AFTER successfully converting India’s north-east into a Christian-dominated region the evangelists have now stepped up their work in the south, especially Tamil Nadu, using absolutely unethical methods. The church, with overt and covert political support is attempting to spread their concoction – a theory that the Tamils were a separate race and that a popular Hindu cult there Saiva Siddhantam was an early version of Christianity.
A thoroughly researched book on the evangelists’ latest assault has ripped their mask off, revealing an ugly side of religious conversion activities. Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan explains the elaborate plans of the missionaries hatched decades ago, with the arrival of the early soul harvesters from the West.
The history of Tamil Nadu has been twisted beyond imagination by these “academic” religious men, who in the guise of serving the Tamil language have invented a new version. According to which, Thiruvalluvar, the author of the Thirukural who lived during the Sangam period (the BC era) was influenced by the St Paul, who is supposed to have visited Tamil Nadu around 2nd Century AD. Some even attribute him to belong to Jainism, while the truth is that Thiruvalluvar was a Hindu and his monumental work Thirukural makes several references to Hindu gods and goddesses and is rooted in the Tamil culture and religion. GU Pope, who translated one of the sacred Hindu texts Thiruvachakam was the first to propose the theory that Christianity and Saiva Siddhantam were similar.
“The subsequent theories constructed by the missionaries were attempted to show that the Kural and Saiva Siddhantam were anti-Aryan and similar to Christianity. Recently, the highly endorsed evangelist propaganda book India is a Christian Nation, builds upon the foundations started by Cladwell and Pope to reinterpret Tamil spirituality as a part of Christianity. It discusses ‘the great possibilities to discern the hidden truths of Saivism and Vaishnavism as nothing but “Early Indian Christianity.”
The separate ‘Dravidian race’ theory was first articulated by Bishop Robert Cladwell (1814-91). He claimed that Dravidians were the “original” inhabitants of South and were “cheated” by the Aryan Brahmins. He was out to liberate the Dravidians. The authors Rajiv and Aravindan give instances and anecdotes galore to narrate the story of the evangelical overdrive in Tamil Nadu which has reached a near shrill level now because of political patronage. Books that would not receive a second glance from academicians are being included in the syllabus and being taught to innocent students. It is a process of superimposing a new layer of history, so that the real history would be buried, much like demolishing a structure to create a new one in its place. In this, the communist historians are past masters and as recently as last week, one of the celebrated historians from Tamil Nadu, Champakalakshmi, belonging to the JNU brigade unveiled a book on how the religious identity of Tamil Nadu was always secular (read non-Hindu).
According to Rajiv Malhotra, he came across in the 1990s, an African-American scholar at Princeton University, who back from a trip to India spoke of an ‘Afro-Dalit Project.’ This acted as a trigger and this book is the result of years of research. “What I found out should sound the alarm bell for every Indian concerned about national integrity. India is the prime target of a huge enterprise – a ‘network’ of organizations, individuals and churches – that seems intensely devoted to the task of creating a separatist identity, history and even religion for the vulnerable sections of India. This nexus of players includes not only church groups, government bodies and related organizations, but also private think-tanks and academics.”
M Deivanayagam is yet another player in this nexus. His books written with a Christian twist, including the translation of Hindu hymns suggesting Christian meaning, are being promoted by academic bodies. He has a say in the International Institute of Tamil Studies and the specially created Christian Studies Chair at Madras University.
These aggressive evangelists also attempted to plant archaeological evidences to ‘prove’ the ancient Christian connection to the land. They did not stand scrutiny. Culturally too, there is assault on the traditions of Tamil Nadu, Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form is being entirely de-Hinduised. Leela Samson’s initiatives in Kalakshetra to remove idols, stop lighting lamps and prayer dances have to be seen in this evangelical context, say the authors.
The Dalit-Dravidian faultline is part of a global network that is working on a three-pronged strategy to dismember India, using religion, violence and social fissures – Islamic radicalism with Pakistan as the epicentre, Naxalism with China support and the caste-communal conflicts fuelled by the West.
Nearly all the denominations of Christianity in the world are represented in India, with funding coming from abroad. In fact recently information presented in parliament showed Tamil Nadu to be one of the highest recipients of foreign aid. And the NGOs, with Christian connections were the biggest dollar baggers.
The authors say: “Besides the indirect role of government played by various US senators and congressmen in their official capacities, and the indirect role of helping non-government think-tanks and activists, the US government has been directly active in foreign evangelism as a part of its foreign policy.” They give details of the US government’s direct intervention. Similarly, the European nations and the UK are also part of the evangelical orchestra.
There was a time when the white men coming to India, seeing the ancient civilisation for the first time were awe stuck by the sheer greatness of the Hindu religion, philosophy, spirituality and culture. This was slowly and deliberately replaced by contempt towards us and superiority complex in them. That is when they started their hunt for souls to salvage. But now, it has come down to the number game. The more they convert, the higher the dollar flow. In this dangerous race, for them anything is passé.
This book exposes the dubious network of academicians, evangelists and NGOs who are working in great synchrony to achieve the single goal of converting southern India into Christendom. It needs to be fought at different and all levels.
The book could have done with a little empirical data on the number of Dalit Christians, the rate of their conversion, the most sensitive areas etc. It is definitely an eye-opener and not just a warning bell but a gong, a call for all those who believe in our culture, civilisation and religion to get their acts together.
It is a valuable source material on the subject. Rajiv Malhotra is a public intellectual on current affairs, world religions and cross-cultural encounters between East and West. He is now on the Board of Governors of the India Studies Program at University of Massachusetts. Arvind Neelakandan has been working for the past decade with an NGO in Tamil Nadu with marginalised communities in sustainable agriculture.
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