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|December 31, 1998||
The Rediff Interview/ Jayantibhai Kewat
'The Christians are more loyal to the Roman Pope than our Lord Ram or Krishna'
Jayantibhai Kewat, Dang BJP general secretary is one of the founders of the Hindu Jagran Manch.
Kewat believes there is a threat to the Hindu religion from Christian missionaries in Dang, south Gujarat. The missionaries, he alleges, are converting the local tribals by force and money. He told
Kewat believes there is a threat to the Hindu religion from Christian missionaries in Dang, south Gujarat. The missionaries, he alleges, are converting the local tribals by force and money. He toldSyed Firdaus Ashraf how the HJM plans to keep a check on the priests's activities.
When was the HJM formed? What was its purpose?
The HJM was founded in 1996 by local leaders of the BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and members of the Bajrang Dal. The purpose is to awaken Hindus who are being forcefully converted by Christian missionaries. Twenty-five years ago, there were hardly any Christians in Dang, but today thanks to these missionaries nearly ten per cent of the population in every village in Dang is Christian.
Have you achieved any success?
Yes, in a village at Pipalwada in Dang, 70 per cent of the Adivasis were converted to Christianity. We took them to the Unaimata mandir and reconverted them back to Hinduism. There are lot of examples where we have reconverted the Christians.
What is wrong if the Adivasis accepted Christianity of their own choice?
No, that is untrue. The Adivasis never accept Christianity willingly. They are either forced or bribed by these missionaries to convert. Another problem is that these Adivasis never convert to Christianity for official records. They take subsidies and all kinds of government grants meant for Adivasis whereas they practice the Christian faith.
According to the Christian missionaries the Adivasis are not Hindus but are schedule tribes with an animist tradition?
How cay they say that? The Adivasis worship Hanumanji. Isn't Hanuman a Hindu God? Believe me, on June 11, the neo-Christian converts threw one Hanuman idol at Jarsui village in Dang from a hill. If you see the police records you will find that a case has been registered by us over this issue.
Do you think such actions are being instigated by the Christian missionaries?
Yes, they are endangering our culture and religion. The Christians today are more loyal to the Roman Pope than our Lord Ram or Krishna. All these people are biased towards America. The developed Christian countries encourage these missionaries to do such things. So there is a threat to Bharatmata.
Can you give us an example where there has been a threat to our motherland from Christian missionaries?
See Nagaland and the other North-East states. The tribals there were all Hindus. But these missionaries converted more than half the population. Now the same people are demanding a separate homeland.
But our Constitution gives people a right to practise one's religion?
Yes, it does. But the Supreme Court has also said that Hinduism is a way of life. The Christians and Muslims all over India are basically Hindus. If a Christian or Muslim goes abroad, he will be called a 'Hindustani'. Why? Because everybody knows he belongs to Hindustan and has a Hindu culture behind him (laughs), isn't it true?
But the Christian missionaries are doing a lot of good work, serving the poor and downtrodden. Look at what Mother Teresa did.
Neither Mother Teresa nor any of these missionaries are doing selfless service. They are converting Hindus to Christianity in the name of selfless service. If they are selfless, why don't they let the Hindus remain in their religion and serve them?
What are your future plans?
We will continue to awaken the neo-converts. This is the first time the Christians have attacked a Hindu rally in India. This shows they can turn more violent if they are in large numbers. I think the Hindus must take this warning seriously. We have decided that on every Christmas day, we will have the same kind of rally in Dang to awaken the Hindus about their religion.
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