Sep 26, 2008
“Hinduism never opposes free will conversion. Violence in any form is condemnable regardless of the cause.”
Let us not deliberately try to mix up other issues with the above bold lettered/quoted statements. If we mix up, then it is nothing but big scam to hide the truth.
No one stops the people who trade their soul and god with free will. But assuming same for the helpless/poor/uneducated people is nothing but exploitation of their weakness.
We have heard stories of some parents selling their kids because of poverty and helplessness to look after their kids. It is their mental and physical inability due to various challenging factors driving for the same. So can we equate them to child traffickers? NO. If that person would have had the right environment, education and circumstances he would not have done so. So issues can be solved only when we have clear understanding of all factors.
So let us not forget the facts. If free will was not the case, we would not have seen 5 crore Christians. To justify purely on technical perspective, violence over conversion is seen only on some places in India. But Christians do live all over India. If free will was not the case, one should have witnessed violence all over India.
We as Hindu echo Karan Tappar’s article on ‘who is real Hindu’. But at one place he mentioned “If any one of us were to change our faith how does it affect even if it is through inducement?” I view that statement as a technical justification for his article. It simply indicates he is plain out of touch in that matter. If every weakness of human being is viewed as the opportunity for some one else, what does mean by social responsibility, civilization, cultural affinity and betterment of human society? I feel, the real Hindu also do not believe or encourages of the notion of one religion is less equal than other religion.
Religion is not the game of chess:
Let me take two examples “untouchability and caste”; the two much talked social issue for the conversion propaganda. The ideas of different sectors in Hinduism enriched its culture and diversity. But certain people became more dominant and tried to misuse for the personal gain which resulted in a practice that some are more equal than others. These issues are not unique to any religion. Can anybody deny that such issues do not exist in Christianity, Muslims...etc? Do I need to list out the sectors in other religions? It is practiced everywhere at different level. . Great people like Gandhiji rightly observed and worked towards that. There are many Hindu organizations which are working to rectify these issues. I hope it is true with other religions also.
If any one, who denies “Slavery” is not part of Christianity, should be ready to accept “untouchability” is not part of Hinduism. Both “Slavery” and “untouchability” are not part of any holy scripts, but practiced by ignorant people. Lots of progressive people are working towards solving these issues. Let us be honest in accepting that evil exist in all parties. It is time to work for the betterment of the people instead of using that as the opportunity to demean other religion by having blind eye on their own.
So let us not play the game of chess. Every move has its own counter move. It is sure to end up in deadlock. What we really need to do is to understand the larger implication of our actions and solve the issues before it goes out of control.
To whom should we stand for?
All Hindus do condemn fundamentalist people for resorting to the violent root in the name of conversion. I call upon them to change their approach and use different form of protest which does not involve any harm to the people and property. I also condemn some evangelical organizations who think service as the business of conversion propaganda [proofs can be cited]. Both of their approach leads to same thing; that is hurting the peaceful co-existence. . Evil does not mean just violence. Let us believe in society of “humanity, morality, equality and respect for each others faith”. To deal with the issues of our nation one should have the guts to be brutally honest. Let us not give blanket cover for good and bad under the same roof.
It is wise to learn from past for the betterment of future. Let us be clear that scratching the surface does not solve problem. I do want to mention Dr Sudharshan (there are many) who is serving for decades in the tribal belt of BR Hills in Karnataka. There are many other Christian organizations also doing the same. I don’t think these type of truly service minded people are facing any opposition. Their service never comes with any price tag or strings attached. They respect indigenous cultural heritage, belief and values. People of India appreciate it and it is called TRUE SERVICE.
How sad if we compare such great service minded people from the opportunistic people? It is nothing but dangerous to society if the so called service undermines peoples good tradition and beliefs. Induced conversion belongs to that. If someone denies it is not the issue, it is nothing but hypocrisy.
Hinduism has the history of more than 5000 years. It has sailed through most violent times. It has witnessed the most sordid and criminal exploitation of one nation by another in all recorded history. Yet it displayed its most tolerant and liberal beliefs. It is not the fear, but the idea of cultural advancement that makes us to think induced conversion is wrong for the health of society.
We need to maintain people’s cultural heritage, beliefs without any notion of undermining it. That’s what India witnessed. Why do we need to be dictated by any others when we have our own rich heritage? Let me quote from Macaulay, British Parliament,1835.
"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India . Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage"
As true secular and democratic Indians let us not forget “Religions are many and diverse, but reason and goodness are one.”