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.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Evangelist's strategy to encircle Sabarimala?

10/31/2005 2:53:41 PM Mahadev

The present trend of the Kerala-based evangelist organizations to purchase rubber and tea estates from corporate plantation companies on the way to the famous forest shrine, Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala, might turn out to be their latest strategy aimed at developing a centre here for proselytizing the poor people besides launching anti Sabarimala campaigns among millions of pilgrims trekking to the hill shrine from various states of India.

One of the Evangelist organizations headquartered at Manjadi near Tiruvalla in Kerala,Gospel for Asia (GFA), has bought 2,300 acres of rubber plantation, Erumely estate, from the Harrisons Malayalam Limited (HML) a major plantation company in the country, recently for Rs63 crore. Erumely is an important town en route the traditional trekking path to Sabarimala, because of the presence of the Lord Ayyappa temple there and various festivities held during the pilgrimage season.

Now the GFA is said to be planning to offer 500 acres of land free of cost to the Indian government for setting up some major development projects with its budgetary support under rural development schemes. The strategy has two prongs. First the presence of GFA in the area would get an acceptance of the Indian government as an establishment engaged in rural development and uplift of the poor. Secondly,all the infrastructure required for development of the remaining portion of the land would be there in place without any investment. So that the entire funds this organization receives every year from overseas could be utilized for converting the poor people mainly the tribals in the adjoining forests also using the indirect support of the government: How shrewd the idea is, which most of the intellectually slaved Hindus lack. “Two birds in one shot !”

The head of GFA, Mr K P Yohannan is well known world over for his proselytizing ability among the poor and people in distress even during natural calamities such as the recent T'sunami. As the Central and state governments are run by the Congress and the Communists, both committed pseudo-secularists and born to appease the minorities, GFA's operations therefore would receive all the blessings from Delhi and Thiruvnanthapuram.

It is understood that GFA is also negotiating to buy another large rubber plantation, “the Laha estate” in Pathanamthitta district. A considerable stretch of the main road leading to Pampa from Pathanamthitta is through this estate. If this deal is also struck then the main thoroughfare leading to Pampa from Pathanamthitta via Laha would also be passing through the GFA's territory. Thus, the two main routes to Sabarimala, by which millions of pilgrims travel during the 2-month pilgrimage season, are through these estates. Mr Yohannan who receives huge funds from abroad for conversion activities would have no dearth of funds for buying estates around the Lord Ayyappa's Poonkavanam. According to reports his GFA was on top of the recipients of foreign funds with $12 million in 2000-01. In that year 1,474 organizations in Kerala received foreign contributions totaling $75 million of which almost 90 per cent belonged to the Christian community.

Given this scenario if the Hindus continued to follow their complaisance and sing to the tune of the pseudo-secular politicians, the day will come pilgrims will have to pay toll to the GFA and seek permission to travel to Pampa.


At 5/27/2008 09:56:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

what worse comment it is on GFA, Though I donot have any relation with GFA but Iam a keen watcher of all their activities very closer. More than any other Chritsian or Hindu or other communities they are very transperent and loyal in all they do. Their helps for poor is never meant for converting them but to help them . It is very sad to condemn them .


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