Critical Podium Dewanand Religion
Conversions threaten a way of life by Francois Gautier
Sacrificer Francois Gautier
Sacrifice code wfor0350
Sacrifice date December 30, 2005
Conversions threaten a way of life
December 30, 2005
Francois Gautier writes to Dr John Dayal, member, National Integration
Council, in response to the letter he wrote Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
Dear John Dayal,
I am a Westerner and a born Christian. I was mainly brought up in Catholic
schools, my uncle Father Guy Gautier a gem of a man, was the parish head
the beautiful Saint Jean de Montmartre church in Paris. My father Jacques
Gautier, a famous artist in France, and a truly good person if there ever
was a fervent Catholic all his life, went to church nearly every day and
lived by his Christian values.
There are certain concepts in Christianity I am proud of: Charity for
others, the equality of social systems in many Western countries, Christ's
of love and compassion.
Yet, when I read your letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, apropos
the inaugural meeting of the National Integration Council, I was a little
First, you seem to assume that you are speaking for the entire Christian
community in India. But I know many Christians in this country, and they
voice the grievances you so loudly proclaim. In fact, I have found that
Christians in India are not only happy to live in this country of traditional
tolerance, but that they are also different from many Christians in the
world: More multicultural and ecumenist in spirit, maybe.
Then, you speak of the marginalised Dalits. I agree that there are still
unforgivable atrocities committed against Dalits, although very often
done by backward castes themselves. I remember during the tsunami in
Pondichery, how the Vanniars, an OBC caste, stopped the Dalits from a
from crossing the Vanniars' part of the village to bury their dead, as
Dalits' cremation ground had been submerged.
At the same time, my 30 years in India have taught me that nowhere in
world has there been so much effort to rectify a wrong -- from 1947 onwards.
This resulted in a Dalit, the late K R Narayanan, born in a poor village
Kerala, to be elected President of India, one of the highest posts in
Has a black man ever been President of the United States?
Reservations for Dalits have made it possible for them to access education
and jobs regardless of their merits -- and this is a unique feature of
Francois Gautier who are the real Dalits of India?
You continue by saying that 'the agenda draftsmen of papers for NIC seem
believe that forcible and fraudulent conversions (to Christianity) are
main cause of civil unrest in tribal and other rural areas'. And you retort
that 'this is a malicious myth propagated by obscurantist and fundamentalist
and often violent -- political groups'. Meaning Hindu groups, of course.
I have to disagree with you on two points.
One, I have seen with my own eyes how conversions in India are not only
highly unethical -- that is, using unethical means of conversion -- but
they threaten a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs,
wisdom, teaching people to despise their own religion and look Westwards
culture which is alien to them, with disastrous results.
Look at what happened to countries like Hawaii, or to the extraordinary
Aztec culture in South America, after Portuguese and Spanish missionaries
Look how the biggest drug problems in India are found in the Northeast,
how Third World countries which have been totally Christianised have lost
moorings and bearing and are drifting away without nationalism and
Second, I think people like you show very little gratitude to that Hindu
ethos which has seeped into Indian Christian consciousness. It is because
that Hindu ethos, which accepts that god may manifest himself at different
in different names, that Christians were welcomed in India in the first
century. Indeed, the Syrian Christians of Kerala constituted the first
community in the world.
It is because of this inbred tolerance in Hinduism that Christianity
many other persecuted minorities in the world flourished and practiced
religion in peace in India throughout the centuries.
But how do Christians thank the Hindus? When the Jesuits arrived in India
with Vasco de Gama, they committed terrible persecutions, particularly
crucifying Brahmins, marrying local girls forcibly to Portuguese soldiers,
razing temples to build churches and splitting the Kerala Christian community
'Goa Inquisition was most merciless and cruel'
And today, people like you continue ranting against Hindus and promoting
unethical conversions, using the massive power of the dollars donated
ignorant Westerners, who do not know that their money is used to lure
tribals and Dalits, who still possess that all encompassing acceptance
gods, towards another religion.
Furthermore, you use false statistics, saying for instance that nuns
been raped. You no doubt allude to the Jhabua rape case, when courts have
that these nuns were not raped by Hindus, but by Christian tribals.
I know, I went there and interviewed these innocent souls.
And who has been hijacking of the educational system in India? Not the
Hindus, as you accuse, but the Christians, who control much of the higher
education in India and by subtle and not so subtle means, poison the minds
students, teaching them to look down on their own culture and look up
whatever is Western -- even if it has already failed in the West.
In how many schools and hospitals in India today, the Bible is read at
beginning of each day, each session? Would you approve of the Bhagavad
the Bible of 850 million Hindus being read in Christian schools in the
Christian students and nurses?
Finally, when you say: 'God bless you, you Government, and God bless India',
which god are you talking about? Is it Jesus Christ? But the message of
Christ was one of love, of respecting others' cultures and creed -- not
utilising unethical means for converting people.
It is false to say that Jesus is the only 'true' god. As Hindus rightly
believe, the Divine has manifested himself throughout the ages under different
names and identities, whether it is Christ, Buddha, Krishna or Mohammad.
Let this be the motto of the National Integration Council of India.
-- Francois Gautier
Critical Podium Dewanand Religion
All rights reserved.