A few churches were vandalized. A septuagenarian nun was brutalized. An attempt to raise a church in 100 per cent Hindu village was foiled. A church in Delhi was burnt. Another church in Jabalpur stoned. These are some of the unfortunate incidents happened in the last couple of months. Prima facie these are criminal cases and should be dealt with by the police and legal system to bring the culprits to book.
But these very incidents are projected worldwide as an affront on the Christian community in India and a design to wipe out Christian religion from the Indian soil. Leading media organizations of the world like The New York Times, ABC News, BBC, Voice of America etc. have given wide publicity to these crimes against a particular section of Indian society and painted them as ‘Attacks on Christians’, ‘Modi’s dangerous silence’, ‘Fear amongst Christians in India’ and so on.
These global media were assisted by their Indian counterparts like NDTV, Times of India, and their likes in the secular (read anti-Hindu) brigade by providing them updates to justify their campaign against #ModiSarkar.
The secular desi media and their foreign partners have taken it granted that these attacks were planned and executed by the Hindu nationalists or Saffron hardliners who wanted to convert India into Hindu Rashtra. They firmly believe that with the BJP capturing power at the Centre with full majority under the leadership of Narendra Modi, these emboldened Hindu nationalists have adopted more aggressive postures towards the religious minorities in India.
The uncalled for ‘advisory’ from the visiting US President Barrack Obama on Januray 27 this year is often cited as the proof for justifying the above allegation by these media groups and their secular co-passengers in Indian politics. Obama had then advised the Indian people to shun ‘religious intolerance’ if they were to march on the path of progress.
The New York Times was prompt to remind Narendra Modi of this advice from his ‘friend Barrack’. It said: “Mr. Modi has promised an ambitious agenda for India’s development. But, as President Obama observed in a speech in New Delhi last month India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith.” Mr. Modi needs to break his deafening silence on religious intolerance.”
In the New Delhi datelined news titled “Catholics fear campaign of Church attacks in India” dated March 2, 2015 The NY Times said: “A series of episodes at churches over the last two months has prompted Roman Catholics here to worry about a deliberate campaign of violence, and to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out against religious intimidation.”
“There has been no attempt from the prime minister’s side to condemn the attacks,” said the Rev. Mathew Koyickal, the chancellor of the Delhi archdiocese and a former parish priest at St. Alphonsa’s. If Mr. Modi would speak out, he said, “We would be comforted, we would know we have a prime minister who cares about us.”
It may be mentioned that Catholics and other Christians make up about 2 per cent of India’s population. However, there are serious doubts being raised by certain quarters who feel the actual population of the Christians of all hues is around 4 to 5 per cent.
The New York Times wrote an editorial captioned “Modi’s Dangerous Silence” in its February 7 issue. The editorial said: “Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right.”
And this is despite Prime Minister Modi’s promise of a crackdown on religious violence which he gave during his address at Vigyan Bhavan on the occasion of the national celebration of the elevation to sainthood of two Christian priests. Prominent Christian leaders and clergy were present then.
The editorial further blames the RSS and VHP for these attacks. It says: “There is also concern about the mass conversions. Last December, about 200 Muslims were converted to Hinduism in Agra. In January, up to 100 Christians in West Bengal “reconverted” to Hinduism. Hardline Hindu nationalist groups, like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), make no secret of their support for a “homecoming” campaign designed to “return” non-Hindus to the fold. More than 80 percent of Indians are Hindu, but Pravin Togadia of the VHP says his organization’s goal is a country that is 100 percent Hindu. The only way to achieve that is to deny religious minorities their faith.
“The VHP is reportedly planning a mass conversion of 3,000 Muslims in Ayodhya this month. The destruction of the Babri Mosque there in 1992 by Hindu militants touched off riots between Hindus and Muslims across India that left more than 2,000 people dead. The VHP knows it is playing with fire.”
The ABC News in its report dated February 3, 2015 captioned ‘Church attacks prompt fears of rising Hindu nationalism in India’ said: “The latest attack follows a series of government gaffes that have offended religious minorities, including an attempt to cancel Christmas.”
The report quoted Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesman for the Delhi Catholic Union as saying “The scenario is pretty bad all over India for Christians and Muslims as well, and this is certainly worrying because this is happening right under the nose of prime minister. These attacks are certainly connected to the right wing Hindu fundamentalist whose voice is getting stronger and have been emboldened by last year’s election of the BJP. Mr Modi’s political party, the BJP, has its roots in the Hindu fundamentalist group the RSS, which has been accused of recently trying to convert people to their religion by force.”
The ABC News also quoted Father Emmanuel warning the Modi government on its business relations with the Christian western countries: “I have told the government that if they want to increase business with western countries, in particularly America, what they think? Do they think that America or Europe, or Australia would be happy to hear that on Christmas Day you are converting it into Good Governance Day, undermining the meaning of Christmas and of the birth of Jesus Christ – not just for Christian community in India, but what impact will it have on the rest of the Christian world?”
The BBC on 29th March 2015 telecast a video of the incidents highlighting the “growing insecurity” in India’s Christian community. The video also quoted some Christians saying how they were being forced to convert to Hinduism by the Hindu hardliners and how they attacked the churches and burnt the Holy Bible. The BBC video report was carried by www.pakistanaffairs.pk, www ph.news.yahoo.com, on.aol.com and other websites.
According to VOA News the Ranaghat convent attack and rape of the elderly nun were not just the criminal incidents. They were the part of the ongoing anti-Christian hate campaign across India.
“Some Christian organizations say the attack on the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Nadia district, 80 kilometers northeast of Kolkata, was part of an ongoing anti-Christian hate campaign across India,” the VOA News reported.
The VOA News said that Bangiya Christiya Pariseba, a Kolkata-based body of Christian organizations in West Bengal, issued a statement alleging the attack was religiously motivated, and hinting that the assailants belonged to Hindu right-wing groups.
The VOA also quoted John Dayal, a spokesman for New Delhi-based United Christian Forum for Human Rights as saying: “despite assurances from Indian authorities, right-wing Hindu attacks on religious minorities continue unabated. When you are terrorizing a community, you are insulting objects of their faith. What else can I do but infer that this is part of the pattern, or it’s almost a template of violence against religious minorities – in this case the Christians in India,” he said.
This anti-Modi, anti-BJP bandwagon of ‘secular’ Christian media is also joined by persons like Julio Riberio, former DGP of Punjab who is held in very high esteem by the millions of Hindus for his exemplary work in containing militancy in the border state of Punjab. He now suddenly feels to be on the hit list of Hindu fundamentalists and threatened. (Check here)
Newsbharati.com has already carried a detailed analytical rejoinder to his pandering.
It is obvious that this propaganda against the Hindu nationalists in general and the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular is being carried out under the well thought of conspiracy to destabilize the strong and stable government India got after three decades. Modi, right from the election campaign days, promised the development of all 125 crore people of India. He never talked in terms of Hindu, Muslims, Christians or Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. He talked of 125 crore Indians. And he meant it.
However, the so-called secularists, pseudo intellectuals and political leaders and media houses could not tolerate that a firm, stable and promising leadership is ruling India. With Modi at the helm of the affairs, all their plans go haywire. Therefore the criminal incidents like this came as much handy tool for them to launch a diatribe against the Prime Minister, Hindu nationalists and the BJP.
With Modi, the image of India at the international level improved a lot. The presence of US President Barrack Obama at the Republic Day function is an indication of this. However, there was tremendous pressure from the Church lobby on him to cancel the visit to India, but he did not budge to their pressure. The UN too, by conceding to Modi’s plan declared June 21 as International Yoga Day much to the dismay of the global Christian lobby. At home the Modi government put spanner in the NGOs most of which dominated and run by Christian groups on receiving foreign donations. This must have come as bolt from the blue for them. The Modi government also put brakes on the media by denying them all the facilities they used to get from the earlier governments. All these factors forced them to launch a systematic campaign to malign this government and make it unstable so that their vested interests could be safeguarded.
The police acted promptly and arrested the culprits involved in these attacks. It turned out to be Bangladesh Muslims who committed the heinous crime of molesting the 72-year old nun in Ranaghat Convent. Those who attacked the Church in Delhi were petty criminals and Christians. How come the media suddenly fell silent? No discussions, no debate, nothing. But even before the police began their probe into the incidents, these very champions of secularism shamelessly blamed the Hindu nationalists and BJP and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi!
Typically, the media fell silent. The BBC reported that an arrest has been made in the nun gang rape case in India. But the agency didn’t mention that he was a Bangladeshi Muslim. Neither the Vatican, nor Cardinal Cleemis, or the archbishop apologized for their seminally improper allegation against the Hindu nationalists like RSS and VHP.
But, their mission got spiked from among the Christian intellectuals. One amongst them is Prof Dr. Hilda Raja, a Catholic Christian lady of Vadodara, who gave a befitting reply to Riberio in her article “Speak the truth Mr Riberio”.
Stating that his accusations were unfounded she traced her ancestry to her Hindu ancestors and asked how did we become Chrsitians? What kind of inducement-allurement and what strategy of proselytization were used those days for my ancestors to become Christians?
Prof Hilda wrote: “The point to note is that the Catholic Church to which Julio Ribeiro and I belong has a parampara (tradition) of a persecution mania. This is because we have inherited and are born through persecution. Not by the Hindus but by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the English, she said.
“We must agree that there was persecution, forced conversion by the conquerors. It was a question of torture and death to which the Hindu ancestors were subjected to. This is not fairy tales but recorded history when thousands of temples were destroyed, houses were ransacked and people were brutalized. Those who indulged in these human rights violations were treated as saints by the Vatican and raised to sainthood. But now we raise a hue and cry against ‘Ghar Vapsi’. What was good for one is not good for another. It is not though these were in the hoary past. Even today most of the NGOs do indulge in this proselytization. I wish the government of India ban all foreign funds. If China can develop without such NGOs and the foreign funds why should India not?”
Another noted writer Maria Wirth supports Hilda Raja stating that Christians are not persecuted in India. She wrote: “There is probably no other country where members of other religions were as safe as in India. Hindus always gave shelter to those who were persecuted in their homelands. Jews gratefully acknowledged that India is the one country where they were never persecuted.”
Maria Wirth further wrote: “All the so called attacks on churches which were hyped up recently on many TV channels turned out to be minor crimes unconnected with “Hindu extremists”. In other countries they would hardly find space in the local paper. Why were they flogged for days on TV channels? Why were Christian spokesmen given plenty of airtime to falsely blame the “Hindu right” and claim that Christians are under attack? There seems to be an agenda by the Churches and it would need to be investigated why so many TV channels obliged.
“The campaign of media and Christian representatives against “Hindu extremists” is not likely to end soon. New incidents will come up and the Christian spokesmen will again peddle the “truth” that under Narendra Modi as Prime Minister the Hindus are emboldened to “attack” Christians in hate crimes and that Christians feel helpless and insecure. The TV anchors will continue to prod them: “Do you feel unsafe in India?” and all Christian spokesmen will again reply “Yes” and claim that hate crimes have increased since Modi Government came to power.”
How the Christians put pressure on the Christian countries is understood from a prominent Indian Catholic Christian leader John Dayal’s testimony to US House of Representatives. He calls for interference by the U.S. in India’s internal matters including elections. The following excerpts show how he bases his call for interference by using atrocities literature compiled and summarized.
Using atrocities literature as the motivation for action
These fears are compounded by increasing radicalization of the political discourse including rhetoric about disenfranchising religious minorities. I wish to bring to the attention of the honorable Members of Congress the realities of the situation of religious minorities on the ground in India. We have spoken of the anti-Sikh massacres, the Christian massacres in Orissa and the recent violence in Muzaffarnagar. But in the past 12 months preceding these elections, Christians have themselves faced 153 cases of violence against us.
The use of state, missionary and law enforcement apparatus to harass, intimidate and disenfranchise religious minorities, indulge in mass violence against minorities followed by the extension of impunity to the perpetrators of violence the Government of India itself, in Parliament, has acknowledged 30,000 cases of violence in the last 60 years on record. Most of these cases have seen no persecution of the perpetrators including the police and other forces that I have mentioned. This could increase many-fold.
Calling for direct influence to coerce India
I will take this opportunity therefore to urge the United States Government and the U.S. Congress and indeed all people of the world to engage in the dialogue with the Government of India on issues of human rights and freedom of faith. These rights are guaranteed under the Indian constitution but are violated with impunity all too often. India is a huge market and investment destination and this has so far successfully managed and encouraged the government to ignore or rebuff the scant concerns shown by the international community.
Calling for influencing Indian elections
I am not going to focus on the issues because my three co-panelists have focused on all of them. I am going to focus on what are the challenges India will face when elections portend to present a result which is prophesied in newspapers and television columns: what happens if Mr. Modi comes to power. I think we, now in India, face serious challenges to the secular and pluralistic traditions of a country and religious minorities such as Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Adivasis are generally fearful of what the future portends.
In fact, Hindus have been the only people who respected diversity and lived with it. They never wanted to spread single religion based on one book and one prophet. Christianity and Islam are the religions that abhor diversity. The sole aim of Christianity was to seek “collapse of Hinduism”. And what could be the best way than conversion of Hindus to achieve this goal? So, the Christian missionaries have been indulging in conversion from the day they put their feet on this soil, courtesy to Hindu kings and his subjects. With conversion came the next agenda of disconnecting those converts from their Hindu ancestors and traditions and finally denationalise them as Swami Vivekananda, Veer Sawarkar and Gandhi would put it.
Any attempt to check their plan of religious expansionism is criticised at the national and international level using all the resources at the disposal and the Christian governments are pressurised to put diplomatic pressures on India and other countries to allow a free hand to these missionary organizations. This continued unabated during the 60 years of Congress rule but now they are facing a strong government with Modi as Prime Minsiter. They tried similar pressure tactics during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Therefore, it is time for the Narendra Modi government to remain ever vigilant to refute all such propaganda aimed at maligning its image by branding it anti-Christian. It is also a warning for Hindu organizations to tread their path with a caution and at the same time expose the wrongdoings and sinister design of these ‘apostles of peace’ to destabilize the first ever nationalist government under Prime Minister Modi.
By: Virag Pachpore