I read both Julio Ribeiro’s article in the Times of India and Dr. Kottoor’s well argued introduction that appeared in CCV with keen interest. Both were right from their perspectives.
But viewed from a different context in the light of the realities of the day in India, I beg to have a different view on the subject.
In societies deemed modern issues are examined rationally without the blinkers of blind faith.Belief systems evolved more than two thousand and more years ago have fewer adherents now.
We should not loose sight of the fact that Christianity is in the retreat mode now. Historical studies indicate that the religion, particularly Roman Catholicism, was imposed with coercion, prosecution and torture of the worst sorts. The professed ethos of this religion: universal brotherhood, consideration of the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the dispossessed, compassion, altruism, empathy, love, moral behaviour et al appears to have disappeared over time. What we have are empty slogans and catchy phrases. The monolithic monarchical Church operates in Mafia style with omertà as the mantra. The Church does not walk with people. It calls for blind obedience. Dialogue ANATHEMA to it.
The dawn of the Age of Reason and Enlightenment and Intellectual Revolution resulted in the crumbling of the Christian edifice. The scientific discoveries of Copernicus, Darwin, Galileo and others made the world view of this religion irrelevant. The social theories of Voltaire, John Locke, David Hume, J. S. Mill etc., contributed to Christianity’s downward slide. The French Revolution administered a fatal body blow to it. Democratic polity, in the place of Divine Right Rule, and the demise of Feudalism added to its woes. In today’s world Christianity is seen as intellectually out of synch with prevalent thinking.
The claim that Christian God is the only True God and that Christian Religion is the sole True Religion created by God have few takers now. The Christian religion has become a mad house of yelling, warring and antagonistic groups. These disparate Christian groups are at each others throats with devilish ferocity. Christianity’s influence is waning in large parts of the world except the Bible Belt of US, parts of Africa, most of the countries of Latin America and some pockets of Asia.
In India, different groups of Christians are hell bent on propagating their brands of Christianity among adivasis, tribals and economically and educationally backward segments by resorting to questionable means such as material inducements and false promises.
The entrenched castes, subcastes of India are fighting tooth and nail to retain their turfs with all the weapons in their possession. Introducing another religion in this milieu, perceived as alien to Indian heritage, will further exasperate the situation. Unlike many other countries with homogeneous ethnicity and religion, India is subcontinental in size, with hundreds of languages and cultural orientations. What is considered as the Hindu religion is not similar to Christianity or Islam. Indian society is riven with competing groups and subgroups. Converting the indigenous people into any of the subgroups of Christianity will further rend asunder the Indian social fabric. The wiser approach may be let the sleeping dogs lie undisturbed.
The alleged exhortation attributed Jesus “to spread the good news to the entire world” in the opinion of experts on the Bible is a later interpolation believed to be added in order to justify the Crusades.
It may be worthwhile to reiterate that India is vast geographically and populated by people of diverse ethnicity, cultural and religious persuasions, classes, castes, subcastes, adivasis, tribals and innumerable languages. It may be politically whole on the surface, but the fissures very deep. The wealth of India is concentrated in the hands of a few people. The country is among the lowest placed in HDI. There is chaos in the social, economic and religious spheres. Aggressive conversion efforts by Christian presbyters funded from abroad will further muddy the waters and result in disequilibrium.
Simply because the Indian Constitution confers the right to propa-gate ones’s religion, is it wise to create dissensions, discord, disequilibrium and turmoil in the Indian society by introducing a further fissiparous element in the form of the Christianity? Why any Indian should swallow the “white man’s refuse” called Christianity is incomprehensible.
The Catholic religion seems to be after the blood of the so called martyrs. Why this religion still wants to irrigate it’s killing fields with human blood? How much more blood this blood thirsty religion need to quench its thirst?
Why go all the way to remote regions in India and convert people to Christianity. There is a large number of Christians living in miserable conditions in the coastal areas and the interior back woods in Kerala and elsewhere. These Christians suffer from different types of deprivations. Why not the Churches in Kerala make efforts to ameliorate their conditions. Why not the Church take meaningful steps for the social, economic and educational improvement of the down trodden? What purpose is served in constructing massive church buildings spending crores of rupees except that it will enrich certain people? Why not utilise the resources for the benefit of the poor? Is not the way Jesus would have acted for his people?
Added to the woes of the members of the Christian Churches, are the ever greedy priesthood. Why can’t the ecclesiastics stop looting its members? Why not the clerics desist from spreading insane superstitious beliefs and mortal fear among its credulous followers? Why the brain washing through charismatic circuses, infant baptism, auricular confession from very young age, compulsory attendance to long winding Sunday services, catechism classes, tedious time consuming church weddings, church burials etc? Can’t the clerics refrain from their high handed, arbitrary, arrogant and dictatorial behaviour? Why charge huge fees for the various rites, willy nilly imposed on the faithful? The rampant corruption for admissions and jobs in the educational institutions run by the Church has crossed all boundaries. Who is benefitted from the construction of shopping complexes and acquisition of vast estates and other real estate? Scandalous stories about certain bishops are adrift. Why should the “Cattle Class” go on suffering at the hands of the cassock wearers?
Why should they put up with ALL-ROUND MORAL DEGRADATION OF THE CLERGY IN FINANCIAL AND SEXUAL MATTERS.