Christianity Not Against India But Conversion Is
By Someswar Bhagwat
When I write about Hindu beliefs and the scourge of religious conversion I get abused in vilest terms and called brainless by a lady whose progeny will be in independent East Bengal of Didi. She herself is waiting to get converted as it is the fashion of liberals to boost the unending efforts to make India an Islamic nation.
Having read the Bible more fhat Gita, I found many Christians more Indian than the above mentioned lady. APJ Abdul Kalam who quoted Thirukkural more often than the Quran.
All religions are great and all deserved respect.
Seeking to serve the local church and society, William Carey, the British Baptist missionary, moved out of then British-ruled Calcutta (now Kolkata) to a Danish colony in Bengal. He also translated the Mahabharata and Ramayana from Sanskrit in 1802.
Kerala missionary Benjamin Bailey set up the first printing press in Malayalam. He was the first lexicographer in that language. Dr Brown wrote the first Telugu dictionary.
C. F. Andrews aligned so closely with the nationalist movement that M.K.Gandhi expanded his initials CFA as “Christ’s Faithful Apostle”. Sister Miraben was a part of the Gandhi movement.
R. R. Keithahn, an American missionary, identified so much with the nationalist movement that the British government expelled him from India. When India became independent, C. Rajagopala-chari, the last Governor-General of India, wired Keithahn: “Welcome back to free India!” Keithahn returned and spent the rest of his life here.He died in Oddanchathram in Tamil Nadu. Few know him.
There are many stories of those who came to India to convert the ‘native injuns’ to Christianity and became patriotic Indians.
There was a Collector Monroe who spoke to the Seer of Raghavendra mutt in chaste English through a wall after reports of the Seer’s death, to report to the Britishers that as he was alive the mutt lands can’t be taken over.
There are many missionaries who came to convert but were themselves converted into Indian patriots.
They would have become Hindu if India was a proselytising nation. lndia is not. Swami Vivekananda said anyone who believed in Hinduism was Hindu. The militant extremist Bajrang Dal ‘ghar wapsi’ drive came only recently.
I believed that if Christianity did not have crusades and inquisition and if Islam did not have jihad and justification of killing kaafirs and destroying of idols, there would have been two more avatars of Almighty in Hinduism – Mohammad and Jesus. It is Hindus who admired Abdul Kalam more.
The quarrel, therefore is with conversions and not with Islam or Christianity.