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November 24, 2000
Even Jesus would not object!
I live near the Gole market church in Delhi. For the last four years, my wife, two children and I visit the church during Christmas. Never have we said anything critical about Jesus or Christianity to our children. We would like them to grow up in an atmosphere, free from hate and acrimony. However, seeing the hate campaign by a handful of individuals masquerading as spokespersons for Christians, in the media, specially the English language one, I feel sad.
We can do without the tirades of the so-called protectors of the faith, whom my Christian friend describes as 'neo-dollar-seekers' of the East.
My son often asks me, "Papa, are Hindus so bad that they would burn a father and his sons alive? Do we have to be Christian and hate Diwali to seek salvation? Are Hindus pagans, heathens and are we a country of devils? Does Om Namah Shivaya mean 'let the evil forces befall upon you?"
All these voices, have unfortunately reached him from the offices of the same church and the literature published by its followers, where we go to bow our head before Jesus, an apostle of peace.
Hate kills. And those who call themselves 'leaders' of Christians are at the forefront of this hate campaign against the Hindus and their Dharma, exactly in the same way as in the times of Swami Vivekananda.
The irony is that the same Swami started celebrating Christmas, officially, in every ashram of the Ramakrishna Mission worldwide. If the church was not controlled from a foreign soil, the culture, traditions and civilisation of this great country would have had a beneficial influence on the indigenous church. It would have never thought of a hateful campaign against fellow non-Christians.
The idea of establishing a national church originated with Indian Christians themselves in the early sixties. His Eminence Mar Athanasius Joel S Williams, archbishop of the Indian National Church, demanded that in the best interest of India's security and the well being of Indian Christians, a national church, devoted to Jesus Christ and loyal to the soil of India, should be established.
The need arose because during the imperial time, whether the rulers were Portuguese or British, the church and the missionaries active in India always owed their loyalties to the foreign ruler. They got protection and 'harvested' the poor souls of 'heathens and pagans' (read Hindus) under the shadow of tyrannical white masters. When the nation became free and imperialism ended, it was but natural that the patriotic Christians felt the need to free themselves from the yoke of foreign churches.
Archbishop Williams gave dozens of examples of how the missionaries active in India were loyal to the imperialist rulers and had to take an oath which among other things enjoined them, "to be loyal to Portugal in all the countries discovered or to be discovered, conquered or to be conquered, by Portugal. And to warn Portugal of any activity (political or otherwise) which may be contemplated against her."
After the decline of the Portuguese, the British also prescribed a similar oath for all the missionaries active in British India. It said: "I .. (name).. swear in the name of god that I will be exactly faithful to all those prescriptions of the holy See… I include in this promise exact obedience to any rules laid down by His Majesty's representatives, and also an undertaking to refrain from doing, saying or writing anything either publicly or privately, to the prejudice of the British government in India."
After Independence also, the church, thriving on foreign money, controlled and dictated by the foreigners, continued spreading hatred against the very people who were tolerant enough to shelter it and gave it the freedom to propagate Christianity here!
Today there are several big publishing houses controlled and funded by foreign funding agencies producing tones and tones of hate literature against Hindus. The very call of the Pope on our soil to bring us to the fold of Christianity was the most unwarranted 'attack' on Hindus and other non-Christian faiths.
One might even legitimately ask what is the church doing in the northeast? Rebel Christian outfits controlled and financed by international church organisations like the World Council of Churches, are attacking the sovereignty and integrity of India. There is enough evidence of it especially in Nagaland and Tripura.
The idea of a national church has nothing to do with the way Christians choose to profess their faith. This is not nationalising the faith as some have argued. I do not believe that there is a direct relation between religion and patriotism. However, the moot point is that only if India survives can the faith -- any faith survive. The world is aware of the dirty role played by the Vatican in the disintegration of the Soviet Union and in the change of regime in Poland. The Vatican-CIA nexus has been exposed too often that it does not bear repetition.
A foreign church that does not believe in the equality of religions, which gives a call for a crusade against another religion in Europe when its growth frightened it, is against the very grain of the idea called Bharat.
I believe that a majority of ordinary Indian Christians are different from their so-called 'leaders' sitting in Delhi. In pursuit of dollar-grants they abuse, insult, and defame Hindus and the nation.
If a national church were there, no one would have ever thought of a Christian 'leader' deposing before the US Congress and thus insulting the India state. No national church would have thought of attacking Hindus during Diwali by giving or accepting a call to proselytise them.
A national church would profess and propagate the faith in an atmosphere of mutual co-existence and respect. It would stand for the security and the integrity of the nation. It would not be a 'dollar-seeker' church, but a church for Bharat and Bharatiya people. Even Jesus would not object to it.
Tarun Vijay is the editor of the RSS weekly, Panchjanya.
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