Christian conversion particularly among the janjatis in remote regions of the country is a grave problem. Several states have passed anti-conversion laws to stop conversions done through allurements and by force.
Various sections of Hindu janjatiya samaj have fought back against the Christian conversion mafia be it in Tamil Nadu or Jharkhand. A similar step was taken by the Mishmi community in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tezu. Community members blocked the proselytization efforts conducted through healing crusades by European churches.
The district administration appears to have favoured the evangelists as pointed out by Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), an organization fighting for the rights of indigenous communities. “Lohit District Collector in an act of retribution & to satisfy Europeans demolished Dangariya Baba Mandir”, tweeted LRO.
LRO shared a video and asked CM Pema Khandu to sack the district collector as well as restore the temple within 7 days.
The YouTube channel Talks of Tribes shared a video of the demolition and highlighted that the temple remained untouched even during the construction of the national highway. The channel pointed out that the religious sentiments of the people were taken into consideration when the highway was constructed in 2016-17 as a result of which a curved highway was built instead of a straight road. The temple was built around 1970-75.
It has also come to light that the Lohit District Administration has ordered the demolition of mandirs situated on the roadside. None of the officials was ready to comment on the issue. Locals have demanded an answer from the administration as to why such an ancient mandir is being demolished despite its holding religious significance for the locals.
“This road was accident-prone. However, after locals offered puja to the peepal tree and undertook regular puja at the spot after constructing a mandap, there was a significant drop in the number of accidents. Since Tezu has been in existence, the temple has stood here”, the channel said explaining the significance of the temple.
The channel highlights that presidents and secretaries of roadside temples have been served notices. It must be noted that most of these temples have been constructed by local communities who came together and collected funds for the same. The locals questioned why only temples were being torn down even as other illegally encroached structures are allowed to stand.