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 10, 2008

Christian Conversions and Attack on Hindu Swami in Orissa

By: V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
1/5/2008 11:09:13 AM

Factsheet: Hindu conversions

Christian mob attack on Lakshmananda Saraswati in India

It is now a known global fact that the mainline English media (both print and electronic) in India are committed every day only to the cause of the reporting of manufactured pseudo events or suitably "tailored’ so called real events. All the time the language of the manufactured story is so designed as to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give as appearance of solidity to pure wind.

In this disgusting situation, we can no longer believe in Abraham Lincoln’s famous maxim: “You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all the time”. This was the foundation belief of American Democracy.

Such foundation beliefs have been shattered in India in the years after our independence by the coloured, prejudiced, partisan and totally biased and one-sided reporting of all important and sensitive public events by the mainline English media. Lincoln’s appealing slogan rests on two elementary assumptions.

Hindu leader Swami Laxmananand Saraswati lying in hospital in Cuttack after being attacked by Christian marauders at Brahmanaigaon in Kandhamal District on 24 December, 2007. This has been concealed by English media.

First, that there is a clear and visible distinction between sham and reality, between the lies a demagogue would have us believe and the truths which are there all the time.

Second, that the people tend to prefer reality to sham, that if offered a choice between a simple truth and a contrived image, they will prefer the truth. The perverted anti-people working of mass media in India today has made these two assumptions totally irrelevant and even invalid.

All the English Newspapers, without any exception, have reported that VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu outfits are destroying Churches in Orissa and attacking and killing the Christians. They would have us believe that we are back to the Age of the Crusades from 1000 AD to 1500 AD when the Christian Emperors marched to the middle-east to drive out the Muslim Conquerors who had occupied their sacred spots and shrines.

The most important cardinal truth that is being deliberately and mischievously suppressed by the media is the fact that the whole trouble started after the Fanatic Christians attacked SWAMY LAKSHMANANDA SARASWATHI in Christian dominated Brahmanaigaon in Kandhamal District in Orissa on Monday, the 24 December 2007.

On 25 December, 2007 (Tuesday), Hindu Organizations called for Orissa Bandh to protest against the unprovoked attack on Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswathi. Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswathi commented with anguish: “The Christian Padres have wounded Hindu sentiments”. This fact of an assault on Hindu feelings, sentiments, emotions and susceptibilities is of no concern to our mainline English Newspapers and TV Channels.

A grand old-man of more than 80 years Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati has been leading the Anti-Conversion Movement in the undivided Phulbani District of Orissa for several decades. He has served the local tribal people, especially Kandhs, in this District with selfless devotion and public spirit which has won for him the lasting trust and affection of the local people. Saffron-clad Swamiji, with his Ashram at Chakapad, has spread his wings through Seva and Sanskar among the tribal people in the region.

This fact is being suppressed by the anti-national and anti-Hindu and anti-civilization in English media with Islamic tenacity and Christian compassion!

Another local factor that has been hidden from public view relates to continued hostility at Riakia in Kandhamal District over a Church illegally acquiring Government land. With local traders opposing it tooth and nail, there have been attacks and counter-attacks between both the sides. The local Church, using its local Congress and Communist influence, has been concealing its diabolical effort to grab the Government land for its conversion activities.

At the same time through its media influence, it added a conspiracy angle to the attack of the Catholic Church at Raikia by making baseless allegation against Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswati has been the leading figure behind the recent spurt of violence in the area.

As was expected, the Congress Party and the Communist Parties have been demanding the arrest of Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswati. When a political delegation composed of the Secular Brigade of known anti-Hindu political parties – the Congress and the Communists—visited Raikia, the Orissa Gana Parishad President, Bijoy Mohapatra, strongly disagreed from his Congress and communist colleagues over their demand for the Swamiji´s arrest.

Sanjay Kumar Jena, a Correspondent of ORGANISER interviewed Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati to get his perspective on the issue. Here is the transcript of this interview which is revealing:

Organiser Correspondent: You are accused of being a conspirator in the attack on Catholic Church at Raikia?

Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati: I was at Jalaspatta when news of the attack on the Church reached me. I am in no way connected with the incident. But I can well understand the wounded psyche of Hindus against the Church. That might have made the people to attack the Church.

As far as their personal attack on me is concerned, let all the Padres, Popkaks and Palaks of Christianity come together and I will singularly argue with them. Let them come with their allegations on what damage I have done to their places of worship and what they have done to places of our faith. Let there be open debates so that the people can know the truth.
Organiser Correspondent: Hindus are wounded for what?

Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati: There was no problem when Christians were not here in Paikia. With their numbers increasing, they forcefully took away Hindu girls and forced the neo-converts to eat beef. They set several temples on fire. Be it Birupakhya Mahadev´s temple or temple at Malarimaha or my Ashram at Rupagoan, the Christians conspired to set them on fire.

They threw mortal remains of cows on mandirs. Kondh tribal´s Goddess Dharani Mata´s places of worship in several villages were dishonoured. The sacred sword at a temple at Bramhanigaon was forcibly taken away by the converts who melted the sword in public and prepared their weapons with that looted material. What was the need to do so?

Organiser Correspondent: But they are claiming service activities for the tribals?

Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati: Their only motivation is to convert the innocent tribal people through fraudulent means. In fact one entire village was converted to Christianity. They serve medicines claiming it to be the prasad of Jesus. After gaining confidence of the converts on a large scale, they cheat the people. Let me ask the Church why in their orphanages they are rearing so many boys and girls?

In the last so many decades the children who have grown up in such orphanages, where have they gone? Have they been sent to foreign countries or sold at a price? Let them explain this. The Kandh tribal community treats trees as their God. They do not cut forests out of fear viewings it as Adharma. But Christian Padres on their own cut one tree after the other saying that worshippers of Jesus can cut trees and no harm comes to them. The result has been that the forest cover is depleting day in and day out.

The real and dastardly truth about Orissa has been brought out eloquently by Radha Rajan. Let us hear her words of primordial fire and not secular fireworks: “This by-now habitual twisted coverage of events in Orissa by the print and electronic media calls for some Hindu plain-speaking. One name keeps cropping up repeatedly - that of Congress Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Radhakanta Nayak. He is being projected as the leader of the Christians in the locality; what is being consciously hidden from public gaze is that this Christian also heads World Vision in India”.

“World Vision is notorious for pumping money into India for religious conversion and their shenanigans in the conversion industry in the aftermath of the tsunami is well-known but equally well hidden from public discourse. I have personally known a lady who was Annalakshmi before tsunami and Anna Marie after tsunami”.

“World Vision is one of the top donors to NGOs in India and World Vision India one of the top ten recipients of funds for Christian missionary activity. I am therefore not at all surprised that the Hindus of Orissa are now beginning to summon the will to react against the willful offer of insult to Hindu sensibilities”.

“One only has to look at Chennai to understand what is happening in Orissa. An insolent ugly church is fast coming up right opposite the revered Pamban Swamy temple in Besant Nagar, Chennai. This church was until not long ago only a small thatched roof prayer house which came up overnight in a predominantly Hindu locality.

This is the modus operandi of Churches and Christians of all denominations — put up a small prayer house in the middle of a Hindu locality, close to a temple and after a few years of missionary activity, transform the prayer house into a big church”.

“This is what foreign money being pumped into churches in India is doing to society — erect insolent symbols of the church which offends the eye, the heart and the mind of Hindus — towering Jesus Christ statues obstructing the skyline, towering steeples with a cross atop, which is visible form a long distance, new and big churches close to old and popular temples, Christians of all denominations are using foreign money to increasingly put up their religious symbols in what can only be termed offensive and even obscene acts”.

“Christians in India must understand and understand fast that they cannot be protected by the US state department writing its annual vituperative anti-Hindu reports on religious freedom and human rights. Christians can be protected only by the good will of the majority Hindus in whose midst they have to live.

It is time for the country and Hindu organizations in particular to consider that religious freedom enshrined in the constitution has to be matched by a constitutional provision that unequivocally bans religious conversion of Hindus to Abrahamic faiths. Christians have to earn the good will of the Hindus instead of demanding special protection and special rights”.

Despite the machinations of malevolently "anti-Hindu’ mainline English media (both print and electronic) to black out all factual information from public view about Christian violence against Hindus in Orissa, I have gathered absolutely reliable and credible information from ground level first-hand sources to the effect that Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswati, VHP leader in Orissa, was attacked by Christians, fully backed by the global financial resources (apart from the political support of the UPA government in New Delhi) of Congress Rajya Sabha Member and World Vision chief Radha Kant Nayak on the eve of Christmas on 24 December in Kandhamal district.
Therefore, Hindu Jagaran Samukhya (HJS), a frontal organisation of the RSS, has blamed Congress Rajya Sabha member and World Vision chief Radhakanta Nayak for the violence and demanded immediate action against Nayak for being the chief conspirator in the pre-planned murderous attack of the Christians on Swamy Lakshmananda Saraswati.

HJS has also demanded that the State government impose a ban on Radhakanta Nayak’s NGO, working whole time for religious conversion, apart from initiating legal action against him as per law. Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati, the innocent victim of Christian attack, has also accused the Congress MP Radhakanta Nayak of unprovoked violence in the area and attack on him.

He told reporters that "a group of villagers launched an attack on me at the instruction of Nayak. The attack was intended to kill me and thus eliminate me from the scene so that under the leadership of Nayak, the local Christians could carry on their "anti-national and anti-social work’ of illegal conversion without any hindrance in the area. This is the seventh time they have tried to murder me and I have survived because of divine grace.’

Though the Christian goondas did not succeed in their criminal mission, yet they succeeded in causing grievous injuries to the driver and personal security guard of Lakshmananda whose car was badly damaged.

Lakshmananda has been leading the anti-conversion movement in the area. It is not therefore, surprising that a few Christian thugs, who could not tolerate the "Home Coming’ ceremonies organised by the Swamiji, have ruthlessly attacked his convoy, which is uncalled for and unwarranted.

This arrogant action has naturally provoked the majority community in Orissa, which has reacted in the only way the minority understands.

Neither the Congress and other secular parties nor the mainline English media (print and electronic) want to understand the simple fact that our Constitution sanctions "freedom’ only for practising and propagating and certainly not for converting. This fact has been asserted by the Supreme Court of India as well, way back in 1977 itself.

Right from Vivekananda and Aurobindo to Gandhiji and Ambedkar (excepting Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi!) all our national leaders have condemned religious conversions unequivocally and it is the bounden duty of the minorities to respect and adhere not only to their views but also to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. They cannot take advantage of the "tolerance’ shown by the majority community.

The Niyogi Commission which was constituted by the MP government in the mid-50s had also confirmed the dubious methods adopted by the churches and missionaries for the harvesting of souls and it had recommended for a "ban’ on conversions.

The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who always considered himself to be an English man, was guilty of political cowardice when he used the transitory might of his office to completely suppress the Niyogi Commission report. As a known "Hindu-baiter’ with dubiously double standards, he saw to it that the Niyogi Commission report was treated as contraband opium, without it being tabled in Parliament, in the grandeloquent name of secularism.
This planned "anti-Hindu’ action was obviously aimed at the Christian minority votebank.

But, despite Nehru’s opposition, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh went on to enact the Anti-Conversion Law! The Christian community leaders must respect the Constitution and the law of the land and should not indulge in anti-national and anti-social conversion activities just because they get an unrestricted flow of unlimited money from abroad and unconditional political support from Congress and other secular parties.
With the advent of the UPA government in 2004, in the last three years, evangelisation has been on the increase throughout the country to an alarming extent and the need of the hour is a stringent "Anti-conversion law.’

The main spirit behind this process of subversive evangelisation has been the Congress party deriving its Christian inspiration from its leader whose contempt and hatred for the Hindus of India has become common knowledge not only in Uttaranjal, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh but throughout the rest of India.

The Supreme Court in a landmark verdict in 1977, (Stanislaus V State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1977 SC 908) declared for all time that the fundamental right under Article 25 of Indian Constitution (the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) is not an absolute right, unlike some other fundamental rights like protection of life and liberty (Article 21) and right against exploitation (Article 23).

The Supreme Court decided that Article 25 is subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III of the Constitution.

The court also made it clear that the act of "practice’ is concerned primarily with religious worship, ritual and observations. Propagation means the right to communicate beliefs to another person or to expound the tenets of one’s religion, but does not include the right to forcible conversion.

It also said that "propagation’ of one’s religion cannot impinge on the "freedom of conscience’ of other citizens. As a matter of fact, the State of Madhya Pradesh has been having an anti-conversion law in its statute books for the last 40 years and its constitutional validity was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1977 itself.

Despite this, President Pratiba Patil in her capacity as Rajasthan Governor returned the Rajasthan Anti-Conversion Bill which was not only illegal but anti-Constitutional. For this planned "anti-Hindu’ stand, she is being greatly applauded by the "Secular Brigade.’

In spite of this unambiguous legal position relating to illegal conversion made into law by the Supreme Court of India, many commentators, both Indian and foreign, have made erroneous and misleading observations on the constitutional right of freedom of religion and the power of the State to prohibit conversion.

Several elements in the foreign media have been particularly shrill so have been certain elements in the Indian media. They derive their strength, sustenance, stimulation and strength from the open political support of the Congress party and its secular allies in the UPA (Utterly Partisan Autocratic) government. All this points to the fact that there is an imperative public need to initiate a national debate on illegal Christian conversion and the overall socio-political aspects of this explosive subject.

In a local daily, all the known ground level facts relating to the Christian violence against Hinduism in general and the Hindus in particular in Orissa were cleverly, if not mischievously, brushed under the carpet by publishing an editorial under the headline "Protect Minorities’.

A known crusader for legitimate Hindu rights B R Haran has rightly written to the newspaper: In your editorial "Protect Minorities’ you have attempted to connect the Orissa violence with the BJP’s victory in Gujarat, thereby establishing your "secular’ credentials! You have also written as though the Christians of Kandhamal district are noble and good Samaritans from the religion of love and the Hindus of Kandhamal are fundamentalists and hooligans. You have also waxed eloquent on "Constitution’ and "secularism.’ In the process, you have not only not told the truth to your readers but also given a false and biased picture about the goings on in Orissa.

All great historians like Edward Gibbon and Arnold Toynbee and statesmen like Thomas Jefferson have rightly concluded that the Christian church has left a legacy, a world view, that permeates every aspect of western society, both secular and religious.

It is legacy that fosters sexism, racism, intolerance of cultural differences and the destruction of the natural environment. According to them, the church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a calculated disregard for human freedom, dignity and self- determination. It has attempted to control, contain and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and god.

As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine.


At 1/15/2008 02:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

christianity is cancer to the society and its commercial approach
is more dangerous since they know their religion is hollow with no spritual logical concept except talking of love and affection which they never practice but spit venom on hindus with conversion agenda.they built up churches in all small villages and put up big banners/christ/cross symbol at the approach of any cities either nearer to the busstand or to railway station.preachers/evanglist
are roaming in vans to slum areas
old age homes,hospitals,schools ect
to get some converts by giving money,physical help,food ect.for a
unmarried/divorces,they do not mind
sending girls and plant another christian girls/boys for conversion
why do they do all these thing?
want to establish a worldorder under pope.if they want,let them do in europe where christianity is finished already due to people understood its true colour/concepts
in india,they can cheat poor hindus
but once they know the truth,they will also throw away xtianity forever.hindus must understand the danger of christianity and throw away sonia antonia maino and congress and support only hinduva national party to their survival.

At 8/29/2008 06:49:00 AM, Blogger Virtually Yours said...

it is sickening and heart renting to see even educated people trying to fan fanatic sentiments in the name of religion. Why such intense hatred against the Christians? Hindutva has already succeeded in demonizing Muslims and Islam in India. Looks like Christianity and Christians are your next targets. And, the intelligentsia seems to support it too. Woe to this country and its educated fanatics like you.

I am a Christian too - and I don't see myself hating the Hindus or Muslims. And this language of hatred that I find in blogs like this makes me feel insecure in my own country, which is my home - my only home.

God Bless.

At 8/31/2008 06:48:00 PM, Blogger Jagat said...

Virtually Yours,
It is not denied that there are Christians who are good and live in harmony. However we can't be blind to the fact that the Multinational Christian organizations are actively indulging in anti-Hindu activities to massive conversion drive by spreading hatred on Hindus and Hinduism.
If exposing these frauds, fanaticism, crusade on infidels, terrorism and hate speech by these Christians, popes and missionaries is considered "fanatic", then what you will call the activities of these Christians? Why don't you instead ask these Christian fundamentalist to stop these hateful agenda or motives?
Hindus have all the fundamental right to expose these hateful Christian agenda and to defend their faith, religion and culture against these "crusading forces" that is no way different from "jihad". If you can't understand this simple fact, then you are deluding your own self.


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