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Dalit-Christians at root of murderers and violence in Orissa

Dalit-Christians at root of murderers and violence in Orissa

Author: I.M. Rao
Publication: India Tribune
Date: October 8, 2008

The recent outbreak of violence in the state of Orissa, India, where places of worship were destroyed and many lives lost in a matter of grave concern. A dispassionate understanding of the root causes of such violence is necessary to avoid the chances of repetition of this tragedy.

It all began with the brutal murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples, in the Kandhamal district of Orissa on August 23. Ranjit Tigga and his colleagues claim that, "he was leading a campaign to reconvert Hindus from Christianity." According to the press reports, he was associated with a Hindu radical group. Swami Laxmanananda was a sanyasi. This is what brought him and his disciples to the tribal areas of Orissa. While the Christian missionaries were on a warpath, converting these innocent tribals who are Hindus to Christianity by foul and fraudulent means, he was coming to the aid of these tribals who desired to return to Hinduism to which and where their ancestors belonged.

The reports claim that the butchering of this holy man and his disciples was the work of Maoists. I fail to understand how these Communists would target a Hindu Swami exclusively. This is a smoke-screen to conceal some inconvenient truths.

Ranjit Tigga claims that Christians account for a mere 2.3 percent of the Indian population. This is a figure that seems to be carved in stone, never to be changed despite changing demography. The census of 2000 states that the Christian population in Orissa to be 3.9 percent. Christians account for 20 percent of the population in the Kandhamal District. Six percent of the total Indian population of one billion was Christian. In Jharkhand, it ws 4.1 percent in 2000. In general, the Christian population in India has tripled since Indian gained Independence. The Muslim population has doubles to 14 percent from the time when India became Independent in 1947.

Religious Demography in India, a book published by the Center for Policy studies, predicts that if present trends continue, only 52 percent of India weill be Hindu in the year 2071, which is approximately 80 percent of its current population. This is the grand plan for proselytizing religions that operate in India, funded by the overflowing coffers of their patrons abroad.

Hinduism is the last bastion of ancient human civilizations and cultures. It is a timeless culture that truly belongs to all of humanity and should be preserved. Religion is interwoven with the culture of a people.

Pope John Paul II came to India as a guest of the government in 2000. He declared that he intended to plant the cross in Asia for the third millennium. He stated that the cross was planted in Europe in the first millennium, in America for the second millennium, and it would be planted in Asia for the third millennium. He resolved to Christiaanize all of Asia with India as the main target. All the existing religions and cultures in Europe and the Americas were wiped out with the planting of the cross.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a revered scholar and traditional teacher of Hindu scriptures, wrote an open letter to the Pope pointing out the dangers inherent in the Pope's grand plan. In response to the Pope's Apostolic Letter, Swami Dayananda Saraswati pointed out to the status of the world religions, which was a means of preparing them fo Christ. The church does not accommodate other religions except in this context. The swami appealed to the Pope to recognize that every person has the freedom to pursue his or her own religion.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati pointed out to the Pope that conversion is an act of violence. It destroys the core person, alienates him from his family, community and village. The tribals, who are called Dalits, on conversion, become hyphenated. They become Dalit-Christians. They become a vote-bank to be exploited to direct elelctions and held up to the Human Rights Watch as people whose human rights are trampled upon. The economic condition of these converts in no way improves.

Creating conflict is part of the missionary agenda. They covertly and overtly encourage Dalit-Christians to intimidate the non-converts. The killing of Swami Laxmanananda and his disciples is a gory example of such violence perpetrated by Dalit-Christians. Three of them - Pradesh Kumar Das, Vikram Digal and William Digal - were arrested soon after the assassination. All three are Dalit-Christians. They have admitted to joining a group of 28 others in the slaying of the swami. It has been the violence by the Dalit-Christians that has been at the root of the Orissa communal conflicts.

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