One of the most prosperous ‘business’ in today’s world is that of religious conversion. Democracy in one form or another is bound to blossom all over the world one day and all the organized religions are preparing for seizing power through ballot boxes.
In democratic arrangements, numbers determine everything and those religious communities that pray for universal well being and voluntarily follow family planning policies can appear to be idiotic and foolish. But that may not necessarily be the obvious end result.
Those who are experts in the religious conversion business know that the process is indeed reversible. If humans are deceived by false promises and coerced during difficult times to convert, the reverse will automatically follow when they realize the truth during better times. As the saying goes, some people can be fooled for some time, but not all people for all times.
India has always been a fertile ground for religious conversion for the missionary forces spearheaded by Europeans and Arabians. Though Christian missionaries pioneered in the field, the sudden enrichment of Arabian peninsula by oil discoveries in the fifties and sixties has resulted in stiff competition from the Islamic forces as well. India’s native religion has always been and will remain unorganized, liberal and highly flexible. A billion such humans is a huge attraction in the religious phishing market and billions of dollars and dinars are poring into India every year to catch as many preys as possible. It has been going on for many centuries, but the marketing efforts of the competing forces have reached a highpoint now. Both the two competitors have started eating into their rival’s portion more than the vast common areas still unexplored. From such competitive heights, their fall will be much more sudden, steep and unpredictable, especially when so many of the successive generations of victims have started feeling that their forefathers converted in vain.
Human behaviour will always follow the established pattern of hierarchy of needs in any culture or civilization. The same has happened in India. At one time Indian nation was the richest in the world in every sense. Its indigenous wealth and philosophy could easily satisfy all the physical and spiritual needs of all its citizens. No outsider had any scope for interference and Indians never looked outside for anything. Adventurists from all over the world were coming to India to see and experience the wonder that was India. Trouble started when ideological explosions happened elsewhere and spill over isms wanted to recruit more people into their fold to dominate the world. Colonisation of the free world by those who were discontent and dissatisfied with whatever they had at home started off the real problems in today’s world. Looted wealth from the colonies and accidental discoveries of freely available natural resources has provided the momentum for marketing their own version of God and religion as the best.
Looting of colonies continued unabated for centuries and what India lost is perhaps unimaginable in real terms now. Christian missionaries and Islamic preachers who followed their plundering frontline had enough crowd to convert and more than enough wealth to lure them. All those who were starving for food had little objection to accept any form of God if milk powder and bread are made available. And those who had no clothes and shelter accepted any form of worship if such basic requirements are freely available.
But the basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter fall in the realm of physical requirements and have nothing to do with God and religion. Those who go for fishing with plastic baits can deceive only the first few and may risk their own lives by eating the fish with plastic inside.
The logic of religious conversion is crystal clear when we find that the Christian and Islamic missionaries in India are still targeting only the poor in the most backward areas. More than others, they know how weak and hollow are their arguments of superiority. Most of their theory and practices are nothing but poor copies of the original eternal one.
Religious conversion is a revolution when it is done voluntarily. But forced or coercive religious conversion is a heinous crime against humanity. Those who indulge in it are destroying the very essence of their individuality and existence. Those who were following Sanatana Dharma for thousands of years over several generations have the basic ingredients of it engraved in their DNAs. Forcibly changing them to follow foreign beliefs and dogmas is like throwing the fish out of water. There is no doubt any ideology or ism undergoes a evolutionary process and along its path it will accumulate lot of unwanted beliefs and practices. The so-called caste discrimination in Hindu religion is one such and it has lost its foundation in the current evolved Advaita form of Hindu Sanatana Dharma. Castes (groups or sections of people bound by common heritage) will continue to exist in one form or another, but no discrimination is possible on account of that.
And if the scourge of caste discrimination can be eliminated from Hindu Sanatana Dharma, the door must be kept wide open for the reverse revolution to take place. Those who have revolted against discrimination and made the supreme mistake of abandoning their own legitimate home must be able to come back and rejoin their family. This must be easily possible in a truly secular India where the religion of candidates is not asked for providing food, shelter, clothing, health and education. Those who converted to alien faiths in search of equality must realize their mistake when those same religions are demanding reservations for converts from ‘lower’ castes. Other than the false promise of equality, there was absolutely nothing that would have attracted the converts in comparison with what they had in Hindu Sanatana Dharma.
It has been established time and again that in terms of spiritual heights, rational depths and practical freedom, there is no other faith that can stand anywhere near Hindu Sanatana Dharma. Its philosophical algorithm is something like an open source code in comparison to the closed ones provided by others. It is left to the individuals to modify and adopt the code in tune with one’s own capabilities. Since God is present in everything that we can think of, there is nothing that can stand between us and God like in other religions. Sankara’s final stamp of approval on Advaita has taken Hindu Sanatana Dharma to a different philosophical plane and all that we need to do is to take it back to its days of glory once again by allowing the free return of all those who converted in vain.