Pigs may fly. Even Hell may freeze. But our pompous opinion makers will never change, especially regarding their “universalist” stance on issues dogging the subcontinent. More attuned to being sunny ambassadors of the world, rather than embracing the shadowed corners of the nation, they excel in the spin and bask in their star power. In addition, they always have a politically correct privileged class backing them up on their pretentious reasoning. For example, when they fawn at the likes of Geelani, the reason is that the human rights of separatists are being abused. When they willingly grind to dust any cause that holds the country together such as battling Pakistani militants, they blithely dismiss it as a reaction to a mythical “Hindu terrorist.” And when Bangladeshi immigration causes a rise in insurgency and fundamentalism, their deafening silence enables the enemy to burrow deep and draw blood in Assam and West Bengal.
Therefore, it is no surprise, that they bent their ideological sails to propel the vitriolic divisiveness regarding the “ghar wapsi” movement. When confronted with the reasoning that fanatic hordes of militant islamists forcefully converted millions of Hindus throughout the centuries, they wax rhapsodic about the overwhelming tolerance of Akbar, Kabir and Dara Shukoh. When Kashmir rocked with slogans such as “Rs. 100 for a grenade to kill an Indian soldier,” they hailed them as “freedom fighters.” But when an attempt is made to bring back the forcibly converted Hindus wandering in the wilderness, their response comes deceptively wrapped up in a feel-good banner of “religious freedom,” a rosy rhetoric that hides the ugly truth of centuries – the Hindu can convert to any religion but never come back to his own.
It is a decision that was made way back by the power brokers of the world including the global evangelical warriors, aided and abetted by the bully pulpit of self-righteous “secularists.” Under the “benign” regime of Sonia Gandhi, conversions went on at a frenetic pace resulting in the biggest harvesting of souls in the history of India. Tribal Nagaland is now 90% Christian fueling separatist tendencies. Goa’s Christians think they are more Portuguese than Indian. Kerala’s demographic trend is veering towards zero Hindu population and it is predicted to become another Kashmir. A flood of Bangladeshis is threatening to submerge the population of West Bengal. Hindus have already been wiped out of the territories of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir. The Hindu nation is under siege and has been retreating for the past two centuries. At this rate, they are slowly but surely going the way of the American Indian.
If there is even a whiff of nationalism among the “formidable” media analysts, they would hail the “ghar wapsi” movement as an answer to predatory proselytization of right-wing evangelists, and the strident militancy of Islamic terrorists. Instead, their haughty disdain to the nationalist’s cause, propels them to praise the hotheads, appease the neo-evangelists and put the nation under the microscope of foreigners for endless lecturing on religious tolerance and human-rights abuses.
They achieve this easily. Facts are produced out of context and lack balance. A law and order problem is spun into a Hindutva inspired conspiracy and tales multiply to such an extent that President Obama returns the warm hospitality from India with gratuitous advice about religious intolerance.
Consider the case of the vandalism of a church in Haryana. It was built in a village which had no Christians. Moreover it was an illegal construction which should not have been allowed in the first place. Any such structure coming up under such circumstances would be tackled as a simple law and order problem. But the pompous intellectuals blared loudly that a church was demolished and put the nation on the path of appeasing the evangelists. And History has demonstrated that appeasement, never works. It is a path of weakness and mental surrender. No nation or Government can survive this.
Now let’s look at the current headlines that make the nation cringe. A church in Delhi is robbed. However, at the same time over 200 temples were robbed in Delhi. Why is the media cry restricted to the lone church? Is not a temple as valuable as a church? A nun is raped in Nadia district infested with Bangladeshis. It is a horrendous act and rape can never be justified. The perpetrators must be hanged, or at least given the maximum sentence- prison for life. But the same district of Nadia witnesses hundreds of rapes of Hindu women. Why are there stories ignored? Law is law and must be applied to anyone regardless. Selectively contrived uproar by self-seeking “analysts” who gleefully turn a law and order problem into a mighty communal inferno must be put on the defensive and made to scurry for cover. Instead, the Government is forced to a defensive stance under the glare of the hectoring “West”. And that precisely is the intent of the powerful missionaries – stoke the embers of a fire to a blaze and blame the nation for it.
There is a purpose to the media mafia batting for the evangelists. According to Tehelka, “Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategized religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy- convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.”
Tehelka also reports about “A large-scale intelligence operation that brought together American strategists, theologians, missionary specialists, demographers, technologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and researchers to create the most comprehensive people group profiles in the 10/40 window—the 10/40 window, denoting the latitudes on the globe considered the prime target for conversion, has India squarely in its sights.”
What about the neighbors of India? Pakistani media rarely chides or shouts from rooftops even when they routinely use blasphemy laws to target Christians, and burn down churches. The ever-vigilant evangelists do not even bat an eyelid or breathe a word against Pakistan. They take it in stride because nobody in Pakistan is going to apologize. Nor is the Pakistani media willing to do their bidding and hyperventilate against the blatant intolerance. Moreover, unlike India, they have laws that stringently regulate the activities of Christian missionaries.
There is also another reason. The Islamists are also capable of paying back the missionaries in their own coin by converting the poor American blacks and Hispanics right from the prisons to the borders of Texas. As a result their flock is continually renewed in every corner of the world. Bringing Christianity to Pakistan, Bangladesh or even Burma has consequences and is virtually impossible. Hence they pick on the sensitive Indians and the soft state of India.
So what can we do? How can we play this game rigged by powerful forces aided by some of our own elites? How do the evangelists manage to convert so many? One powerful weapon in their arsenal is money or unrestricted access to funds and the other more potent one is the fifth column “intellectuals” angling for a pat on the back from the west. To counter this, Hindus need to mobilize money and resources with a war like urgency. A game changer in this effort is to access the vaults of rich temples. For this to happen, Government should relinquish control of Hindu temples, just as it has relinquished control of mosques and churches. There is no justification for corrupt politicians to access money from temples when they cannot do so from mosques or churches. The lone ranger battling for this cause, Dr. Subramanium Swamy requires all the support in this long and arduous fight to bring temples to the control of Hindu civil society. This money can be used to provide support to the most vulnerable sections of Hindu society, so that they are not lured to other religions for a bag of rice or a few potatoes as has been happening so often in the past.
There are other ways too, such as empowering every Arya Samaj, every temple, every swamiji and every monastery or ashram to promote the “ghar wapsi” program as a nationalist cause. Most important, there must be patriotic intellectuals willing to join the band wagon and challenge and expose the fifth columnists supporting inimical forces. Eventually, awareness, education, community effort, and promoting a sense of nationalism, must become the ethics of the land in order to lift the people out of the morass of mental subjugation.
During the enlightened reign of Maharajah Ranjith Singh, the moslems of the Kashmir valley were all seeking to come back to Hinduism. Had there been a “ghar wapsi” movement at that time Kashmir today would have been all Hindu. There would have been no perennial headache of militancy or insurrection. Instead there would have been growth, prosperity and territorial access to the oil rich countries of Central Asia. Similarly, there would have been no Pakistan or Bangladesh, had there been a “ghar wapsi” program when the hotheads of Islam first entered the territory of India. Anecdotal, historical sociological and religious evidence points to the fact that if a major part of a territory is taken over by non-Hindus, the impetus to secede is high. As Swamy Vivekananda, so eloquently expressed, “every man going out of the Hindu pale is not only a man less, but an enemy the more.”
Stealthily and surreptitiously, India has been forced to be on the frontlines of a civilizational war. It is a war of nerves where politically correct policy is ineffectual. The first enemy is diffidence and the second is an unwillingness to call a spade a spade, third is to be dismissive and deny the existence of the problem. All of these are uniquely Indian and awareness and education must be on a war footing to remove these debilitating psychological barriers. Concurrently, the society must internalize the crucial fact that the “ghar wapsi” movement is a national movement to bring cohesiveness, unity and solidarity to the nation and keep out the forces creating secessionism.
Desmond Tutu, an ardent freedom fighter of Africa, summarized the land grabbing tactics of Imperial Christianity in a famous expression, “The white man came to our land with a book in hand and asked us to close our eyes for a prayer. And when we opened our eyes, they got our land and all we had was the book.”