The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Protest Against Patronizing Conversions in India!

Source: VEERA PAI, 6 Jan 2005.

The US Government’s decision to release aid to Tsunami victims through “Catholic Relief Services (India)” -- two organizations with ‘well-established humanitarian relief programs’ (read ‘proselytizing programs’) in India, has surprised many NRIs in the U.S. Such organizations have been identified even in the past, as the ones who scout for opportunities for conversion of natives even during such disasters. To them, such natural calamities present opportunities to harvest ‘heathen souls’. “This is a shame”, writes Veera Pai.

The organization that the US Government has willingly supported as a channel for relief measures is well known to proselytize and to cause disturbances in the very fabric of Indian Society. The NRIs have therefore strongly protested such sectarian moves by the U.S. Government. “I need not remind your (U.S.) Government”, writes Veera Pai, “that it (Indian Government) is non-sectarian, at least on paper. I wonder why India accepts all the insults from the USA!” He has already conveyed his protest to the U.S. Government and let them know that there are many Hindu and Muslim Organizations in the country which are also involved in the relief work. “May the God that you believe and the God that I believe ensure that some good sense will prevail on the Bush administration. May they work in non-sectarian mode. And may they keep out all the Billy Graham antics out of all their so-called humanitarian relief decisions. Finally, I would like to remind Your Excellency, that Bharat is a Hindu majority country and will strongly resent such moves by your Government”, concludes Veera Pai.

Tail piece:
AID is working with DYFI (the youth wing of CPI-M, accused of various political violence!) in TN for tsunami relief.


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