tyranny. It gives the opposite side an opportunity to challenge it in the courts in the land and decide its constitutionality.

    Ultimately it has to start from respect for the law. So the people who committed crimes on the nuns should be tracked down and hanged (if that is what the law allows) to set an example for those who think about doing the same.

  8. vishwa says

    Just a comment:
    If one looks back at history, there is hardly a social effort/movement that was successfully be suppressed by force. On the contrary, violent suppression gives the suppressed a moral legitimacy which sustains it. Well known examples of brutal suppressions which failed: the spread of Christianity in the first 4 centuries after Christ, the freedom-fighters movement in India and many other third-world countries, struggle against apartheid in South Africa, persecution of the Jews in Europe (and the discrimination against them in USA), Hitler’s violent crusade in Europe, Indonesian suppression in East Timor etc. So all the teachers/leaders/commentators need to learn this and keep repeating this.

    The better way to oppose something, if one feels it is justifiable for the common good, is to make a proposal to establish a law against it which is what the United States and the British used to do for multiple centuries. Case in point: immigration to US from Asia was banned by law from 1920s to mid 1960s. The mere act to making a law will subject it to scrutiny and prevent tyranny. It gives the opposite side an opportunity to challenge it in the courts in the land and decide its constitutionality.

    Ultimately it has to start from respect for the law. So the people who committed crimes on the nuns should be tracked down and hanged (if that is what the law allows) to set an example for those who think about doing the same.

  9. Andy Sedgwick says

    Caste system started in the Hindu society and we are all responsible for it as a certain level and we should work hard to eliminate it.
    -This is so true. Religion has nothing to do with how discrimination is being “practiced” in society.

  10. Andy Sedgwick says

    Caste system started in the Hindu society and we are all responsible for it as a certain level and we should work hard to eliminate it.
    -This is so true. Religion has nothing to do with how discrimination is being “practiced” in society.

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