Finally a tiny piece of ‘objective’ news as a consolation for justice to Hindus. 

BUT, imagine what the coverage would have been if it was seven Hindus convicted for the murder of a Christian pastor …….. 

Seven convicted for Laxmanananda murder of 2008

IANS Sep 30, 2013, 10.33PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: A court in Odisha Monday held seven people guilty of the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his aides in Kandhamal district of Odisha in 2008, a lawyer said Monday.

Special additional district session Judge R.K. Tose pronounced the verdict in his court at Phulbani, the headquarters of Kandhamal district, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, prosecution lawyer Bhagaban Mohanty told IANS.

 The quantum of sentence would be pronounced Oct 3, he said.

Those convicted were Duryodhan Suna Majhi, Munda Bada Majhi, Sanatan Bada Majhi, Garnatha Chalanseth, Bijay Kumar Samseth, Bhaskar Suna Majhi and Budhadev Nayak.

The convicts were part of a mob of about 50 people who had attacked the swami and his aides, the lawyer said.

All of the convicts are Christians and they had committed the crime because according to them the swami was forcing Christians to convert to Hinduism, the lawyer said.

Two of the men were convicted under the Indian Arms Act, 1959, for possession of illegal guns, the lawyer said. “The judge convicted them purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the deposition of witnesses,” said lawyer Mohanty.

Saraswati and four of his aides were killed at his ashram at Jaleshpata in Kandhamal district Aug 23, 2008. The killing triggered communal violence in the state, in which at least 38 people were killed.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, who held Christians responsible for the murders. Police, however, blamed the murders on the Maoists.

Police arrested seven people and filed a charge sheet against them in January 2009.

The crime branch subsequently arrested two more people, including Maoist leader Polari Rama Rao. It also filed a supplementary charge sheet in 2011 against them and five others, including Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who are still absconding.

The court is scheduled to pronounce its judgment on the second charge sheet Tuesday.

The BJP welcomed the decision.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu said: “We welcome the court’s verdict. The investigation should continue till all the conspirators are nabbed.”

“A criminal has to be punished whichever religion he belongs to. The moment he commits a crime he loses his religion,” Orissa Minority Forum president Swarupananda Patra told IANS.

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Conversion!. A topic that our leaders rarely talk about, a news item that our media is usually reluctant to report or explore, a truth that majority of  Indians are either ignorant about (and prefer to remain so) or brush it aside as propaganda of right wing Hindus of the RSS, VHP or BJP  kind.

India is the favorite hunting ground of the evangelist Christian soul harvestors because there is no fear of retribution, unlike the Islamic countries  or communist China.

The vast majority of Indian Christians, coming from socio-economically deprived background, and converted under false pretext (as below) hardly ever get to realise  the promises doled out to them. But a section of the leadership do enjoy great undue privileges because of their religious affiliation. 

A large section of the Indian public is confused with the repeated affirmation that ‘all religions are the same’ and still suffer from the colonial aura that anything that has a flavor of being English, Christian or Western has to be  progressive and modern. 

The enormous amount of resources including funds available (mostly  from  foreign countries, often in the form of genuine donations by ignorant westerners, done in good faith), the advantageous opportunities accessible through ownership of private health and educational institutions,  a favorable atmosphere enabled by the ruling government and the menace of vote bank politics – all have contributed to the wildfire spread of Christian evangelism, often violent, thoughout India in recent years, especially the states of North East India and that of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and  Tamil Nadu.

Unfortunately such news, as below, are not highlighted ( may not be ‘permitted’ or ‘profitable’) by our media, at least not  even close to the overwhelming zeal with which they sensationalize Valentine Day protests or vandalised church or try to glorify Pink Chaddi or Slutwalk campaign.

 

The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal

An Indian missionary charity falsely portrayed young Buddhist girls from Nepal as “orphans” of murdered Christians in a global fund-raising operation involving British and American churches

Parents paid a child-trafficker more than £100 to take their daughters to good schools in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, but instead they were taken more than 1,200 miles to Tamil Nadu, southern India.

At the Michael Job Centre, a Christian orphanage and school in Coimbatore, they were converted to Christianity, given western names and told that its charismatic founder, Dr PP Job, was now their father.

On websites, the children were given serial numbers and profiles. The charity claimed they had been either abandoned by their parents who did not want the financial burden of raising girls, or orphaned after their “Christian” parents were murdered by Nepal’s Maoist insurgents.

The profiles were used to attract financial sponsors from around the world.

Many of the donors were in the United States, Holland and Britain, where Dr Jobs’s sister organisation, Love in Action, is run from St Mary’s C of E Church in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset. ………………….. (deleted)

 

and the update

46 more children with parents identified in Sulur orphanage

 COIMBATORE: The ongoing probe into the alleged international child trafficking racket involving an orphanage here after 23 Nepalese children were found in their custody under the guise of orphans has become murkier. The Child Welfare Committee probing into the institution has identified and sent 46 more children to their rightful parents so far.

More such cases are expected to crop up in the coming days claimed officials involved in the process. Majority of these children were from Assam and Bihar. Even though they were not orphans, they were lodged at Michael Job Centre for Orphan Girls in Sulur.

“We are probing into the matter. More such children were identified and the Child Welfare Committee is expected to send a detailed report to me in the coming days. It is a sensitive issue and we have to handle it carefully,” said M Karunagaran, District Collector, Coimbatore.

The chairman of the institution Dr PP Job, a famous evangelist based out of New Delhi was also asked to appear before the Child Welfare Committee but has not complied with the order so far.………..

………. The officials have also cancelled the license of the centre. As of now 485 children reside there and are given a formal education. ……… (deleted)

 

 

 In a way admitting “inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means”.

Christians issue rule book for spreading faith

By Robert Evans 

Reuters – Tue, Jun 28, 2011

 GENEVA (Reuters) – A coalition of major Christian churches including the Vatican launched a rule book on Tuesday for spreading their faith that aims to reduce hostility from Islam and other religions to efforts to convert their followers.

The five-page code of conduct, which has been under negotiation since 2005, was unveiled at a Geneva news conference by the World Council of Churches (WCC), a senior Roman Catholic prelate and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

It urges Christians wanting “to share the good news of God’s kingdom” — missionary work or simply publicly testifying to their faith — “to build relations of respect and trust with all religions” and adapt their approaches to local conditions.

It reaffirms their right to proselytise, or promote their beliefs and seek converts.

But it also urges them to abandon “inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means”, saying that such behaviour “betray the gospel and may cause suffering to others”.

The code, entitled “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, comes amid growing tension between small local Christian communities and majorities from other religions in many, especially Muslim, countries.

This is often sparked by the activity of missionaries, both overt and covert, who seek to convert non-Christians, and are often denounced by local religious leaders — Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist — as enemies of what they see as the true faith.

In some Islamic countries, a Muslim who converts to another faith can face the death penalty, and Christians who proclaim their religion are often accused of blasphemy, which can also be a capital offence.

In recent years, there have been increasing incidents of attacks on Christian churches seen as the focus for conversion activity — in Pakistan, Egypt, India, Indonesia and others — in which many Christian believers have died.

The new code — initially promoted by the Geneva-based WCC, which unites a wide range of Protestant and Orthodox churches — says conversion “is the work of the Holy Spirit”.

But Christians should “conduct themselves with integrity, charity, compassion and humility, and overcome all arrogance, condescension and disparagement” with regard other religions.

However, it declared that religious freedom — which many activists argue does not exist in Muslim countries — and the “right to publicly profess, practice, propagate and change one’s religion” are based in human dignity.

And it calls on governments “to ensure that freedom of religion is properly and comprehensively respected, recognising that in many countries religious institutions and persons are inhibited from exercising their mission”.

(Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Alastair Macdonald)

Binayak Sen – connecting the dots.

Arindam Bandyopadhyay

(published in www.ivarta.com)

Fans of Dr. Binayak Sen, a Maoist sympathizer, convicted with life imprisonment for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, by trial court and whose initial bail appeal was rejected by Chhattisgarh high court, have ample reasons for jubilation in recent times. Not only did the Supreme Court grant him a bail but he was also appointed to the National Health Planning Commission’s steering committee.

It is no secret that Dr Sen enjoys a huge popularity and has a long list of national and international supporters, including Nobel laureates like Amartya Sen, other prominent Indians including leftist academician Romila Thapar, Christian leader John Dayal, ill-famed activists Teesta Setalvad, self proclaimed Swami Agnivesh and Suzanna Arundhati Roy, a seditionist and a pro-Maoist herself.

Statements of support for him had come from Amnesty International, The Global Health Council, and various national and international institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge of United States.

His arrest has even been lamented on a British Medical Journal editorial and termed a ‘mockery of justice’ by Lancet, another medical journal form England.

No wonder, he was endorsed by 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights and the South Korean Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2011.

The Binayak Sen case has brought our judicial system on to the dissection table. A section of the citizen seem to think that trial court and high court decisions need not be honored and respected, unless a verdict is favorable. The widespread nature of the protests and the vitriolic condemnation that was thrown from all quarters at the lower court’s decision just because it was against the likings of Dr Sen and his supporters, starting from the Maoists themselves up to those in Vatican City, defies logic, unless it is believed that some people think they are special and hence above ‘common laws’ of the country. Unfortunately such whirlwind of protest has also dragged in many unsuspecting onlookers from various walks of life, from students to general public, artists to intellectuals, to join the demonstration across the country and abroad.

Nevertheless, in the imperfect socio-political system that we belong to, where scams and scandals are tumbling from the closet almost daily, there is bound to be some skepticism when unusual things happens specially involving controversial people. And most will agree that nominating Binayak Sen, who has not yet been cleared from his sentence for life imprisonment for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, to the National Health Planning Commission’s steering committee is not only unusual but also against all norms and propriety

The least one can hope is that our Prime Minister, who happens to be the Chairman of the Planning Commission is made aware so that he cannot plead ignorance as he did with the appointment of P J Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner

But in reality it is clear that some strong power is backing Dr Sen. This is obvious from the mind-boggling support and patronage that Dr Sen has been provided all along, including that of multiple Nobel Laureates. One can further judge the level of international interest and influence by the fact that a team of Europeon Union delegates had requested and was actually allowed to attend and monitor Dr Sen.’s court hearings following approval by hidden hands in the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India.

Surely Binayak Sen is not the first or the only accused, who feels that he may be a victim of injustice, nor is his case the biggest or the most significant in an international or even national scale. Thus it would be extremely naïve to assume that he just got very lucky to draw the huge amount of national and international attention.

As expected, a large group of Dr Sen’s supporters belong to the leftist – quasi liberal – pseudo secular and minority focused Indian civil right activists groups who are often seen up in arms in an orchestrated fashion against common interests, but only in selected cases that give them enough fame and mileage. In the past, they were heard protesting the Gujarat riots of 2002 or the Orissa riots of 2008 but they never spend a word on the 58 Hindus burnt alive in the Godhra express carnage or the brutal killing of the 84 year old, Hindu Swami Lakshmanananda and his associates as the cause of those riots. You did not hear them lament for the lives of our security forces but saw them meeting hardliner separatist leaders for peace initiative, whatever that means. Intriguingly, while elsewhere in the world, Islam and Christianity are in religious conflicts, it is interesting that in India they work shoulder to shoulder whenever they find a cause to fight the majority Hindus.

Perhaps they learn this art of selectivity from the international human rights organizations like Amnesty International that has been up against the Sri Lanka government for coming down heavily against LTTE, an organization with open Christian ties but somehow miss the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits.

It is a profitable and thriving business to be a civil activist or to be associated with a non-Government organization (NGO). Besides providing a sense of superiority and the right to criticize indiscriminately, it also provides an opportunity for continuous limelight and media attention, without necessarily shouldering any responsibility. Most NGOs are not people’s organizations as they are projected but often facades of some well-connected and well-off people.

Indian NGOs collectively receive huge financial support from abroad, often in unaccountable deals. In the decade 2000-2009, about 36000 Indian NGOs received foreign funding of Rs.69,000 crores and in 2008-09 only 55% of them reported their accounts. For some NGOs, up to 70% expenditure is done on establishment and travels.

A large number of these Indian NGOs have western connections and often are religiously affiliated to Christianity and / or involved in missionary sponsored activities. Western money funded, Christian NGOs top the list of foreign contribution recipients and it is now an open secret that at least some of that money is spent on various nefarious activities like money laundering, illegal conversion and other blatant anti-Indian use, including funding Maoists and Terrorists.

According to Tehelka, almost all evangelical organizations in India and non-Catholic churches and the Christian NGOs get their funding from their American patrons or from USAID. The largest of such, World Vision, has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO. Thus one can imagine their reach and influence. World Vision’s conversion activities and NGO-Maoist nexus was accused as the root cause of separating the tribal of Orissa that lead to the Khandamal Riot after the brutal killings of Swami Lakshmanananda in 2008 that was carefully camouflaged as Maoist violence. It is used as the harping point of the dubious United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to keep India on a watch list that was gleefully welcomed by John Dayal, secretary of the All India Christian Council.

These self-appointed foreign religious policemen conveniently overlook such Christian sponsored terrorist outfits of North East Indian states like the Nagaland and Tripura or the large-scale conversions and ethnic cleansing sponsored by the Church of Mizoram and neighboring Assam.

To sum up, there seem to be a Christian – western scheme working in full gear in India, where unaccountable foreign money is pouring into India as ‘aid’, that is further funneled though well organized NGOs and activists, who claim to work in tribal and backward areas for development of the “poor and downtrodden”. In effect though, they are involved, overtly or covertly, in various subversive activities. These same areas then happen to give birth to separatists like Maoists and terrorist organizations, which flourish and not unexpectedly happen to promote Christian agendas including illegal conversions and ethnic cleansing. They instigate local agitation with terror and mayhem and then cry foul when retaliated upon or when law and order machinery works against them, taking shelter under such umbrellas as ‘human rights’ or ‘minority protection’ as applicable. They further utilize their civil society friends and other support system including the paid media, to spread their story to national and international audience, in an effort to create pressure over local bodies, judiciary and government alike.

What has all of this to do with Binayak Sen?

Besides being a hotbed for Maoist activities, Chhattisgarh state has also been the site of persistent Christian protests for its anti conversion stand. The CM of Chhattisgarh, Mr. Raman Singh had this to say recently, regarding protests against Binayak Sen’s arrest, “…during the last two years, no one from Chhattisgarh has led a protest in any town, village or city. These protesters came from outside—they would come in aeroplanes, wearing good clothes and perfume. No one recognized that these well-dressed people were coming from France and London. … (Sen) has links with NGOs that work in Chhattisgarh. His close links with missionaries are well known.”

Thus one wonders whether the support of Dr Sen especially from international personnel and organization has anything to do with his association with NGOs, Christians and missionaries.

While Dr Sen has been convicted for his role in pro Maoist activities and while even Church leaders admit that Maoists are sympathetic to the Church and are supporting the priests in carrying out their missionary activities, we are not aware of any direct association between Dr Sen and evangelical or missionary activities though there are ample evidences to suggest that there is a huge Christian backing for him.

Incidentally, Binayak Sen and his wife have an NGO outfit called Rupantar, which reportedly harbored Maoist employees and had bank accounts worth Rs. 4 million without tax returns.

According to his wife, Binayak Sen is associated with Indian Social Institute (ISI) that claims to be engaged in strengthening the people’s movements particularly from among the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the most Backward Castes, the Minorities, the unorganized and landless laborers and women and incidentally its governing body board members are almost exclusively Christians by name.

Of further interest are news of Christian leaders distressed over conviction of Dr Sen, of the solidarity expressed by The National Council of (Protestant) Churches in India (NCCI) against his conviction, and of the vigor with which his news are published on websites that specialize in Christian prosecution.

In their organized protest including a letter to the PM, representatives of the Delhi Christian community actually compared the ‘situation’ of Binayak Sen to that of Jesus Christ himself and blamed, in a blanket statement, that Human rights defenders are being targeted, and silenced, by all sorts of forces – from sections of the judiciary, administration and police on the one hand to political extremists on the other hand.

One wonders why the Christians leaders are so specifically concerned for Dr Sen?

In this context, it is curious that the first recipient of the South Korean Gwangju Prize for Human Rights award, which Dr Sen got in 2011, was a similar militant and Jesuit activist from Indonesia, who was instrumental in carving out the new Christian country of East Timor with Western aid.

In his defense one may argue that Dr. Binayak Sen, a product of the Vellore Christian Medical College, did actually start working with the poor and underprivileged but somewhere, intentionally or unintentionally, got trapped in the Maoist ideology, like so many others did in the late 60s- early 70s, during the Naxal movements of West Bengal. It is possible that he is just an innocent person who happened to be with wrong people at wrong time and in the process developed some significant acquaintances with Maoists, ending up giving shelters or providing money or acting as an intermediary?

It is even feasible that his popularity is now been used by the central government, aided by civil society activists and NGOs against the state government for political gain. Many of these supporting activists (including noted anti-Hindu personalities like Harsh Mander, John Dayal and Teesta Setalvad) actually also grace the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council which is a superpower that govern the UPA government headed by a meek and often ignorant Prime Minister. As expected, many of these  NAC key members had lambasted the Chhattisgarh trial court ruling calling it a “crime,” a “disgrace” to democracy, a politically motivated “kangaroo trial, with total disregard to the judiciary of the country.

Is there a role of the Catholic high command of the Congress Party or her close and trusted predominantly non-Hindu, associates? In the current state of affairs, where loyal and bogus activists are given free reign to draft rules and supervise over important government institutions though the NAC, one do worry whether indeed we are seeing the making of a banana republic out of India. The recent U turn of Anna Hazare once again confirms that these civil society activist are meant to play special roles that suits the UPA governmant.

The offer and specially the timing of the Planning Commission appointment for Dr Sen make one wonder whether it is part of the sinister design.

Hopefully in due time we will come to know the whole story which our media is too hesitant to investigate or publish now.

Despite our wish to the contrary, we are aware that occasionally our court can be infallible too, as we recently experienced when the honorable Supreme Court chose to reverse its own statement on conversion. We hope that this time, our judiciary stands up and deliver proper justice without being influenced by the cacophony of protests, orchestrated by various vested interest groups of national and international communities.

It is obvious that Dr Binayak Sen, despite being convicted for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, by lower court and high court, has a long list of national and international supporters. 

These include Nobel laureates Noam Chomsky and Amartya Sen, and several Indians including leftist academics like professor Romila Thapar, Lawyers like Prashant Bhushan, Christian leaders like John Dayal and ill-famed activists like Teesta Setalvad and Swami Agnivesh who have all lined up to demand his freedom

Statements of support for him had come from Amnesty International, The Global Health Council, and various national and international institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Jadavpur University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge of United States, Tata Institute of Social Science and Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata,

His arrest has even been lamented on a British Medical Journal editorial and termed a ‘mockery of justice’ by Lancet, another medical journal form England.

No wonder, he was endorsed by the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2008 and the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2011.

Furthermore, Europeon Union delegates expressed their desire to visit Dr Sen’s court hearings and sure enough some unseen hands in the Indian government allowed  these people to ‘monitor’ our court.

This is what the CM of Chhattisgarh, Mr Raman Singh had to say,  “As a doctor, no one knew Sen in Chhattisgarh. …….. during the last two years, no one from Chhattisgarh has led a protest in any town, village or city. These protesters came from outside—they would come in aeroplanes, wearing good clothes and perfume. No one recognised that these well-dressed people were coming from France and London. … (Sen) has links with NGOs that work in Chhattisgarh. His close links with missionaries are well known.”

Interestingly Christian leaders have been specifically distressed over conviction of Dr Sen, lending support that there is a different angle to the whole story which our English media is too afraid to investigate or publish. After all the existence of Maoists and Christists nexus is not unknown in tribal belts of India where conversion activities are creating havoc. 

 

UPA endorses a Maoist

 Seditionist on Planning Commission panel

It is absurd, to say the least, that the UPA Government, obviously acting on the instructions of the Congress, should have thought it fit to nominate Binayak Sen, found guilty of being involved with Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition, to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health. Binayak Sen has been sentenced by the trial court; his appeal against the verdict is pending in the High Court. The reason he is out of jail is not because the verdict has been overturned, but the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, has granted him bail that was denied by the lower courts. It is possible — and there are sufficient examples of courts letting off offenders for a variety of reasons that do not require elaboration —that the Supreme Court may ultimately absolve Binayak Sen of the charges framed against him and upheld by the trial court. That verdict would have to be accepted as it is the highest court of the land. But as BJP leader Arun Jaitley has pointed out in a separate matter, the fact that the Supreme Court is the highest court of justice does not necessarily make it infallible. That apart, for the moment Binayak Sen stands guilty as charged; he cannot be, indeed must not be, treated at par with law-abiding citizens of this country. In brief, he cannot be considered for membership of a Planning Commission committee as that would be tantamount to making a mockery of the laws that are meant to control criminal deeds and punish those who wage war on the state by willingly, actively associating themselves with terrorists — in this case Maoists. Let us not forget that Binayak Sen was charged — and found guilty — under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which has been amended by the UPA regime to effectively combat terrorism of all hues, and the Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam, 2005, which is meant to specifically deal with the Red menace. It was not a kangaroo court that tried Binayak Sen, but a secular court of the republic.

By nominating Binayak Sen to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health — on the specious pretext that he has done ‘sterling’ work as a “people’s doctor” for which he has won foreign awards — the Government has questioned the very legitimacy of a law it has in the past showcased as an instrument to fight terrorism as well as a State-specific law it has approved as necessary to deal with Maoists. The Left-liberal intelligentsia, which has never been known for being mindful of the national interest and whose leading members are known for being propagandists of those who wage war on the nation, especially the Maoists, has been the most vocal in its support for Binayak Sen, as have been NGOs with dubious records. This is not surprising. But that the Government should have acted in such manner is both surprising and shocking. Are we to assume that the National Advisory Council, which is stuffed with Left-liberals and jholawallahs, is behind the decision to nominate Binayak Sen as a member of the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health? That would be of a piece with the ‘Save Binayak Sen’ campaign that has been mounted ever since he was arrested for acting as a courier of top Maoist leaders, facilitating their stay and movements in Chhattisgarh.

Binayak Sen: Convicted of sedition, advising the plan panel

 DNA / R Vaidyanathan / Friday, May 20, 2011 3:13 IST

 Within weeks of getting bail from the Supreme Court in connection with charges of sedition, Binayak Sen has been made a member of the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health, which will advise the panel on the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Interestingly the mainstream media reported Sen as a human rights activist — whatever it is — rather than his conviction for sedition. The steering committee will review the National Health Policy, 2002, and explore the possibility of adopting the right to health as an approach with special focus on women, children, life-cycle care and preventive and curative healthcare.

Other than doing seditious activities, Sen is supposed to be running a healthcare organisation in Bilaspur and so Syeda Hameed, another jholawala [silk variety, not jute] in the Planning Commission, has appointed him as a part of the 40-member committee on health chaired by her. Hameeda’s claim to fame is being from Miranda House and a human rights activist, and a founder of the South Asian Human Rights group other than researching on Bhutto. None of it has anything to do with health.

His appointment has been confirmed by Montek Singh Ahuluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, and the chairman of the Planning Commission, namely the PM, will claim, as usual, that he knows nothing about such events. Binayak Sen himself has also been gracious to accept it.

Many of the civil society groups, both in the NAC and outside, are silent. The rule of law is primary and critical for these groups if it is pertains to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat but not to the naxals of Chhattisgarh. The session’s court has convicted Binayk Sen for sedition and facilitating Maoist insurgency, which seeks to destroy the Indian State and replace it with the dictatorship of the proletariat, where power stems from the barrel of the gun controlled by the politburo.

The conviction (remember these are not allegations) was upheld by the Jharkhand high court and he was refused bail. There was a hue and cry after the high court judgment, with reports mentioning him as a doctor and globally known right activist who has won several awards. As if a Nobel laureate, for instance, cannot be a murderer.

Suddenly, the mainstream media (MSM), which is part of the civil society jholawalas, forgot about the rule of law and the need to respect judicial verdicts. Then the Supreme Court gave him bail, which was reported by the MSM as Sen “walking free”. That is a distortion since he is still a convicted person and is out on bail.

Sedition, as we all understand, is a serious charge and there are civil rights groups that carefully tabulate the number of convicts and accused criminals standing for election. They have reported the number of persons with a criminal background in the various legislative assemblies and even in parliament. Civil groups and MSM routinely condemn their presence in these august bodies.

Sen has not committed a misdemeanour but felony, or a very serious crime. Unless he is acquitted, he is a convict for sedition.

He may be the national vice-president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, but he cannot work to destroy all our liberties under a Maoist rule.

The chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, has expressed his indignation at the appointment of a convict for sedition by the central government in the Planning Commission. Baijendra Kumar, principal secretary to the chief minister, said that “the chief minister had disapproved of Sen’s nomination as he is convicted and out on bail. The case against him continues in court.”

But Raman Singh is merely an elected chief minister and not an unelectable jholawala — who currently hold de facto power at Delhi. It is all the more surprising that the ministry of home affairs is silent.

What next? Arundhati Roy, who is accused of treason, can be put in the National Integration Council and of course, Kasab can be part of the foreign ministry panel on Indo-Pak Aman ki Asha. And rule of Law – what is that?

Forceful conversion?

Must be a BJP, RSS or Bajrang Dal conspiracy.

Ask John Dayal, Ambika Soni, Digvijay Singh and they will vouch that such arrests are violations of the Christists’ right to propagate their religion peacefully .

I am sure a delegation will be visiting Sonia Gandhi and soon our Prime Minister will declare that it is a national shame.

 

Six held for forceful religious conversion

Thane, Apr 22 (PTI) Six persons were arrested from Vasai and Palghar areas here for allegedly indulging in forceful religious conversion of tribals, police said today.

The accused–Vincent Benedict, Alfansoi Davre, Cyger J D’Souza, Santia Manvel D’Souza, Solomon Shinde and Hari Rama–were held last night for forcing Hindu tribals in these talukas to convert to Christianity on the eve of Good Friday, they said.

The arrests came soon after scores of tribals protested in front of the Palghar police station demanding immediate arrest of those involved in conversion activities.

Bowing to pressure, police apprehended the accused and registered complaints against them under sections 295 A and 34 of the IPC late last night.

Fraudulent Conversion is an invasion of the sovereignty of our nation by the imperial Western colonialists. It is unfortunately, mostly trapping the unknowing and ignorant,  poverty-stricken, tribal communities, while the majority community remains dispassionate about the slow erosion of the Indic society, caused by the harvestors of souls.

Fraudulent Conversion happens because there is a overt or covert backing of the secular (read anti Hindu) leadership of the country, starting from the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi.

 

The question of Evangelism in India

 

Suhag A. Shukla.

“Conversion, murder and India’s Supreme Court” by Mathew Schmalz, Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross, was featured on Washington Post’s On Faith a few days ago. I take this opportunity to respond to two questions he posed, namely, “Is conversion wrong?” and “Is anger over conversion an extenuating circumstance for murder?”

I’ll respond to the second question first, as the answer is simple. No — anger over conversion is not an extenuating circumstance for murder. Violence of the kind inflicted on Graham Staines and his two young sons is wholly unacceptable, and against teachings of the Hindu religion, India’s legacy of peaceful intra and inter-religious coexistence, and the law. Many, including the Hindu American Foundation, though, see the specific comments by the Indian Supreme Court now modified, not as a basis for justifying extenuating circumstances, but rather an expression of the growing concern over foreign missionaries and their impact on India’s hallmark pluralistic ethos. This takes us back to the first question: “Is conversion wrong?”

The answer, as one might expect, is complicated. Professor Schmalz states that many Indian Protestant and Catholic denominations “eschew overt conversion efforts,” but the reason he cites as to why — that of “political repercussions” — short-changes the overriding influence Hinduism’s pluralistic worldview has had not only on Christianity, but other religions in India. India has long been a beacon of religious pluralism. The sage Hindu observation — Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti (The Truth is one, the wise call It by many names) — has fostered an environment in which an unprecedented diversity of traditions and religions have, for the large part, peacefully co-existed for millennia. Like America, India’s shores accepted and sheltered the religiously persecuted — from Jews arriving 2500 years ago, to early Christians bringing the message of Christ, not to Hindus, but to their brethren, the Cochin Jews. Later came the Parsis from Iran. Others came not to escape but on their own free will — Arab Muslims to trade, and others from far away lands seeking India’s spirituality. Each one of these newcomers sought to live and let live, mixing in, as the legend goes, like sugar in milk.

But since the 12th century, starting with the Islamic invasions and colonizing European missionaries to today, India faces a different kind of religious visitor — one that seeks not to sweeten the milk, but curdle it.

Exhibit A — the evangelical Joshua Project — is just one example of what India, at the heart of the 10-40 Window, is facing. The Joshua Project is an information powerhouse — detailing logistical information about people groups around the world, and providing ideas to Evangelicals committed to mass church-planting, and in turn conversions, among every ethnic group. The data is meticulous and well-researched, and both shocking and disturbing.

The Joshua Project lists the percentage of unreached in India as 93.3% — that’s basically every Indian Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist. Last-name, clan, caste, or tribe-based communities are catalogued according to location, religious affiliation, language, and population — the data collection puts the postal systems of most developed nations to shame. Technical acronyms such as CPI, or Church Planting Indicator, with a ranking system of 0 to 5, measure the progress of church growth based on churches established and number of “believers” regularly attending. Then there’s the progress scale which allows the “Saved” to track, well … “progress” of the “Harvest” — red indicating less than 2% Evangelical and less than 5% Christian, yellow indicating less than 2% Evangelical but greater than 5% Christian, and green indicating from 2% to greater than 5% Evangelical. And of course, what worldwide project of this scale and in this century would be complete without an iPhone App?

The response by a few states in India to campaigns inspired by projects like Joshua, and what can be characterized as nothing less than primarily American and European faith-based ops intended to alter Indian religious demographics, has been what most outside of India refer to as “anti-conversion” laws. Interestingly, many of these same states, as well as Indian states with rising inter-religious tension, when cross-checked with the Joshua Project’s “progress” scale, are states that show increasing green and yellow. Some may ask, what’s the big deal? Doesn’t the 2001 Indian census indicate only 2.3% of the population as Christian? Yes, but these percentages have come under question given the fact that a large number of converts retain their Hindu names and claim Hindu status for a variety of reasons. The data from Joshua Project, which doesn’t account for non-Evangelical efforts, also suggests rapid growth.

Contrary to what “anti-conversion” laws may imply by their title, they do not outlaw the right of any individual to convert based upon genuine faith, belief, study, or religious experience. They also don’t restrict Christians who provide social services in various parts of India with no ulterior conversion motive. Most anti-conversion laws seek only to address conversions “by force, allurement, or fraudulent means.”  They are the effort of sovereign states to regulate those, mostly Christian aid groups, for which the provision of aid to these vulnerable communities is not altruistic, but rather part of a soul-saving numbers game. While such motives have proven difficult to document, media reports following the 2004 Asian Tsunami revealed incidents where missionaries actually packed up and left when the residents of some tsunami-shattered villages in India refused to convert as a precondition for receiving material aid.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and other human rights groups have long decried these laws against fraudulent conversion that have emerged throughout the 10-40 Window, or as is more affectionately referred to by some missionaries, “The Resistance Belt.” Human rights violation or denial of religious freedom are the frequently recited mantras in these “watch-dog” circles. But as adherents and advocates of a non-proselytizing, non-exclusivist, pluralistic tradition, we at the Hindu American Foundation have always asked — the religious freedom of whom? The freedom of foreign missionaries to proselytize and prey upon vulnerable, generally poor people to convert them to a myopic religious worldview that denigrates or denies the legitimacy of all other traditions, or that of adherents of mostly non-exclusivist and pluralistic traditions, to be treated medically, educated, or employed without having to sell their souls?

Religious freedom, according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, incorporates, “the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This concept of religious freedom has unfortunately failed to address, at the expense of adherents of pluralist and non-exclusivist religious traditions such as Hinduism and other Dharmic traditions, the right to retain one’s tradition and to be free from intrusion, harassment, intimidation, and aggressive, exploitative, and predatory proselytization by non-pluralist and exclusivist religions.

The world community has for too long turned a blind eye to aggressive and predatory proselytization and resulting conversions that have been carried out for centuries in Asia, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Europe. This collective complacency is counter-productive to peace and has bred a resurgence in international campaigns which harass, intimidate, and exploit the most vulnerable segments of society by, among other ethically questionable methods, conditioning humanitarian aid or economic, educational, medical or social assistance upon conversion; overtly denigrating other religions to seek converts; and intentionally promoting religious hatred, bigotry (hate speech), and violence. Conversions gained through such means must be recognized for what they are — unethical, fraudulent, forced, coerced, or provoked.

Professor Schmalz says that the concerns about conversion are unfounded. But we need only look to the annual statistics of just one missionary organization and recognize that there is a multiplicative effect.

Exhibit B — Houston-based Central India Christian Mission. In 2010 alone, its evangelical missionaries proselytized to over 320,000 people and converted more than 19,600 inhabitants — that’s enough people to fill a basketball arena — in central India. This is only one of countless U.S. based Christian organizations engaged in aggressive and predatory “soul harvesting” campaigns. Consider the plethora of Catholic and Protestant organizations that are actively pursuing the monopolistic path of religious exclusivity, and the numbers, and more importantly, the impact, are beyond mind-blowing.

Exhibit C — eye-opening information from India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act which collects data on incoming foreign aid. In 2007, the top two non-governmental donors to India were U.S.-based missionary organizations, World Vision International at ~$155 million and Gospel for Asia ~$99.5 million — together that’s $255 million into India in just one year. Overall, an astonishing 18,996 organizations in India, a disproportionate number linked to Christian missionaries, received donations totaling $2.4 billion in 2007 alone.  And the inflow has been growing rapidly. 2007 showed contributions more than double of 2002. With these numbers, how can we say the concerns are unfounded?

At the end of the day, numbers and statistics, though illustrative, fail to address the very real human factor on the losing side of the proselytization and conversion equation. Conversion, when born from genuine faith, belief, study, or religious experience, can be beautiful. But, conversion begot by aggressive or predatory proselytization is a form of violence. As one of the co-founders of HAF, Aseem Shukla, eloquently stated, “The violence of conversion is very real. The religious conversion is too often a conversion to intolerance. A convert is asked to repudiate his sangha (community), reject the customs and traditions of his family passed down for generations, and refuse to attend religious ceremonies that are the very basis of daily life in much of the world. A person’s conversion begins a cascade of upheaval that tears apart families, communities and societies creating a political and demographic tinderbox that too often explodes.”

Got milk? India does and she’d like to keep it sweet.

Also Read: 

One more evidence: Sonia led Congress working for Christians

 Interview of an ‘honest’ Christian Evangelist in India

Fraudulent Conversion: Insider’s statement