After the advent of the Portuguese in India, the sole aim of the missionaries in India became conversion of local citizens. From the 16th century to the19th century, the missionaries adopted every tactic possible to increase their numbers and the easiest target were the natives who could be converted into Christians because they were the most deprived lot. Conversion on large scale was carried out of tribals like the Malas and Madigas in Andhra Pradesh, Pulayas in Kerala, Mahars and the Mangs in Maharashtra, Bhalai in Madhya Pradesh, Chuda in Punjab and the Chamars in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
But all these castes, remained deprived and depraved despite conversion because the church made no effort to alleviate their social and economic status. If the church did something, it was patchy and was aimed at keeping the new convert subjugated. Though the missionaries tried their utmost to convert the high castes to Christianity, they did not earn as much success as they did with the deprived classes. Today Indian Christians comprise at least 70 per cent of Dalit Christians who have been persistently exploited by the creamy layer of the church.
Christianity is an amalgam of strange happenings. The poor Christians still harbour full faith in Jesus Christ'swords who had said that if man was a devoted servant and if he appeared true in the realm of lust, he could become a top administrator.
The author says that the church in India is a Dalit Church which is under the control of the selfish and self-centred creamy layer. The church leadership has never considered it advisable to go against the high castes because they have realised that by displeasing them, they would not succeed as rulers in India and nor be able to increase their numbers by converting the locals to Christianity. However, the author says that the church leadership has founded many educational institutions and hospitals but the fruit of such effort has been enjoyed by the rich and the high castes only among the Christians.
Since the past few decades, national and international forces are fighting for return of Christian converts in the category of Scheduled Castes.
This is a book which shall be enjoyed by those who have embraced Christianity after conversion from Hinduism.
(PCLM Publications, A-262 DDA Flats, Ghazipur, Delhi-110 096.)