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Sri RamaJanmabhoomi Mandir Nirmaan Abhiyaan

रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः ॥

Shri Ram is the embodiment of Dharma. He is the soul of Bharat. A grand temple on the Shri Rama Janma Bhumi site at Ayodhya is the perpetual inspiration to all Bharateeyas and devotees of Shri Ram have been fighting for this ceaselessly for the last 492 years. In 76 battles of the past, more than four lakh devotees of Shri Ram have sacrificed their lives. The result of a series of movements over the last 36 years has been that people have risen above identities of gender, caste, class, language, sect, region and have emerged as one society with the thought of building the grand temple for Shri Ram. The outcome of their unparalleled sacrifices has been that on Nov 9th, 1989, a Shilanyas Puja was conducted at the Sri Rama Janma Bhumi site by a member of the Scheduled Caste, Shri Kameshwar Chaupal, in the presence of Sants.

This matter of faith got entangled in the long processes of courts (from the Sessions Court to the Supreme Court). Based on Puranic evidence, archaeological excavations, ground penetrating radar pictures and historical evidence, a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Nov 9th , 2019, delivered an unanimous verdict and said that ‘the 14,000 square feet of land belonged to Ram Lalla.’ Truth has been established. Devotion, faith, and belief have won along with evidence and facts. 

On February 5th , 2020, Government of Bharat has formed the Sri Ram Janmabhumi Teertha Kshetra Trust and handed over the 70 acres of acquired land to the Trust. After that, on March 25th, 2020, Sri Ram Lalla has been moved from a temple of tarpaulin to be reinstalled in His temporary new wooden temple. 

A dream and resolve of centuries came to be fulfilled at a divine moment on August 5th , 2020 when in the auspicious presence of respected Mahant Shri Nrutya Gopaldas ji , Sants and Acharyas representing various spiritual institutions from across the nation and the Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Dr Mohan ji Bhagwat, our beloved and honourable Prime Minister of the nation Shri Narendra Modi ji performed the Bhumi Puja for the Ram Mandir. On this occasion, water from more than 3000 rivers and teerthas across Bharat, soil brought from holy institutions of various castes, communities and the homes of the martyred Karsevaks was used in the Bhumi Puja, spiritually bringing all Bharatiyas to the divine site. 

Venerated Saints have exhorted people to establish Shri Ram and the values of His life in their hearts along with the construction of the grand temple at Sri Ram Janma Bhumi. Shri Ram had roamed barefoot through jungles for 14 years. He reached every section of society. He affectionately embraced those people who were deprived and neglected, gave them a sense of belonging and became a friend of everyone. He respected Jataayu as his father. He restored a position of dignity for women. He destroyed demons and eliminated their terrorism. Ram Rajya, the rule of Rama, was abound with mutual love and goodwill, friendship, compassion and empathy, affection, unity and kinship, health and lives filled with prosperity. All of us need to summon the same steely resolve and collective will and effort to make Bharat like that once again. 

Call for Dedication

Charity and donation have been essential traits of Bharat since ancient times. It has been the eternal and essential nature of the affluent people to give means of sustenance to students, retired people, mendicants and bhikshus. Donating to build Dharmshalas for use by devotees at temples and other places, extending other kinds of assistance has also been considered as a social responsibility. It is in this spirit that the Shri Ram Janma Bhumi Teertha Kshetra Trust seeks donations and assistance from the entire society. The way a humble squirrel helped Shri Ram to build a Setu ( bridge)  across the sea, it is requested to donate and become a part of this sacred project. 

  • Ram Mandir lay-out details
  • Total Area: 2.7 acres
  • Total Area of Construction: 57,400 sq feet.
  • Total Length: 360 feet
  • Total Breadth: 235 feet
  • Total Height (Till Shikhar): 161 feet
  • Number of Mandaps: 5
  • Total Number of floors: 3
  • Height of each level: 20 feet

    Bank account details
  • Bank Name   : State Bank of India ( SBI ) ;  Branch  : Ayodhya ; 
  • Saving Account : 39161495808;  Current Account : 39161495809
  • IFSC Code    : SBIN0002510; PAN No.        : AAZTS6197B

 

After Opposing the Farm Laws, KCR Govt Now Says Can’t Procure All Crops At MSP

By Ch. Narendra

Four months after launching a broadside on the three new farm laws, TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have remained one of the strongest opponents of these laws claiming that they are not in the farmers’ interests.

However, KCR has said something recently which appears to completely contradict his earlier stand on the farm laws. On December 27, he said,

“There is no need for the state government to purchase the agriculture produce as the new farm laws were being implemented across the country, allowing the farmers to sell their crop anywhere.”

Moreover, after condemning the central farm laws – allegedly removing Minimum Support Price (MSP), the Telangana government has now declined to procure all crops at MSP.

KCR vs. Farm Bills

In September, when the legislation for farm reforms was introduced in Parliament, the KCR instructed his party MPs to vote against the bills. He had called the bills a “sugar-coated pill,” claiming that the bills, instead of serving the farmers by allowing them to sell anywhere in India, will encourage corporate lobbying by facilitating the traders to buy freely.

KCR’s dissent even extended to the Dubbaka assembly by-election, where the laws became a major issue. However, this seemed to backfire when TRS suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of BJP candidate M Raghunandana Rao in a town regarded as the KCR family’s fortress.

On December 8, the Telangana government also supported the Bharat Bandh against the Central farm laws by keeping the offices closed and ministers, including KCR’s son KT Rama Rao, staging protests on roads.

Source: Telangana Today

A Sudden Change of Heart or A Bullet Dodged?

Issue of Procurement: One of the decisions taken by the KCR government that has sparked controversy is to stop the purchase of paddy and other crops at the village level. On Sunday, the Telangana CM announced that the state would not set purchase centres in villages from the next year.

He claimed that it was a one-time deal due to COVID-19 to help the agrarians as the new central law permits farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

What’s interesting here is that KCR attributed this move to central agricultural laws.

He said:

“As the new agriculture laws of the Central government permit farmers to sell their crop anywhere in the country, the State government need not set up purchasing centres in villages.”

As per the officials, ever since its formation in 2014, Telangana has suffered losses up to ₹7,500 crores due to the purchase of paddy, sorghum, maize, red gram, Bengal gram, and sunflower. The reason is, after procuring these crops at MSP, the government had to sell them at lower prices in the market, as there was no demand for these crops.

However, he added that the state would continue to provide financial assistance to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.

Regulated farming debacle: Another major decision taken on Sunday was to nix regulate cropping, which till now was one of KCR’s major policy initiatives aimed at making the farm sector more profitable by scientific cultivation. Telangana government has now decided to let farmers choose whatever they want to cultivate.

The reason cited for this was – government’s inability to provide a bonus to superfine rice farmers on account of Food Corporation of India (FCI) norms.

“The government cannot do it any more. It is not a business organization or trader. It is not a rice miller or a dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up a purchasing centre in the village from next year onwards,” said the official statement.

Telangana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed this move while reprimanding KCR for not paying heed to their advice earlier.

State BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar demanded a public apology from the CM to farmers for bringing such a regulated cropping policy in the first place.

He said:

“Farmers must have a free hand to choose what they want to grow. But the dictatorial CM did not pay attention to our requests.”

Bandi further claimed, “After Narendra Modi came into power, the centre gave funds to conduct soil tests in each acre to choose suitable crops for the agricultural lands. But the funds were diverted. We demand that the State government conduct soil tests and bring reforms to make agriculture profitable.”

The State BJP chief also asked the state government to connect market yards with the E-NAM system to ensure better prices for farmers.

These facts indicate that KCR has potentially made the above-mentioned changes in the interest of his government. Continuing purchase centres would have drained the state budget, and regulated farming has also not worked as planned. However, by shifting the blame on the central government, the TRS leader here appears to be dodging the bullet.

Looking at his trajectory through farm law opposition, KCR could seem to be having a bigger picture in mind.

KCR’s Big Aspirations

KCR’s opposition has not resulted in the repealing of farm laws, but in retrospect, it has fetched him the golden opportunity to evolve as a national leader. This was probably an attempt to provide a 3rd alternative to the public apart from BJP and Congress – a ‘Federal Front’ as has termed it.

The TRS chief also declared earlier that he would hold a national conclave in the 3rd week of December in Hyderabad itself and invite all anti-BJP forces to protest the anti-farmer and anti-labour policies of the government. KCR conveyed that he would build a nationwide consensus against new agriculture laws.

In a 360° turn, however, KCR’s attitude towards the central farm laws and Modi-government, in particular, appears to have changed.

For instance, a former TRS MP holding a key position now quoted, “We cannot afford to get into a confrontation with the Centre at present because it will affect the state’s interests,”

Notably, this change has been visible after the Telangana CM’s visit to Delhi on December 13, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Source: NDTV

The visit came immediately after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, where the BJP did remarkably well. Apparently, Dubbaka by-poll and GHMC polls established to KCR that BJP is swiftly emerging as an alternate political force in Telangana and gearing up for a power grab in 2023 assembly polls.

Ch. Narendra

Ch. Narendra is Hyderabad based freelance journalist.formerly worked with New Indian Express group and a human rights activist

Courtesy: https://the-pulse.in

Don’t compare E.V. Ramasamy (a) Periyar with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Venkatesan

Today, there is a false propaganda that the views of E.V. Ramasamy (a) Periyar and Babasaheb Ambedkar are one and the same which is not only being spread in Tamil Nadu but all over India. They are trying to portray   Periyar as Ambedkar  of the North and Ambedkar as the Periyar of the South among  the people. In universities and colleges, Periyar – Ambedkar study circles are being set up trying to give the common attributes to both of them.

Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar is in no way comparable to E.V.R. The two were at odds over any field of study, be it education, social thought, national unity, foreign policy, or economic policy. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a scholar and intellectual genius who had learnt many texts. When you read his book it contains footnotes, sources, quotes from various scholars, everything sufficiently. But E.V.R was not a scholar. He was not a person who had read too many texts. From time to time, he spread the thoughts whatever came to his mind. He changed it too and changed it to suit the situation.

E.V.R has been involved in prostitution in prostitute homes for 40 years. He had not cared about the society until then. But Ambedkar was involved in education throughout his youth and filed petitions for his community. Just as it is unacceptable to compare the mountain and the pond together, it would be injustice that we do to Ambedkar if we compare both – E.V.R and Ambedkar.

The Theory of Racism: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

There is no alternative to E.V.R Periyar being a racist and one who accepted the racist ideology. He spread Aryan-Dravidian racism throughout Tamil Nadu. He was a staunch proponent of racist ideology to cause division among the people. He campaigned that Aryans were foreigners and they were those who invaded the country and destroyed the indigenous people. Thereby he used his campaign of hate to destroy solidarity. E.V.R sought to divide the Indian people through racist ideology. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who completely rejected the Aryan racist doctrine. Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar rejected the theory that Aryan racism should go to the trash. He never accepted the doctrine of racism since he was a humanist who loved human beings.

Dalits: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R encouraged all Dalits and backward classes to convert. In the process, he proposed Islam for conversion. He continued to propagate that Islam was the antidote to conversion and that all people should convert to Islam. It is not that Periyar had said this after serious studies and research. In contrast, Babasaheb Ambedkar proposed Buddhism for their conversion. According to him, Islam will never give equality; Ambedkar is confident that it will not give fraternity either. This belief did not occur casually. He came to this conclusion after an in-depth study of Islam and other religions. He was the one who rejected the call to give crores of rupees and college on conversion to Islam. He said nationalism would change if religion was converted to Islam and Christianity. Ambedkar urged all, including the Dalits, to accept Buddhism, believing that only Buddhism could bring equality. E.V.R, who told everyone to convert, remained a Hindu until the end. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism as he had preached.

E.V.R always excluded the Dalits. He unequivocally declared that he was fighting for the Sudras. E.V.R never waged a struggle for the rights of the Dalits in Tamil Nadu. E.V.R never led any struggle in Tamil Nadu for Dalits to walk on the road, walk on the street or fetch water from a pond or to enter the temple. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who led the struggle to get water in the Mahat pool and to enter the Kalaram temple.

E.V.R opposes the integration of Dalits with other caste Hindus:

E.V.Ramasamy Nayakar said, “Does the elimination of untouchability involve just the entry to the temple and the inclusion of the Sudra to the Parayans? If the lower caste of Parayan is not changed then should the Sudra be added to Parayan for that? The Sudras, who had hitherto had been the middle caste, have now been made the lower caste which we should not allow”. (Thread: History of Vaikkam struggle – Veeramani)

E.V.R has always been against the Dalits. Despite the Muthukulathur riots and the Kizhvenmani massacre, E.V.R acted against the Dalits. When 44 Dalits were burnt to death in Kizhvenmani, the report by E.V.R says:

“The Communist comrades are trying to cause unrest and revolution in the country without telling you how the workers should live in the economy available to them, and today they are trying to overthrow this regime, right-wing, left-wing and far-right communists. I ask that the comrades of agriculture and other working friends should not give place to it. The Communist Party instigated the riot in Nagai taluka. 42 people died due to it. The government did not stop at saying that the Communist Party was the party that cooperated with us. Government is taking the necessary action.  (Vidudhalai 20-1-1969)

E.V.R says there is no need for a wage struggle. Employers do not have the intention to raise wages despite their rising profits. E.V.R pierces the spear into the burn without even realizing by saying that that it has to be obtained through protest. E.V.R supports the assassination, saying that it would be rebellion if it fought for higher wages. He did not stand on the side of the affected Dalits but expressed his views in support of those involved in the riots. On the contrary Ambedkar brought various laws not only for the Dalits but for all the backward people. He continued to fight for their rights.

We can also learn from his speech how vile E.V.R thinks about people of the scheduled community. E.V.R says:-

“Ambedkar is a little bit emotional. He asked me. ‘What do you do for your people?’ I gave him a lot of details. He started talking about. The Brahmins immediately paid the price for him. That is, where he  [Ambedkar] asked for 10 out of 100 his people to get the educational facility, and job facility, he [Brahmins] said ‘take it as 15’! He [Brahmins] knew that even if he [lower caste] was given 25 seats, not even three or four of them would come. He [Ambedkar] signed the law written by the Brahmins. He doesn’t care about the company of others.  (Vidudhalai 11.11.1957)

Dalits in Pakistan: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

Dalits were persecuted in Pakistan during the partition of Pakistan. Thousands were massacred. Without rendering any feelings for the situation, E.V.R supported Pakistan and Muslims without condemning the massacre. But Babasaheb Ambedkar sent the Makar Regiment to save the oppressed Dalits in Pakistan. He issued a statement saying that Dalits in Pakistan should not convert to Islam. Similarly, Ambedkar gave full cooperation to the annexation of the Indian princely states. Ambedkar issued a public statement saying that none of the lower caste there should support the Hyderabad Nizam who refuses to connect with India.

Indian Independence: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R Periyar was against Indian independence. A resolution was brought with the blessings of E.V.R at the Dravidar League Conference held at Salem on 27-08-44. In the resolution,

“The conference concludes that the main policy of the Dravidar League is to include the name Dravida Nadu as the first policy of our Chennai Province to be divided into a separate (state) country which is not dominated by the Central Government administration and is directly under the administration of the British Secretary of State.”

Not only this, E.V.R also declared Independence Day as a day of mourning. He continued to spread the demand that Whites should rule here. But Ambedkar never took any action against national liberation. No statement was issued in support of the White government by Ambedkar. He has strongly documented the demand for India’s independence at the London Round Table Conference and beyond. He once said that I am more patriotic than the other Congress leaders.

E.V.R was at the forefront of disrupting Indian unity. Part of India was demanded by E.V.R as a separate Dravidastan. He also waged various struggles to separate the Dravidian country from India. Similarly, the leader of the Muslim League, Jinnah, asked Pakistan. The British government and many others demanded that Ambedkar should ask for a separate Dalitistan for the Dalits. But Ambedkar never heeded to it. He did not agree with the Dalitistanisation of India. So he cut the request at the very start and threw it away. If not, the Dalits would have split from India just as Pakistan did.

Hindi and Sanskrit: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R had a lasting anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit attitude. He held anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit conferences and protests. He incited linguistic hatred and disrupted Indian unity. But Ambedkar said they needed Hindi for national unity. He spoke in Parliament that Sanskrit should be the national official language. Yet Ambedkar never provoked language fanaticism.

Communism: E.V.R vs Ambedkar

E.V.R had a deep attachment to so-called communism. After his visit to Russia, he actively spread the policy of common wealth in Tamil Nadu. But Babasaheb Ambedkar was against communism throughout his life. He said that communism was based on violence and if ever he considered someone as his enemy, it was communism. Ambedkar did not even have an electoral relationship with the Communists. He proposed Buddhism as an alternative to communism for the Dalit people.

It is the firm opinion of Ambedkar that India should not have relations with China and Russia even in foreign policy. He prophesised that China would one day invade us, that is, India. That happened in 1962.

Religion: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

According to E.V.R, humans do not need religion. E.V.R view was that religion fools man. But Ambedkar says religion is a necessity for man. He says that the good qualities he possesses are due to religion. Ambedkar opposed the statement that religion is an opium and explained why religion is important to man.

Only country: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R said there is no such thing as one country called India. He said that India is a mixture of several national races. He also campaigned that India has never been a single country. But Ambedkar clearly wrote that India has been a single country for thousands of years in terms of its spiritual culture.

Indian Unity: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R was not interested in Indian unity. E.V.R wanted India to secede. But Ambedkar had an unconditional love for Indian unity. He was also clear that India should not be enslaved again. His speech in the Constituent Assembly will make us aware of this.

Ambedkar speaks:

” What worried me the most is that India has lost its that India has lost its independence many times due to the betrayal and treachery of the Indian people. When Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sindh, the army commanders of King Tagir of Sindh refused to fight for their king with the help of Muhammad bin Qasim’s henchmen. Jayachandran invited Mohammad Gori to invade India and to fight against Prithviraj. He promised to help him and the Solanki kings. While Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of the Hindus, other Maratha leaders and Rajput kings sided with the Mughals and fought against him.

When the British fought against the Sikh kings, the commander-in-chief of the Sikhs was inactive. He did not help to defend the Sikh state. During the freedom struggle against the British in 1857, the Sikhs were having fun doing nothing. Will history repeat …?

It is even more worrying that a number of parties with different and opposing policies are now emerging with old hostile forces such as castes and religions.The people of India must carefully monitor the parties who are striving for the interest of their party rather than the interest of the country. If not, the independence of the country will be in jeopardy for the second time. It may become irreversible. We should ensure that our freedom is upheld until the last drop of blood.”

Ambedkar was responding to a third round of debate on the Constitution on November 25, 1949. This call of Ambedkar is a call for Indian nationalism. We need to understand that the call is driven by a sense of nationalism – a passion that the Indian nation should never be distorted again.

E.V.R and Ambedkar were at odds over whichever field we take and study. They have been campaigning for the comparison of Ambedkar and E.V.R in order to draw the people, mainly the Dalits, to their side. This is great injustice to Ambedkar.

About the Writer:

Author is Member of BJP National Council, Chennai and served as State President, BJP SC Morcha, Tamilnadu. He wrote a book named ‘Hindutva Ambedkar’. He can be contacted at venkiambeth@gmail.com

INHERENT INCOMPATIBILITY OF CHRISTIANITY AND INDIAN TRIBAL FAITHS

‘We are Tribal first and Christians next. We are nature worshippers. We worship rivers, mountains and forests’.

This is a statement we get to hear very often from Scheduled Tribes who have converted to Christianity. Is it possible to practice tribal faith and Christianity at the same time? Is it compatible with theology of monolithic Christian religion?

To start with, let us examine the most common elements of tribal faiths which are practiced across the Indian sub-continent stretching from Ladakh in the north to all the way in south and north-east corners of India. Irrespective of the tribe or region, the common elements in tribal faith are:

1)      Worship of nature
2)      Worship of Mother Goddess
3)      Idol worship
4)      Worshiping Ancestors  

None of the above tribal beliefs are acceptable to Christianity. As inhabitants of forests and river valleys, Tribals are true children of mother nature. They are the closest to mother nature and have co-existed with nature for thousands of years. Worship of nature finds a very important place in almost all Tribal cultures. For instance, in every Santal village there is a sacred grove on the edge of the settlement where many spirits live and where a series of annual festivals take place. The most important spirit is Maran Buru (Great Mountain), who is invoked whenever offerings are made and who instructed the first Santals in sex and brewing of rice beer. Maran Buru’s consort is the benevolent Jaher Era (Lady of the Grove). Similar concepts exist in many Tribal faiths.

What is the stand of Christianity regarding worship of nature? The Holy Bible has quite a few references to nature worship and they are unanimous in their view – worship the creator and not the creation. In other words, nature is not to be worshiped. In fact, nature worship is to be punished with ‘stoning to death’..!

‘..  who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the hosts of heaven,  which I have not commanded, 4 and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, 5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones. 6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses’

–Deuteronomy 17- 3-6

MOTHER GODDESS WORSHIP:

Mother Goddess worship is prevalent in most Tribal faiths. The oldest shrine to Mother Goddess was found in Madhya Pradesh. In 1980, Indo-US archaeology team stumbled upon evidence of prehistoric ‘Shakti’ worship in Son Valley, Sidhi District of the state. The small shrine is estimated to be 11,000 years old, making it one of the oldest shrines built by humans. The Kol and Baiga tribes of the area still worship similar shaped stones as manifestation of female energy  or ‘Shakti’. This is proof of importance of women in ancient societies and continuity of worship of mother goddess as a core, continuous belief for thousands of years by tribals of Indian sub-continent.

On the contrary, Mother Goddess worship finds no place or little place in Christianity. While major sects like Protestants firmly disallow worship of anyone other than Jesus Christ, other sects like Catholics, orthodox and Anglican Christians today regard Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, as the Theotokos or ‘Mother of The God’ and not ‘The God’. Christianity does not accept the most ancient and core belief of Tribal – worship of mother.

Link : https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/heritage/story/19820630-indo-us-archaeology-team-stumbles-upon-evidence-of-prehistoric-shakti-worship-in- madhya-pradesh-771928-2013-10-12

IDOL WORSHIP:

As shown above, idol worship is an integral part of tribal faith, though not all tribes necessarily practice idol worship. The idol or object of worship could be a simple stone as above, or a simple piece of wood or images drawn on the walls of the place of worship.

Christianity comes down heavily on idol worship. Several verses from the Holy Bible explicitly prohibit idol worship. Few verses go as far as calling for destruction of idols and altars.

Leviticus 26:1

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I [am] the LORD your God.

Leviticus 26:30

And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.

Ezekiel 6:4

And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain [men] before your idols.

Ezekiel 6:5

And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.

Corinthians-1 10:14

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

CHRISTIAN EXCLUSIVITY AND RIGIDITY :

Christianity with its exclusivity, rigid insistence on worship of a single God and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the sole saviour who can save sinful mankind from eternal hell fire, can never be at peace with native tribal faiths. If you do not accept the ‘salvation theology’, eternal hell fire awaits you..!  Tribal faiths have a wide variety of underlying philosophy, beliefs and worship practices. These beliefs are very inclusive and can accommodate any new philosophy without any sort of conflict. The same cannot be said of Christianity. The Holy Bible clearly commands Christians to keep away from non-Christians, not to partake in their rituals, offerings and discourages normal social contact with non-Christians.

2 John 1:9-11 ESV 

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 ESV

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

Tribal society and their religious practices have a harmonious relationship not only with nature but also amongst different tribes. Inter-tribe conflicts are rare and, in many cases, different tribes have common deities.  In Chattisgarh, Danteshwari is one of the most revered goddesses known for bestowing wishes on her devotees and protector against evil. In Telangana, the Sammakka-Sarakka Jaathara attracts lakhs of tribal devotees cutting across tribes, states and languages.  Sacrificial offerings are shared freely amongst the entire community through common feasts.

But what is the stand of Christianity on food offered to idols? Can a Christian accept food (Prasad) offered to non-Christian gods and idols ? Holy Bible explicitly forbids partaking of food offered to idols.

Corinthians-1 8:4

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one.

Corinthians-1 10:28

But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof:

Thus the very word ‘tribal Christian’ is an oxymoron. Conversion of Tribal into Christianity brings about deep divide in tribal societies and splits society into believers and non-believers. With its exclusivist ideology, Christianity creates unrest and chaos in tribal societies which otherwise have lived peacefully and harmoniously for thousands of years.

By
K. Sahadev

UP Cabinet approves Law against forced Religions Conversions

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved the ordinance against religious conversions through fraudulent means, especially conversions for the purpose of marriage. But a vicious propaganda has been unleashed that the law is aimed at non-existent ‘love jihad.’ The law has no mention of ‘love jihad’ anywhere, yet there is so much noise in the media and social media platforms to this effect. Media headlines put out so far go like this – ‘Why India’s Most Populous State Just Passed a Law Inspired by an Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theory’?

The facts are as follows.
The bill is titled ‘Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Virudhh Dharm Samparivartan Pratisdhedh Adhyadesh, 2020’ or ‘UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance – 2020’.  It does not use the word ‘love jihad’ at all nor is it directed towards curbing fundamental rights of any citizen to practice religion of their choice. It is not for the first time that a law has been enacted in India having similar provisions.

The ‘The Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018’ also has provisions against conversions by fraud or misrepresentation for purposes of marriage. Section 3 of the said act reads:

No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet or conspire such conversion;

Provided that, if any person comes back to his ancestral religion, shall not be deemed conversion under this Act’.

So why such a brouhaha against the Uttar Pradesh law when a law with similar provisions was enacted in 2008 in Uttarakhand? Is the opposition aimed at the law or aimed at Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath?  In fact, enactment of such a law was recommended by the Uttarakhand high court and the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission. Enactment of this legislation paves way for other states like Kerala, which have been advised by respective High Courts to bring similar laws against forced conversions.

Provisions under the law:

  1. The act aims to provide freedom of religion by the prohibition of conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage & for matters connected therewith.
  2. The punishment for such conversions may range from 1-5 years. It could attract a higher penalty if the person being converted is a minor or belongs to SC/ST.
  3. The one who desires to convert and the one who is doing the conversion process must submit forms in the District Collector / District Magistrate’s office who will then enquire about the real intention, cause and purpose of such conversions.
  4. The converted person must submit a declaration and present himself/herself before the District Collector / District Magistrate, in person, to testify claims made in the declaration.
  5. The burden of proof lies on the person who has caused the conversion.
  6. Any person, reconverting to his immediate previous religion, shall not be deemed as a convert under this law.

Q1. Does it deny freedom to women to profess religion of their choice?

Absolutely not. In fact quite the opposite. It makes it unlawful to forcefully convert women after or during their marriage. It gives them the choice to continue with the religion of their choice.  There have been numerous instances of forceful conversion post-marriage, concealing identity while luring the girl or by other undue influence. Noteworthy is, the bill doesn’t outlaw conversion as a whole. It outlaws conversion against free will in limited cases. So cases like Hadiya, where she was groomed to accept Islam out of free will, still won’t come under the purview of this law.

Q2. Does it act against free will?

No, it doesn’t. In fact, it provides freedom of religion by prohibiting conversion against free will. Conversions for the sole purpose of marriage have been outlawed by courts in the past. This law only codifies such judgements. You can’t convert to a religion just because it allows you to bypass certain civil laws. For example, you can’t convert to Islam because you want to keep multiple wives. Your family can’t convert to Islam overnight because you want to disinherit your daughters from parental properties.

You can convert only out of your own conviction for the tenets of a religion. Free will can’t be an alibi for committing religious bigotry and a fraud upon the law

Q3. Does it violate Article 25A?

A short reading of article 25, which is a fundamental right, before we commence further.

“Subject to public order, morality and health, all persons are equally entitled to practise, profess and propagate their religion”.  Islamists across the board and their handlers in the media are arguing that anti-conversion law prohibits propagation, which is a constitutional guarantee. They seem to be under the impression, “Either your head or your signature will be on the conversion papers” is the propagation of religion. That is where they and their handlers in the media are erring, by overlooking the first part of the article – the condition which sets the term for practising, professing and propagating. “Subject to public order, morality and health”.

‘Propagating’ is a person telling someone about his religion,roots, cultures, traditions and values. This is held by the honourable SC. ‘Convert or face beheading’, as practised by the Islamic invaders, is not propagation. That violates public order and health. Conversion is not a fundamental right under article 25. Laws against conversion do not violate your fundamental rights.

This is not the first time such laws are passed. The Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, 1967 was challenged in court and was duly dismissed. The propagandists know this, hence, instead of challenging the proposed law to be enacted in UP, if they really believe it to be anti- constitutional, they will only make noise in social media platforms.

This law, in no way, restricts interfaith marriages. Numerous courts have given several judgements on religious conversions. Courts have even passed orders asking state governments to frame laws against this growing menace. The proposed law only codifies the principle laid down by our courts.

Presently our country has different civil laws for different religions. Conversion by fraud or coercion will have implications for the concerned individual in matters of marriage, adoptions and inheritance rights.

Secularism can be enshrined in the preamble but in practice, in the absence of a uniform civil code, the state does interfere in civil laws which are religion-specific.

In such circumstances, laws that protect religious rights should be welcome. Such a progressive piece of legislation should be hailed by people from all religions as it protects the most vulnerable section of the society – women. But since the law is being enacted by a state ruled by BJP, malicious propaganda has been unleashed against the same. 

By
Sahadev K