Promises BJP must keep

Source: Dialypioneer.com
OPED | Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Francois Gautier

Sending a clear message to divisive forces, the BJP must come out with a ‘nation first’ agenda of governance and fulfil the promises it has made to the masses

The curse of Hindus has always been disunity and betraying each other to the enemy. Today we see this trend again in the BJP where sometimes the highest party office-bearers can’t even say hello to each other. As far as one can remember, the BJP had three pillars: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr LK Advani and Mr Murli Manohar Joshi.

Mr Vajpayee is no longer able to lead an active life due to health concerns and thus Mr Advani and Mr Joshi, who was president of the BJP in the early-1990s and had hoisted the Indian Tricolour in Srinagar at a time when no other leader gave a damn about Jammu & Kashmir, are two pillars of the party today. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has risen to the stature of a national-level leader, not only because he is an ironman but also because he has made his State a model of economic efficiency.

The BJP should make it known that it will really build the Ram Mandir, protect temples, stop Christian conversions, honour India’s gurus and impose some guidelines on media, which have a pre-conceived notion about Pope and Islam but always see Hindu godmen and sadhvis through the eyes of ‘secularism’.

On the external affairs side, the BJP should reaffirm its commitment to keep Arunachal Pradesh, stand-up to China’s bullying, and support Tibet to counteract Beijing, which is propping up Maoist Nepal and covertly using Burma as a military base.

The party should also make it clear that it will keep Jammu & Kashmir with India, hang terrorists (and not translate 11,000 indictment pages into Urdu for terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab), punish Pakistan by launching surgical strikes next time it attacks India through a proxy war and keep the United States at bay as long as America supports and provides arms and ammunition to Pakistan.

But you would say: What about the NDA? The BJP should not bother about its allies who are anyway jumping the ship as they think the Congress will win the election. If Mr Advani stands true to the aspirations of Hindu voters, the BJP can come to power on its own at the Centre and thus be able to implement the changes which India so urgently needs: Adopt a Uniform Civil Code, repeal Article 370, reform the judiciary, and switch over to a Parliamentary system of governance.

The BJP should reiterate that it considers all Indians equal and that it is always attentive to the demands of the Muslim community.

Unfortunately, the media always feels closer to the Congress and flaunts this proximity blatantly. It is gleeful every time the BJP is in trouble. For instance, the media and the Congress have been much more severe with Mr Varun Gandhi than Kasab (the former didn’t say anything provocative while the latter went on a shooting spree).

As for the West’s opinion, French Ambassador Jérome Bonnafont, an otherwise courteous diplomat, summed it up very well when he said: “The RSS and the BJP are dangerous fascists and Muslims in India are persecuted, not having the same opportunities as Hindus.” He also genuinely feels that the burning of Hindus in the Sabarmati Express never happened, but that “the anti-Muslims riots in Gujarat were a crime against humanity”.

As Indians worship their country as the ‘mother’, the BJP should reintroduce the notion of ‘Mother India’ in its election manifesto. If US President Barack Obama can be sworn in on the Bible, then all future Indian Prime Ministers can take the oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita. Those who are Christians can use the Bible and the Muslims the Quran. That should satisfy everybody.

The writer is a senior French journalist who lives in India.

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9 responses to “Promises BJP must keep

  1. These days its became a sin in India to say that ‘I am a Hindu’ or at least you will be portrayed as if you are committing a sin.

    And its fashionable to disapprove and blast anything that sounds ‘hindu’

    It refreshing to read your post. Much appreciated.

  2. i don’t think its in India alone,the so called liberals(communists) degrade native culture in every society,they think religion as a sin

  3. Why are all celebrated, biased journalists pro-BJP? and at times they over kill the sentiments of other religions (and there are as many religions as there are people in this world) when they justify Varun (I would not like to add ‘Gandhi’ as the name is reverend), justify the massacres in Orrisa, Gujrat (and those in Maharashtra by the pro-BJP parties and goons). There are many things that any party that comes to power has to do, but there are certain things that every party should refrain from doing, simple things like not promoting attack on girls who commit the innocent ‘crime’ of consuming alcohol with men, insulting and abusing young boys and girls if they talk or become familiar to people of other religions (read Islam).
    Taking oath is all about believing in a higher power, asking for strength to live up to the expectations that are associated with a high office and following a path which you swear by. There should be no text other than the Constitution of India that must be used for this purpose. If one doesn’t believe in the Constitution of India he/she may as well remain a guest (no matter how many centuries his/her family has been living in this land). There are things that are not perfect, amend them! Even most religious texts are incomplete and at best used by sections of society to mislead those who lack the sanity to resist a temptation to kill a pregnant woman just because she belongs to a different community.
    Killing innocent people cannot be justified even as a reaction to the most gruesome crime (your post suggests that you support the violence against Muslims as most terrorists are Muslims perhaps; someone else’s wrong doesn’t make your wrong right!). Killing should at best be a punishment or prevention of bigger crimes, and judgements (at least in India) are driven towards improvement of society as a whole not a revenge!
    Vote for BJP if you want to, but please don’t ask it to divide my nation!

  4. Thank you for the informative post.

    Terrorists like Kasab are fit case for encounter killing, IMO.

  5. “Taking oath is all about believing in a higher power, asking for strength to live up to the expectations that are associated with a high office and following a path which you swear by. There should be no text other than the Constitution of India that must be used for this purpose. If one doesn’t believe in the Constitution of India he/she may as well remain a guest (no matter how many centuries his/her family has been living in this land).”

    I find it bizarre that those elected over in India cannot take the oath of office with which ever sacred text of the religion they follow. This is not secularism, this is anti-religion, and the two are not the same.

    Obama and just about all American Presidents and elected officials do. In fact in his Cairo speech he spoke about how he swore on a bible when swearing in as President and another Muslim senator swore on the koran. This was seen as the greatness of America that each one could swear upon the scriptures of their own faith. A mark of advancement.It would be very sad thing if an American of Hindu faith in the future were able to take the oath of office upon Hindu sacred scriptures before a Hindu in India ever does.

  6. CHRISTIAN TERROR WANTS TO DESTROY INDIA
    Interview of a Christian Evangelist in India

    By: Bandyopadhyay Arindam
    The world today could have been a much better place for all of us, had we all refrained from trying to prove the superiority of our own religion………..

    This is an interview of “Father Johnson’ after his award by the Government of India for his exemplary work in India in enlightening the people in the path of the ONLY God. Father Johnson returned to the USA after 10 years of service, to uplift the people of India in the name of God. The interview was taken in July 2005 by a journalist in Houston, USA……

    Welcome home Father. You have been in India for 10 years, where “our mission’ is still going on. Tell me Father, how is India?

    India is a fascinating country, a land of contrasts. Modern India is the largest democracy, the budding economic superpower, with the second-largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world. India is also the only surviving ancient civilization with over one sixth of the world population. At one time, not so long ago, when Europe was in the “dark ages’ and America was not even “discovered’, India was a far advanced and developed country with a contribution of over 25% of world GDP till the 17th century and far advanced in all aspects of life, be it knowledge, philosophy, science, mathematics, arts, astronomy or navigation.

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox, (1850-1919), American poet and journalist, wrote “India – The land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.”

    Dick Teresi, American author of “Lost Discoveries’ mentioned “Some one thousand years before Aristotle, the Vedic people asserted that the earth was round and circled the sun….Two thousand years before Pythagoras, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its center….Twenty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda asserted that gravitation held the universe together….. The Sanskrit speaking people subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one…..The Indians of the fifth century A.D. calculated the age of the earth as 4.3 billion years; scientists in 19th century England were convinced it was 100 million years…”

    Despite all its riches, history says that India never invaded any country. On the contrary, India has been repeatedly assaulted and conquered by numerous invaders and has been ruled by “foreigners’, first the Muslims and then the British for over a thousand years. India, before the advent of the British rulers, was a rich and prosperous country.
    Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936), Unitarian minister and reformer, wrote that “…when the British first appeared on the scene, India was one of the richest countries of the world; indeed, it was her great riches that attracted the British to her shores. For 2,500 years before the British came on the scene and robbed her of her freedom, India was self-ruling and one of the most influential and illustrious nations of the world ….. This wealth was created by the Hindus’ vast and varied industries.”

    What about Hinduism as a religion?

    Hinduism has a deep philosophical and spiritual heritage that has repeatedly mesmerized the world including western scientists, leaders and philosophers. Despite propaganda to the contrary, Hindus, like us, believes in one Supreme God but they do so in many forms, that helps to develop personalized relations. Hinduism is the oldest major religion in the earth with 900 million followers. Unlike monotheistic institutionalized, religions like Judaism, Islam or Christianity, it is not based on any single prophet or scripture, but allows its followers all the freedom to pursue God and Truth in their own way, while living harmoniously with all creation.

    We know that the Hindus are tolerant of other religions. Recently, UNESCO pointed out that out of 128 countries where Jews lived before Israel was created, only one, India, did not persecute them and allowed them to prosper and practice Judaism in peace. Similarly the Zoroastrians, when driven out of Persia by Islam were given shelter by the Hindus in India and still coexist in India peacefully. Very recently, the Dalai Lama, driven from Buddhist Tibet, has been accepted with open arms. Such is the ethos of Hinduism and India.

    I have heard that Mark Twain once said that “In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire’. I have also read Arnold Toynbee’s writing “…at the religious level, India has not been a recipient; she has been a giver. About half the total number of the living, higher religions are of Indian origin’. What do you think about it?

    We know India gave birth to religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Hinduism, though the predominant religion, has, to quote Aldous Huxley, “never been a persecuting faith, have preached almost no holy wars and have refrained from that proselytizing religious imperialism which has gone hand in hand with political and economic oppression of colored people.’

    What many do not know and I will not elaborate further for obvious reasons, is that there are researchers who think that the teachings of Jesus Christ have something to do with the ancient wisdom of Vedas. The Hindu concepts of “karma’, and “reincarnation’, which are part of the New Age Movement that we see today, were not unknown to Jesus.

    Then Father, why do we need to convert people in India?

    You see, we in the western world, have the “white man’s burden’ of civilizing the rest of the world. We also have the need and desire to spread the message of Christ, since we believe that it is the ONLY way to salvation and all other nonbelievers will go to hell. The faith in Christianity is being eroded in Europe and America. That is why our Pope on his visit to India said, “Just as in the first millennium, the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the third Christian millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent.’

    Why do you target India?

    India is the right country because Hindu Indians are generally peace-loving tolerant, law abiding people who are truthful and virtuous. India”s devotion to being good rather than being clever comes nearer the heart of a true civilization, said W. J. Grant, in his book,
    “The spirit of India’. The unsuspecting Indians have always welcomed everybody on their shore and still keep on doing so. You cannot say the same about a Muslim country or of communist China. You see Hindus are such naive – they go out of their way to say that “all religions are same – they all lead to God’. Christians and for that matter, no other religion, says that.

    Where does your resource come from?

    There are five major aid-giving countries, viz., USA, Germany, Britain, Italy and the Netherlands. According to the available data, in the last decade alone, foreign aid organizations received more than 2.5 billion dollars. This is only official statistics. According to the record and report of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, the statistics about the foreign aid being received by Indian Non Government Organizations shows that 80% of it is meant only for the Christian organizations that have been buying their ways into the Indian society and converting unsuspecting people under the guise of social service.

    How powerful is Christianity in India?

    Oh, though we are only 2.4% of the population officially, we have a large control over the country because of our economic invasion. You see, the present leader of the main political party-The Congress Party of India is a Roman Catholic with close contact with the Vatican. There are Christian Chief ministers in 5 out of 29 states. Because of the British rule of India, we have a large section of the leaders of India who look up to us. Believe me, we are the second largest land owners in India. We own and control 80% of the Indian media like NDTV 24*7, CNN-IBN ,AAJ TAK, THE TEHELKA etc and newspapers .The best example is how these media made a huge hue and cry over the Gujarat riots.Riots have happened everywhere in India.But in case of Gujarat riots, the reports were deliberately inflated,stories were built up and a systematic,planned malicious and slanderous campaign was launched against the NDA government.
    Inspite of the fact that India took giant leaps in progress in every field and there was a surge in National pride and self confidence for every Indian during their tenure,India’s Most Popular Government led by India’s Finest Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was made to suffer shock defeat. We overtly or covertly have alliance with key political associations. So it is very easy for us to influence the right people.

    You must have a very organized system?

    Yes, we do. Have you heard about the Joshua Project? It identifies and highlights the people groups of the world that have the least exposure to the Gospel and the least Christian presence and shares this information to encourage pioneer church-planting movements among every ethnic group. The Joshua Project has identified the North India Hindi belt as “the core of the core of the core” because of its population density (40% of the Indian population- the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh lies in this region); it is the religious hub of India; and it has the smallest Christian presence in India. Thus detailed plans have been drawn up to target India’s 75,000 Pin Codes.

    The Seventh Day Adventists owes its Indian success to Canadian evangelist Ron Watts, President for the South Asian Division. When he entered India, in 1997, the Adventist Church had 225,000 members after 103 years of operations. In five years, he took it to 700,000.

    Some methods used include the 10-Village and the 25-Village Programs, which involve five sets of laymen, under guidance from a regular pastor, who identify 10 or 25 villages in close proximity. Once the villages were selected, the teams would approach the leaders of each village and invite them to send two leaders to a 10-day seminar at a nearby resort, at the organization’s expense. It is before no time that the local leaders will then start working for our faith and organization. In 1998, there were seventeen 10-Village Programs and 9,337 were baptized. In 1999, forty programs were held and nearly 40,000 people baptized.
    Under the Christian Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. Samuel Rajashekar Reddy, the Adventists shifted to a 50-village plan. They began baptizing at the rate of 10,000 persons per month and have increased it to 5,000 persons per day all over India.

    The US-based Maranatha Volunteers International provides buildings for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They are committed to build 750 churches in 2 years in India. The Oregon based, Fjarli family have a goal to build 1000 churches at a rate of 1 per day.

    How do you carry out conversion attempts?

    You see the local people are so simple and naïve that they do not have any clue as what out motive or means are. We target mostly the poor, illiterate, tribal people because they are the easiest to convert. We do that by various means – we establish schools, hospitals that overtly or subtly promote our faith, we allure them with money or goods to the needy when they convert, we “stage’ miracle cures, we use our influence on the media, we use our experts in propaganda, we promote the influential people and so on. We use the money sent to us by unsuspecting religious and faithful Christians from all over the world. We have numerous NGO and AID organizations to funnel the money into the country. There are a great number of missionaries of various denominations who are working there, all literally competing for the most number of converts. The Southern Baptists alone are a group that has nearly 100,000 career missionaries in North India, all working to spread our “good word.”

    We convince the “natives’ by our appearances and even use their own culture. A native converted person will continue to use his Hindu name so as not to alienate himself. Some of the numerous Catholic priests in Southern India dress like “sannyasis’ (monks), and call their organizations “ashramas’ (hermitage). This is to make Christianity more similar to the Vedic traditions. Bharat Natyam, the classical dance of India, is also taught in the Christian schools, but with Christian symbols and meanings replacing the Vedic. This is all in the attempt to actively sway Hindus over to Christianity. The Evangelical Church of India (ECI), established in 1954, targets the slums, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, in cities and villages. Its logo depicts a cross struck deep in a lotus, the seat of Hindu divinity.

    Is the so called caste system in India an advantage?

    The “Caste-ism in India’ is a boon to us. Though Varna or caste was once an essential part of the culture, based on occupation and vocational skills, which kept the civilization going for over 5000 years, caste-ism is a degenerated socio-political system now that has been declared illegal. However it is one big weapon against Hinduism. We have learnt from the colonial British that it is very easy to divide the population on the basis of caste and religion based politics and we use it to our own interest to the maximum. We join the anti-Hindu forces and help to keep the stigma of caste-ism alive for our own benefit. We target the “untouchables’ (the unprivileged people, that has so marvelously crafted to be a result of the Hindu religion and not the social system) and convert them in the lure of “liberating’ them. However I must confess that we maintain their “untouchability’ by not allowing them to mix with the general Christians, maintaining separate entry to churches and even giving them separate churches and cemeteries.

    We also use opportunities that God gives us. During natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and the recent Tsunami, taking advantage of the need, we were able to convert successfully entire low caste villages in Tamil Nadu to Christianity with the lure of money and aid.

    How successful are you in your conversion attempts.

    Oh we are doing a good job. The Northeast Indian states like Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur, have witnessed a surge of nearly 200% in their Christian population in the past 25 years.
    Their grasp is so strong now that practicing Hinduism is forbidden in some areas. Hindus can no longer do worship or “puja’ in the open because of our influence.
    In another northeast state, Tripura, where there were no Christians at the time of India’s independence, 55 years ago, there are now over 120,000 today. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1710 Christians in 1961, but over 1 million today, along with over 780 churches. In the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, churches are coming-up every day in far flung villages and there is an attempt to set-up one near Tirupati, the world famous Hindu temple. Many of the North-East separatist movements, such as the Mizo or the Bodos, are not only Christian dominated, but also sometimes function with the covert backing of the missionaries. Christian Nagaland terrorists have been killing non-Christians for decades on end. More than 20,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam and Manipur in the past two decades. We understand that there are some social problems that crept up – the northeast states are the highest in India in terms of drugs and AIDS related problem – but we accept that as “casualties of war” –that should not deter us from our goal.

    Do you face any resistance?

    Of course we do. But we brand any resistance as “Hindu fundamentalism or militancy” and the media and our favorite leaders take care of the rest. We have set the mind of the unsuspecting population in a way, that whenever any of our people are harassed, attacked or killed, from any reason including their own faults, the blame automatically goes to these so called “Hindu fundamentalist and Communal Elements” and even though almost all of these instances are later proved to have nothing to do with these Hindu groups, the initial hue and cry that is raised makes sure the memories persist in the mind of the populace and the sympathy stays with us. There are instances when nuns have been proved to be raped by Christians, but the blames continues to stay with the Hindus.

    Is there any legal barrier?

    Yes there are some rules and laws that sometimes impair our activities. The Indian Supreme Court had declared that: “The right to propagate religion does not mean the right to convert… Conversion done under allurement, use of force and fraud in which the poverty or ignorance of the individual is taken advantage of, is not only undemocratic but also unconstitutional…Respect for all religions is the foundation of secularism whereas the seeds of conversion lie in religious intolerance.”. Anti conversion laws have been passed in various states. But as I said, we have our ways.

    Sometimes the law does get us though. We had some instances where members of our faith have been convicted with resultant imprisonment or expulsion. As in churches all over the world, some clergymen have been penalized for cases of sexual exploitation, including pedophilia. But that does not deter us from our goal and our almighty Lord takes care of our soul.

    How satisfied are you with the progress of the missions?

    It is really satisfying. We find enormous pleasure in converting the Hindu “pagans’. However I wish we could do more. I wish I could say like St Francis Xavier, during the Goa Inquisition in 1560, “When I have finished baptizing the people, I order them to destroy the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters.”

    Thank you, Father for your time and honesty.
    Thank you, my son. God bless you.

    Epilogue

    “Christianity offers nothing that is not already available somewhere in the many forms of Hinduism. Hinduism never rejected the teachings of Jesus. Those who have converted either agreed with a gun pressed at their skulls as in Goa, or because it provided an escape from caste tyranny, as well as a guaranteed professional advancement. Through its Vedic legacy, Hinduism respects all faiths. It clearly states that God is one, but has many forms”.
    (Paul William Roberts, author of, “Empire of the Soul: Some journeys in India’)

  7. Gautier you may be interested in this:http://www.stephen-knapp.com/war_against_hinduism.htm
    “The War Against Hinduism
    (Written July, 2001, but still going on)
    By Stephen Knapp
    Over the years we have all heard about the many attempts that have been made in India to convert various sections of society from Hinduism to either Christianity or Islam. But only after one of my trips to India did I really get a much clearer understanding of what has been going on. Furthermore, most people, as well as many Indians, are not fully aware of how the war against Hinduism is happening, nor how serious it is. It is taking place on many levels, and because of this, in some areas the practice of Hinduism is declining rapidly.

    When I was traveling in June of 2001, I had gone on a lecture tour, speaking every night on the importance of Vedic culture at places like Mumbai, Nagpur, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Hyderbad, Bangalore, Trivandrum, and Chennai. So I had the chance to meet with many of the intellectuals and some of the spiritual leaders in these areas, and learned how conversion was a very hot issue.

    Now I don’t have anything in particular against Christianity itself. I was born and raised a Christian, so I know what it is, but also how they work. My main contention is when the teachings that are said to come from Jesus are twisted and misinterpreted into something that does not spread the genuine love of God and humanity that we are all supposed to develop, but becomes the dog-like barking and criticism against every other religion that is not Christian. This does not only go on toward every religion outside of Christianity, but also within it between Catholics and Protestants and other denominations. It seems that this faith has become not something that promotes our similarities for cooperation, but our differences in that everyone who is of an unrelated Christian denomination are all going to hell.

    In regard to India, there is a great number of missionaries of various denominations who are working there right now, all competing for the most number of converts. The Southern Baptists alone are a group that has nearly 100,000 career missionaries in North India, all working to spread the “good word.” We also find that in order to make converts from Hinduism some of the numerous Catholic priests in Southern India dress like sannyasis, and call their organizations ashramas. This is to make Christianity more similar to the Vedic traditions. Bharat Natyam dance is also taught in the Christian schools, but with Christian symbols and meanings replacing the Vedic. This is all in the attempt to actively sway Hindus over to Christianity.

    One way they are trying to bring Christianity deep into the culture of India is by superimposing its rituals, symbols, and even types of dress on the Hindu forms of the same. Thus, you will see the cross on the lotus, some priests dress in saffron, and some churches have the ambiance of a Hindu temple. If this keeps up, maybe one day Christianity will be more Hindu than Christian.

    While traveling in the far Northeastern states of India I have seen some of the tactics that the Christian missionaries have used to help make converts, such as offering cheap polyester pants to the tribals of the Northeast if they become Christian, or even offer motor bicycles if they help convert their brothers, which also means their wives and family. In other places like Madhya Pradesh, as noted in the Neogy Report, the missionaries give small loans on interest to the tribals, who cannot pay back such loans easily. However, if they become Christian, then such loans and the interest are dismissed. This is what goes on in the democracy of India, and under the tolerance of the Hindus, while if one such incidence would ever occur in a Muslim country, the result would be an immediate expulsion of the missionary from that nation.

    Another trick that has been done is that missionaries, while treating the sick, will give medicine of no value and ask the tribal to take it while offering prayers to his local deity. Naturally, no cure of disease is likely to occur with the useless medicine. Then the missionary gives the tribal real medicine and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to Jesus. Then when there is a recovery, it is attributed to the power of Christ and not to the medicine. Such conversion activities take place these days more often in the tribal areas under the guise of social service. However, true social service should be done without expecting anything in return, including conversion.

    Another thing that takes place is mass healings at meetings similar to revivals. What they do is pay people to attend the healings portraying themselves as being sick, or invalids on crutches, etc., who then get called up and are miraculously cured of their disease. This is attributed to the power of Christ, which then convinces many tribals that they too can benefit in various ways if they become Christian. This has not had much of an effect amongst the Brahmana classes, but the lower classes who attend are more vulnerable and are impressed by such things, and are then swayed toward Christianity. This is why Christian conversion tactics have been focused more toward the tribal areas than other regions of India. So these conversions are not taking place due to pure preaching of the Bible or the message of Jesus, but are accomplished by trickery and the emphasis on material facility. This is, of course, what is being objected to by the general Hindu population. However, when or if people convert for purely spiritual reasons, then there is no objection.

    Another way conversions are accomplished is with the promise to the Dalits or the lower caste Hindus that they will not have any more caste recognition by becoming Christians. However, after conversion many find out that this is not true. Even amongst the converted Christians there is found to be a caste mentality, with the lower castes forced to use separate doorways, separate seating, or have marriages performed only among equal caste Christians and in separate facilities, or to even be buried in separate cemeteries. When this becomes obvious to those who are newly converted, some of them want to come back to being Hindus again, which has been facilitated by such organizations as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

    An interesting point is that in spite of these duplicitous ways of converting that the Christians have used, the Christian churches have threatened violence against the process of reconversion back to Hinduism that had been launched by the VHP. It is as if they do not want anyone to have the right to do what they are already doing. It was Rev. V. K. Nuh, secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Convention who said, “If someone tries to impose their faith, Christians in this region will not surrender. There will be a battle and we shall have no option. There will be a physical and religious war if attempts are made to propagate Hinduism by forceful means in the Northeast.” In this same line of thinking, Rev. M.D. Oaugma, head of the Garo Baptist Convention of Meghalaya said, “It could be a threat to Christianity if we remain silent to the VHP’s game plan of mass conversion. We shall have to fight, we shall have to resist.” (Maharashtra Herald, July 11, 1998)

    Of course, it is easy for Hindus to be nonchalant toward other religions because they feel that each spiritual path takes you toward God. So in this light, it is alright to be tolerant of them or let them thrive. But the problem is that not all religions feel the same way toward Hinduism. Some feel that Hinduism is a culture that should be removed or destroyed. An example of this is that in Northeast India, in states like Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur, they have witnessed a surge of nearly 200% in their Christian population in the past 25 years due to the wily tactics of foreign missionaries. Their grasp is so strong now that practicing Hinduism is forbidden in some areas. Where is the democratic freedom in that? Hindus can no longer do worship or arati in the open because of the fanaticism in parts of the land. Durga puja has become almost obsolete as deities are destroyed or stolen in broad daylight. This confrontational climate has led to numerous militant outfits sponsored by the Church who are fighting for secession from India. So now the Northeastern portion of India wants to secede from it, and another part of India will be lost if this should happen.

    If the Catholic Church in particular is supposed to espouse the message that God is love, and that it is by love of God and neighbor that mankind is saved, it certainly has not shown much of that kind of love toward any other religion. With the Pope’s recent call for conversions in Asia, it certainly shows that it is not a friend of other religions, but still holds the goal that other spiritual paths should be brought down to be replaced by Christianity. This should be clearly understood. This is also the case with the Baptists and other denominations.

    While I was in New Delhi, I also met with Mrs. Shanti Reddy, a member of a government agency called the National Committee for Women. She revealed that another thing that missionaries have done was to kidnap young Indian children. What one Christian missionary couple in Chennai was doing before they were arrested was to bribe tribals into giving their young baby girls to them. They would pay the tribals as little as 2000 to 5000 rupees for baby girls, and then turn around and sell the girls to foreigners for as much as $30,000 to $40,000. According to the records that had been confiscated from the missionaries’ home, this had been a thriving business, and nearly 25 of such transactions had already taken place. The Indian authorities said they probably saved 300 baby girls from such a fate from the indications on the records they found. So this has been another one of the forms of activities that such missionaries do for their own benefit and profit against the real interest of India. However, whenever Hindus react with force against such people, they are labeled as fundamentalists, antagonists, communalists, or worse. But how can you expect that Hindus should not display serious and violent reactions when such activities become obvious? It usually takes a lot to make Hindus react, as they are often most pacifistic and tolerant people. This is also why they make lousy terrorists, they just do not see things that way.

    Nonetheless, another way that India is slowly losing its Vedic culture is through the process of secular or English and Christian education. Of course, in public schools all Vedic books have been removed from the curriculum. So there are no possibilities to study the ancient Indian literature or art in such institutions. So Vedic values are no longer part of what the children are taught. Furthermore, the Christian schools, often staffed by Christian missionaries, can teach Christian values in their classes, and include a short study of the Bible everyday, or the Koran if it’s an Islamic school. The so-called secular government has even helped them with free land and facilities. Since these schools offer English in their education, along with good discipline, many of the middle classes of Indians are favoring sending their children to these schools. Today, in the Indian cities, many of the parents of children are the graduates of Christian schools, who also send there own children to such schools. As this trend continues, there will be a decreasing number of Hindus in the educated sector. Thus, children in India, with the help of the secular government, are learning Christian values and perceiving their own history and culture as something less than honorable. They are taught that such important books as the Bhagavad-gita, Ramayana, Bhagavata Purana and other Vedic texts are nothing more than mythology, and not a result of one of the most profound civilizations in the world. They are also taught that their own God is but a demon and the only real way to God is through Jesus.

    An example of this is that a few devotees from the New Delhi Iskcon (Hare Krishna) temple go out and give presentations to the children’s classes in schools. Some of the questions that are asked by the children are, “Who is your God?” and “hat can your God do for me?” and so on. Obviously, these questions are nothing but a direct result of the Christian and English oriented education that these children are receiving. Now I ask anyone, isn’t this practically a covert form of conversion? This form of education indoctrinates the children to doubt their own culture, and disrespect their own history and traditions. As a result of this form of education, the Hindu population is slowly forgetting the unique history and lofty culture of their homeland.

    As I traveled around, it was not unusual to see elementary schools around India with a name something like “Saint Xavier’s School.” People should know that this Francis Xavier, who is now one of the greatest so-called “saints,” feverishly declared, “When I have finished baptizing the people, I order them to destroy the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters.” (From “The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier,” 1993, pp 117-8) This was his goal, to destroy Indian culture and make India a Christian nation. So it is ironic that now India embraces the schools that honor him in this way. How could they not know his true intention?

    What is often not recognized is that, up until recently, for the last 50 years the politicians who have been directing the destiny of India are the ones who have an anti-Hindu attitude. They have set the economic direction and the educational policies that the country has been forced to follow. They have also promised the protection of the religious minorities with the hopes of acquiring votes. This has been one of the reasons why the secularists in the Congress party have treated everything that is Hindu with disdain.

    Another aspect of the loss of Vedic culture in India is that the younger Indian people, especially ages from 15 to 25, are readily giving up Vedic customs to follow the more decadent so-called freedoms of the West. They see the western movies, they read what the celebrities say in the papers, and they admire them and want to adopt their forms of dress and lifestyles. Thus, in the big cities like Mumbai you have Indian couples living together without marriage, which is something you never would have seen before a few years back. Now the Vedic principles are looked upon as something obsolete, something that restricts the style that those who look to the West want to adopt. Thus, they are leaving Indian traditions behind and losing respect for anything Vedic. In this way, they adopt foreign standards, or lose so much respect for Indian and Vedic values that they become embarrassed to admit their Hindu background and heritage. Furthermore, Sanskrit scholars at the temples are also slowly dying out, and the modern Indians view the Ramayana and Mahabharata as merely myths or gaudy television shows.

    Although India has been invaded by outsiders so many times and has always survived, what we are talking about is more than mere property or geography. What is actually being threatened is the basis of Indian culture itself. As younger generations give up their Vedic heritage, even if they return to it later when they are older and looking for more philosophical support, with whatever percentage of loss occurs with each generation, time has shown that it is never fully recovered. A portion of it is lost forever.

    Another way of looking at this is that India presently enjoys an 85% Hindu majority in its population. This may sound quite significant, but in actuality this includes 15% Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains. So it is really only a 70% majority. How many more generations will go by before we see a big drop in this percentage due to the process of secular (meaning Christian or English, or even Islamic) education, or with the present rate of conversions by tactless Christians? This percentage could easily drop well below 50% in only a few more generations at the present rate of change.

    How many more generations will it take before the Hindu majority is no longer a majority, but a minority in its own country? As Hinduism declines, you will see that the demands on the government and those voted into politics will also change, and the laws will also alter more in favor of the increasing minority religions at the expense of declining Hinduism. Then as the years go by there will appear only small clusters of Hindu or Vedic communities, most likely centered around prominent holy places, until the more aggressive religions act in ways to diminish these as well, in the same way that they are presently doing in other countries.

    The point of all this information is that it is time for all Hindus and supporters and followers of the Vedic culture, Sanatana-dharma, to realize what is actually happening and give up your timidness or nonchalance and speak out while such freedom still exists. We must become more pro-active for defending this culture. The point is that if you do not take it seriously, I can assure you that there are others who take this inaction and tolerance extremely seriously to promote their own goals and religions in India. It is because of this that India may not always remain the homeland of an active and thriving Vedic culture as it is now. We need to protect whatever is left of it and maintain the present liberties that Hindus or followers of Vedic culture still have in India. Then we all can continue to engage in Vedic traditions without hindrance, and with full freedom. For this, we need to unite ourselves in a concerted effort to make this happen. And it most certainly is possible.

    Not long ago, as told to me by Professor Subhash Kak, it was noted in a reputable publication that now 1% of the Russian population claim that they are Hindu. The article stated that this was primarily due to the preaching efforts of Iskcon. This shows a major social impact. This shows what is possible if we can work together in a concerted effort. This is why I am convinced that if we all work in a pro-active way under the banner of a united family of Vedic followers, or Global Vedic Community, we can keep and even expand the present freedoms that we now have to practice Vedic and indigenous traditions, and keep India as the homeland of Vedic culture, the most ancient roots of humanity.

    India must be protected and kept as the homeland and center of the Vedic heritage, Sanatana-dharma, Hinduism. Without it, what is its value, in spite of whatever else it accomplishes? The value of Hinduism and India are clearly expressed in the words of the famous English theosophist Dr. Annie Besant. She put great emphasis on the value of India, its history, the Vedic culture, and its importance to the world. As written in the cover notes from the book, Hindus, Life-Line of India, by G. M. Jagtiani, she says: “After a study of some forty years and more of the great religions of the world, I find none so perfect, none so scientific, none so philosophic, and none so spiritual as the great religion known by the name of Hinduism. The more you know it, the more you will love it; the more you try to understand it, the more deeply you will value it. Make no mistake; without Hinduism, India has no future. Hinduism is the soil into which India’s roots are struck, and torn of that she will inevitably wither, as a tree torn out from its place. Many are the religions and many are the races flourishing in India, but none of them stretches back into the far dawn of her past, nor are they necessary for her endurance as a nation. Everyone might pass away as they came and India would still remain. But let Hinduism vanish and what is she? A geographical expression of the past, a dim memory of a perished glory, her literature, her art, her monuments, all have Hindudom written across them. And if Hindus do not maintain Hinduism, who shall save it? If India’s own children do not cling to her faith, who shall guard it? India alone can save India, and India and Hinduism are one.”

    In this light, it is absolutely necessary that as followers of Sanatana-dharma, Vedic culture, we realize that we need to repair whatever differences we have between us regarding whatever issues there may be. This is necessary in order to work with some cooperation with whomever we can if we expect to be a substantial force in defending the Vedic cause. Otherwise, all the issues that invariably come up, although these should not be ignored, should not take so much of our attention that our preaching or sharing or promoting of our culture stops. Otherwise, we will only serve as contributors to the continuing deterioration of all spiritual standards as the age of Kali-yuga progresses. This preaching, of course, means that we must all stay in touch with and practice the Vedic standards, and be ready to let others know of its advantages, and to defend it from those who wish to see its demise.

    We cannot allow ourselves to be led into the danger of endless debate that leads to inaction. We all must be pro-active in some way to help defend and spread Vedic culture. Then we can work together to keep the freedom we presently have to practice the Vedic traditions and keep India as the homeland of a thriving, dynamic, and still living tradition. Such freedom does not come without its challenges, and we must be prepared as a society to meet those challenges. To take such freedoms for granted means that it’s only a matter of time before they are lost. And that is exactly what some people want to happen. So we must be willing to work all the harder to prevent such a decline of our Vedic heritage.”

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