The UPA'santipathy for Hindus and its chairperson'sindulgence to minorityism seem to have emboldened the proselytisers. In the latest instance, in Dhenkanal district, Orissa, a 14-year old schoolgirl Jyotirmayee Bej, fell victim to a conspiracy of cash-rich evangelists in which the local police allegedly played a willing partner. If the Hindu organisations had not taken up the matter, the poor fruit vendor'sdaughter'stragic end would have gone unnoticed. Reports say that Jyotirmayee was brutally murdered for refusing to convert. The conspiracy it seems was hatched at the behest of the Baptist Church. A fact-finding team which visited the area has confirmed this and has demanded a thorough inquiry into the episode.
Cynics say that man never learns from experience. This is not true of all but some are like that who refuse to change. The evangelists are one such tribe. They have only one mission. For them, all those who don'tbelieve in their God are sinners, and have to be liberated through evangelism.
The recent spurt in social tensions in Orissa, Rajasthan and Kerala, involving the evangelists on the one hand and the local population refusing to change faith on the other, is a pointer to this mindset. It was six years ago, a proselytisation-related tragedy struck Graham Staines and his family in Orissa, leading to a macabre end to the missionary'slife. The alleged culprits were punished and the widow of Graham Staines left the country. But this did not end or reverse anything, as far as the evangelists are concerned.
By conferring Padma Shri on Gladys Staines, it seemed the State was not only atoning for the sin, but even inviting the evangelists with a red carpet.
It is in this context that the latest findings of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have to beIt is in this context that the latest findings of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have to berities (NCM) have to beIt is in this context It is in this context that the latest findings of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have to berIt is in this context that the latest findings of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have to berities (NCM) have to beIt is in this contextIt is in this context that the latest findings of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) have to berins by allurement, persuasion, intimidation and threat? Is it not for the State to protect the faith-a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of every citizen of our country to pursue and profess the religion of his choice and birth? The NCM report says, ?We know that some political parties and religious organisations are accusing the Christians of widespread conversion through unfair means. It is possible that the poor tribals, disillusioned by the slow performance of anti-poverty programmes, recorded themselves as Christians without formally getting converted because of better health and educational facilities offered by Christian organisations… The question of foreign money in sensitive areas and injecting politics in development programmes is another controversial issue.?
The Commission has only put a finger on the tip of the iceberg. That, at last, an official agency has formally mentioned the existence of organised conversion activities and exploitation in the name of health and education itself is a valuable revelation. It is for the nation to be alert on the dangers these pose to our integrity, security and even, sovereignty of our country.