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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What the Bolivian Coup teaches us about Christian Fundamentalism

Till recently Bolivia was a relatively less known South American country, overshadowed by the popularity of its neighbours such as Brazil and Argentina. The recent coup that brought down the leftist government and replaced it with right-wing Christian fundamentalists has turned the attention of the world towards this nation.

The left wing government of President Evo Morales was overthrown by Luis Fernando Camacho, a shady multi-millionaire with a Christian fascist bend of mind, who promised to deliver Bolivia to Christ and keep out native deities from the Presidential Palace.

Luis Fernando Chamacho at the Bolivian Presidential Palace

The faces of revolution

Bolivia has rich reserves of natural gas, the milking of which made business families like Camacho rich albeit at the expense of the labour class. It is believed that Morales’ nationalization of natural resources put an end to many business families hold on profitable business which ultimately lead to the coup by Camacho.

Camacho was the physical force behind the movement to replace a leftist government with a rightist pro-business government. However, business interests alone weren’t the reason for this coup. Camacho and his followers believe that Bolivia belongs to Jesus Christ and native Gods and Goddesses such as the Andean Earth Goddess Pachamama have no place in Bolivian landscape and neither do native indigenous religions. To prove their point, Camacho’s followers burnt Wiphala flags that symbolized the country’s indigenous population and the pluri-national vision of Morales. This group believes that native indigenous people are ‘Satanic’ and therefore should be brought into the fold of Christianity.

Rightist neighbouring countries and their support to Bolivian coup

Camacho sought the support of neighbouring countries with rightist governments such as Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. This coup’s greatest success, as that of Camacho, was that it has the support and blessings of USA all along. Initially, Camacho used opposition Presidential candidate Carlos Mesa as a front so that he could garner support from neighbouring countries for his plan of overthrowing Evo Morales. The Trump administration releasing an official statement celebrating Bolivia’s coup, declaring that “Morales’s departure preserves democracy” was the ultimate give away of America’s complicity.

Complicity of ‘liberal’ Western mainstream media

The Hinduphobic Western mainstream media has not just remained tight-lipped about the role of USA  in replacing elected governments with Christian fundamentalists who would act as their puppets, but has also backed such coups and take overs in South American countries. Western media takes pride in white washing the crimes of these fascist regimes only because their leaders are Christian fundamentalists (note how these media houses refer to them as Conservative Christians while Hindu leaders and organisations are often described with the vilest connotations, many a times even being called Nazi like)

François Gautier in his write up points out how both Indian and Western media are quick to defend Islam despite its violent history but would not extend the same courtesy to Hindus who have borne and are still bearing the brunt of attacks by both Christians and Muslims in one form or the other.

Christian fundamentalism

The problem with fundamentalist adherents of Abrahamic faiths such as Islam, Christianity is the belief in a monotheistic way of worship: one God, one true religion and one true book. This is what led to the Crusades , which were as violent as Islamic jihad that we witness today, if not more.

Christian fundamentalist regimes believe in wiping out native practices, religions and deities and replacing them with Christ as we saw in the case of Bolivia, or as is the stated aim of terror groups operating in Bharat’s North East like NSCN-K (mixes Maoist ideology with goal of ‘Nagaland for Christ’) or NLFT (wants ‘Kingdom of God and Christ‘ in Tripura). Co-existence is a term that their dictionaries don’t contain.

Wherever Christianity has dominated, natives have either lost out or struggle to keep their ancient practices alive. North-east Bharat is a good example where the British converted tribes by force, coercion or through incentives, thereby wiping out indigenous practices and replacing it with Christ and Bible.

Western media, that loses no opportunity to attack Bharat, Hindus, their culture and practices (more so since the advent of Narendra Modi), would never highlight atrocities carried out by Christian fundamentalists because these media houses view everything Western, including the Juedo-Christian belief systems, as innately superior to other civilizations, especially ‘pagan idol-worshippers’.

Liberals and their anti-Hindu stand

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) return to power with a larger mandate caused heart-burn to many of his detractors who had predicted his downfall. To their utter dismay, BJP led by PM Modi returned to power securing 303 on its own.

The advent of PM Modi and BJP has restored the pride of Hindus and to a large extent they have gone from self-pity to self-confident. People no longer feel shy to call themselves Hindus with a sense of pride. It is this sense of pride and nationalistic attitude that irks leftists and by extension their masters in Western media as well as the missionaries.

Hindu nationalism, unlike Abrahamic fundamentalism, aims to take Bharat back to its Sanatan Dharma (Hindu) roots. History is proof that Hindus believe in co-existence and have been tolerant to the extent of self-destruction at times, unlike Christian fundamentalism which has wiped out native traditions in several countries across the globe be it America, Africa or Australia.

Leftists better look at Bolivia and South American countries and be thankful to Hindus for being respectful of diverse faiths and ideologies. However, all respect has to be mutual in order to be sustainable, something that the new-age Hindu very well understands.

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