About five months back, the district administration at Kota in Rajasthan received a complaint that the Emmanuel Mission International (EMI) at its various centres in and around the city was distributing or selling a book titled Haqeeqat, which contained several derogatory remarks about Hindu scriptures, faith, rituals and traditions.
The book was a Hindi translation of a book written by a Kerala-based evangelist M.G. Mathew and it was translated by one Denial Nathaniel associated with EMI. After receiving the complaint and going through the contents of the controversial book, the government decided to ban it, as it felt that it would create communal hatred.
Non-bailabe warrants were issued against Mr Mathew, founder of EMI, Mr M.A Thomas and his son Dr Samuel Thomas, currently its chairman. Around the same time, government also received complaints about five educational and other institutions run by EMI. The complaint was that these institutions were violating all the rules, under which these were registered with Cooperative Department. Other than this violation, complaints said these institutions were allegedly involved in religious conversion and were receiving funds from abroad for this purpose. In fact, early last year, EMI and its institutions had hit the headlines, when local police had registered a case against them for bringing the innocent children from other states with the intentions of converting them to Christianity. The allegation was vehemently denied by the EMI, which said the children were brought here to participate in an annual convention of the institutions.
The Cooperative Department, after thorough inquiry, found that the complaints were not unfounded and cancelled the registration of all the five institutions, namely, Emmanuel Bible Institute Samiti, Emmanuel Anath Ashram, Emmanuel School Society, Emmanuel Chikitsalaya Samiti and Emmanuel Believers Fellowship. All these institutions received funds from the US-based Christian organisation?Hopegivers. These institutions were getting funds in the name of running schools, hospitals and orphanages, but the locals believe that these were being used for conversion activities.
Dr Thomas, who was arrested in Delhi, challenged the government orders in Rajasthan High Court. The Court, in the third week of June, gave its verdict in government'sfavour, as it found the ground, on which the Cooperative Department had cancelled the registration of these institutions, was sound. It found these institutions were not carrying the activities strictly for which these were registered. It also found irregularities in maintaining the accounts properly. It also said these institutions were becoming more or less family affairs.
On the same day, the Supreme Court rejected the anticipatory bail of the senior Thomas. After being armed with the court'sjudgment, the government has initiated steps to get control of these institutions. Soon these institutions would get administrators to run their affairs. The day on which the verdicts of two courts came, Minister for Social Welfare and Cooperative, Mr Madan Dilawar was in town. He had reasons to be happy, because it was he who had waged a war to expose the activities of these bodies. He along with some of his supporters celebrated the occasion. Here it is worth mentioning that when his department ordered to cancel the registration of these bodies, he came under fire, not only from Christian organisations, but also from so-called secular political parties, particularly Congress, which branded him as Hindu extremist.