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Converting Mahatma Gandhi

Just as converting Dr. Ambedkar to Buddhism was expected to bring in a group of Dalits into the Buddhist fold, strenuous marketing efforts were made to convert Gandhiji to Christianity so that a mass of Hindus would fall in line and embrace Christianity. But Gandhi frowned upon proselytizing. He said: " I claim to be a staunch Sanatani Hindu because, I find the Hindu scriptures to satisfy the needs of the soul. I would dispute the claim that Christianity is the only true religion." (source: The Mahatma and The Missionary - By Clifford Manshardt p. 58-59). " Religion is not a matter of barter." (ibid.p. 71). "Yes, I do maintain that India's great faiths are all-sufficing for her.." (source: Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi 1969)Vol. 46
p.28-29).  Mahatma Gandhi has stated -"God is not so helpless in winning souls all by himself as to need anybody's help." 

Quotes from Gandhi on Conversion

I believe that there is no such thing as conversion from one faith to another in the accepted sense of the word.  It is a highly personal matter for the individual and his God.  I may not have any design upon my neighbor as to his faith which I must honor even as I honor my own.  Having reverently studied the scriptures of the world I could no more think of asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own.  (source: Harijan: September 9, 1935).

I came to the conclusion long ago ... that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and that whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism.  So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu ... But our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.  (source: Young India: January 19, 1928)

Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity?  Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?  (source: Harijan: January 30, 1937) .

I am not interested in weaning you from Christianity and making you Hindu, and I do not relish your designs upon me, if you had any, to convert me to Christianity.  I would also dispute your claim that Christianity is the only true religion. (source: Harijan: June 3, 1937). 

Conversion nowadays has become a matter of business like any other ... India (Hindus) is in no need of conversion of the kind ... Conversion in the sense of self-purification, self-realization, is the crying need of the times. That however is never what is meant by proselytizing.  To those who would convert India (Hindus), might it not be said: Physician heal thyself. (source: Young India: April 23, 1931

I hold that proselytizing under the cloak of humanitarian work is unhealthy to say the least.  It is most resented by people here.  Religion after all is a deeply personal thing.  It touches the heart.  Why should I change my religion because a doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease, or why should the doctor expect such a change whilst I am under his influence?  (source: Young India: April 23, 1931).  

Christianity in India has been inextricably mixed up for the last one hundred and fifty years with British rule.  It appears to us as synonymous with materialistic civilization and imperialistic exploitation by the stronger white races of the weaker races of the world.  Its contribution to India has been therefore, largely negative.  (source: Young India: March 21, 1929).

A Parody of Christian Schools

Excerpts from R. K. Narayan's  book Swami and Friends. 

" The scripture period was the last in the morning...The only trouble was that the Scripture master, Mr. Ebenezar, was a fanatic. 

"Oh wretched idiots!" the teacher said, clenching his fists, "Why do you worship dirty, lifeless, wooden idols, and stone images? Can they talk? No. Can they see? No. Can they bless you? NO. Can they take you to Heaven? No. Why?

Because they have no life. What did your Gods do when Muhammed of Gazni smashed them to pieces, trod upon them, and constructed out of them steps to for his lavatory? If these idols and images had life, they did they not parry Mohammed's onslaught?"

He then turned to Christianity. "Now see our Lord Jesus. He could cure the sick, relieve the poor, and take us to Heaven. He was real God. Trust him and he will take you to Heaven; the Kingdom of Heaven is within us." Tears rolled down Ebenezar's cheek when he pictured Jesus before him. Next moment his face became purple with rage as he thought of Sri Krishna: "Did our Jesus go gadding about with gopis? Did our Jesus go about stealing butter like that arch scoundrel Krishna? ....

Swaminathan got up and asked:  "If he did not, why was he crucified?" The teacher told him that he might come to him at the end of the period and learn it in private. Swaminathan put in another question: "If he was God, why did he eat flesh and fish and drink wine?"  In answer to this, Ebenezar left his seat, advanced slowly towards Swaminathan, and tried to wretch his left ear off. 

(source: Through the Indian Eyes: The Living Tradition - By Donald J. Johnson and Leon E. Clark. p; 182).


The Famous British African Explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) remarked, when inspecting  the original maxim gun: 

"What a splendid instrument for spreading Christianity and civilization among the savage races of Africa.!" 

(source: Eastern Religions & Western Thought - By Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan p.341). 

The famous anthropologist Lt. Gen. Pitt-Rivers, (1827-1900) writes: " The public at home probably does not appreciate how strongly the majority of field ethnographers, sympathetically anxious to learn all about the customs and religion of people and working in all parts of the world, have been driven, often against their inclinations, to the conclusion that Christian proselytism, has done irretrievable harm to native races by disintegrating their culture and to us also by the unrest and antagonism the process evokes." 

(source: The Clash of Culture and Conflict of Races, p. 240

Bible Burning Row Ignites Israeli Jews - Orthodox Jews have burned hundreds of New Testaments in the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries in Israel Proselytizing is frowned upon in Israel . New Testament seeks to convert all non-Christians, not just Jews. Proselytizing is illegal, trying to change Jews into being Christians is illegal, to hand out bibles is illegal.

Hate Literature - by Christian Missionaries in India

Christian fundamentalists are aimed at destabilising the Hindu society and also the state. Christian fundamentalists’ literature is making rounds in the whole country, heaping abuse on Hindu deities and mocking at the religious symbols and practices of the Hindus. Apart from “aggressive harvesting” efforts this literary insinuation against Hindu religion is one of the major causes of communal disturbance in the country.


Take for instance, a book in Malayalam with a title Haindava Suvishesheekaranam. It interprets the meaning of the sacred Pancakshara mantra Om Namah Shivaya as “Let Evil Befall” (p. 113).


The magazine Indian Messenger (September 1998) calls the great Kumbha Mela, which attracts millions of Hindu devotees, a superstitious deception. “The belief that the mud of sins in human souls can be purified for ultimate liberation through Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is superstitious. The Kumbha Mela represents this superstitious deception,” it says. But strangely in a superstitious tone and words it claims: “Liberation from sins can be attained only by the unpolluted blood of Christ the virtuous.” Note not only the superstitions but also the audacity of the suggestion. Shri Sai Baba, to these Christian fundamentalists, is a satanic spirit and Mata Amritanandamayi a mentally retarded woman. To quote: “The miracles said to have been performed by Sai Baba is mere magic. Satanic spirit dwells in him. Mata Amritanandamayi is a mentally retarded woman. She is half mad and what she does is stupidity”.


Again, the Haindava Suvishesheekaranam says: “No Hindu gods and goddesses exists who have not surrendered to Christ. If Krishna, Rama and Indra surrendered before Christ, what other evidence is necessary to prove that he is the only true God” (p. 181-182).  

This Christian fundamentalist propaganda literature often describes Bharat as a “State of Devil”. Dr K.P. Yohannan in his book Anant Prakash mein Jeevan Vyatheeth Karain writes: “Every time a Hindu is baptized and converted to Christianity, there is a great disturbance in the State of Devil” (p. 114).

Dr. Yohannan’s is not the solitary instance. In fact, he is one of the many who project such views. Another statement in a book named Samvaad: Kyon and Kaisai (Masibi Drishtikon Se) by Dr Benzami Khan are equally inciting: “Moral values play a negligible role in Hindu religion” (p. 98). Common Hindu traditions are always ridiculed. For example application of bindi, tilak sindoor are jeered at as devil eye and related to satanic spirits. “Even though tilak is considered a symbol of Shiva by the Hindus, the use of these symbols is dangerous and gives them an opportunity to come under the influence of satanic spirit.

The missionary propaganda literature has throughout indulged in spreading canards against the Hindu society. It also twists and misrepresents the facts. For instance: “The old Hindu political, economic and philosophical writings like Kautilya’s Artha Sastra and Manu Samiti did not count the dalits and the tribes as human being. The vedas treated them as Chandals, Gita and Mahabharata showed them as wild animals like monkeys and Rawanas.” This is what you read in Bishop Nirmal Minz’s book Rise Up, My People, And Claim the Promise. He goes on to write: “In the past they (tribes) have been treated as something less than human, according to Hindu attitudes and understanding.” 

Finally, if these propagandists are to be believed, the majority of the Hindus are slaves, untouchables, Poor, looters, thieves and nonbelievers. A book Confusion called Conversion by Sunder Raj is entirely devoted to malign the Hindu people. Now tell us who are the haters of the other religionists?

(source: Hate Literature - By Rajendra Chadha). 

Top of Page

Tolerance in Hinduism

According to Paul William Roberts, "Conversion has largely failed in India because Christianity offers nothing that is not already available somewhere in the many forms of Hinduism. Hinduism never rejected the teachings of Jesus. Those who have converted either agreed with a gun pressed at their skulls as in Goa, or because it provided an escape from caste tyranny, as well as a guaranteed professional advancement. Through its Vedic legacy, Hinduism respects all faiths. It clearly states that God is one, but has many forms. The Christian message must sound preposterous: that God is indeed one, but has only one recognized form, his son. The "savages" of India were sophisticated - so sophisticated that the imperialist mixture of church and state in Europe could not grasp such sophistication. The sheer power of Hinduism terrified the Christian soldiers. The British were more cunning at the game than the Portuguese, careful to show respect for Indian religions. Yet they sneered at the pagans behind their back, educated the Indian elite in British-run schools, or at Eton and Cambridge - which, if it did not guarantee conversion to Christianity, resulted in lapsed Hinduism, agnosticism, or an intellectual humanism. 

In India, Anglo indoctrination produced a generation of "brown sahibs" who looked down on the religion of the masses, the opium of the people. Such is the power of colonization that a whole generation must pass before the paralyzing spell wears off. " 

(source: Empire of the Soul: some journeys in India - By Paul William Roberts p. 323-325)

To quote Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, " The intolerance of narrow monotheism is written in letters of blood across the history of man from the time when first the tribes of Israel burst into the land of Canaan. The worshippers of the one jealous God are egged on to aggressive wars against people of alien cults. They invoke divine sanction for the cruelties inflicted on the conquered. The spirit of old Israel is inherited by Christianity and Islam, and it might not be unreasonable to suggest that it would have been better for Western civilization if Greece had molded it on this question rather than Palestine. Wars of religion which are the outcome of fanaticism that prompts and justifies the extermination of aliens of different creeds were practically unknown in Hindu India." 

(source: The Hindu View of Life - By Sir. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. p. 39-41) Material in this book was originally delivered in the form of lectures, the Upton Lectures, in 1926, at Manchester College, Oxford.) 

From the earliest date the Christian church had taught that all the pagan religions were invented by the devil.  The whole early medieval psychology of sin was bounded with this. St. Augustine had sanctioned the idea that the demons persuaded the ancients to false belief. Some of the most virulent attacks on pagan gods are to be found in St. Augustine's De Civitata Dei. This goes a long way in explaining the deliberate Christian attempts to portray the Hindu gods as demonic and the intolerance of the Christian missionaries.

The Vedas say that " the wise call the One by many names", and exhort us to "let good thoughts come to us from everywhere"; in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna assures the adherents of all religions that "those who pray with devotion to another god, it is to Me that they pray." 

Many foreign groups of people persecuted for their religion came to seek refuge in India. The Parsis (Zoroastrianism) have thrived. The heterodox Syrian Christians have lived in peace until the Portuguese came to enlist them in their effort to christianize India. The Jews have expressed their gratitude when they left for Israel because India was the only country where their memories were not of persecution but of friendly co-existence. All these groups were not merely tolerated, but received land and material support for building places of worship. Yuan Chwang, Chinese traveler, reports that at the great festival of Prayaga, King Harsha dedicated on the first day a statue to the Buddha, another to the sun, the favorite deity of his father, on the second, and to Shiva on the third. The famous Kottayam plates of Sthanuravi (ninth century AD) and the Cochin plates of Vijayaragadeva bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the Hindu kings not only tolerated Christianity but granted special concessions to the professors of that faith. Today, The Tibetan Buddhist and their spiritual head, the Dalai Lama have taken refuge in India, from the persecution of Communist China.

Hinduism is fabulously famous for its tolerance for all religions. What it cannot tolerate is any religion that declares it has a unique monopoly over God. Hinduism classic contention as stated at the outset in the Rig Veda:
  "Truth is one; sages call it by different names." or  "Ekam sath, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti"

"How artistic, that there should be room for such variety - how rich the texture is, and how much more interesting than if the Almighty had decreed one antiseptically safe, exclusive, orthodox way. Although he is Unity, God finds, it seems, his recreation in variety!" But beyond these differences, the same goal beckons." 

(Source: Prema Chaitanya, praises Hinduism's classic contention  The World's Religions - By Huston Smith p 73 & 81). 


Aggressive Evangelism

A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well-funded, superbly networked, backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets 

"That missionary activity was a tool and an adjunct of colonial expansion is no secret. And colonialism is not dead; it has only taken a new, more sophisticated form.”  -- by Sultan Shahin   

"These Christian missionaries have perfected their con game over centuries. They came to India and setup hospitals, schools and universities in order to try to fool the people into believing that they are there for social welfare. After setting up their traps and firmly entrenching themselves these followers of the 'true faith' act upon their real motives. They attempt to convert the uncivilized pagans in many ways: promise of jobs and money in return for conversion to the 'true faith', financing of the separatist movements in the country which will further divide the Hindus and make them more vulnerable, threatening and harming school children to force them to believe in Christ, calling public gatherings where Hindu Gods are demeaned and Christ is praised, promoting myths and superstitions in order to scare people into believing in Christ, and so on.”   -  The Sinister Designs of the Christian Missionaries in India – by Vikram Chobe.

"The Christian Church has left a legacy, a world view, that permeates every aspect of Western Society, both secular and religious. It is a legacy which fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference and the destruction of the natural environment. The church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a disregard for human freedom, dignity, and self-determination. It has attempted to control, contain and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and God. As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine.” - by V Sunaram. 

"In essence, evangelism is nothing less than an act of violence, hate and intolerance against non-Christians. Put in simpler terms: evangelism is a hate crime." 

"The problem for new democracies of the post-colonial era like India is that foreign missionaries use the very freedom of a secular state to promote their anti-secular agendas." -- Missionary Activity & Secularism : Pope's Visit by David Frawley


Soul terrorists? Destruction of other faiths and cultures?

"Intolerance towards other Faiths – In the eyes of a Christian, all who do not belief in Christ are damned eternally. Therefore, anyone who is not a Christian is not a good person in the eyes of a Christian and it is his/her duty to "save" or convert them.

With this view, it is impossible for a Christian to peacefully coexist with them. In a true Christian’s ideal world, all humans will be "saved". This means that the whole world would have to be Christian and all other faiths must be destroyed. Just this statement alone proves what is wrong with this Christian ideology."  -  By
Yoginder Sikand. 

"In Tripura the Christian missionaries were behind extremist activities in the Northeast states and that there were 19 outfits conducting activities in the region, mainly targeting Hindus. Those who refuse to convert are tortured or killed, in the past few years, more than 18 Vaishnav ashrams run by Hindus in Tripura have been demolished by the Christians, while those who dominate the upper classes, force people to adopt Christianity." -- The peculiar position of swamis from the N-E by Swami Kripalanandji of Giri Parampara

(source: - Sewa or Service work by RSS.

Preparing for Harvest - By V K Shashi Kumar of

The article "Preparing for the harvest…." Runs into full 11 pages followed by an editorial A Private faith made dangerously public - By Tarun j. Tejpal

"A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well funded, superbly neworked, backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets, reveals V K Shashikumar in a disturbing expose". "Missionary-run operations have put in places a system which enables The US Government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse".

Like most stories, this one started with an innocuous tip. Correspondent V K Shashikumar stumbled upon the database that been painstakingly prepared over a decade by
AD 2000 & beyond movement. A careful read triggered numerous questions. The numbers and the spread of the new converts were mind-boggling.

Conversions in India are not illegal, provided they are not forced or induced by financial lure or economic gain…Who were the many strategists, the financial backers? How were they circumventing clearly laid out procedures according to which converts have to go through the district magistrate and the police?

The only way of finding definite answers was by assuming Christian identities, which V K Shashikumar and Maya Bhushan Nagvenkar both did, they worked on investigation and piecing together the story for more than three months. In this time they sent out more than 500 emails and read through more than 10000 pages of propaganda and information. Armed with news names, fresh email id, and visiting cards, they scoured various parts of India to did out what they discovered was a huge network  A net work that had been spurned by born-again president Bush and his team of evangelist advisors.

The conversion drive was more than just a numbers game; it was an unabashed exercise about exploiting the legal loopholes. And the aim was sinister, for it was all being done in the name of God and his messengers who have scientifically mapped Christian population areas down to every district level and block. Frightening and equally
sinister was the revelation that US transnational organisation had personal data down to the last man, important because he was the vehicle who could get the next convert. And so our investigation unfolded. Till we ready with our comprehensive report."

The Tehelka reporters have done a pioneering Job in the history of Indian Journalism, by exposing the missionary and political nexus that emerges from the citadels of Washington DC, Ottowa, Sydney, London, Berlin and Stockholm, and Auckland. Backed by the religious right in America, Associations in India see the HIV/AIDS pandemic as an opportunity to evangelize"

(source: A Private faith made dangerously public - By Tarun j. Tejpal and  IndianCivilization -

The sound of silence

The lions of Indian activism climbed on rooftops with their megaphones when Tehelka previously exposed allegations of corruption against George Fernandes: They demanded that everyone remotely linked to his work should resign and go to jail. However, given their hush silence over this latest Tehelka report, one wonders whether these Indian lions have turned into Western lapdogs and become the bearers of global evangelism.

Indian activists have orchestrated a massive hue and cry over NRI funding of suspicious Hindutva activities -- such open inquiries are indeed important in bringing transparency. However, the dual-purpose funds being channeled from Western institutions dwarf the alleged size of suspicious Hindutva funds. Foreign organisations pressuring for a politically weak, unstable and fragmented India seem to have bought the complicity of enough five-star activists and intellectuals.

However, some other countries have spoken up against similar schemes -- see Thailand, for example.

(source: The Conversion Agenda - By Rajiv Malhotra - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism. Refer to Jesus Christ: Artifice for Aggression - By Sita Ram GoelFor more refer to chapter on European Imperialism and Christian Aggression. Watch Sewa or Service work by RSS.


Saving lives, Harvesting Souls - HIV/AIDS -

Backed by the religious right in America, associations in India see the HIV/AIDS pandemic as an opportunity to evangelise. VK Shashikumar and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar explore how faith based organisations bring the infected into their fold

Our experience shows that HIV/AIDS has definitely opened up windows to reach out to the “unreached” (non-Christians). . Many evangelical organisations in India, like the Friends Missionary Prayer Band and the Emmanuel Hospital Assoc-iation run care and support institutions. In India, these FBOs look at HIV/AIDS as leprosy of the twenty-first century. “It’s an opportunity for us to be able to share God’s love to accept, to make them part of us, to avoid stigma and discrimination against them,” Mathai told Tehelka.

Saving lives, Harvesting Souls -

Christians organizations get lion’s share of foreign funds - By Inder Sawhney

Christian missionaries and allied groups continue to be largest recipients of foreign funds. They received Rs 15.88 crore (75.69 per cent of the total foreign funds) in April-June this year compared with Rs 11.41 crore during the corresponding period last year and Rs 12.67 crore in the first quarter. A study of the receipt of foreign funds by religious/ non-political organisations and other groups in April-June, based on Intelligence reports gathered by the Home ministry, indicates a sharp increase to Rs 20.98 crore compared with Rs 14.02 crore during the corresponding period in 1998. The US with donations of Rs 4.10 crore (as against Rs 2.26 crore during the same period in 1998) displaced Germany as the leading donor. In the first quarter of 1999 also, the US was the highest donor with Rs 3.31 crore. In the second quarter of this year, Kerala received the largest amount (Rs 3.09 crore) followed by Himachal Pradesh (Rs 2.87 crore) , West Bengal (Rs 2.73 crore) Maharashtra (Rs 1.69 crore), Andhra Pradesh Rs 1.3 crore and Karnataka Rs 1.2 crore. Rajasthan was the lowest, accounting for a mere Rs 4,000. Non-political organisations were the other major recipients of foreign funds (Rs 1.38 crore) followed by Muslim organisations which got Rs 64.13 lakh compared with Rs 23.06 lakh received by them in the second quarter of 1998. According to the study, there was a fall in the receipt of funds by non-denominational organisations, including ``pseudo-religious'' bodies. They received Rs 22.99 lakh in the second quarter of this year against Rs 70.99 lakh in the corresponding period last year. 

(source: Publication: Times of India - Date: August 16, 1999).  



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