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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Dharmik Janjatiya society of Narayanpur protests against Christian conversion mafia, media paints them as villains

Agitated over the illegal conversion tactics of Christian missionaries and their violent response to peaceful Ghar Wapsi efforts, coupled with anger against administrative apathy, the Dharmik janjatiya (aka ‘tribal’) society of Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh hit the streets in protest on Monday.

The issue had been on the boil for over 2 months, with around 50 complaints against illegal conversion and predatory proselytization by missionaries being lodged in the district’s villages in that period, as per Dainik Jagran. However, no meaningful action was taken by administration to address the janjatiya concerns. Seeing growing resistance to their activities by the indigenous janjatiya society, the missionaries had started resorting to intimidation and violence.

What tipped the janjatiya people over the edge was the violence unleashed on Sunday by missionaries during a meeting held in Gorra village of Ekda police station area to combat the illegal conversion activities and encourage Ghar Wapsi, i.e. return to original Dharma, of converted janjatiya people.

A Nai Dunia report filed on Sunday night says that an armed mob of around 300 Christian converts led by pastors Bajaru Dugga and Jayram Dugga had attacked the villagers in Gorra village, injuring many of them. The Christian radicals threatened to kill the Dharmik janjatiya leaders, and did not spare even passers-by. When police reached the spot, they too were attacked by the missionary-led mob. Ekda SHO VY Joshi’s foot was fractured and some other jawans also suffered injuries.

But if you read a report in The Quint on the same Gorra village violence, it claims that Christians were attacked by a 400-500 strong mob!

After that violence, the janjatiya society decided in a meeting to shut down the district centre in protest the following day, after duly informing the police and administration. The protest in Narayanpur city was proceeding peacefully, when some unidentified elements allegedly vandalized a religious place said to be a hub of the conversion mafia, and clashed with police. The Narayanur SP sustained minor injuries and police were also seen beating protestors. However, the situation was soon brought under control.

While police has vowed to take action against those responsible for Monday’s disturbance, there seems to be no update on action taken against those who unleashed violence on villagers on Sunday night.

On Tuesday, entire Narayanpur resembled a curfew zone and police presence was seen in large numbers. While temple desecrations, an almost everyday affair across Bharat these days, are played down by police and media as ‘routine theft’ or ‘acts of insanity’, an alleged act of minor vandalism involving a church has sent the entire administration on high alert and is being reported as a burning national issue by mainstream media.

The conversion mafia, cultural genocide and secular state’s culpability

All arms of the secular Indian state, especially in states ruled by ‘secular’ parties like Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, are loathe to acknowledge and act against illegal proselytization by fanatical Abrahamic missionaries, whether they be Christian or Islamic. When Dharmiks report illegal conversion activities in the guise of ‘group prayers’, or ‘healing sessions’ (aka changai sabhas), or through construction of illegal churches in villages with zero or negligible Christian presence, police usually doesn’t take such complaints seriously or takes perfunctory action at best.

Evangelism by missionaries and Christian preachers takes different forms and is backed by a well-funded and well-oiled international network that has the backing of Western governments. It often starts off as social work in the form of education and health services. Soon, it moves to subtle glorification of Christianity and appropriation of Dharmik terms and practises, followed by outright demonization of Dharma and Dharmik prayer as ‘Satanic’, ‘worship of false Gods’, ‘idol worship’ etc.

Secular politicians, English-language media, left-liberal civil NGOs, and influential sections of judiciary and bureaucracy all justify this conversion mafia, by citing ‘freedom of religion’ and Article 25 of the Constitution, conveniently forgetting that the right to propagate religion is subject to public order, morality, and health.

In the pre-digital era, the complaints against the conversion mafia by ordinary Hindus and other Dharmiks were hardly heard as mainstream media would censor such news. It was only when locals lashed out in desperation to protect their Dharma and way of life, that the media would swoop in to paint them as ‘aggressors’, ‘reactionary bigots’ and ‘lumpen communalists’ and project the missionaries (and the mainstream Catholic and Protestant church organizations who back them) as the victims. The local Dharmiks would then be somehow connected to the Sangh Parivar to project their genuine and organic discontent as a ‘Hindutva conspiracy’.

But with the rise of social media and digital activists like @noconversion and @HLKodo, the missionary tactics and anti-Dharma hate speeches are now being recorded and disseminated to a wide audience. Media’s subtle pro-missionary propaganda is thus being challenged and a true picture of the ground situation is emerging.

As expected, the genuine Narayanpur protests by the underprivileged janjatiya society which simply wants to defend its Dharma and indigenous culture are also being branded as ‘Hindutva aggression’ and ‘anti-Christian/ right-wing violence’ by usual suspects like IAMC and propaganda outlets like The Wire, The Quint etc.

VHP demands stringent anti-conversion laws in Chhattisgarh

Vishwa Hindu Parishad secretary general Milind Pande, in a press statement on Wednesday, expressed serious concern over the incidents of illegal conversions by Christian missionaries in Chhattisgarh. He said that the situation is a bit more stable in the states which have stringent laws against illegal conversions and implement them strictly. The incidents in Chhattisgarh have again underlined the need for a stringent law in the state to stop such conversions.

The people of Chhattisgarh have worked determinedly to stop these activities and the VHP stands with them. We also believe that all efforts to stop illegal conversions should be made within the ambit of the Constitution and the law, he said. If the converting and anti-janjatiya mindset of the missionaries in the state had been curbed in time, the janjatiya (aka ‘tribal’) society of Narayanpur would not have had to come out on the streets. It is the supreme duty of the state government to protect the interests of the native janjatiya society, he added.

The VHP has also demanded that the government and local administration, instead of being seen on the same page as the missionaries, should stand firmly with the janjatis. The way the customs, traditions, beliefs and deities of the janjatiya society are being insulted by these missionaries and efforts are being made to end the existence of the janjatiya way of life, it will not be tolerated anymore. The state government needs to take serious and quick steps in this matter, Pande said.

Conclusion

The beautiful and delicate thread of Dharma which binds Bharat together is today under threat as never before. The idea of secularism has been hijacked by a deracinated elite and hostile anti-Dharmik forces; they have inverted reality to present the tolerant and pluralistic Hindus and Dharmiks as ‘fascists who are intolerant towards religious minorities’. These elites also promote the most fanatical Abrahamics as representatives of minorities, muzzling and ignoring the more inclusive and tolerant voices.

The syncretic forms of Dharmik worship that have evolved over millennia, which tie together all Hindus & Dharmiks -whether they reside in urban centers (nagarwasis), villages (gramwasis), or jungles (vanvasis) – with deities embodying nature and divinity overlapping across regions, must be preserved at all costs. It is a precious gift bequeathed to us by our ancestors, and our civilization and nation would be nothing but an empty shell without this beating Dharmic heart.

(With IANS inputs)

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