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, January 17, 2009

Indian Media's War on Hinduism

by Swami Jyotirmayananda

1. The Indian media: Its adverse role

There are many people in India who strongly feel that the so-called ‘secular’ print and electronic media, at least a dominant section among them, knowingly or unknowingly, is playing a very adverse and prejudiced role, when it comes to the reporting of the Hindu point of view. Suppressing or misrepresenting tactics are being liberally used along with admonitions and ridicules of the Hindus, ‘Hindutva’, and the Hindu Dharma. At the same time, this secular section appears to support the anti-Hindu forces in the country, which are active with their alien and subversive ideologies. In essence, it has come to mean that ‘secularism’ is nothing but opposition to Hindus, Hindustan, Hindutva and the Hindu Dharma. This is quite ridiculous in a country that is predominantly Hindu in its composition and character. This situation is agonizing to many and confusing to many more, since they would not get a true picture of what is going on in the country because of the prejudice of the media.

‘VivekaJyoti’, wants to do its bit to correct this situation. It has been trying and would also try in future, to throw light on those issues which get twisted or misrepresented by the ‘secular’ media. It is the considered view of ‘VivekaJyoti’ that in Bharat, a country with more than eighty percent of Hindu population and a hoary Hindu history, the true nationalism is undoubtedly ‘Hindutva’ and any neglect, denouncement or ridiculing of it is improper, unjust and ridiculous. The country would be truly free when ‘Hindutva’ gains its due respect, not ridicule as at present. Of course, this would be just a beginning of the country’s resurgence. Other larger issues are to be attended too. Various social injustices weakening the society, serious distortions in the field of socio-economic development, a chaotic situation in the political and administrative system and devitalized cultural and religious life—also are causes of concern, inviting correction. ‘VivekaJyoti’ would always try to focus the attention of its readers on these issues and goad them to do their bit in the service of the Motherland. It rededicates itself to that cause on the fourth year of its existence.
2. The Indian media: Why it is partial

The reasons for the selective propaganda by Indian media could be: a) Many leading journalists and media barons are Christians or Christian sympathizers; b) They are educated and indoctrinated in Christian run institutes; c) The media companies in India are completely under control of western companies through cross holdings; d) The media is advertising driven and almost all leading ad companies in India are foreign subsidiaries of global ad companies.

In the inimitable words of Sri V. Sundaram, IAS (Retd.), renowned columnist of Chennai, “all the mainline English Newspapers in India are deliberately Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting, Hindu-hating and Hindu-baiting”. And, as revealed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, “Academia, NGOs and mass media are the obvious instruments that are on the radar of anti-Hindu forces. Which and who are these forces that are shaping the anti-Hindu bias of the media? It is a coalition, not explicit but implicit, of Communist, Christian missionary, Islamic fanatics and other terrorist interests. Each of these interests has their own specific agenda. The anti-Hindu mentality of the English-dominated media in India is secured by the cozy nexus of media with academia and the English-speaking governing elite”.

“The Internet is full of anti-Hindu rubbish”, points out Swami Devananda Saraswati who is well known for his research on the ‘Myth of St. Thomas’. “It is impossible to tackle head on and piece by piece by individuals. That is why we have our own website ( / blog (VivekaJyoti). We put our views and research out for public consumption with the hope that intelligent and honest readers chose us over the intellectual criminals. We must set up a legal association like the Jewish Defense League (DFL) in the United States, made up of Hindu lawyers. As soon as court cases start to be foisted on these missionaries, their conduct will change if not their attitude. But they have vast monetary resources behind them. Which Hindu moneybags would finance a Hindu legal team? Which Hindu lawyers (of which there are lakhs) would ever back a dedicated Hindu cause? At the root of our problem is the Hindu social and business elite class who could care less about their Dharma though they make huge donations to Balaji at Tirumala. We have to face this fact. We can do nothing until our own public intellectuals and rich socialites and industrialist class are behind us.”
3. Christian sponsorship of Indian media: An example

Here is a case study wherein the ‘’, a major online Indian media outlet is working with ‘World Vision’, an evangelical body openly indulging in unabashed proselytisation with huge funds at their disposal for this purpose. Details about’s partnership with the ‘World Vision’, patently a missionary agency, are online at: On this page, they are blatantly fundraising for them without informing the Indian public that they are missionaries. ‘World Vision’ also regularly advertises on Sify. It should be noted that the ‘World Vision’ has been implicated in induced conversions in Orissa and in Sri Lanka during the Tsunami. Look at a quote from the World Vision's website regarding their “noble” mission: “Wherever we work, our prayer is that our efforts will be used by God to heal and strengthen people's relationships with Him and with one another. We do this by demonstrating God's unconditional love for all people through our service to the poor — which includes providing for daily needs, working to build peace and promote justice, and partnering with churches and individuals to encourage spiritual transformation.”
4. Countering the propaganda unleashed by the Indian media

The propaganda unleashed by the Indian media can be countered by supplementing the existing media channels and using internet as a tool to spread truth. Already in most western countries, TV and newspaper viewings are rapidly shrinking. Using Internet, ordinary individuals now have the same tools of potential exposure on a scale comparable to large media companies. Internet Media is the way to go. With this in mind ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog was conceived.

According to the recent reports, the total newspaper advertising revenues have declined at an almost continuously accelerating rate, and the advertising dollars are rapidly shifting from print media to online publications. While the online readership is steadily growing, the print publication readership is declining.

In view of the prevailing political bias in the mainstream Indian print media, the Hindu perspectives can be advocated much easier in an online medium than a print medium, because the online blogs have zero cost. Further, the online publications do not have to go through the mainstream and potentially, politically biased editors. The online publications are not only readable throughout India and throughout the world, they are interactive, and people can respond to posts via comments. Of course, there are also a few other challenges: There is a lack of non-English online blogs (example Hindi blogs). As more people who do not know English come online, this is a key area for content creation.

In this context, a reader of “VivekaJyoti’ has a thoughtful comment which is worth noting: “In view of the popularity and influence of the internet, I strongly feel that as yet the competition from print and visual media is overwhelming. In India, very few are connected to the net and out of them still fewer visit our sites or blogs. On the other hand millions read news papers and watch TV, both of which are controlled by unfriendly forces. Hence we may not expect too much about our influencing the public at large. At best they can inform the curious and educate the convinced (-- Ashok Joshi, Chennai).

In this context Dr. Subramanian Swami has a very useful and practicable suggestion: “While owning one’s own media is difficult economics because the cost curve depends on advertising revenue, pro-Hindu forces should help market existing friendly or persuadable media in a wide circle. This will gain for pro-Hindu forces substantial influence”.

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At 1/18/2009 12:42:00 AM, Blogger Berita dari gunung said...

Interesting posting.

At the end of the day, man has to live within a bigger society. Freedom of conversion tends to add to the complexity of life. And that is extremely difficult for most government to handle especially so in a traditional racial and religous settings.

At 2/27/2009 03:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first

comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep

visiting this blog very often.



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