Conversions, Missing the Wood for the Trees

Five, benefits to  Scheduled Tribes continue even after conversion to Christianity.

Under the Constitution  scheduled castes who convert to Christianity cannot avail of benefits  available to SC. However, this was omitted or overlooked in the case  of Scheduled Tribes. As a result ST’s are targeted by missionaries.  The locals of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland personally  expressed regret in this matter to the author.

During a recent visit to  Kohima the author met with scheduled tribes, all Christian, who spoke  English so well that the author got a complex. They do not pay any  income-tax either. As there is no concept of Scheduled Tribes (or  Scheduled Caste) in Christianity, all State benefits should be  withdrawn post conversion.

The Church has used this  lacuna to convert tribes on a large-scale in Nagaland, Mizoram,  Meghalaya, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh and has now moved into the  Hindi heartland. (Read 200  Mahadalits in Bodh Gaya convert to Christianity)

Six, introduction  of Missionary Visas makes it easier for foreign missionaries, it is  logical that conversions will follow.

“The UPA  Government has quietly relaxed restrictions on  the entry and stay of foreign missionaries coming to the country.  These restrictions were enforced on the recommendations of the Niyogi  Commission, appointed to investigate the activities of missionaries  in Madhya Pradesh, which submitted its report to the Union Government  in 1956. The missionary visa is issued to those going to India “for  a religious purpose”.

During a visit to  Manipur’s Senapati district the author saw a banner of the Mao  Baptist Church Association program 16-18/1/2015 where one of the  speakers was from West Virginia. Hindu Swamis visiting the US are not  comparable as Hindus do not convert as an instrument of religious  policy.

Needless to say this  class of visa needs to be withdrawn immediately.

Seven, misuse of  Hindu symbols by some Christians.

Hindu temples especially  in the South have dwajastambha. On important occasions like  temple festivals the temple flag is hoisted for the duration of the  festival. During a visit to Sankara birthplace in Kalady, Kerala and  in Jammu saw a dwajastambha with a cross. See pic no 8

There are similar  instances of missionaries wearing saffron clothing in south India  (obviously to mislead locals). A Ramakrishna Mission Monk who had  worked in Arunachal Pradesh told me of missionaries who wore saffron  clothes to tell local tribes that they were like Hindu monks. In  Kerala is a Christian Ashram called Kurisumala  Ashram.

Saffron clothes, words  Ashram and Swami, have certain meaning for the followers of Dharma.  One is against the misrepresentation and misuse of Hindu symbols by  sections of the Church. A poor person will not know the difference  and could convert assuming both religions are similar. Use of Hindu  symbols should be restricted to HBJS.

Critics will argue  that we must welcome Hinduization of the Church. The right to permit  use of Hindu symbols must lie with the Hindu community and cannot be  unilaterally appropriated by Followers of the Book.

Eight, Convent  schools hardly teach about Indian greats such as Panini, Aryabhata,  Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, Narayan Guru or literary works of  Thiruvalluvar Tagore, Kabir, Tulsidas; instead they teach  Shakespeare, Keats etc. Should Indians revere Western figures but  know little about our own?

No wonder, on Facebook, I  see friends quoting Western scholars! This is one of the reasons why  there is so much resentment among educated Westernised Hindus towards  Hinduism. A secular approach allows Christian institutions to hang a  cross all over their schools, how many Indian schools have you see  with an image of Saraswati?

We have to revamp  education and make it more Indian. Critics must  know that Secularism means ‘equal respect  for all religions’ and not discriminating against Hindus.

Nine, the word  Hindu came into existence to distinguish Muslim invaders from  residents of India. With the Christian invasion Hindu became  Hinduism.

The  word Hinduism is not representative of the original word ‘Sanatana  Dharma which means ‘the Eternal or Universal Dharma’.  Dharma means universal law, the fundamental principles behind this  marvelous universe like the Law of Karma. Sanatana means perennial,  referring to eternal truths that manifests in ever-new names and  forms.” Thus the word Hinduism is properly the Sanatana Dharma.

Post May 16,  critics state that it is Majoritanism at work. During a recent  visit to Shillong, the author got to know that all shops are closed  on Sunday since the day is an Xtan holiday.

If President Obama could  take his first oath of office by keeping one hand on the Bible and  Sunday can be a holiday in Christian majority Shillong, can Hindus be  faulted for demanding Equal Human Rights?

Will the NDA government  ACT?

The  author is an independent columnist, Chartered Accountant and Travel  Photojournalist.

Also  see
1. Foreign Funding of NGOs by Prashant Reddy
2. On Freedom of Religion by Nitin Pai
3. Pictures    of Churches in Arunachal Pradesh
4. Why Hinduism never developed a concept of blasphemy by TVR Shenoy
5. Pictures of Churches in Jammu Region
6. Terror in the name of Christ in Northeast by Kampana
7. Foreign Funding of Indian NGOs by Sanjeev Nayyar

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