The Church and the Demon Worshipping Hindus – I

Ever since the Hindu middle class has started asserting its identity, it has caused a turmoil among the leaders of two minority communities in India. This assertion of the Hindu majority translated into a formidable majority for a political party in 2014, after it chose a man named Narendra Modi, who not only had been successful with his development agenda in the past but was also seen as an unapologetic Hindu, as its Prime Ministerial candidate.

The Hindu assertion has not been an overnight phenomenon. It has come after several decades or even centuries of Hindus being treated like second class citizens in their own land. It started when a highly civilized people could not defend themselves against the brutal onslaught of barbaric invaders, who then imposed their religion and laws upon the peace-loving Hindus. If the Hindus had a civilized code of conduct even for war let alone peacetime, invaders and traders from outside the sub-continent had none except expansion at all costs. As the American historian and writer, Will Durant, who wrote a scathing account of the brutal Islamic and European invasions of India, acutely observed: “The Mohemmedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, may at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.” [Emphasis added] He further wrote of the unethical British occupation of India: “The British conquest of India was the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company utterly without scruple or principle, careless of art and greedy of gain, over-running with fire and sword a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career of illegal and ‘legal’ plunder, which has now gone on ruthlessly for one hundred and seventy-three years, and goes on at this moment while in our secure comfort we write and read.”

When India became a colony of the British, the very foundations of the Hindu way of life and its social structure were shaken after they deployed the ‘divide and rule’ weapon upon them. They demonized every aspect of Hindu society that glued it together culturally, socially, economically and even politically as one rashtra (nation). In order to ‘civilize’ a ‘demonic’ Hindu culture, the British gifted India with British-designed education system, bureaucracy, legal system and political party which formed the first government in free India. They also gifted Hindus with social divide, guilt and victimhood, by propagating exaggerated to completely fabricated versions of discrimination of one Hindu social group by another.

The construct of ‘caste’ (a European term), that drew a false equivalence with European feudalism, racial discrimination and slavery, was injected into our faultlines to cause wider chasms within our society. A once peaceful sub-continent that was home to diverse cultures, traditions and even gods became a breeding ground for warring groups. But now, Hindus have recognized the trap that was set to destabilize them. An overwhelming anger has gripped them today, because what was once theirs – the law, rules, code of conduct – has been overrun by rules & regulations framed by alien cultures. With education and exposure to the world, the growing Hindu middle class has recognized the schisms that have weakened them and has determined to correct the mistakes of the past.

This determination has unsettled many.

In a letter addressed to all Archdioceses of Delhi, an Archbishop has called for a prayer campaign before general elections in 2019 in the context of the “turbulent political atmosphere threatening democracy and secularism”. This is not the first letter of its kind from the Church. Just recently the Archbishop of Delhi, Anil Joseph Couto, in similar vein called upon the churches based in Delhi to start a year-long prayer campaign, ahead of the 2019 general elections, a barely veiled hostility towards the current dispensation exhorting the Christian community to work against its prospects in the upcoming elections.

Ever since 2014, the Church has fabricated many instances of violence accusing Hindu groups of perpetrating these, so as to tarnish the image of the Indian government. It is a matter of concern because Hindus have a tradition of secularism that can be rarely found in the other religions of the world. Hindus have embraced every traveler, missionary and refugee irrespective of the faith they followed, providing them space and opportunity to thrive and integrate with them. And yet, a few years without a political dispensation of their choice, has brought out the worst in the leaders of the Church. That speaks volumes about the favourable treatment given by the political class to Christians over many decades (and centuries).

Western Christian missionaries have mostly entered India in the guise of businessmen and have formed a strong lobby that has influenced successive governments. The precedence was set by the East India Company which entered India for trade and went on to control India politically. The East India Company’s Charter Act of 1813, allowed the entry of British missionaries into India. The Act also provided for appointment of senior clergy in India. By the time they left India, they had prepared a fertile ground for proselytisation of the Hindus masses. Post-independence, India offered visas and licenses to Christian missionaries to open educational institutions, businesses and NGOs.

The audacity with which the Christians have discriminated against the Hindus can be seen in day to day life, and would be easy to compile and document if only every Hindu kept his eyes and ears open. The tools of coercion and intimidation are freely used in institutions on the Hindu middle class, while the poor Hindus are lured with money and material benefits. The Church lobby within the government has ensured the implementation of Church-friendly policies which has helped it retain its hold over several institutions and the masses.

The frustration of the Church today is a testimony to its interference in the Indian democratic process in the past which was against the secular interests of our nation.

Read the Next section of this series here

Cover picture: (source: BharataBharati)

Author : Aparna Patwardhan

Published: June 28, 2018

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