Stop Fraudulent Proselytizing

Proselytizing is not new to India. It has been going on for centuries. Verily speaking, the conversion from one religion to other religion can go on only in democratic and tolerant societies or countries. This is a good sign for flourishing of different religions which can compliment and supplement to one another. But the way, the Proselytizing has been done in our country for the last many centuries are reprehensible and abhorring to say the least.
During the Mughal period large number of people converted to Islam mainly due to force and influence of the greedy and unprincipled landlords. The day the Mughal rule came to an end, we hardly find anybody embracing Islam. Similarly, with the advent of Britishers; the Christian Missionaries got patronage of the rulers and they started converting the people in a very discreet and shrewd manner. It must be noted here that Christianity in the coastal areas of Kerala is almost as old as in the place of its birth. It was limited to only a few hundred families, who were having a very close relationship of trade and commerce with the West Asian Counties. Similarly, Islam touched shores of Kerala almost at the same time when it was founded but then it also came very silently without creating any stir or disharmony in the social fabric.
However, for the last two hundred years Christian missionaries have been adopting all fair and foul means to woo the illiterate and poor people to their fold. Their areas of activity are mostly where there is a concentration of poor Adivasis and schedule castes.
The credit must be given to these Christian missionaries who have made significant contribution in the field of education and health. They have opened the good hospitals and acclaimed centres of modern education in different parts of the country. Nobody can lose sight of the fact that they provide selfless and dedicated service to people in far flung and unapproachable areas. They have done laudable works for which they deserve kudos. In contrast, we find that Hindus, particularly upper castes Hindus have been self serving and exploiters of those belonging to the low castes. So much so, that the low caste people had to struggle hard to find entry to the temples. On the other hand, this deprived section of the society was beseeching the right to pray in the temples but Brahmins, Rajputs, Banias and other strong intermediary castes were using force to keep them at bay from temples. This is the clear sign of the degeneration of a religion that has been claiming to be highly tolerant, catholic and metaphysically so high.
In such circumstances, when poor and illiterate people are joining Christianity, there is nothing surprising in it. However, for the last fifty years Hindus have realised the egregious mistakes that they have committed in distancing the low castes and Adivasis. As a result of it, numerous of them have come back to original fold. The Christians have not taken it in strides. They have been creating hullabaloo whenever there is move to bring back the neo converts to their old Hindu religion.
There is no gainsaying that they (Christians) are adopting the force, fraud, cheating, inducements and other blandishments for conversion and that is getting the stiff resistance by some outfits of Hindus. In India one has got the freedom to preach and practice any religion. One can change the religion if the heart says so. But the fraud and inducement is prohibited, which is what is allegedly being done by the Christian Missionaries. An example will suffice. Missionaries say that they have opened and managed such schools and colleges across the country as are attracting the elites; but they do not preach conversion and the same is proved by the fact that hardly anybody coming out from the portals of such institutions embraces Christianity. This shows that the Christianity is not a superior religion as to attract others, who are well to do, to its fold. That is why; they go to poor people and convert them by inducements.
Another example of Mother Teresa is given; that she was the embodiment of service. No doubt, she was. But it is often asked that how many persons who have gone to her Ashrams to receive the service of missionaries continued to remain to their original religion, possibly none. This makes amply clear that the service is a cloak, a smokescreen, a deception to convert the people to Christianuty.
Perhaps, this is in background of the tension that has erupted in Orissa in the aftermath of the assassination of a Hindu leader Swami Lakshmanand. The State Government will do a great service if the communal flare up is extinguished with heavy hand. It will be the first step to restore the amicable and harmonious relationship between the conflicting communities. It (Government) must also have to ensure that those who are engaged in the Missionary activities will not take the undue advantage of the poverty and illiteracy of the people.