Intro: Recently former cop Julio Ribeiro joined the bandwagon of minority insecurity under Modi government. A Christian lady posed a rebuttal through her blog to the same.
I read Mr Julio Ribeiro’s ‘I feel I am on a hit list’ (The Indian Express dated March 16, 2015) I did not react immediately because I wanted to let it sink and see if there was any foundation in what he stated. To me the whole accusation of his seems to have no foundation. As with Julio Ribeiro, my ancestry also can be traced to Hinduism. While he agrees on this the question arises why we are Christians today. How did it happen? What kind of inducement-allurement and what strategy of proselytisation were used those days for my ancestors to become Christians?
Unlike Julio Ribeiro I do not feel threatened—neither do I fear that I am on a hit list and I feel very much an Indian no matter who says what. The point to note is that the Catholic Church to which Julio Ribeiro and I belong has a parampara (tradition) of a persecution mania. This is because we have inherited and are born through persecution. Not by the Hindus but by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the English. This is precisely why though Julio Ribeiro acquiescence that his DNA if tested, it will not differ markedly from Mohan Bhagwat’s. The same can be said of our Hindu ancestors. Then, what happened down the line?
We must agree that there was persecution, forced conversion by the conquerors. It was a question of torture and death to which the Hindu ancestors were subjected to. This is not fairy tales but recorded history when thousands of temples were destroyed, houses were ransacked and people were brutalised. Those who indulged in these human rights violations were treated as saints by the Vatican and raised to sainthood. But now we raise a hue and cry against ‘Ghar Wapsi’. What was good for one is not good for another. It is not though these were in the hoary past. Even today most of the NGOs do indulge in this proselytisation. I wish the government of India ban all foreign funds. If China can develop without such NGOs and the foreign funds why should India not?
I must bring the Vatican’s mindset in this context because it is relevant. When it comes to conversion it will go the extra mile. Look at what it indulged in during the regime of Pius XII. He did not hesitate to join hands with Hitler who attacked Yugoslavia. Hitler partitioned the country into the Catholic Croatia and the Orthodox Serbia.
Then followed a massive ethnic cleansing under the cloak of the ‘Aryanisation’ process, which separated the Jews, Serbs as undesirables. These were deported to concentration camps. Children were not spared. The ethnic cleansing was done by the open support of the clergy, priests and nuns supervised and Vatican followed the ‘omerta’ and looked the other way. Special death camps were set up for children.
Several commandants and officers at these death camps were Catholic priests. Francisan monks supervised the mass execution. This ethnic cleansing thus had the blessings of Vatican. There were monetary gains for the Vatican from the Holocaust in Croatia. In the certificate of conversion which was sold for a few hundred of dinars, the Vatican netted millions. Vatican was well informed and yet the Pope maintained silence. In fact not a single member of the clergy was held accountable, though the commandants of the death camps were priests. After the war, Archbishop Stepinak was arrested for war crimes by the Yugoslav government. Puis XII excommunicated everyone who had taken part in the trial. Later the Archbishop was presented as the champion of religious freedom! It is interesting that in 1998 Pope John II travelled to the Republic of Croatia to announce the beatification of Archbishop Stepinak.
It must be noted that the Vatican abetted and colluded with Mussolini and Hitler in all their brutality. It stood to gain both in terms of power and money. Yet we often hear the word ‘Fascist’ being thrown against the BJP and the saffron brigade. This is part of the Christian parampara of the Catholic Church to which Julio Ribeiro and I belong to. Yet we are scandalised by the ‘Ghar Wapsi. What about the inquisitions held in India— in Goa? With so much of baggage how can we point a finger at others—to the saffron groups—and then pretend that we are being victimised and discriminated? All rapes are abominable and need to be condemned in the strongest terms. But why only the rape of the nun—be it in Odisha and now in West Bengal—be internationalised? Why and how can the Vatican interfere and want to send a delegation?
In a population of nearly one and a quarter billion — human rights violations and inhuman acts are bound to happen. These need to be severely put down not politicised. It is the NGOs which create a kind of phobia. Foreign funds flow and towards this they organise dharnas and rallies. Any violation and discrimination is being attributed to the Modi’s government. But then these things had not suddenly surfaced. There is a long gestation period of discrimination—of injecting a fear psychosis. The politicians have communalised the communities.
India is known for its secularism—it is not because the Constitution made it secular. Even before the Constitution the Hindus welcomed all religions. Butchery and compulsion and forced conversion were introduced and followed by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the English. Earlier the basic tenet followed by the inhabitants of this great country was Sanatan Dharma. Even today that is the guide and the dictum.
I am 78 and thought it is time to speak out. The ordinary people like me are happy and content — feel no persecution or discrimination and are not on the hit list. Even if we are, truth cannot be hidden. In fact it was the Church which had crucified TRUTH and continues to do so. Perhaps there may be aberrations to this. It must not be forgotten that Julio Ribeiro was hounded by a minority community for the alleged human rights violations in Punjab. It was not the Hindus who were behind it.
So may be Julio Ribeiro has some deep seated fear within him. But then to generalise this personal fear into the whole fabric of the Indian populace is too farfetched.
I want to appeal to the Modi government to ban all foreign funds inflow into this country. We should be able to manage with what we have. Why take a begging bowl to other countries and disrupt the peace within? If other countries can manage, so can us.
I would like to mention about the good works done and which are being done by nuns. But then they have enormous assets. When the foreign invaders left this country they turned over all their land and houses to the churches. As if these are their grandfathers’ possessions. By all legal rights these should have been turned over to the government of India. So the Churches had at their disposal land and finances to start with. There is no accountability.
Look at the Minority Education Institutions which run on their own rules and regulations. Why did the Constitution founders submit to such a request and enshrine it in the Constitution? Is that not discrimination? I have studied from LKG to PG in Minority Institutions. Later I was a faculty member in one of the elite colleges in Chennai. I know how they function. The least said about them the better.
Yes, good work they do, but there is no denying that it comes with a price. Money flows into Vatican. There is wealth beyond measure in these Church allied institutions and in churches. So when Mammon triumphs, where is the TRUTH? The same lenses must be used to scrutinise Mother Teresa’s work in India.
Dr (Mrs) Hilda Raja (The writer is a Vadodara based blogger and writes her views at https://hildaraja.wordpress.com/)