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“History of Hindu-Christian Encounters” by Sita Ram Goel – Encounter with Arun Shourie (Part 22)

In this series of articles, we are introducing the book ‘History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (AD 304 to 1996) by Shri Sita Ram Goel, to readers old and new. Shri SR Goel was one of the leading intellectuals & writers of Independent Bharat, whose work was subsequently marginalised & suppressed by the left-leaning academic establishment. We are grateful to for making this treasure trove of  books/articles available for the common public.

Encounter with Arun Shourie

Missiology is a meticulous discipline developed quite early in the history of Christianity as auxiliary to an exclusivist and aggressive doctrine – Jesus Christ is the only saviour; there is no salvation outside the Church; and infidels should be compelled to come in. By now the discipline has become rather rich with experience gained over several centuries and in all parts of the world. Many universities in Europe and the Americas teach Missiology in their faculties of Catholic and Protestant theologies. And there are a large number of Christian seminaries spread over many countries where Missiology is studied in great depth and detail by the soldiers of Christ before they commence their prowl in search of prey.

As one surveys the literature of Missiology, one is struck by its close similarity to the Communist literature on strategy and tactics for staging the Revolution. One can go further and compare the two literatures – Christian and Communist with the literature on military science. Again, the close similarity is striking. One can, therefore, conclude quite safely that Missiology is simply another name for waging war on non-Christian societies and cultures with a view to conquer and convert them completely.

The war was hot and waged with whatever happened to be the most lethal weapons at any time, so long as the states in Europe served as the secular arm of the Church. In this first phase of a permanent war, there was no crime, howsoever horrendous, which Missiology did not prescribe or endorse, and which was not practised by the holy warriors with great glee and clean conscience. The blood-soaked history of Christian missions which preceded or accompanied or followed the armies of European imperialism, has been narrated by the missionaries themselves. Men like Francis Xavier stand out in this record as hardened criminals masquerading as religious priests.

The hot war came to end only when the imperialist powers realized that their empires could be jeopardized if the sword was used overtly in the service of the cross, particularly in the countries of Asia where the infidels were proud of their religions and cultures and capable of coming out with armed resistance. Missiology was forced to devise methods of waging a cold war by manipulating human minds. Armed might was to be called into service only when missionary provocations enraged the natives and riots broke out. For the rest, massive finance and media power provided more effective weapons.

In this second phase of the permanent war, Christian missions mounted vicious campaigns of calumny against the religions and cultures of the conquered people so that the latter could be disarmed ideologically, deflated psychologically, and thrown on the defensive all along the line. At the same time, programmes of proselytization were launched for crystallizing in the heart of subjugated societies whole colonies of converts. Country after country was honeycombed with this bastardized breed always ready to serve as the fifth-column of Christian-Western imperialism. In most cases, the converts proved to be more faithful than their foreign masters.

The game was going on smoothly and satisfactorily when it was spoiled by the retreat of Western imperialism after the Second World War. What was more ominous for Christian missions, Christianity itself was found out and suffered a collapse in its traditional homelands. Missiology was now called upon to devise still more devious methods, not only for camouflaging the fangs of a criminal creed but also for finding a new home for it elsewhere, particularly in the Hindu-Buddhist countries. The lead for forging more sophisticated methods was given by the Second Vatican Council after prolonged deliberations during 1962-65. The foremost among these new methods was described as ‘dialogue’. The missionaries were directed to ‘discover whatever was of value in other religious traditions’ and proclaim that ‘salvation was available’ in those traditions as well. The fact that this concession rendered the Christian missions redundant was neither faced nor mentioned. The purpose of ‘dialogue’ was far from honest.

In the context of ‘dialogue’ with Hindus, the first purpose is quite obvious. Hindus who participate in it recognize explicitly or implicitly that Christianity is a religion and that those who are out to spread it have a legitimate place in this country. The second purpose of ‘dialogue’ is to search for and locate segments of Hindu spiritual tradition which sound or can be made to sound similar to some Christian tradition. A ‘common ground’ between Hindu Dharma and Christianity can then be proclaimed and used for conveying Christianity in Hindu attire. The third purpose is to probe for points of resistance which Hindu mind may harbour vis-a-vis Jesus Christ, the Christian message and the Christian missions so that mission strategy can be suitably revised for overcoming the resistance.

Needless to say that Hindu participants have to be of different types for serving the different purposes of ‘dialogue’. The Hindu who qualifies for the first purpose has to be more or less ignorant of Hindu Dharma as well as of Christianity. The Hindu who suits the second purpose should be somewhat knowledgeable about Hinduism but an innocent abroad when it comes to Christianity. Hindus of both types are available easily and in plenty, particularly because the bait of foreign trips for holding dialogue in better places and with brighter people is always there. What has proved difficult is the search for a Hindu who can serve the third purpose of dialogue.

So dialogue for serving its first two purposes has been going on for quite some time. Christian organizations qualified for holding Hindu-Christian dialogue have mushroomed all over the country in recent years. The proceedings are reported in the Christian press as well as in the publications of these organizations. Books on Hindu-Christian dialogue or common ground between Hindu Dharma and Christianity have also been multiplying, particularly in Europe and the U.S.A. Periodicals devoted specifically to Hindu-Christian dialogue have also been launched.

A dialogue for serving its third purpose could be held only in January 1994 when Arun Shourie, the noted journalist and scholar, was invited by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) to present a ‘Hindu assessment’ of missionary work in Bharat. But unfortunately for-the managers of this dialogue, it went out of hand and misfired. Ever since, the giant Christian establishment in Bharat has been smarting with the hurt which Arun Shourie has caused. The uproar he has raised can be compared only with the uproar which had followed the publication of K. M. Panikkars’ Asia and Western Dominance in 1953. Missiology has been mobilizing its arsenal of apologetics and polemics in order to control the damage that has been done to Christian claims and pretensions.

It is difficult to say why the CBCI chose Arun Shourie for dialogue. All one can do is to infer from known missionary motives. Here was a Hindu, they must have thought, who was a man of stature, and known for his scholarship as well as pronounced sympathy for Hindu causes. His writings and speeches so far gave no indication that his commitment to the Hindu spiritual vision was profound, or that his knowledge of Christian doctrine and history was wide-ranging. He could, therefore, be expected to provide some clues to the current Hindu resistance to Christianity, and at the same time say something about Jesus Christ or Christianity which could be advertised to the advantage of Christian missions.

The CBCI was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation, and holding a Seminar at Ishvani Kendra, a Catholic seminary in Pune. Almost all the Catholic big-wigs in India were present when Arun Shourie gave his talk on 5 January 1994. He had been given two Conference documents : ‘Trends and Issues in Evangelization of India’ and ‘Paths of Mission in India Today’ – which the Seminar was discussing. His critique was confined to missionary methods, more or less on the lines laid down by Mahatma Gandhi during his prolonged encounter with Christian missionaries. Some of those present asked some questions which also were similar to the questions the Mahatma had been asked earlier. The atmosphere was cordial all through. At the end of the session, its president remarked, “It has been a feast.” After his return to Delhi, Arun Shourie received a letter dated 11 January 1994, from Augustine Kanjamala, Secretary to the Conference, thanking him for sparing time from his busy schedule, and requesting him to give a presentation in writing so that it could be published along with the talks of various speakers of the Conference.

Arun Shourie completed the paper pretty fast. He gave it the caption, ‘Missionaries in India’, and sent a copy of it to Kanjamala on 20 January 1994 with the request that it be published with the two Conference documents as annexures because it had references to and citations from them at several places. He received from Kanjamala a letter dated 9 February thanking him for completing the work and sending it promptly but pointing out that the paper was too long for publication along with other contributors. Kanjamala asked him if it was possible to cut it down to, say, 10,000 words. Finally, on 27 February 1994 Kanjamala came to meet Arun Shourie at the latter’s home in New Delhi and informed him that his paper would be published along with responses from six or so persons who were working on the matter.

In the two months that followed, Arun Shourie expanded his paper with material from the history of Christian missions in Bharat during British rule. He highlighted the motives from which missionary work had proceeded, and the consequences it had entailed. He cited ample evidence to show how the work of undermining Hindu Dharma and keeping Bharat enslaved had been shared between missionary scholars and scholar missionaries on the one hand and the British administrators on the other. And he pointed out how the genes planted then had grown into the flours de mal, the flowers of evil which continue to poison the perceptions of our elite to this day. Finally, he offered an analysis of the two Conference documents to show how Christian missions had continued the same work of subversion in post-independence Bharat with such adjustments as were dictated by the new situation.

By the time the paper was fully elaborated, it had acquired the size of a book. Arun Shourie published it in early May 1994 under the title, Missionaries in India: Continuities, Changes, Dilemmas.1 The two Conference documents were included in it as annexures for purposes of ready reference. A copy of the book was sent to Kanjamala with compliments and thanks for the invitation extended and the opportunity given to the author to delve into the subject. Meanwhile, Arun Shourie had written several articles on the subject in his syndicated column which appears in more than a score of newspapers published in several languages all over the country. The articles evoked a lively discussion in the Maharashtra Herald of Pune.

Kanjamala was quick to acknowledge receipt of the book by his letter dated 18 May 1994. But what followed the acknowledgment left Arun Shourie aghast. Firstly, Kanjamala accused Arun Shourie of publishing our seminar material without permission, and enclosed a corrected and revised version to be included in a new edition of the book. Secondly, he sent an article, ‘Hinduization or Christianization’, and insisted that it be incorporated as a chapter in the new edition as per agreement arrived at ‘when we met each other in Delhi in February.’ Thirdly, he suggested that the cover page of the new edition should carry his name as coauthor because his article and the two Conference documents would together form one-third of the book. Finally, he requested Arun Shourie to let him know when the next edition is coming out with the revised material, and promised to promote it.

Kanjamala had given away the game he was playing or was forced to play, when he confessed in the same letter that ‘some people are very displeased with me’, and appealed to Arun Shourie to ‘appreciate my situation.’ Arun Shourie was prepared to sympathize with the man placed in plight, perhaps for no fault of his own. But he was not at all prepared to concede to that man the right to invent stories, tell lies, and let his fancy run a riot. So he chided Kanjamala in a long letter dated 24 May 1994. The letters which Kanjamala had written to him earlier were still in his file. He used them to put the record straight. He repudiated as a total lie Kanjamala’s story that there was an agreement for including in the book a chapter written by Kanjamala. He turned down Kanjamala’s suggestion regarding co-authorship as contrary to his nature and practice as a writer. And he pointed out that at no stage before or after his talk in Pune or in the letters written to him subsequently, he was given to understand that the two Conference documents were for private circulation. In fact, he had been given not one but two sets of the documents with the word ‘Draft’ written clearly on top of the first page in each case.

Kanjamala wrote back that what he had conveyed in his letter dated 18 May 1994 was due to a misunderstanding. Arun Shourie expressed his happiness to Kanjamala, and thought that the cloud had blown over. But he had not taken into account the patent missionary methods. He found that a vituperative campaign had been launched against his book and against him personally. Articles started appearing in various newspapers and publications of the Church, attributing motives to him and misrepresenting as well as .denouncing his book. Several Christian scribes had joined the campaign. But Kanjamala was in its forefront.

PRAJNA BHARATI, a forum for intellectual discourse and discussion with headquarters in Hyderabad, invited several senior Churchmen to discuss Missionaries in India on a public platform with Arun Shourie. All of them excused themselves on one pretext or the other. At last the forum extended an invitation to Kanjamala. He agreed to participate in the discussion on the condition that he would present his critique before Arun Shourie gave an answer. Arun Shourie had no objection to Kanjamala having the first salvo.

The discussion took place on 4 September 1994 in a big hall at Hyderabad. The hall was packed to capacity. The discussion and the question-answer session that followed lasted for three and half hours. Kanjamala made the following points:

1. Literature showing Hindu antagonism to Christian missionaries is nothing new. The Arya Samaj had produced such literature in the past. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and many other organisations are producing it at present.

2. Arun Shourie has written the book for a specific readership in mind, namely, the people belonging to Hindu organizations, and with a specific purpose in view, namely, to present Christian missionaries as enemies of the nation.

3. The missionary and allied literature cited by Arun Shourie in support of his main argument pertains to the colonial period of Bharat’s history. It was written in a different context and is, therefore, dated and irrelevant in the present situation.

4. Conversations of Gandhi with Christian missionaries, writings of Vivekananda, and conclusions of the Niyogi Committee Report also belong to a bygone age. They relate to an antiquated world view, mission view, mission theology, concept of salvation, role of Christian missionaries and evangelization.

5. Arun Shourie’s book is aggressive and his interpretation of data exaggerated. His strategy is negative. He has a hidden agenda because nowhere in his big book he says anything positive about the work and contribution of Christian missionaries. He is preoccupied with missionary activities aimed at conversion. He has not even mentioned eminent Christian scholars such as Bede Griffiths, Klaus Klostermaier, Abhishiktananda, Sara Grant, Amalorpavadas, Amaloor, Raimundo Panikkar, M. M. Thomas etc. whose contributions to Indian thought are well-known.

6. Arun Shourie has not taken into account the lead given by the Second Vatican Council. He has quoted from CBCI documents which were only working papers of a seminar but not referred even once to the statement2 issued by the CBCI at the end of the seminar.

7. Recent Christian thinking on missionary activities has a very positive attitude to all the world religions. The primary motive of these activities is not conversion. The old mission idea of salvation is on the way out.

8. Arun Shourie says that missionary activity should be subject to public scrutiny. But who will be the scrutinizer? Bharat’s parliamentary and judicial systems are in decline. Government of Bharat is biased against Christian missions.

9. Conversion movement among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and some backward communities is simultaneously a protest movement, and not necessarily a salvation movement. Hindu society has sections to whom social liberation has great appeal. Ambedkar had also led a similar protest movement.

10. Christian missions are blamed for trouble in the North-East. But the trouble is not due to religion; it is politics, the same as in Punjab and Kashmir. Why should Arun Shourie choose the North-East in particular?

11. The question is often asked that if salvation is possible in other religions, what is the usefulness of Christian missions? The answer at present is that missions witness and express God’s love and promote love, justice, peace and human dignity.

12. Christianity is 2000 years old in Bharat, while missionary work is only 500 years old. For a. long time, the government in Bharat was on the side of the missions; yet Christians remain an insignificant minority in this country. It should be obvious that Christianity poses no threat to Hindu Dharma; yet Christians are being subjected to physical attack in all parts of the country, particularly in the Hindi belt.

13. The small Christian community, a mere two percent of the total population, has made great contributions in the field of education, medical help, and care of the poor and the destitute. Christian missionaries like myself are always prepared to suffer great hardships and travel to distant places in order to render service.

14. Even a staunch critic of Christianity like K. M. Panikkar has admitted that clauses of the Indian Constitution which pertain to the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, are a Christian contribution. There are only a few people who are willing to stand on the side of the poor and the marginalised. Gandhi had tried his own experiment but failed. What remains now is the Christian missionary experiment.

15. Arun Shourie has spared not even Mother Teresa in his book. But she is the ideal for a majority of the missionaries.

Kanjamala ended his critique with a prayer of Mother Teresa, and another of St. Francis of Assissi.

Arun Shourie developed his rejoinder along the following lines:

1. Christian missionaries have made great contributions in many areas. Many missionaries have been dedicated people. Nobody in Bharat’s public life is opposed to Christian propagation of faith. Kanjamala should not fight battles with imaginary enemies.

2. Christians in Bharat are open to a dialogue, unlike the Islamic community which has stamped out dialogue by its verbal terrorism. The CBCI dignitaries deserve tribute for inviting discussion.

3. The book contains quite a few references to the positive contributions made by Christian missions. Kanjamala should have read the book with greater care. He has misrepresented the book in several other instances. He should read again pages so and so.

4. Missionary attacks on Hindu Dharma were not mistakes; they were gross exaggerations and wholesale distortions made with a purpose. Swami Vivekananda and Gandhiji pointed out repeatedly that the motive of these attacks was to malign Hindu Dharma. Even so it is admitted that these attacks helped to hasten the work of Hindu reformers.

5. Hindus by and large did not get converted to Christianity, not because the missionaries did not try but because Hindu society has always had inner strength.

6. It is wrong to say that missionaries could have used state power for effecting conversions. The fact is that state power was not available to them. By the time British rule became established in Bharat, Christians in Europe had become humanised and overt use of state power was not allowed for conversions. Islam had used state power during its rule. Look at the result. If today Bharat’s Constitution is changed to say that Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Chapter Ill are available only to Hindus, you will see Christians and Muslims flocking to the Hindu fold.

7. Kanjamala says that Arun Shourie has not spared even Mother Teresa. But the book does pay handsome tributes to her. Kanjamala’s comment, therefore, is not a good example of Christian honesty.

8. Kanjamala says that 85% of the Christian priests do not want conversion. Yet conversions go on, covert and overt. The book provides evidence, not about methods of conversion used in the past but about methods which are being used at present.

9. It was only when the book was published that Kanjamala started proclaiming that the Conference documents reproduced in it were confidential. This is dishonest. On the other hand, the document which he offers as the final statement, is a whitewashed document. The author could have been held guilty if he had published some selected passages from the earlier documents. But he has published them in full at his own expense. He did so because unlike the final statement, the earlier ones are candid and straight-forward.

10. Citations from old missionary literature are being dismissed by Kanjamala as belonging to a bygone age. But the sophisticated slander they carried has been internalized by the Indian elite. That is why our country stands bewildered today. That literature is, therefore, not yet dated. Moreover, Kanjamala’s own articles in the press published recently prove that the sophisticated slander continues.

11. The book does discuss changes in missionary thinking and cites the Conference documents in this connection. Had it dealt with changes supposed to have been introduced by people like Bede Griffiths, the author would have landed in court on a charge of defamation.

12. The current missionary literature contrasts Jesus Christ with Rama, Krishna and Mahadeva, and says that while the former died and rose on the third day the latter died for good. The author can cite what the latest biblical scholarship says about Jesus. But he does not want to go into that at present. Even the gospels carry contradictory stories about Jesus.

13. Kanjamala says that Arun Shourie has a hidden agenda. Arun Shourie has no need to hide anything. He says openly that he wants to save the country from the sweet poison which missionaries are spreading about Hindus Shastras, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and Hindu Avatars. How would Kanjamala feel if somebody wrote the same way about Jesus and Mary Magdalene?

14. The world has to be grateful to Pope John for bringing back compassion in the Christian doctrine. But the CBCI Secretary’s Report views this change with great concern. The Report mourns that the new doctrine has killed the motive for missionary work, namely, conversions. The Church in Bharat finds it difficult to accept the change.

15. The fact is that the change has been brought about by the collapse of Christian belief due to progress of science and technology. The some thing has happened to Marxism. Islam is bound to meet the same fate.

16. Kanjamala refers to the Nazi persecution of Jews. It is, however, Christians who have persecuted Jews for 2000 years. That was because, by an act of fraud, the gospels shifted the responsibility for killing Jesus from Pontius Pilate to the Jews.

17. When the book refers to missionary subversion in the North-East, it quotes not some RSS source but a report of the Joint Intelligence Committee of the Government of Bharat. The author has changed only the names of places and persons mentioned in the report. But the means and methods employed by the missions come out clearly. Kanjamala’s own articles say how they are alienating converts in the North-East from the rest of Bharat.

18. Christian missions claim that they have brought about a change in the social status of converts. But the CBCI’s own report admits that there has been no change, and discrimination against Dalit Christians continues in the Church. Christian missionaries are now agitating for reservations for Dalit converts. All that the missions have succeeded in doing is to spread abominable superstitions among the Harijans and tribals.

19. Christian scholarship is quite mischievous. It has distorted Bharat’s history. For instance, the national heroes of the 1857 rebellion against British rule are being presented as villains. This scholarship says that tribals are not Hindus. People should read the discussion in Census reports about how to describe the tribals. There was a deliberate attempt to name them as non-Hindus by inventing new terms like animists etc. Christian missionaries are continuing the fraud. The same method was used by missionaries like Macauliffe to separate Sikhs from Hindus. Ambedkar also fell into the missionary trap in respect untouchables when he demanded separate electorates for them. Kanjamala gives the recent example of Hindus converting to Buddhism at Patna. He does not mention the quarrel that arose when it was discovered that the show had been financed by a Christian group. Christian missions happen to be patrons of people like Rajasekhara Chetty and Kanshi Ram, and the poison they emit.

20. Kanjamala claims that Christian missions are working for the welfare of tribals. But when Sarvodaya workers or the RSS starts welfare activities such as schools in the tribal areas, the missionaries are up in arms. The fact is that they are not bothered about welfare of any people. All they are trying to do is to find a new home for Christianity in the poor countries because Christianity has collapsed in Europe and North America. Modernization has bankrupted the Church everywhere. That is why the Church is worried over untouchability dying out in Bharat.

21. Christian missionaries should be honest when they try to convert anyone. The person should be informed about what the latest biblical scholarship says about Jesus Christ. He is no longer an historical figure. The convert should not be kept in the dark about the rationalist critique of Christianity and the Bible. Otherwise the convert is bound to suffer from tension when he or she learns the true facts later on.

Arun Shourie ended his answer by examining the prayers d by Kanjamala. He found them full of ‘our’, ‘I’ and ‘me’, meaning the Church and the Christians. Why pray for only one community? Why not for all people? The Upanishad prayers, he said, breath a different, a universal spirit.

There were some questions at the end. Kanjamala repeated the same arguments as earlier, though in a different way. Arun Shourie fixed him again with new quotations from missionary literature, and more facts about missionary work.

While I prepared for publication Arun Shourie’s encounter with Kanjamala,3 I noticed a few weaknesses in the former’s argument.

Firstly, a Hindu does not have to subscribe to the negative-positive syndrome in respect of the work of Christian missions. There can be nothing positive about poison which is what Christian missions have been and remain. One need not subscribe to Mahatma Gandhi’s preposition that Christian missions quickened Hindu conscience and expedited Hindu reform movements. Hindus had been reforming and renewing their society long before Christianity was born, and did not have to wait for Christian missions to stand up and perform. Moreover, the reform movements inspired by Christian missions have only derailed Hindu society and made it ape the Christian-Western model.

Secondly, Hindus are not called upon to do homage to a Christian hoax like Mother Teresa. She is a synthetic product manufactured by Christian media power and prize-distribution devices. All she has done is to portray Hindu society in nasty and negative colours. It is time that Hindus see through the humbug.

Thirdly, the Christian attempt to date its historical record should be viewed in the context of Christian dogma which has created that record. So long as the dogma remains constant, the record cannot be dated, no matter how soft the new verbiage happens to be. The Christian argument that old missionary writings should be overlooked as belonging to a bygone age, is absolutely phoney.

Fourthly, there is no evidence that Pope John or the Second Vatican Council brought back compassion in the Christian doctrine. The statement implies that the Christian doctrine did have compassion to start with and had lost it at some stage. This is not true. The doctrine was cruel and aggressive at its very birth. Pope John can at best be credited with realism which made him see the collapse of Christianity in the West, and give a call for change of tactics so that Christianity could secure another home.

Meanwhile, another musketeer of the Christian Mission in Bharat was trying to engage Arun Shourie into another duel. Vishal Mangalwadi with headquarters in Mussoorie, U.P., wrote ten letters to the author of Missionaries in India between 8 August 1994 and 21 September 1995. Arun Shourie glanced at the first letter and consigned it to where it belonged – the waste-paper basket. The others that followed remained unopened and met the same fate. He had better things to do than go through the garbage collected by a professional practitioner of suppressio veri suggestion falsi. Mangalwadi published his letters in the form of a book in early 1996. “I had hoped,” he mourned, “that Mr. Shourie would reply to my letters, so that eventually we could publish our dialogue – perhaps jointly. However, since he chose not to, these letters are now placed before the reader as a monologue.4

In his letters, Mangalwadi tries to look very learned. He consumes a lot of verbiage but says very little. He cites many books like his own, and drops any number of names which nobody except his own tribe has ever heard. He also advertises that he has been on frequent trips abroad, and spoken on varied subjects in different countries. But none of it is likely to impress the reader who knows what the whole-time hirelings of Christian missions are doing normally and non-stop – spilling ink, trotting the globe, and blowing hot air – while dwelling on the one and only theme, namely, that Christianity has a monopoly over Truth with capital T. “God has revealed the Truth,” says Mangalwadi, “in His Word (the Bible).” Those who have read the Bible with the eyes of European Enlightenment, can only comment that Jehovah does not cease to be the Devil he is simply by being labelled as God, and that-the most wicked book known to the history of mankind does not cease to be so simply by being sold as ‘His Word’.

For the rest, Mangalwadi’s 524-page monologue can be summarized in a few sentences. He wants us to believe that the Christian missions have been, and remain, ‘a conspiracy to bless Bharat’, and that the atrocities to which this country was subjected during the British rule should be blamed on people like Clive. It is the same stereotyped song which a whole tribe of Christian scribes has been singing over the last several decades in order to salvage Christianity from its horrible history. But unfortunately for the tribe, the history of Christianity and its missions everywhere has been documented in great detail by Western scholars. What is more, in days not very distant, the hawkers of the only saviour have themselves chronicled their gory deeds with considerable pride.

These first-hand accounts leave little doubt that Christian missionaries were the most criminal elements in the colonial establishments of the West, and that the teaching which activated them came from Jesus Christ. Secular colonialists like Clive had caused only physical injuries to the conquered people, and robbed them merely of material wealth. The soldiers of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, uprooted their victims from the latter’s spiritual habitat, and deprived them of their souls. Mangalwadi himself is an excellent example of what happens when a Hindu embraces Christianity.

A word about the jargon with which Mangalwadi starts his exercise. He dismisses Arun Shourie by pigeon-holing him as post-modern. He does not know that Hindu Dharma has its own view of Time, and that a person who serves Sanatana Dharma cannot be dated. Scholars like Arun Shourie belong neither to the past, nor to the present, nor yet to the future. They belong to a timeless span. By the same logic the history of Christianity cannot become dated so long as its basic theology remains intact. It is no use changing verbiage. What needs changing is the dogma, namely, that Jesus Christ is the one and only saviour.


1 ASA Publications, New Delhi, 1994.

2 In his letter dated 18 May 1994, Kanjamala referred to the documents as draft report and to the statement as the revised and corrected version of the draft report. He sent it to Arun Shourie after Missionaries in India was already in print. How could Arun Shourie refer to it in the book? Moreover, the statement reflected nothing of the draft report, namely, the two Conference documents. It consisted entirely of stereotyped missionary claims and slogans.

3 Arun Shourie And His Christian Critic, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1995.

4 Introduction to Missionary Conspiracy: Letters to a postmodern Hindu, Mussoorie, 1996.

(To be continued…)


Book: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (AD 304 to 1996) (Chapter 1 & 2)
Author: Sita Ram Goel
Originally published:1989 (2nd edition 1996)
Published by: Voice of India
Available on: Amazon

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