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, September 13, 2008

Christian menace: End scourge of conversions

by Dinan Nath Mishra

There are half-a-dozen versions of the recent communal clashes in Orissa. First, take the dictates of Pope John Paul II. While visiting India, he talked to all the Evangelic Missionaries to harvest the souls of Asia. He said that in the first millennium, we converted Europe. In the second millennium, we converted Africa and the Americas and now it is Asia's turn.

In Asia, there is no space of conversion from Islam to Christianity. As far as China is concerned, its Government did not allow the Pope to visit the country, which he had planned along with his visit to India. Conversion by missionaries were vigorously stepped up after the Pope left India. In many parts of the country tonnes of money is being spent to lure and convert poor tribals to Christianity.

Of late, there has been a spurt in Evangelist activities. Under the Chief Ministership of Y Rajyashekhar Reddy, Evangelists are so emboldened that they have increased conversions and building of churches. Oscar Fernandes, AK Antony, Margaret Alva and many more are among her chosen ones. Only Antony has the credentials for the top position occupied by him.

Conversions-related violence has been on the increase in many States, including Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. One can recall the unfortunate incident of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons. Some mischief-makers or someone enraged by fraudulent conversions may have done it. Graham Staines was, like many other missionaries, engaged in following the dictum of the Pope for harvesting souls of the Indians. Media, without a confirmation, blamed burning of the Staines family on the Sangh Parivar. Screaming headlines followed for months in the entire Christian world. Students of all Christian schools in India marched on the streets raising slogans against the Sangh Parivar and Bajrang Dal. But, in his report, Justice Wadhwa castigated the newspapers and channels for baseless media trials. To cap it all, not only Christian leaders but also the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Christian countries decried the attacks on Staines.

The chorus of blaming Sangh Parivar has become a habit of the secular brigade and anti-Sangh forces. Take the incident of the Jhabua nun rape case. Tonnes of newsprint and miles of footage blamed the RSS. Ultimately, it was found that the rape had nothing to do with the RSS. But the media punished the Sangh Parivar.

Same was the case of Dangs in Gujarat. Christians who destroyed a Hanuman Temple started the entire thing. In retaliation, worshippers of the temple torched a hut that had a cross and was being used as a Church. Not one person was injured but as propaganda was huge, it led people to believe that dozens had been killed.

The recent trouble in Orissa started with the killing of 84-year-old venerated swami Laxmananand, a sadhvi and three other persons. Laxmnanand was a Vedanta scholar. He stood by the Kandha tribe which refused to be converted under pressure of Evangelists as against Panas who succumbed to the allurement. Swamiji was against conversions and sided with the Kandhas. His lectures were attended by a large number of Kandhas. Laxmananad appeared to be a road block to the Evangelists and was, therefore, killed by armed Christians. All the 11 persons arrested are Christians. In the news chorus of the media, the killing of Laxmananad was eclipsed.

Even in Gujarat riots, Godhra's planned burning of the train compartment carrying kar sewaks was eclipsed and the Gujarat riots overshadowed everything. Fact remains that had Godhra not happened, the Gujarat riots would not have happened either. Here also, had Laxmananand not being killed, the Kandhas and Panas would not have fought.

Conversion is the root cause of social unrest in many parts of India. In Kandhmal itself, the Christian population was just two per cent in 1961. In 1971, the Christian population increased to six per cent and in 2001 it reached 27 per cent. This is the result of harvesting Hindus for Christianity. The secularists tried to put the blame of the killing of of swami on Naxalites but they denied it flatly. It was the ninth attempt on Laxmananand's life by Christian zealots. The swami had filed an FIR on an earlier attack. The 'secular' brigade does not want a debate on conversions. Evangelists are causing more and more social tension. It is evident from the records but who listens to it. The power of media propaganda with 'secular' brigade is enormous.


At 9/17/2008 09:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to stop conversion is for hindus to setup a fund to help these poor people, stop caste discrimination such that they won't look into any other religion for help.

we as hindus should help our fellow hindus to leave a better life.


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