An Unwanted Priest; Father William Premdass Chaudhary; Jaykay Enterprises; Rs 225; Pp 248
Nowadays, it is quite common to hear about various kinds of wrong doings happening in the Church, not only in Bharat, but across the world. In Bharat only very few voices have been raised from inside the church addressing these allegations. Sister Jesme was the first among those who bravely came forward to expose the church. In her autobiography titled Autobiography of a Nun, she narrates about the abuse of girls in Church. Of late, a book in Hindi titled Unteshwari Mata Ka Mahant has been released, in which P B Lomeo, the author of the book, discussed the life of Father Anthony Fernandes of the Society of Jesus, and exposed how Vanvasis are tricked into conversion and later exploited.
An Unwanted Priest is another book in the same league, authored by Father William Premdass Chaudhary and talks about exploitation of Dalits in the Church. “According to the Catholic Bishop Council of India (CBCI), there are 16000 priests in the country out of which only 600 are Dalit priests. And out of the 156 Bishops, a handful (six) are Dalits. The content of this book is solely based on the experience of first generation of Hindu Dalits and locals converted into Christianity and the survey was taken among the second generation Catholics who are living in and around Delhi.”
One of the major reasons given by the Church for converting people is to save them from caste oppression in Hinduism. Casteism is very much existing and is being practised in Catholic Church in Bharat. It is being practised directly or indirectly since many centuries in the Catholic Church. The following are the issues covered by the author:
Before joining seminary, the author was asked to buy stuffs worth Rs 25,000/-. Father William writes, “Brothers were harassed and living out of fear in the seminary. Brothers were living in miserable condition and not treated with dignity. No one dared to question the authority. Brothers were unnecessarily forced to leave the seminary.”
Attempt to Murder
He remembers, “On the other hand Archbishop of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese (DCA) wants to reduce the number while killing me indirectly because such a situation was being created so that I might commit suicide.”
Land Grab by Church
“My main work was to acquire land from DDA. The application for the church land was submitted twenty five years ago but the parishioners did not get proper land for the church. I was going to DDA almost thrice in a week. It was the hard work of few parishioners and me that I succeeded to acquire land for the church from DDA within six months. (2001),” writes the author.
Raising Fund by Scare Mongering
Fr. Dominic Emmanuel has used the word Hindu Fundamentalist group in order to get the Budget to be passed by MISSIO (International Catholic Mission Society), Germany.
Bollywood Production & Financial Irregularity
Author has also raised the issues of financial irregularity of the bollywood movie Aisa Kyon Hota Hai produced by Fr Dominic (As per BBC News, the film cost $288,000 and was produced with the help of Mahesh Bhatt).
Grabbing Awards and Government Posts
Father Dominic used money to get Governments Peace and Harmony award and also became member of National Minority Commission.
Conversion through Marriage
The author states, “I managed to bring one congregation to work in Haryana. They came and open the school and are running the hospitals in the village where there are no Catholics but the girls who are married to local boys, are Baptised.”
Besides above points, there are several other important issues which have been raised by the author, especially how funds are collected in the name of schools for Dalits, but Dalits are not given admission and money is used for conversion. The book contains huge amount of correspondence between the Father Chaudhary and different authorities of Church. Proof reading and editing could have added lot of value to the book. However, this book is a must read for the people in Government, Nationalist Organisations and Dalit Leaders.
Sandeep Singh (The reviewer is founder www.swastik.net.in)