Thursday, September 4, 2008

Religion of StrangeLove

I don't know how else to say it. Calling it Religion of Love would be a misnomer. How else do you explain recent events in Orissa?

An 80-year old Swami is murdered for doing charitable work. And their is not a word of remorse from the Christian groups. I guess he was thy neighbor thou couldn't love. Perhaps they expected that their eye won't be met with an eye, and the only person not just blinded, but permanently eliminated from this world would be the Swami alone, with nary a consequences for those with the blinders of proselytism encoded in them.

Perhaps the missionary zealots forgot the wise words of their own, Pastor Niemoller, who's warning the local Hindus seemed to have picked up. They knew that they will have to act to protect themselves else there would be no Swami or ordinary Hindu left to speak for with them.

Predictably, there's a high-decibel chorus of outrage, lead by no less than the good ol' Pope Ratzinger. The Italian govt. on the Pope's prodding even dispensed with protocol and summoned the Indian ambassador over a sovereign country's internal issue.

The church establishment in India is vicious in its response. It has politicized school kids, forcing them to participate in wholly communal, orchestrated protests. Such egregious behavior on part of the church, poisoning precocious minds that is, has again been met with, what else but, silence.

They even made the kids carry placards with innocent-sounding messages such as 'eye for an eye makes the world blind' etc. Ironically, just the next day Pastor Strangelove, allegedly a church leader, who wished to remain anonymous, threatened that 'Christians may form militia for self-defense.' Whatever happened to the much touted turning other cheek and forgiving thing,  we can only guess. It reminds me of the missionary widow Gladys Staines who did "forgive" the hapless Dara Singh but lobbied hard to ensure that the might of Australian govt. would go after him.

Different forgiving strokes for us heathen folks?

All these for what? Numbers?! Is Christianity so weak that it won't survive without satiating the voracious church appetite for numbers? The underlying principle of proselytism is nothing but a darker shade of greed, which demands "More! More!! More!!!" It's the same delusion that has possessed those who dream of global domination, and total control. And it is antithetical to the tolerant ethos of modern world. Certainly that of a "secular, socialist, democratic republic." Which India is, constitutionally at least.

It is, as such, our civic duty to banish the intolerant credo of proselytism from public life. And if some fundamentalists among the Church groups cannot dissociate themselves from proselytism then they should start calling theirs Religion of Strangelove, malevolent and divisive. Because it's a scourge that we, and they, can do without. Otherwise we risk disrupting communal harmony and the secular fabric of India. And if the ruling secular class can't do it, then the aam aadmi will have to seize India back from them.

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