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152 Killings, 457 rapes and assault, 255 kidnaps, 2400 attacks on temples; 2021 is a year of blood, tears, fear and atrocity for Hindu in Bangladesh

Jatiya Hindu Mohajot of Bangladesh demands an end to atrocities against the minority Hindu community in the country and appeals for equality by the government.

Guwahati: 2021 has been a year of fear, killings, blood and tears for the minority Hindus in Bangladesh. The world saw the large-scale atrocities against Hindus during the Durga puja in October 2021. Muslim radicals attacked Hindu temples, Durga pandals, and the Hindu genocide in Bangladesh is as vicious as the Syrians by ISIS.

Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajot released data on atrocities against minority Hindus in 2021. According to the data, Muslim radicals killed 301 Hindus in Bangladesh in 2020/21. While 149 were killed in 2020 and 152 were killed this year alone. Not only killings, but Muslim terror gangs attacked the Hindu community 1898 times in 2021, which has increased 300 times this year compared to the last year. 255 Hindu people were abducted in Bangladesh in 2020-21, out of which 151 were abducted in 2021. Eighty per cent of the kidnapped people were girls or women. The attack on Hindu faith and belief and Hindu temples have increased in Bangladesh at an unprecedented rate. Muslim terror gangs vandalised 2130 Hindu gods and goddess idols in Bangladesh in 2021 alone, which is 500 per cent more than the previous year. Likewise, the attack on Hindu temples has also increased in many folds. Muslim radicals attacked 273 temples in Bangladesh in 2021, which is a 700 per cent increase compared to 2020.

Muslim miscreants looted and robbed 3256 Hindu families in 2021, which is also a 500 per cent increase compared to 2020. In 2021, more than 1 lakh 23 thousand families have reported that they feel insecure because of threats by radical gangs in the country, which is also 20 times higher than the previous year. More than 1 lakh 35 thousand households, temples, and businesses suffered damage in attacks by radical groups in this year alone. Overall, the Hindu community suffered a loss of almost 1146 crores of rupees this year due to atrocities by the radical Muslim gangs. The heinous crimes against Hindus don’t end here. 46 Hindu women were raped, and more than 411 Hindu women were molested and physically assaulted by Muslims in Bangladesh in 2021. 32 Hindu people were forced to eat beef by radicals in the same year. At Least 9000 Hindu families were forced to leave Bangladesh by Muslim radicals in 2021, which is also five times higher than the previous year. Jatiya Hindu Mohajot of Bangladesh demands an end to these atrocities against the minority Hindu community in the country and appeals for equality for the community.

Courtesy: Organiser

ये नव वर्ष हमे स्वीकार नहीं

ये नव वर्ष हमे स्वीकार नहीं

है अपना ये त्यौहार नहीं

है अपनी ये तो रीत नहीं

है अपना ये व्यवहार नहीं

धरा ठिठुरती है सर्दी से

आकाश में कोहरा गहरा है

बाग़ बाज़ारों की सरहद पर

सर्द हवा का पहरा है

सूना है प्रकृति का आँगन

कुछ रंग नहीं , उमंग नहीं

हर कोई है घर में दुबका हुआ

नव वर्ष का ये कोई ढंग नहीं

चंद मास अभी इंतज़ार करो

निज मन में तनिक विचार करो

नये साल नया कुछ हो तो सही

क्यों नक़ल में सारी अक्ल बही

उल्लास मंद है जन -मन का

आयी है अभी बहार नहीं

ये नव वर्ष हमे स्वीकार नहीं

है अपना ये त्यौहार नहीं

ये धुंध कुहासा छंटने दो

रातों का राज्य सिमटने दो

प्रकृति का रूप निखरने दो

फागुन का रंग बिखरने दो

प्रकृति दुल्हन का रूप धार

जब स्नेह – सुधा बरसायेगी

शस्य – श्यामला धरती माता

घर -घर खुशहाली लायेगी

तब चैत्र शुक्ल की प्रथम तिथि

नव वर्ष मनाया जायेगा

आर्यावर्त की पुण्य भूमि पर

जय गान सुनाया जायेगा

युक्ति – प्रमाण से स्वयंसिद्ध

नव वर्ष हमारा हो प्रसिद्ध

आर्यों की कीर्ति सदा -सदा

नव वर्ष चैत्र शुक्ल प्रतिपदा

अनमोल विरासत के धनिकों को

चाहिये कोई उधार नहीं

ये नव वर्ष हमे स्वीकार नहीं

है अपना ये त्यौहार नहीं

है अपनी ये तो रीत नहीं

है अपना ये त्यौहार नहीं   

एडिटर कमेन्ट : ये कविता राष्ट्रकवि रामधारीसिंह दिनकर के नाम से प्रचारित है , परंतु कुछ और लोग इसे अंकुर आनंद की बताते है ।

Church Priority over Last 400 Years: Social Justice or Conversion?

Christians across the world decry evils of the Hindu caste system and lose no opportunity to blame the Hindu religion for the same, ignoring that caste, segregation and untouchability were given sanction by the Pope

On December 3, 2020, protests erupted in front of the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore at Puducherry as Dalit Christians demanded justice in the appointment of Dalit priests and total exclusion of Dalit Christians from the management of church affairs. The very word “Dalit Christian” is an oxymoron as Christianity boasts profusely about its egalitarian nature with no scope whatsoever for any discrimination.

“We have come here to dialogue with the diocesan administration to eradicate caste discrimination and the untouchable practices in the archdiocese especially in the appointment of the Dalit priests,” —Mary John, Tamil Nadu State Leader for Dalit Christian Liberation Movement

Protests like these expose the naked discrimination these converts from Hinduism endure after embracing Christianity. This brings to the question of whether the focus of the Church in India is social justice (as professed) or conversions? Has Christianity ever tried to ensure social justice even as it went about converting Hindus in India?

Was Christianity ever egalitarian?

The earliest Christian clergymen to arrive in India were from Europe. 16th Century Europe was not a society well known for its egalitarianism. On the contrary, several sections of the society were ostracised, treated as outcasts. The treatment of Roma gipsies, who had migrated from India to various parts of Europe around 600-800 years ago is a case in point. Their discrimination continues to this day with massive pogroms and attacks. Under Nazi Hitler, at least 15 lakh Roma were put to death.

The Cagots of Europe were treated as outcasts and forced to live on the edge of the villages. The Cagots were subjected to hate-filled discrimination for nearly 700 years. Shunned as lepers, pagans, and even cannibals, they were forced to live in ghettos called cagoteries where they were only permitted the occupations of carpenter, butcher, or executioner. When they were permitted entrance to a Church (in many cases they were refused admittance), they were segregated from the rest of the congregation, and the Eucharist was handed to them at the end of a long stick. They were compelled to wear the sign of a duck or goosefoot in red.

Church’s cruel history in India

European clergymen arriving in India were part of a society, which openly practiced discrimination against certain sections of the society, where hanging to death of non-Christians was officially sanctioned and where women were routinely executed for practicing witchcraft (last witch execution took place in Scotland 1727). Execution of those practicing non-Christian beliefs continued till 1826. Intolerance of non-Christian faiths, social discrimination were an integral part of European society at the time of arrival of the earliest Christian missionaries were landing in India. It is no wonder that they never tried to create an egalitarian Christian society in India. On the contrary, they used caste divisions in Hindu society for furthering their objective of conversions into Christianity. One such Christian missionary was Robert de Nobili.

Deception as a method to convert gullible Hindus

The methods adopted by Robert Di Nobili to convert Hindus and expand Christianity in India are a case in point. Born in 1577 in Italy, he came to India as a priest of the Society of Jesus. He arrived in India in 1605 and moved to Madurai in 1606. He found that existing methods of converting Hindus were not effective. He adopted new ways which bordered on deception to convince Hindus to convert. He donned saffron robes, shaved his head, leaving a tuft of hair, wore wooden sandals and called himself ‘Tattva Bodhagar’ – Teacher of Wisdom. He called himself a Roman Brahmin and wore the sacred thread. The Bible became Vedam, Church became ‘Koil’ (Tamil word for Hindu temple). The pastor became ‘Guru’. He mastered Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu languages. This attracted a large number of Hindus who genuinely believed that what Robert De Nobili was teaching was yet another branch of Hinduism. He appeared as the Teacher of the fourth Veda, a Veda revealed indeed by God not to the Rishis of India, but to the messengers of God’s only son. He insisted that he was a Sannyasi from Rome. He called Christianity ‘parangui kulam’ (Parangui = Firangi or Foreign).

Robert di Nobili practiced blatant caste discrimination to further his objective- convert Hindus into Christianity. Since he was pretending to be a Roman Brahmin, if a Paria got sick, de Nobili would not see him in his wretched hut, but he insisted that he should be brought out of the house. He used to meet fellow Jesuit priests only at night, in total darkness.

Inquisition of de Nobili and approval of Pope

The methods adopted by De Nobili viz., creating caste-wise missionaries, churches and allowing Hindu caste marks to be used even after conversion to Christianity attracted the attention of church authorities and an Inquisition was held against him. Archbishop Menezes declared himself in favor of the new methods and said ‘he would be ready to allow wearing 100 Brahmin chords for the salvation of one soul’.

One hundred and eight learned Brahmins added their testimony to de Nobili’s testimony and fully confirmed his interpretation of their marks and customs.

In January 1623, the methods and tactics of de Nobili were approved by Pope, Christianity’s highest office…! Caste and caste marks were officially allowed in Christianity. A more amusing aspect of the Papal sanction was the creation of Christian yagnopaveetam (janeu) and “Christian Upanayanam” or sacred thread ceremony which will be performed in the Church…!

The Cagots of Europe were treated as outcasts and forced to live on the edge of the villages. The Cagots were subjected to hate-filled discrimination for nearly 700 years. Shunned as lepers, pagans, and even cannibals, they were forced to live in ghettos called cagoteries
The approval letter reads: “The chord should not be received in the temple, or from one of their priests, but from a Catholic priest, who upon conferring it, should recite the prescribed prayers”. The pagan prayers and mantras which used to be learnt upon receiving the chord, should not be learnt, but rather should be confined to perpetual oblivion… The chord, made up of three strands, should not be made so in honour of their idols, but rather in honour of the Blessed Trinity. The converts, who have already received the chord, should burn the old one, and receive a new one from the Catholic priest. Thus untouchability which finds neither mention nor sanction in Hindu religious scriptures just got the seal of approval from Christianity’s highest office – The Pope! This clearly demonstrates that social justice and social reform were of little importance to the Church when the goal is to harvest souls. The Inquisition against him concluded “We judge it altogether expedient, in order that our holy religion may be propagated in those lands, that the Brahmins and others, who are being initiated, be allowed to wear those marks, which more than religious signs, may be deemed to be signs of caste, nobility or wisdom. If something superstitious has been added, let it be dropped, and let the intention be purified.”

All the while, the Hindu religion was going through a phase of internal renewal and renaissance with the rise of a number of great social reformers like Basavanna, Ramanujacharya and the rise of the Bhakti cult. These reformers and saints strived to eliminate undesirable customs and social practices that had crept into the Hindu society. No such efforts on the part of Christian missionaries in this direction are found. Even the temple entry movements, the abolition of untouchability movements were led by Hindu social reformers themselves.

The invention of ‘Brahmin’ and ‘Pariah’

Robert de Nobili created two distinct classes of native missionaries- Brahmins and Pandaraswamis. The latter were drawn predominantly from what is described as ‘Pariah’ castes and used to proselytize amongst them and prepare catechumens from amongst them. The first of these Pandaraswamis were Father Balthazar da Costa and Emmanuel Alvarez. The Brahmin missionaries sporting Brahmanical attire with sikha and sacred thread used to proselytise amongst upper-caste Hindus. The first Brahmin missionary was Father S. Maya. He always accompanied di Nobili whenever the latter went to meet royals, nobles and Brahmins. Di Nobili was always attired in saffron robes, sacred thread, carried Kamandala, while his disciple carried the deerskin and the umbrella of honour.

A ground plan of the Church constructed by di Nobili shows how caste and untouchability were made part of church architecture. The plan shows that the main church entrance was reserved for high castes, while the pariah castes had to use a different entrance. Every aspect of worship – altar, communion, confession room, common space, kitchen and even courtyard were strictly segregated for high castes and pariahs. The pariahs had to listen to the mass through an opening in the wall which segregated them from high caste converts. This is extremely shocking even by standards of the day and reveals the complete indifference of the Church towards social inequalities. On the contrary, such inequalities were skilfully exploited to further the cause of conversions.

Thus for more than 400 years, the Church has given priority to conversions rather than social justice. Caste inequalities were exploited for furthering soul harvesting. The result is there for all to see. In 2008, violent clashes broke out in Eraiyur in Tamil Nadu between Christians from OBC and SC castes. The clashes were a fall out of Dalit Christians starting their own Church in protest against discrimination and practice of untouchability in churches and seeking recognition from the Diocese. In the police firing that followed, two people were killed. Several churches in the area were locked up by Dalit Christians. There are many instances of walls inside churches and cemeteries. In 2011, clashes erupted in Thachur village, 80 km from Chennai on the issue of burial of Dalit Christians to which the Reddy Christians objected. According to an article published in The Frontline magazine, the Church is constructed with a star shape. The central portion is reserved for Reddy Christians who manage the Church while the sides are earmarked for converts from SC castes like Adi Dravidars and Arundathiyars who have no role in the management of the Church. In another cemetery in Trichy, the deceased Christians are buried on either side of the wall depending upon their caste.

A ground plan of the Church constructed by Di Nobili shows how caste and untouchability were made part of church architecture. The plan shows that the main church entrance was reserved for high castes, while the pariah castes had to use a different entrance

Christians across the world bad mouth evils of the Hindu caste system and lose no opportunity to blame the Hindu religion for the same, completely ignoring that caste, segregation and untouchability were given sanction by the Pope as seen earlier. The Church does not object to the continuation of the use of Hindu caste suffixes as part of the name, several generations after conversion to Christianity. In Andhra Pradesh, one can find third or fourth generation Christian converts using suffixes like ‘Reddy’ ‘Chowdary’ etc.

In the 21st century, if people like Mary John are forced to launch agitations through like Dalit Christian Liberation Movements, it is because the Church did not work towards social justice but exploited social inequalities to further its cause of conversions.

(The writer is a Sr. Associate at Centre for South Indian Studies, Hyderabad)



By: Sahadev K. Associate, Centre for South Indian Studies (CSIS), Hyderabad

1) What is Bhima Koregaon battle?

This battle refers to a one day battle between British East India Company (BEIC) and the Maratha army led by Peshwa Baji Rao II.

2) What led to war between BEIC and the Marathas?

The Maratha confederacy (comprising the Peshwa of Pune, Scindias or Shendes of Gwalior, the Holkars of Indore and the Gaekwads of Baroda) was one of the important native empires in India. The Anglo –Maratha Wars from 1770 – 1817 had seen the British slowly gain the upper hand. Following the Maratha defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War of June 1817, the Peshwa was forced to flee from Pune, their capital.

3) Was the Battlle of Bhima Koregaon a decisive battle?

No. The Battle of Bhima Koregaon took place on 01 January 1818. The Maratha army of Peshwa had already left their capital Pune on 17th Nov, 1817. On that day, the British flag – Union Jack was unfurled on Pune fort. A series of incidents along with this battle led to the downfall of the Maratha Empire and the complete colonisation of India by the British. Chhatrapati Pratapsinh Maharaj and Peshwa Bajirao II both were exiled to Benares and Bithoor respectively. The British Rule in India was a period of darkness that lasted for 150 years. In these 150 years, millions died due to barbaric British policies.

4) Where did the Maratha army led by Peshwa Baji Rao II go after leaving Pune ?

Peshwa Baji Rao II proceeded towards Satara where he collected a strong force of about 28,000 men at Satara comprising 20,000 cavalry and 8,000 infantry), to attack Pune, which was by now under the control of the British East India Company (BEIC).

5) Who is a Peshwa ?

The office of Prime Minister under the Maratha Empire was known as a Peshwa.

6) What led to the Battle of Bhima Koregaon?

The Maratha army of Peshwa Baji Rao II was pursued by a large British force under General Smith and Pune was placed under a garrison under Colonel Burr. As the Peshwa escaped from his pursuers, he retraced his steps and moved back towards Pune. Colonel Burr hearing of the arrival of the Marathas asked for help from the Company’s troops stationed at Shirur. A contingent of troops under the command of Lt Francis Staunton left Shirur to reinforce the Poona Garrison. Marching all night, they reached the village of Talegaon and at 10 a.m. on 1st January, 1818, they spotted the advance guard of the Peshwa Army across the Bhima River. Thus BK battle was a chance encounter between BEIC army and the Maratha army.

7) Which units of British East India Company’s army participated in the Bhima Koregaon Battle?

The total strength of the BEIC army was 824. 24 European Gunners, around 500 troopers of the 2nd Battalion of the Bombay Native Infantry, 300 horsemen of Poona Auxiliary Horse (later Poona Horse – one of India’s most illustrious Armoured Regiments) along with a contingent of artillery with two six-pounder guns, under the captainship of Francis Staunton. The British army comprised of Europeans, Muslims, Marathas, Mahars, Rajputs, and few Jews.

8) Which units of the Maratha army participated in the Bhima Koregaon Battle?

The total strength of the Maratha army which participated in the BK battle was 1,800. Three units of Maratha army comprising of

Arabs (Muslims) – 600

Gosains – 600

Marathas of all castes – 600

The three attack troops of the Peshwa detachment were led by Bapu Gokhale, Appa Desai and Trimbakji Dengle.

9) How long was the BK battle fought?

The battle of BK was fought for one day only, from about 10.00 am in the morning till 9 p.m. in the night.

10) What were the casualties of the BK battle?

Out of the 834 BEIC troops that fought in the Battle of Bhima-Koregaon, 275 were killed, wounded or missing. The dead included two European Officers – Assistant Surgeon Wingate and Lieutenant Chisolm, while Lieutenant Pattison died, later, of his wounds in Shirur. Among the infantrymen, 50 were killed and 105 wounded. Among the artillery, 12 were killed and 8 wounded. The dead BEIC soldiers of Indian origin included 16 Marathas, 22 Mahars, and 8 Rajputs, 2 Muslims and 2 Jews and 11 European soldiers.

Maratha army’s casualties were estimated at 500-600 killed or wounded.

11) Did any of the two sides claim victory?

No. By night the fighting had ceased and by day break the Maratha army had left the place. No official British record has called this battle a ‘victory’. Even the inscription on the pillar at Bhima Koregaon says that it was erected to commemorate the ‘defence of Corium’

12) Who erected the Bhima Koregaon Memorial pillar?

British East India Company.

13) When was the memorial erected?

On 6 July, 1818, Elphinstone in a letter to Warren Hastings, then governor-general, recommended the building of a war memorial in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Bhima Koregaon battle. Accordingly, John Wiley, assistant surgeon of the Madras Artillery, was given the task of designing the memorial. It was finally built in 1822 and carried the names of all those who died or were injured in the battle.

14) What does the Bhima Koregaon Memorial pillar signify?

The pillar signifies “One of the proudest triumphs of the British Army in the East”. This victory pillar is a symbol of the victory of a foreign power against a local ruler.

15) What is inscribed on the BK Memorial pillar?

As soon as one enters the Bhima-Koregaon Memorial Complex, one sees two stone inscriptions – one placed by the BEIC giving a brief of the Battle of Bhima-Koregaon and the other more recent one giving a later “Roll of Honour” of the Poona Horse in various Battles.

On 2 sides of the memorial a narration of the battle in English together with the names of the Corps and list of European officers engaged and men killed or wounded in the Battle of Bhima Koregaon – the detachment of Madras Artillery, 110 Batt 1st Regt. Bombay Native Infantry and the Poona Auxiliary Horse. On two other sides of the memorial, details of the battle and the names of those who were killed/ wounded are inscribed in the Marathi language.

A close up of the names of European officers is inscribed on the memorial.


1) A History of the Mahrattas by James Grant Duff. Volume III published in 1918 by R Cambray & Sons.