Training 'prospective' harvesters of souls
Posted July 28, 2006
The first glimpse of the Jesus of the Gospels came to me when I joined as Sub Collector in Pollachi in the erstwhile unbifurcated Coimbatore District of Tamilnadu in 1967. I had gone to a remote village incognito for a confidential inquiry. An enthusiastic and young Christian Pastor tried to convert me and failed in the attempt. Vaguely I remember that the following type of dialogue took place between us:
Pastor: You believe that Jesus was an Avatar or incarnation?
Myself: Yes, I do.
Pastor: Can an Avatar tell a lie?
Myself: He is not supposed to.
Pastor: What if Jesus says he is the only God.
Myself: He can't say that.
My Pastor friend immediately picked up a copy of the New Testament and read out several passages from the Gospels. He tried to convince me that Jesus did say in so many words not only that he was the only God, but also that those who did not accept his claim would burn for ever in the infernal pit. In a flash I realised with painful surprise that Jesus was not all 'Sermon on the Mount' as I had been led to believe by his Hindu votaries including Mahatma Gandhi.
Hindus of India are committing a grave mistake in regarding the encounter between Hinduism and Christianity as a dialogue between two religions. Christianity has never been a religion; its long history tells us that it has always been a predatory imperialism 'par excellence'. The encounter, therefore, should be viewed as a battle between two totally opposed and mutually exclusive ways of thought and behaviour. In the language of the Bhagavat Gita (Chapter XVI) it is war between Daivi (Divine) and Asuri Sampads (demonic propensities). In the mundane context of history, it can be described as war between the Vedic and the Biblical traditions.
I have often been bewildered by the fact as to why we Hindus have always remained preoccupied with the behaviour patterns of Muslims and Christians and not with the belief systems which create those behaviour patterns. We object to Christian Missions, but refuse to discuss Christianity and its God, Jesus. We object to Islamic terrorism, but refuse to have a look at Islam and its Prophet, Mohammed. I see no sense or logic in this Hindu spirit. We appeal to the Christian Missionaries in the name of Jesus and ask them not to do what they have been doing. We appeal to the Muslims in the name of Mohammed and ask them to stop doing what they have been doing. In this process, we have invented a 'real' Jesus and a 'true' Christianity. We have also invented a 'real' Mohammed and a 'true' Islam. The Missionary smiles and the Mullah also smiles at our invention; both the Missionary and the Mullah go ahead with their work of conversion, making good use of our soft-headedness.
Last month I had written an article on State-abetted, State-aided, State-sponsored and State-sustained evangelism on stilts in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the Temple Town of Tirupati. I had gone to the extent of stating that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. Y. Samuel Rajasekara Reddy, who is himself a Seventh Day Adventist, is playing the role of a Christian crusader of the 12th century. Apart from the reports relating to threats of terrorist attacks, the Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, synonymous with Hindu Religion is under threat from some powerful insidious international forces. The State Government of Andhra Pradesh is playing the role that was played by Mohammed of Gazini in Somnath in Gujarat in the first quarter of the 11th century! The other forces are represented by the monotheistic faiths of global Christianity and global Islam. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is taking advantage of the overarching super umbrella of global Roman Catholicism hanging over the effete UPA Government. In short, Tirumala Hills and Lord Venkateswara are under the siege of Andhra Pradesh Government under the Generalissimo of Dr. Y. Samuel Rajasekara Reddy who is waging a missionary war against the pagan Gods of Heathenish Hinduism.
In this context I cannot help quoting the precise and sharp words of Sita Ram Goel: 'It is high time for Hindus to dismiss the dogma of Christianity with the contempt it deserves and pay attention to the Christian Missionary apparatus planted in their midst. The sole aim of this missionary apparatus is to ruin Hindu society and culture and take over the Hindu Homeland. It goes on devising strategies for every situation, favourable and unfavourable. It trains and employs a large number of intellectual criminals ready to prostitute their talents in the service of their pay masters, and adept at dressing up dark designs in a high-sounding language.'
What is happening in Andhra Pradesh should not be viewed as an isolated incident or a localised phenomenon in a particular State. I have received terrible news from Kerala that evangelical money power is being used to import some young men and women from the United States for purposes of proselytism in the southern districts of Tamilnadu and Kerala. This is how the authorities of a Christian missionary organisation called the 'Adventures in Mission' explain themselves and their fantastic trips to India. They call for young practising Christians between the age of 15-20 and who have been Christians for at least six months to join them on this trip. Their training camps for conversions take place in Atlanta in USA. Their aim is to take advantage of the natural disasters area in and around Tenkasi in Tirunelveli District in Tamilnadu. They bring in groups of conversion activists and make them preach to the poor people of this area. They warn the participants not to be taken in by the Christians of that area because they are only Christians by name and they still follow the pagan Hindu culture. They say the groups' aim is to create a body of true Christians 'who will forsake the dominant pagan Hindu culture of India forever'.
Even before they set out for India, a very clear message is given to the trainees (Harvesters of Souls) as follows: 'You will fly into Trivandrum on the southern tip of Kerala. After a city tour you will be taken to Tenkasi in Tamilnadu. You will be stationed here. Be ready for hard floors on which you will be sleeping in local schools and orphanages. Local food will be served which is very spicy. Modesty is required; you cannot wear tank tops or sleeveless clothes. You need to go for a training camp before you are ready for this adventurous trip. You need to get visit visas and a whole lot of vaccinations before you come to this contaminated area. The cost is a mere 4000USD. The results will be a great service to the Christian world as you will be HARVESTING SOULS. It will be a soul fulfilling Christian adventure of Christian faith in Heathen Lands for bringing 'sons of the devil' into the fold of Angelic Christianity.'
Haindava Keralam is a new voluntary organization which has been recently established to protect the interests of Hindu society, Hindu culture and Hindu religion against the onslaught of Christian missionaries and Muslim Mullahs in Kerala. Haindava Keralam has requested all its supporters in US to warn the Indian Embassy in Washington of the anti-national activities of 'Adventures in Mission' and to request the Indian Ambassador in USA to deny visas for the participants of this group.
Government of India should make it clear that the visit visa granted by the Government of India is strictly for visiting our country, admiring the scenic locations and enjoying our culture and tradition. These visitors must be told that their Visa is not for conversion activities or any kind of religious propaganda in any part of India. Such activities are against the law and if this group lands in Kerala or any South Indian state or elsewhere, a close watch would be kept over their conduct and activities. The group should be told that stringent action will be taken against them for all unlawful activities, connected with conversion or proselytism.
One of my Roman Catholic friends often refers to Harijan coverts as 'POWDER MILK CHRISTIANS', and there is no doubt that these people ? the poorest of the poor ?? are attracted by the missionaries' promises to feed their bodies, rather than the prospect of spiritual nourishment or spiritual salvation. On the aspect of Christian Missionary subterfuge in India, Sita Ram Goel in his incisive work, 'CATHOLIC ASHRAMS-SANYASINS OR SWINDLERS', has clearly brought to light the manner in which this nefarious activity is being carried out in different parts of India. Since Independence, the 'HARVESTERS' no longer have the support of the Union Jack. But instead they have the stronger support of the secular Government of India. In post-independent India, their methods have changed, but their 'objectives haven't'.
To conclude in the incisively brilliant words of my Think-Tank friend Capt. Balakrishnan: 'Since the days of the 'RAJ', missionary efforts to 'HARVEST SOULS' has followed a certain modus operandi: First, denigrate Hinduism and its Gods. Second, target the poor and illiterate sections of Hindu society by offering material inducements. Third, resort to subterfuge on gullible Hindus to 'HARVEST THEIR SOULS' with Christian compassion, evangelical energy and ecumenical enthusiasm'.
(The writer is a retired IAS officer)