Conversion Industry in India: A Few Facts

This post contains these sections:

  1. Facts reported by press and a comment
  2. Personal experience of a person who was coerced related to religion / conversion
  3. A few facts observed by a person related to religion / conversion
  4. Observation by a person
  5. Historical facts of Goa related to religion / conversion
  6. Choose between “One God for all universe” and “My prophet, my god, my religion”

Section 1:

218,000 persons have officially left the Catholic Church in Germany in the year 2014. Never before was the number of Church dropouts so high. The previous record was in 2010 with 180,000 persons. Just have a look at this:

As a result of the worry for this declining numbers of its adherents, Churches across started exporting evangelism years back to offset their loss of members at home. Note that under their law, a certain percent of German tax money is given by the government to the Church. Given the domestic fall in consumption of Christianity, the Church accelerated its overseas evangelism to show they are using the money wisely. Same is true of Scandinavian Churches.

Section 2:

By: Name withheld for privacy reasons

As an academician in a Catholic institution – Fatima College, Madurai, T.N. – for the last 36 years I have first  hand  experience of the impact of the imported  Narrative of Aryan-Dravidian divide which reflected in the way I was treated here.

I was always made to feel diaspora even in my own country.

I have heard of the teachers abusing Hindu students.  I was blasted for about 45 minutes after I received my National Award for my Ph. D.  in 1994  from ASRC, Hyderabad – you would wonder why – just for having gone to Hyderabad to receive the Award not informing the Principal who was not in the College.  (It is not to boast of my Awards but I could not feel either happy or proud of any of my achievements.  But I worked with commitment till the end).

I mean I could go on.  It was the tolerance in the DNA that kept me going till 2006 when I had a nervous break down  and  lost one year of service.

Anyway I successfully completed my service winning an Award for the performance during the last year of service  2015-16..

All I wish to say is I am fully armed with a lot of insider’s  information of forceful conversions and people coercing the Hindus to convert,  the Brahmin bashing going on in all the University events.  All the so called National Seminars are on the so called atrocities in Tamil Nadu and the manufactured literature called Dalit Literature and comparing it with African American literature.

I worked on the African American writer Langston Hughes and the impact of music on Literature. I have taught that literature along with American and American Studies and so I was annoyed by this simplistic comparison.  It is like comparing the mount with a mole hill.

They are even manufacturing writers like Meena Kandasamy (both her parents I.I.tians) who says she has embraced the Dalit title. God knows what she means!

Section 3:

By: Name withheld

My experience:

1. As a Prof of English in a Catholic College experienced innumerable verbal attacks, gestures of disapproval and arrogant remarks from colleagues: a.  Human Rights class open attack on Brahmins – “Brahmins only used to molest Dalits.”

2.  When I had a chat on WhatsApp with my student – a journalist currently with Indian Express – I criticized her for using the term “saffron bulls” and I told her not to denigrate that noble term which symbolizes sacrifice.  I referred to noble works of Swami Vivekananda.  From an unknown activist I had wordy dual who condemned Swami Vivekananda as Castetist and he said he too had done nothing for the Dalits.  I had to argue through the night.  I showed him how DMK has done only ethnic cleansing of the Brahmins and not improved the situation of the Dalits.  But he was not convinced.

3.  I had an opportunity to get a Dalit girl married in my own house  (to avoid a critical situation about 8 months back.)  I had priest in my house (a Catholic priest who was not happy about the turn of events  for my gesture broke their myth of Brahmin brutality against the Dalits). But openly he abused the Hindu gods and our faith.  (Whom are you going to see when you reach Heaven.  Your religion confuses you with so many Gods).

4.  I happened to wear the label Brahmin and though I achieved a great deal in college  there was always a step motherly treatment.  I was denied FIP.  (I had to pursue my Ph.D without any leave benefits. I had to exhaust all my personal leave.)

5.  I have received threat calls in college.  When I mentioned the term Taliban (an announcement in the The Hindu – about 25 years back)  I had an anonymous call threatening me.  (At that time the nuns had to awareness-  I am still waiting to talk to that nun – for recently 60 odd Christians were killed in Pakistan during Easter by Taliban).

6.  Conversion into Christianity is rampant, now it is the Pentecosts.  My own Prof. of Tamil has been hounding a Brahmin Prof (both retired) with constant e-mailing saying that she would not reach Heaven if does not become a Christian.

7.  I read the Scriptures daily. So they have branded that I am R.S.S.  and a Hindutva.  Only a Christian and a Muslim has the right in India to be religious.  If I defend Hinduism I have always been under attack.

I saved my maid a refugee from Sri Lanka from being converted. Her family went through horrible pressure from a local Christian group.

8.  I hear that they woo the people with newer and newer techniques.  Especially lower class in the villages.  Vegetables are given on Sundays.

I can go on.  I used to be so badly treated that in 2006 I had a psychological and neurological disorder.  I did not wish to continue there.  But when they sensed that my leaving the institution would lead to criticism (for I am a popular teacher a favourite among students) they begged me to come back.

I have medical  records and service records to prove that one whole year I was going through depression.  I could not go to any Human rights org.

The funniest thing is they would easily advice me to forgive.  The tactics is they would bring the Bible and say forgive.

I am an African-American and American studies scholar.  I know all about AF/Am litt.  Now there is a huge attempt to create a non-existent Dalit literature. The voice is Ms. Meena Kandasamy.  She has declared that she has embraced “Dalit” ism; I wonder what she means by it.  The African Americans have been pouring out their misery ever since they set foot on American soil in the 17th century.  I do not understand how on earth they can achieve a manufactured literature in a short period.  I read Kanch Illiya’s poem attacking the Brahmins. I feel a systematic, serious confrontation of all these charges with facts must be done soon enough. Almost all the U.G.C. sponsored conferences have been pro – Dalit and Brahmin bashing only I have been attending many.

If I need to elaborate on any of the experiences I am willing to. I tried introducing Yoga in the campus about five years back with the help of a Hindu called Yoga master Subramanian.

But last year “Mindful Meditation” was introduced by a Priest much to the disappointment of Christians themselves and they laughed at it calling Mindless meditation.  The first thing the students were asked to buy was a pillow.

Last year 2015 I was forced to organize a National Conference on Human Rights Issues in Literature and Sociology.   Please follow the activities of a person called Dr. Balakrishnan of Roots – a NGO – I am sure a Christian group is supporting him in his objectionable activities.

During the Key note address he attacked Hindu belief systems and mocked at the idea of going to temples.  As I am heading the Dept.  I could not openly accuse him.  But I boycotted the publication of papers.  He calls himself Academic Event  manager, conducts a lot of programmes for the youth.  He is a vocal Anti Brahmin advocate and so he along with five members including the so-called Brahmin principal called Dr. Murali were chucked out of the local college called The Madura College. One could verify info.

More specifically, he is part of the Brahmin versus Dalit Narrative — Breaking India force.

But Roots is doing academic programme focusing on Dalits and I am sure it a Breaking India racket. This org. is in Madurai.  It is a one man army with support from a Christian called Periera. (Not sure of the spelling.)  They have a press called Shanlax.  Almost all the papers are eulogizing the works by Bama a Dalit writer who is compared with African-American Writers.  I get angry by these comparative studies.  But I am always at a loss.

I have guided Ph. D scholars in this area and still have about 9 students.  I can never support the argument that Dalits suffered like the African-American slaves.  By the way I have been part of the U.S. State sponsored International Visitor’s Program.  Met writers like James Alan Mc Pherson.

In an area called Vel Murugan Nagar there is a priest called Dudley Thangiah, who is well-known for conversion.  Now it is all a stealthy deal.  He does not rechristen them.  These believers have Hindu names but attend church.  What he does is one influential member in the family is converted and the rest are swept in.
I see a New Prayer Tower in Nehru Nagar, an adjacent colony.  Madurai is full of prayer houses not formal churches where Dalit conversions are rampant.
The caste politics is another reason for conversion.

My Nadar friend tells me her entire family is broken to pieces because of conversion.  They are owners of Flour mill called Mayil Brand.  Excepting the eldest son’s family all are converted.  Conversion and breaking of Hindu families in Virudhunagar has been going on for 3 to 4 decades now.

Kanyakumari Thirunelvelli are all Christian belts.   Now Madurai is infested with Evangelical movements.
There is British priest working near Nagamalai Pudhukptai doing conversion.  Pentecosts openly declare that they can make a living doing Evangelical work.  Money is pumped in from the West for sure.

There are open attacks on Ramayan in colleges like Lady Doak where priests come and give lectures on these Scriptures mocking them.

There is Church called First Assemble of God and there is more recent one on Vaigai river bed near Fatima college (Dindigul Road),  an org. from Ceylon doing a lot of Conversions.

In Dhargas there is an open order that none should stop with a single child. Must have 5 or 4 children. That one channel is enough to Break India.

All their programs are attacking Modi.  Similarly The Hindu is another Anti Hindu paper which exaggerates anything against the Minorities and no violence against Majority community ever gets reported.

Section 4:

Brahmins are the worst sufferers during the last 1000 years. It was well understood by Muslim invader, Portuguese and British that the easy way to eliminate Hinduism is to eliminate Brahmins. They went after Brahmins and destroyed temples and killed them unprovoked.

In Tamil Nadu , Ethnic- clensing of Brahmins during last 40 years is much bigger then K.Ps. Read what happened in Goa here:
Section 5:
By: Capt. Ajit Vadakayil



In 1498 Vasco Da Gama landed up at a beautiful beach ( Kappad ) in my hometown Calicut.

He was actually lost on the east coast of Africa at Malindi—and was piloted across the Arabian sea by the Calicut king Zamorin’s deep sea pilot Ibn Aziz.

A small stone monument here , commemorated the historic landing.

Vasco Da Gama tried to impress the King of Calicut with glass beads , scarlet hoods and coral.

On his second voyage in 1502 Vasco Da Gama came with 25 ships , thousands of soldiers and large canons. Enroute to Calicut they caught a pilgrim ship on passage to Mecca and burnt all 700 including women and children alive. He pounded Calicut city with his long range guns. When a messenger was sent by the king, Vasco Da Gama cut off his lips , and ears– stitched the ears of a dog in place and sent him back.

King Zamorin was wary of the Portugese and soon they shifted base to Cochin and then to Goa.
Portugese admiral Alfonso De Albuquerque was driven away by the Muslim ruler of Bijapur and Goa Yusuf Adil Shah.  However after 3 months he again re-attacked with a larger force,  with help from a local Hindu Chieftain Thimayya.

On 25th Nov 1510—he captured Goa .  Yusuf was dead and his son Ismail was still an infant.

On May 6th 1542, St Francis Xavier of the Jesuit order of Ignatius Loyola , at the young age of 36,  landed at Goa, after a 13 month ardous voyage round the Cape of Good Hope–

under orders of King of Portugal Joao III.

As soon as Xavier landed at Goa he wrote to his king “ Whoever has seen Goa need not see Lisbon “—and he goes into great lengths to describe the architectural splendor ( Ottoman style ).

Pretty soon, he found out the hard way– that the local Indians are NOT east to convert from Hinduism to Christianity. He started by ordering the temples to be demolished. But then people had idols in their houses.

Hinduism was deeprooted.  The vedic Indian civilisation flourished on the banks of river Saraswati from 9000 BC to 4000 BC. When the river Saraswati dried up in 4000 BC , the people had migrated to the Zuari.

In 1545 Francis Xavier, frustrated — wrote to Rome ( this letter is preserved ) and to the King —

QUOTE “ The Hindus are an unholy race. They are liars and cheats to the very backbone. Their idols are black—as black as black can be— ugly and horrible to look at , smeared with oil and smell in a evil manner. “–UNQUOTE

He then formally ordered the Portugese Inquisition fo Goa , which ran from 1516 to 1812. The rest of Europe had terminated the Inquisition in 1774. It stopped in 1812 due to British intervention.

More than 20000 people were brought under trial by this Inquisition.

The Portugese first started off with high ranking Saraswat Brahmin Hindus who held the land and riches. Who ever was caught in a palanquin had to undergo the brutal inquisition.

They were NOT allowed to wear the Shendi ( hair tuft ), have a Tulsi plant in front of their house, wear the sacred thread , have an idol in their homes , wear sandals , read the Vedas etc.

This drove all of them away from Goa, leaving the land behind.  Some of them unwillingly converted into Christianity.

It was NOT religious hatred alone, the main reason was to steal as many ancient Sanskrit and Malayalam Vedic texts on Science, Medicine and Mathematics. It is from Xavier that Europe came to know about medicinal leech vaccination ( among other things ) , and later Freemason Edward Jenner made a name for himself. The ancient Maharishis from Kerala, like Imhotep,  has been vaccinating the Pharaohs of Egypt, 6500 years before Edward Jenner.

The masses were converted into Christianity, saddled with Portuguese surnames , given menial jobs, made to eat Beef and Pork and drink cheap Feni ( a local brew made of Cashew and Coconut ). This easy inebriated life destroyed their mindset and till today no Catholic Goan boy has passed the IIT entrance exam. ( ala the Red Indians of North America and the Aborigines of Australia )

The Portugese viceroy Constantine De Braganza had ensconced himself in the Sultan’s palace. He was unceremoniously told to buzz off from there and 200 prison cells were built—ordered by the Pope.

The Taj Hotel at Fort Aguada was also used as a torture cell.

On Jan 31 st 1620, the Portugese government ordered that NO Hindu marriages can be performed in Goa. They went one step ahead in 1625—and ordered that NO Hindu infidel can be employed in Goa.

The Portuguese Inquisition Laws filled 230 pages and the Inquisition was to be held behind closed doors. Fr. Diago de Boarda and his advisor Vicar General, Miguel Vaz had made a gruesome 41 point plan for torturing Hindus.

Under this plan Viceroy António de Noronha issued in 1566, an order applicable to the entire area under Portuguese rule. I hereby order that in any area owned by my master, the king, nobody should construct a Hindu temple and such temples already constructed should not be repaired without my permission. If this order is transgressed, such temples shall be, destroyed and the goods in them shall be used to meet expenses of holy deeds, as punishment of such transgression.

In 1567, the campaign of destroying temples in Bardez met with success. At the end of it more than 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. Enacting laws, prohibition was laid from 4 December 1567 on rituals of Hindu marriages, sacred thread wearing and cremation.

All the persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching, failing which they were punished. In 1583 all Hindu temples at Assolna and Cuncolim were destroyed through army action.

Converted Hindus , who were detected to secretly  hold their old religion in esteem were burnt at the  stake or brutally tortured.

Brutal methods used were – To tear off the tongues–  To blind the victim with sharp sticks or red-hot iron spikes– The pulling of the flesh with pliers– The skinning of the accused alive– Quartering (in which the victims intestines would be pulled from the body) and impaling, in which a stake would be hammered through the victim’s body avoiding the vital organs, resulting in a slow death that could last for hours or days.

A sharp iron fork was used to mangle breasts. Red hot pincers were used to tear off flesh. Red hot irons were inserted up vaginas and rectums. A device named the turcas was used to tear out fingernails. After the nails were ripped out needles were shoved in. Boots called bootikens were used to lacerate flesh and crush bone.

Thumbscrews were used to crush the fingers and toes. Acid was poured on victims and hands were immersed into pots of boiling oil and water. Eyes were gouged out by irons. Alcohol was poured on the head of the poor victim and set alight. Water was poured down the victims throat with a knotted cloth. The cloth was then jerked out tearing up the victims bowels.

There was no limit to the types and cruelty of the tortures. The inquisition meant anything was allowed. The inquisitors were sadistic and mentally disturbed. An “Inquisition” was supposed to be a legal inquiry by the church.

After the poor victims confessed to things they never did more torture was to follow. On the way to the stake or gallows victims were flogged, burned, branded and had their hands and tongues hacked off.

Fillippo Sassetti , an Italian merchant from Florence,  has chronicled everything. He was the first European to learn Sanskrit. His views were NOT the jaundiced views of a white man. Between 1578 and 1588 he had sent a huge number of letters to the grand ducal court in Florence –all about the Portugese inquisition and the Indian view point.

“The fathers of the Church forbade the Hindus under terrible penalties the use of their own sacred books, and prevented them from all exercise of their religion. They destroyed their temples, and so harassed and interfered with the people that they abandoned the city in large numbers, refusing to remain any longer in a place where they had no liberty, and were liable to imprisonment, torture and death if they worshipped after their own fashion the gods of their fathers.” wrote Filippo Sassetti.( below )

A French traveller by the name of Dr.Charles Delone had got himself imprisoned in the Sultan’s palace (1674-77) and saw things for himself . His observations are in his book published in 1687 and is named “L’inquisition de Goa”.  Charles Delone was an eye witness to the atrocities, cruelty and reign of terror unleashed by priests. He published a book in 1687 describing the lot of helpless victims. While he was in jail, he had heard the cries of tortured people beaten with instruments having sharp teeth.

Dr.Claudius Buchanan’s  (above )  a Scotsman of the Church of England , witnessed some gruesome burning scenes in Great Hall of Goan Inquisition in 1608,  and wrote about the Portuguese Inquisition in 1812. 

Voltaire wrote on the Portuguese Inquisition in Goa— Quote ” Goa est malheureusement célèbre par son inquisition , également contraire à l’humanité et au commerce. Les moines portugais firent accroire que le peuple adorait le diable , et ce sont eux qui l’ont servi. (Goa is sadly famous for its inquisition, equally contrary to humanity and commerce. The Portuguese monks made us believe that the people worshiped the devil, and it is they who have served him.)”.

Historian Alfredo de Mello described the Portuguese in Goa : Quote—“ nefarious, fiendish, lustful, corrupt religious orders which pounced on Goa for the purpose of destroying paganism (ie Hinduism) and introducing the true religion of Christ”  Unquote.

In 2007, the Portuguese Government initiated a project to make available online by 2010 a significant part of the archives of the Portuguese Inquisition currently deposited in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, the Portuguese National Archives

Traditional musical instruments were banned and only western music was allowed— a tradition seen even today. A Goan Christian marriage MUST have a live band playing pop music .

Now let me get back to our honouable saint Francis Xavier.

All over the world churches and schools are named after him . This temple destroyer was canonized by the Vatican in 1622. ( but when the Taliban shot off the Bamiyan Buddha,  they found it necessary to cry foul )

On 11th Dec 1553 , Xavier’s dead body was shipped from China to Goa.

The Pope’s  propaganda has caught on that viewing his dead embalmed body can bring miraculous good fortune and can heal you of all your ailments. Why not? He has converted more people to Christianity than any of Jesus’s disciples.

The “Vatican Poster boy’s”  embalmed body lies in Goa and is exposed to the public every 10 years—the last was in Dec 2002.  Two million of the faithful has descended on Goa for a month.

The Vatican has been ignoring demands from the descendants of a Buddhist monk for a DNA test –who claim that the body is of  a Sri Lankan monk .  The body was switched after the arrogant Captain of  the Portugese ship threw it overboard. The monk had died due to consumption of a rare herb. The preserved body of the monk was snatched by Portugese soldiers , dressed up in catholic priest garb and brought to Goa. There is a witness to this– Francis Xavier’s own converted servant he took from my hometown Calicut, by the name of Christopher.

Xavier was a tall white man– the body is of a small dark man . The bullshit given is that his body was put in lime , in China– so the great appearance change. DNA test never lies!!

And lime does NOT convert white skin to a uniform brown texture!!!

In Hindu and Buddhist traditions , all are cremated.  Only liberated saints are buried in salt and lime.

When India became independent in 1947, Goa remained under Portuguese control. The Indian government of Nehru insisted that Goa, along with a few other minor Portuguese holdings, be turned over to India. Portugal, however, refused. France, which also had small enclaves in India ( Pondicherry ), gave them up. On December 16, 1961, Indian troops crossed the border into Goa. Code named ” Operation Vijay ‘, the move involved sustained land, sea, and air strikes for more than 36 hours; it resulted in the unconditional surrender of Portuguese forces on 19 December.

A United Nations resolution condemning the invasion was proposed by the United States and the United Kingdom in the United Nations Security Council, but it was vetoed by the USSR.

Despite this Portugal tried sending their Navy ( with blessings of USA and UK ) —and President Nasser of Egypt promptly shut the Suez Canal.

Indians have still NOT forgotten such favours.

Even today the mother language of Konkani binds all the people of Goa.

How many of you know that Roman Italian Inquisition started only in 1545, with the Indians in Goa, when Francis Xavier impressed on Pope Paul III, the urgent need to punish the filthy pestilent Indians, worshiping evil back stones and following false doctrines . The same Inquisition blinded Galileo in 1633.. All under investigation had to wear a huge red X symbol on their dress .

It was Pope Paul III who restarted slavery in Rome , by repealing a timeless law that slaves could claim their freedom at the Emperor’s statue at Capitol hill . After this all Muslims, man and woman , became slaves, automatically. This sick man made his grandsons cardinals even before the age of 14.

Below is Francis Xavier, heeding the voice of GOD, to punish all the non-believers.

Grace and peace!!

 (This piece of conversion history of Goa was first posted Here)
Section 6:
Choose between “One God for all universe” and “My religion, my God, my prophet”
By: Maria Wirth

In many parts of Europe, religion has become an important topic only in the last few decades. In the 1970s, religion or rather Christianity, which used to mean religion then, seemed obsolete. It was considered something for children and old people. Ever since Christians got the freedom to leave the Church not so long ago (in the 19th century in northern Germany), many did so. And after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin came back from space and declared that he had not come across God, the Church lost out further.

Just an example: when I was a child in the 1950s, in our small town mass was held every day at 6.30 a.m., at 7 a.m. and 3 times a week at 8 a.m. Since long now, there is no daily mass. Only the three services at 8 a.m. have survived. When I was a child, three hours of fasting were mandatory before taking Holy Communion. Now it has been scaled down to half an hour. Earlier, missing Sunday mass was a grave sin that would be punished with hell fire. Now one can attend it on Saturday instead of Sunday.

Religion seemed on its way out, yet suddenly it is back and very prominent in the public discourse. The main reason is the increasing visibility of Islam in Europe. When the first Turks came to Germany as “guest workers“, it was considered great that our boringly uniform society turned “multicultural”, with more interesting looking people on the streets. Meanwhile this enthusiasm has dimmed considerably. Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the multicultural experiment has completely failed. (It is all the more intriguing why one year later, in autumn 2015, she literally invited refugees  into Germany.)

It is for the first time, after Christianity had crushed the pagan faith in Europe, that the locals are confronted in their midst with a substantial population of followers of a different religion, which, as aggressively as Christianity, proclaims that it alone is the true religion, and whoever does not join it, is damned to hell forever. Moreover, many of those followers seem to take their religion really seriously.

This jolted Germans who did not identify foremost with being Christian anymore.Yet apparently, now they feel the need to counter Islam with Christianity. Angela Merkel exhorted Germans to go back to Christian values. In 2011, she invited the Pope to address the Parliament. While strolling through Munich city on a Sunday morning last winter, I saw many, including, fashionable youngsters, streaming into a big old church. Later I came to know that the priest of this church was very popular.Yet even in the small town where my mother lives, I saw many young parents take their kids to church for the children’s service. It would have been an unusual sight in the 1970s, when those same parents would have opted for a picnic instead.

What draws people to religion? What is it good for?

The most important point is in all likelihood an intuition in human beings that there is a higher, unfathomable power that is the cause for this vast universe and is also the cause for our own existence. Further, there is an intuition that this power somehow knows us and even guides us in life by this small voice of our conscience. There is an inner communion possible, be it through prayer or a feeling of awe.

This intuition makes sense. It is natural and does not require the label of “religion” and for many thousands of years it never had this label. The logical consequence of this intuition was to search for that power in oneself and outside. It prompted people to become mystic sand scientists who pondered on what is true. We know that this went on for ages in the Indian subcontinent as many invaluable ancient texts are preserved.

However, in the last 2000 years of the long human history, this intuition that there is a higher power was exploited to promote ideologies that claim supremacy and strive for world dominion. An elaborate story was invented about this higher power. It was called “God, the Father”, and it was claimed he had one son and had sent this son down to earth, etc.To make matters worse, it was declared that this story is the only truth, and everyone has to believe it. As soon as Christianity became state religion of the Roman Empire, its followers rolled over mystically inclined locals and forced their belief on the people of vast areas in Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

A few hundred years later, another story was woven around this higher power. It was claimed that this power has spoken again through a prophet, and this was for the very last time that it has made its Will known. No more direct message from the highest power in future. Unfortunately, here too, this story was declared as the only truth and everyone has to believe in it.

It did not take long and the followers of those two different stories were at each other’s throat with each one claiming that the highest power wants everyone to believe their story and not that of their rival. Obviously, the highest power was misused as a front for gaining world dominion.The second story got in many areas soon the upper hand “with fire and sword”, as we can unfortunately vividly imagine. And of course, it did not bypass the wealthiest land on earth at that time – India.

Both these stories were called “religions”. In fact, Christianity and Islam are the main religions that come immediately to one’s mind when one hears “religion”. Hinduism is often not even mentioned when religions are listed, and this should be taken as a compliment.

In the Indian tradition, the intuition that there is a higher power was not exploited to enforce belief in one story as the absolute truth and to rule the world. Here, not one story, but innumerable stories developed. These stories exist peacefully side by side. Devotees of Ram, Krishna, Shiva, Ganapathi, Devi, etc., are reminded that they must never be narrow-minded as Ram himself worshipped Shiva, etc.

In India the natural, mystical path was pursued. The Rishis pondered deeply and came up with profound insights. They defined absolute truth as That which is always – in past, present, future, and which shines out of itself. Is there anything that fits this definition, as the whole universe obviously does not qualify as being absolutely true? Yes, there is, the Rishis declare: Pure, thought-free consciousness is absolutely true. But to really know this as true, everyone needs to find out in himself.

Neither Christianity nor Islam has a solid philosophical basis. They consider as absolutely true what simply cannot be absolutely true: a story about the Highest does not qualify as That which always is, as it depends on thoughts. Further, the claim that the Highest, by whatever name it is called, is a separate entity apart from creation is scientifically not tenable.

Only the Hindu tradition is solidly grounded and does not have to fear scientific discoveries. In fact, it is supported by and can lead to further scientific discoveries, as western scientists found out and took advantage of, for example in nuclear physics.

Not surprisingly, those religions, which don’t have a solid philosophical basis, rely on force and on catching young, impressionable minds. They expanded their reach by violence and kept their flock in check by brainwashing children and by threatening the adults with severe punishment if they dared to disagree with the story/ dogma that had to be accepted blindly as truth.

Ever since Christianity lost its power to enforce blasphemy laws and punish heretics, it lost followers. Nobody knows how many Muslims would leave Islam, if heretics were not punished and there were no blasphemy laws in place.

In contrast, the Hindu tradition has no blasphemy laws and does not need any. Its philosophical basis is solid. Even in the face of danger to one’s life under Muslim rule and of being exposed to ridicule under British rule, most Hindus held on to their tradition.

However in independent India, an insidious teaching that “all religions are the same and deserve respect” did a lot of harm and enticed many to convert for some benefits. “Respecting other religions” was said to be in tune with Hindu values, not realizing that it meant respecting those whose explicit goal is to wipe out Hindus.

Clearly, something is wrong with religions that need to threaten their followers with grave consequences, whether in this life or in the afterlife, if they dare to question the story they have been told to believe as the only truth. Further something is clearly wrong with the claim that the Highest is partial towards one group and will be exceedingly cruel to all others in his creation – letting them burn in hellfire for ever and ever.

Some Christians realized this and also dared to say it. Voltaire suffered in prison for his outspokenness. One of his comments is still highly relevant. He said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

Mark Twain also called the bluff of the organized, dogmatic religion. He said, “Religion was born, when the first conman met the first fool.”

However, dogmatic religions are still going strong. Too few people question. Too few dare to look closely. Too few object to the outrageous claims that are made. Is it not outrageous to claim that Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, will burn in hell if they don’t convert? If a cricketer is not allowed to say this on the field, why are preachers allowed to spread this “absurdity” all over? Does it not encourage those who believe it to commit atrocities?

Those who had the good fortune to grow up in the Indian traditions, which allow freedom of thought and a genuine enquiry into truth, need to be alert and guard this freedom. If this freedom is lost, humanity will be truly miserable.

Sadly, it is lost already in many places on this earth. Saddest of all, it is lost in what is today Pakistan and where thousands of years ago human civilization had reached great heights.

(This article was originally posted here).

Intolerance of New York Times editorial in its piece “Indian Religious Intolerance”

By: Shreepal Singh

New York Times has published an editorial on December 25, 2014 captioned “Religious intolerance in India”. Jettisoning its well-publicized neutrality on international events, it writes that hope is in danger of crumbling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would rein in that divisive agenda of his militant Hindu-nationalist supporters. Without going into the root cause of the phenomenon of religious conversions currently going in India, the editorial takes note of the fact that during the last days of the just concluded Indian Parliament’s session the legislature was unable to deal with important legislative business. It emphasized the fact that this inability of Parliament to transact business was because of repeated adjournments and an uproar over attempt by Hindu groups to convert Christians and Muslims. The newspaper states, as if passing a final verdict in the whole affairs “The issue has come to a head following a ‘homecoming’ campaign by the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh and the Vishwas Hindu Parishad – groups dedicated to transforming India’s secular democracy into a Hindu state – to ‘reconvert’ Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.”

The editorial very conveniently chooses not to go into the issue of Indian citizens’ constitutional right to freely ‘propagate’ their religions – the real issue impinging on the question of religious ‘conversion’ or ‘re-conversion.’ By steering clear of this issue, the newspaper in a clever maneuver has absolved itself of the responsibility to answer such unpalatable questions: Is religious conversion prohibited by law in India? If the religious conversion is not prohibited in the first place, is it prohibited in subsequent or second attempts by citizens (termed‘re-conversion’ by the editorial)?

In the place of examining such questions as a responsible newspaper of an international repute, New York Times finds fault with Narendra Modi over his silence on this Indian religious quagmire of a very long standing. Does NYT expects Narendra Modi to ‘prohibit’ Hindus to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism and ‘permit’ Christians and Muslims to convert Hindus to their religions? If Narendra Modi ever does such a thing, will it be justified on his part in the eye of NYT?

The paper does not go into the justification or need or legality of the moves of those individuals who have been spending their life time in converting Indian citizens from one religion into another religion in an organized manner (we intentionally omit the names of religions involved in the exercise and if you name the religions, you name the culprit). Instead, the editorial raises the boggy of “groups dedicated to transforming India’s secular democracy into a Hindu state by “reconverting” Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.”  Perhaps one can justifiably equally put a question to the editors of New York Times: “Are the groups that are ‘converting’  Hindus to Christianity or Islam not dedicated to transforming India’s secular democracy into a Christian or Muslim state?”  Yes, Hindus are in majority in India and Christians and Muslims are in minority here but all citizens in this country are living peacefully under a democratic rule of law. All citizens have equal rights and freedom to ‘propagate’ their religions. May be in the eye of NYT, the Christian democracy or the Islamic democracy is the ‘secular democracy’ and the Hindu democracy is ‘not the secular democracy’.

It is intolerance of NYT on the religious conversions in India. Indeed!

“Ghar Wapsi” or re-conversion to Hinduism from Christianity and Islam

By: Shreepal Singh, Advocate Supreme Court

Today a debate on the campaign called “Ghar Wapsi – or, Returning back to one’s own religious fold” undertaken by the Hindu organizations is raging in electronic, print and social media in India. There is stalemate in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament on the subject. Almost all the opposition political parties – who have majority in this House – are united in opposing the “Ghar Wapsi” campaign.

These parties may be united in their opposition to the Hindu move either because their political space in India today is being usurped by the leap and bounds of the popularity of Narendra Modi or they genuinely are worried about the religious onslaught of the Hindu organizations over the religious rights of the minority communities of this country.

If their opposition to the Hindu move is emanating from the first reason – their sense of political insecurity – we are not concerned with it in this article. However, we give them the benefit of doubt and assume that these political parties – and their supporters – are actuated in their vehement opposition by their genuine concerns only for the legitimate rights of the minority communities.

India is governed by the rule of law and Constitution of this country is the fundamental law of the land. All the issues of religious conversions – conversion from majority Hindu religion to the minorities’ religions of Christianity or Islam or “Ghar Wapsi” that is, re-conversion to the Hindu religious fold of those who had in the past been converted to Christianity or Islam – have to be examined in the light of Indian Constitution alone.

Of course, one can examine this important issue in the light of the experience one has recently gained in the current world affairs (like the plight of Yazidis or Kurds in Iraq etc.) or in the light of history of this country (after all, all activities being undertaken today by different interest-groups is essentially nothing but the history in the making). There may be many other perspectives to examine this issue of conversion and reconversion but we intend to limit our consideration in this article to the constitutional law of this country.

This subject is dealt with in Article 25 (1) of the Indian Constitution. The right provided in Article 25 (1) of Constitution is a fundamental right, which is guaranteed to Indian citizens. This Article states, “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part (Part III – containing fundamental rights of citizens), all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion”.

The right to freedom of conscience is plain enough and does not admit any dispute in India. You have to just look around you in the neighborhood of India to realize how fortunate we Indians are in possessing this right to freedom of conscience. One may have faith in any God of his or her choice or even his or her faith in No-God. There are many countries in the world where you either do not have this right to choose your God or you are severally discriminated against if you choose a God other than the official one.

Then, Article 25 (1) further talks of the citizen’s right to freely profess, practice and propagate his or her religion. Also on the issue of the citizen’s right to profess and practice his or her own religion, there is no controversy. The current controversy revolves around the meaning and scope of the citizen’s “right to propagate” his or her religion. How do you propagate your religion? You may do so by dissemination the knowledge or awareness of the tenets or principles of your religion.

But this is not the only means to propagate one’s own religion. There may be so many others so-called “immoral” means to propagate one’s religion (like, threat, inducement, cheating, creating fear of heavenly punishment etc.). Can the “propagation” of a religion be accomplished by “conversion” of another person to one’s own religion, whether by moral or immoral means? The Indian Constitution is egalitarian in body and spirit and it does not countenance the “purpose” of propagation being, even remotely, to secure “conversion”.

In fact, Indian Constitution though does guarantees a citizen the right to propagate religion, it does not encourage such exercise by placing this genre of rights certain restrictions on them in the beginning of this Article. The spirit of Constitution in this respect has been authoritatively expressed by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Rev. Stainislaus vs. State of M. P. (1977) 1 SCC 677.

There the court said (and it is a long quote from the Indian Supreme Court), “What the Article 25 (1) of the Constitution grants is not the right to convert another person to one’s own religion, but to transmit or spread one`s religion by an exposition of its tenets. It has to be remembered that Article 25 (1) guarantees “freedom of conscience” to every citizen, and not merely to the followers of one particular religion, and that, in turn postulates that there is no fundamental right to convert another person to one’s own religion because if a person purposely undertakes the conversion of another person to his religion, that would impinge on the “freedom of conscience” guaranteed to all the citizens of the country alike.

“It has to be appreciated that the freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 (1) is not guaranteed in respect of one religion only, but covers all religions alike, and it can be properly enjoyed by a person if he exercises his right in a manner commensurate with the like freedom of persons following the other religions. What is freedom of one, is freedom for the other, in the equal measure, and there can therefore be no such thing as a fundamental right to convert any person to one’s own religion.”

Propagation of religion by converting persons of other religions to one’s own religion is nothing but an open competition, much like a business competition in a market economy, to secure an end that is ulterior to the purpose of any faith. In the matter of business, the issue at stake is only money. Money is important in life but here nothing is at the stake. In the matter of religious competition, the life itself may be at the stake (would any hypocrite deny this eventuality when the plight of minorities like Yazidis alluded to above is seen?).

In the modern world, religious conversions are almost always aimed at bigger, mundane and this-worldly goals than mere cultivating the souls to sow and reap the conscience by “propagating” one’s religious tenets. It is the hard reality of our materialist world. There are very few cases in the world today where individuals change their religious conviction on their own and in those cases also the credit goes to their own inquisitiveness, study and efforts and not to any “propagating teacher”.

Let us take a digression for a moment. After all, what is the objective – this-worldly objective – for people to undertake the exercise of conversion of individuals from another religion to their own religion? The root cause for this activity lies deep down in the human biology. Self-preservation is one of the basic instincts of humans and they act in fulfillment of this instinct not only in the form of individual behavior to guarantee their physical survival but also in the form of collective or social behavior.

Humans seek their security in common interest-groups, like family, tribe, caste, nation, religious group or anything – even an idea – that binds them together as a group and provides an extra element of force – a powerful force – in ensuring their physical safety and security. This collective behavior is the evolved form of the evolutionary mechanism – struggle for survival and the survival of the fittest – and is very natural.

Why does the humans’ self-preservation-instinct manifest in their tendency to seek security in a common-interest-group and to try to strengthen such group’s power by increasing its numerical superiority? In all living beings – including human beings – there is a sort of inbuilt biological inertia. This inertia is expressed in their way of life and this particular way of life opposes any change in their life-style. However, this biological inertia – tendency to stick to one’s own way of life – is pitted against another element of Nature – the element of change. Life is surrounded by natural environment that is always changing (and surrounding natural environment includes rival common-interest-groups like religious communities also). This environment forces life to change itself and adapt to the newer circumstances. The force of a single individual to resist the change being thus thrust upon him gets reinforced – as if a wave reinforced by harmonic synchronization – when he finds him in the presence of a large similar group. In the face of the evolutionary demand of change, people find themselves at ease in the company of a similar group. It is an evolutionary mechanism.

Expansion of a similar group – and religious community is a similar group – by propagation of a tenet that binds them together is a natural evolutionary phenomenon. It is not proper to judge the behavior of certain people to undertake religious conversion of others to their own religion on the moral ground. There is no right or wrong in such issues.

If in the past some Hindus were converted to Christianity or Islam or if they are being re-converted from Islam / Christianity to Hinduism today (termed Ghar Wapsi), it is all natural behavior. One who succeeds, gets more secured and ultimately survives. Now let us come to our subject.

The Hindu organizations’ “Ghar Wapsi” campaign is “conversion” in the legal sense, as is the case when Hindus are “converted” to the religions of Christianity or Islam.

The opponents of “Ghar Wapsi” campaign have ensnared themselves in a paradoxical situation. It is the classic case of logical dilemma. They are being weighed at the moral-scale by the people at large. These opponents may not admit, but the fact remains that it is only because of such hypocrisy of these political leaders that they have massively lost the ground to Narendra Modi.

If these opponents succeed in their demand, “Stop the conversion”, they end up stopping conversion of Hindus to Christianity or Islam; if they succeed in their demand “Christians / Muslims’ right to convert Hindus to their religious fold”, they end up supporting Ghar Wapsi.


Opposition of Ghar Vapasi is Illogical

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate Supreme Court (General Secretary IPC)

 The Rajya Sabha, the elder house of the Indian Parliament, has not been transacting any business for the last many days. It is adjourned after almost sitting of half an hour and the adjectives like, pandemonium uproarious and noisy scenes etc. have become common to describe the situation in the Upper House. The members representing the political parties in the State Assemblies constitute the Rajya Sabha, which is also known as the Council of States. Hence, on the strength of a political party in the Assemblies of the states decide its representation in the Rajya Sabha. As on today the opposition parties i.e. the Congress, the Samajwadi, RJD, JD(U), TMC, BSP, DMK, AIDMK, BJD etc. have more numbers than the treasury benches consisting of the Bhartiya Janata Party and its allies.

 The purpose of this piece is neither to deal with the constitution of the Rajya Sabha nor to tell about the conduct of the Hon’ble members. Its aim, nonetheless is limited to discuss on what issue the Rajya Sabha is not being allowed to run. The only issue is the conversion of a group of Muslims to Hinduism in Agra. It is being termed as ‘Ghar Vapasi’ by those who have converted the Muslims to Hinduism and those who are opposed to it, they say that it is an attack on the secular fabric of the country. 

It may not be out of place to mention here that when the Anti-Conversion Bill was to be introduced by the previous NDA Government of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the entire opposition was outraged against the Bill. It was then being said that the Anti Conversion Bill was against the spirit of the Constitution, which gave freedom to every citizen to follow the religion of his or her choice. Many Christian organisations in India and abroad had vehemently protested against the move of the then government to introduce the bill.

Now the opposition is crying foul about the conversion of a small number of Muslims in Agra. The allegation of the opposition parties is that the conversion has been carried out because of the inducement of providing Adhar Cards to those who converted to Hinduism. However,only a week after the Agra incident, five Hindus got converted into Christianity in Bihar and it was not taken any notice either by any political party or even by the media. However, this is the time when spade should be called spade. Let it be asked that how large number of tribal, scheduled castes people have been converted to Christianity into last 200 years, except by the inducement of providing facilities like; education, and health etc. Let it also be noted here that the late Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa was a Christian missionary working and she did a commendable job in the service of lepers in the ‘city of joy’, the expression which is sarcastically used for Kolkota. She opened ‘Nirmal Hridayas’ in many cities of India. But how come not even one person who obtained the service of MotherTeresa’s ‘Missionaries of Charity’ has not got converted to Christianity? A person who went to Nirmal Hriday as a Hindu has not come back with his or her original religion. Almost everybody got converted to Christianity. So how can it be said that the Christian Missionaries did not offer the inducements? 

No doubt, Christian Missionaries have opened good schools and hospitals all over the country. They never openly ask the Hindus/ Muslims of relatively well off backgrounds to convert to Christianity but those who are economically vulnerable they are offered all sorts of inducements and facilities to  get them converted to Christianity. This is an open and glaring fact. People become Christians not because their hearts have changed by knowing about the religion but it is the greed that played the main role. The fact is the person, who embraces to Christianity does not know about the religion or the Bible. So how can it be the case of the change of heart? Christian missionaries, it must be said , are the past masters in hoodwinking the gullible and poor people and luring them to their own religion. Therefore, our Parliamentarians, and that too, the members of the Rajya Sabha or either naive or knave or amalgam of both, who have been disrupting the proceedings of the House for no plausible reasons.

History bears ample testimony to the fact that the people in India  have embraced to Islam because of the fear of saving their lives or properties and  Christianity spread its wings across the country by sheer dint of money, which the missionaries have aplenty and they been liberally using for the expansion their religion.Thus ,it is clear that in India proselytisation or religious conversions have taken either by force ,fraud, allurements or inducements.Now if some zealous persons from among Hindus are trying to tell and convince the other religionists that they or their forebears were led to garden path for converting to Islam or Christianity and they should again come back to Hinduism- why should there be so much hullabaloo?One fails to understand if Hindus are converted to other religion, it is a non issue and if it is other way round then all hell break loose. This double standard and hypocrisy is now clearly seen through.

Hindus have been largely divided on the caste lines. It has proved dangerous for the very existence of this religion, which otherwise is high evolved in metaphysics, learning and devotion. Tolerance and self-criticism have been the hallmarks of Hinduism but they have also proved detrimental for the sound survival of this religion.

      Unfortunately, Bhartiya Janata Party, which got overwhelming support from Hindus in  the fond hope that it would provide level playing Hindus ia also pandering to the appeasement policy. Why is it feeling shy of vociferously advocating the Uniform Civil Code for the betterment of Muslim women in the matters of divorce, property inheritance, equality and monogamy? It is hoped that it will rise to the occasion and would not be blackmailed by the pseudo-secularist or by falling in their trap. 

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