Regular readers may recall, last month I warned that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would use the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) to extend Scheduled Caste reservation benefits to Christian and Muslim converts as soon as the Uttar Pradesh elections were over. Ms. Gandhi has been itching to snatch the rights of depressed Hindu castes and hand them over to Muslims and Christians; the NCRLM was set up with a predetermined mandate, and it has delivered as per its brief.
As expected, the NCRLM report is not unanimous, but Ms. Gandhi has never been deterred by such niceties in her mission to destroy Hindu society by promoting conversions. Justice Ranganath Mishra has dealt a body blow to Hindu society by recommending both a quota-within-quota for OBC minorities as well as reservations for former SC converts.
The Commission seeks 15 percent representation (proportionate to the minority population) for minorities in educational institutions and all cadres and grades of Government employment. Arguing that minorities, specially Muslims, are under-represented in Government, the Commission says they should be regarded as ?backward? according to Article 16(4), but without the qualifying distinction of ?socially and educationally backward.? This is a deliberate mischief?and constitutionally untenable?because it is well known that Christians and Muslims are not socially backward. Low caste conversion to monotheistic faiths rests on the promise of social upliftment, besides other benefits.
The Commission is keen to promote SC conversions by stealing their quotas. It gives the game away when it suggests that out of 15 per cent reservations?10 per cent for Muslims and 5 per cent for other minorities (read Christians)?unused Muslim seats can be given to other minorities, but ?in no case shall any seat within the recommended 15 per cent go to the majority community.?
The Commission has also endorsed Mr. Arjun Singh'sdesire for an 8.4 per cent sub-quota for minorities from the 27 per cent OBC quota, with Muslims getting 6 per cent and other minorities 2.4 per cent. The recent murders of converted Muslims in the Kashmir Valley show that evangelicals are equally busy in Muslim-majority regions, so it is a safe bet that these reservations, if implemented, will be wholly cornered by Ms. Sonia Gandhi'sco-religionists within a decade.
The Commission has brazenly tampered with the basic framework of the Constitution, urging that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 (which confined the SC net to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists) be wholly deleted and SC status delinked from religion. It seeks to facilitate conversions by providing SC benefits to converts.
Openly facilitating all the hare-brained and divisive schemes of the UPA government, the Commission recommends earmarking 15 per cent of Central developmental funds for minorities on the lines of Prime Minister's15-point programme (10 per cent for Muslims and 5 per cent for other minorities). The Commission'smember secretary Asha Das presented a note of dissent to these bizarre recommendations.
It is time to call a spade a spade. In no circumstances can Hindu society permit Muslims and Christians to steal the institution of caste. Historically and civilizationally, Hindu society has been organised on the basis of jati and gotra (which the Portuguese called caste). The varna system integrated the diverse jatis in the matrix of an evolving dharma. It was only natural, therefore, that the 1950 government order on Scheduled Castes extended only to Hindus (though this was later amended in 1956 and 1990 to accommodate Sikhs and Buddhists as part of a common Indic spectrum).
Evangelicals have jealously sought access to the caste-based reservation benefits of Hindu depressed classes. They saw their chance when the Mandal Commission listed some ?Muslim castes? among the OBCs. Political parties were too short-sighted to challenge this dangerous opening, and Christians began to lobby for SC/ST benefits for ?Dalit Christians.?
Now the curse is upon us, and we cannot afford to remain silent. Why should those who have renounced their Hindu identity get the benefits of a Hindu caste identity? It may also be pertinent in this context to debate if individuals who have renounced their Hindu identity may legitimately retain their caste names, often misleading society? In the recent episode in Kerala'sGuruvayur temple, Congress minister Vyalar Ravi has pointedly refused to tell the temple authorities if his son and grandchildren are baptized Christians or not; yet he is raising hell over the purification of the temple. Hindus must no longer suffer such affronts in silence.
Christianity and Islam are totalitarian ideologies; they completely annihilate the old religious and cultural beliefs of converts. Both ruthlessly wiped out the traditional religions and cultures in their present homelands. Papal pride in Christianity'striumph in Europe, Africa and Latin America cannot disguise the truth that the faith is a cruel imposition through brutal genocides. Islam was equally ruthless in lands where it became dominant. Both creeds regularly attack ?heretics? and resist liberalization of dogma.
Caste is non-existent in Christian and Islamic theology; we cannot allow appropriation of caste to undermine Hindu society. This is a political ruse to augment the conversion agenda of the Western Christian world which is aggressively promoting evangelization under US leadership. What is more, since Christianity lures converts with the promise that it does not discriminate between believers, a claim echoed by Islam, both religions owe an explanation and an apology for discriminating against low caste converts. Legal action should be initiated against the Church for the creation of separate pews and even cremation grounds for Dalit Christians -this is willfully practicing untouchability, which is banned by the Constitution.
The church also owes an explanation for the persisting social and educational backwardness of converts. According to the Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) president R.L. Francis, church denominations run over 40,000 health, educational and other organizations. Dalit Christian children are mostly invisible in such schools, and the entire wealth is controlled by upper caste Christians. The Church resists Dalit Christian reservations in missionary schools and organizations. PCLM estimates that church or Christian-controlled NGOs receive foreign funds of around Rs 3000 crores per annum. Christian bodies earn huge incomes from elite schools, colleges, hospitals, and commercial complexes in all major cities. The Dalit laity has little say in the utilization of these funds; there is in fact a vested interest in keeping Dalit Christians depressed to maintain the status quo in the Church.
Hence, if Christians or Muslims practice caste discrimination, they should be punished under the law of the land. Low caste converts unhappy with their status in their new faiths should return to their mother faith without hesitation. It is pertinent to recall that Mahatma Gandhi had said that even shuddhi is not required for such misled and disillusioned souls.