2003-08-11 11:18:23 UTC
1. Can you tell me a little about your background? How long have you been in
India? What prompted you to become a monk?
I was brought up in the foothills of western Canada. My family was middle
class and God-fearing and I was fed from birth on the strong meat of the
Old. Testament prophets. But in my early teens it was discovered that I did
not love Jesus and was not afraid of Jehovah. I was excommunicated from my
father's small Protestant church. It was a very liberating experience and I
left home soon afterward.
I began to read Buddhism and existential philosophy. Perhaps as a legacy of
my early years, I retained an avid interest in Christian history. I read
Gore Vidal's book Julian about the last pagan emperor of Rome. Julian became
my hero along with Alexander the Great. Julian was the great ascetic and
Alexander the great king and traveler. I followed in Alexander's footsteps,
visiting as nearly as possible every place that he bad visited.
I reached India in 1967 and immediately fell in love with Hindu
civilization. It is the best civilization of the Great Mother Goddess. She
is called Asherah in the Bible and the prophets are always cursing Her. As a
small child I had seen Her once in a garden, and later I had read about Her
in the Golden Bough. She has always cared for me, and like the great guru
Shankara I believe that She is the liberator of man and the revealer of
truth. I became a sannyasi because of Her. It is a sacrifice of love that I
am still trying to perfect.
2. What was your objective in writing The Myth of Saint Thomas and the
Mylapore Shiva Temple? You are quite critical of the Christian establishment
and their fellow travelers in the Indian media.
Most historians will tell you that St. Peter never went to Rome and did not
establish a Christian church there. Yet the very authority of the papacy
rests on this fiction and most educated people accept their claim. I was
interested in the Indian parallel, in seeing what the historians had to say
about the coming of St. Thomas to India and his establishing a church in
Kerala. I soon discovered that the most reputed historians of Christianity
including Eusebius, von Harnack, de Tillemont, Latourette, Winternitz and.
Bishop Stephen Neill, all denied the coming of St. Thomas to India. Some
denied his very existence.
In writing The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple (which I
did under the 'secular' pen name Ishwar Sharan), I also wanted to show that
there was a carefully orchestrated cover-up in the Indian English-language
media regarding the St. Thomas story. Indeed, even after two editions of the
book, The Indian Express and The New Indian Express remain the main
purveyors of the fable through editorials and their columnists A.J. Philip
and Renuka Narayanan. Little leftist magazines like The Indian Review of
Books, edited by the St. Thomas advocate S. Muthiah, also put in a good word
for St. Thomas when the opportunity arises. This is their unprofessional
response to the exposure of a fraud that does not serve their financial
Yet in writing the book and giving the source material for the legend, the
3rd century Syrian religious romance called the Acts of Thomas, my sincere
hope was that Indian scholars would take up the study of the legend
seriously. But this has not happened. Indian historians with their Marxist
bent of mind are not willing to touch it. They are afraid for their tenures
and their politically correct professional reputations. For the
English-language newspaper editors, all of them brown sahibs with brown
noses, the St. Thomas fable is a useful stick to bash Hindus with when the
occasion arises, as the story is a vicious blood libel against the Hindu
3. You allege that there is, in effect, a conspiracy of silence to hide a
lot of uncomfortable facts about Christianity in India. Why?
The establishment of the Christian church in India was intrinsically part of
the European colonial enterprise. Its history is shocking for its violence
and duplicity. Read the letters of St. Francis Xavier or the diary of Ananda
The Indian church today is not so much different from the original 17th
century church. It is very wealthy and corrupt and politically ambitious.
But it has learned the propaganda value of social service and is making a
great effort to disassociate itself from its colonial origins. This involves
a lot of deceit, of course, and a massive cover-up of past deeds. But as the
late Archbishop Arulappa of Madras would say, the end justifies the means -
even if that is not exactly what Jesus taught.
The Christian church uses the St. Thomas legend to claim a 1st century
origin for Christianity in India. It also claims St. Thomas to be a martyr
at the hands of a wicked Hindu priest and king. Better still, Christianity
becomes the 'original' Indian religion, as it would be older than many of
the sectarian Hindu cults practiced in the country today.
The whole idea is a gross perversion of truth and a grave injustice to the
Hindu community that has offered refuge to persecuted Christian refugees
down through the ages. It is Hindus who have been martyred by these same
Christian refugees starting in the 8th and 9th centuries when Syrian and
Persian immigrants in Malabar destroyed temples to build their St. Thomas
churches. It is Hindus who were martyred in Goa by Catholic inquisitors and
in Madras by Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican priests who operated under
the protection of the Portuguese. And it is Hindus who are martyred today by
the Christian churches and the secular press who support them, including the
BBC - all of whom have mounted a base campaign of vilification and calumny
against Hindu religion and society.
4. You make the startling revelation that the fondly believed story of St.
Thomas, an apostle of Christ, coming to India and establishing an Indian
church, is a convenient fiction. What was the original rationale for this
story? Who propagated it? What has been the consequence?
The original rationale for the St. Thomas story was to give the first 4th
century Christian immigrants in Malabar a local patron saint. The story also
gave them caste status that was important in integrating them into Hindu
society. There is nothing unusual in a refugee community creating this kind
of mythology of identity and it is part of the process of getting
established in a new land.
The St. Thomas legend, which they brought with them from Syria, was easy
enough to adapt to India. St. Thomas was already the patron saint of "India"
, "India" being not the subcontinent that we know but a synonym for Asia and
all those lands that lay east of the Roman Empire's borders. 'India' even
included Egypt and Ethiopia in some geographies, and China and Japan in
The Syrian Christian refugees had been led to India by a merchant who is
known to history as Thomas of Cana, i.e. Canaan, but is also known as Thomas
of Jerusalem. Over time it was natural enough for the Syrian Christian
community to identify their 1st century patron saint Thomas the Apostle with
their 4th century leader Thomas of Cana. As a result of this process it is
now mistakenly accepted by most educated Indians that St. Thomas came to
India in 52 CE and established a Christian church at Cranganore in Kerala.
5. The great Kapaleeswar Temple in Mylapore, Madras, was demolished,
according to you, and that is where the San Thome Cathedral now stands. This
is news to many people who believe temple demolition was largely a Muslim
The evidence for the demolition of the original Kapaleeswar Temple is
according to a variety of sources including government records and
archaeological reports. There is the presence of temple rubble in the San
Thome Cathedral walls and in the grounds of Bishop's House (removed since my
book's publication). The news of the demolition of the original temple was
not news to anybody of a past generation and was discussed in the Madras
newspapers during British times. The origins of the present Kapaleeswar
Temple are recorded and directly reflect and confirm the destruction of the
It is true that Hindus do not associate temple breaking with Christians.
That is due to the success of the historical cover-up of which the ASI and
the state archaeological departments are partly responsible. But we in the
West know better about Christian history and have access to a vast stock of
published material that is not usually available in India. We know that
every great pagan temple in Europe and the Mediterranean basin was destroyed
and replaced with a church after Christianity gained political ascendancy in
the Roman Empire. We also know that it is not any different in India today
where Christian missionaries hold sway in remote tribal areas) because we
have seen the evidence.
In Central India, Orissa, the Northeast, even Arunachal Pradesh and Nepal
where missionaries cannot officially operate, village temples are demolished
and sacred images broken by new converts. The video films of these "good
works" are then shown on TV in Europe where missionaries go to collect funds
for their evangelizing effort.
Temple breaking in India seems to have originated in the 8th or 9th century
with Nestorian Christian immigrants from Persia. They built churches on the
temple foundations and then attributed the temple breaking to St. Thomas
himself by claiming he built the churches in the 1st century. Franciscan,
Dominican, and Jesuit priests destroyed temples in Goa, Malabar, and Tamil
Nadu in the 16th century. St. Francis Xavier left a fascinating written
record of his temple-breaking work on the Coromandal Coast. The Portuguese
entombed the Vel Ilang Kanni Amman Temple near Nagapattinam and turned it
into the famous Velankanni church called Our Lady of Health Basilica. The
Jesuits destroyed the Vedapuri Iswaran Temple in Pondicherry and the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception now sits on the site. The
list is very long. Christians were destroying temples long before the
Muslims got into the act.
6. I have heard some Christians say that they believe that the Bhakti
movement in Tamil lands was influenced by Christian ideas of a personal god.
How do you respond?
Christian missionaries and Marxist intellectuals have a mantra: There is
nothing Hindu in Hindustan and nothing Indian in India. According to them
everything of value in Indian civilization came from outside, from someplace
beyond the pale of Sindh. They are aware of the Hindu's low self-esteem and
seek to undermine it further.
Be that as it may. Devotion to a personal god is there in the Rig Veda
itself: "Oh, Agni, be easy of access to us, as a father to a son." Dr.
Pandharinath Prabhu tells us in his much-acclaimed book Hindu Social
Organisation that the very term bhakti first appears in the
Svetasvataropanishad. Bhakti is there in the Puranas and finds its best
expression in the Bhagavad Gita; a better expression, I must say, than is
found anywhere in the Bible. Tamil bhakti has its roots in the Tirumantiram,
ca. 200 BCE.
So there is no influence from Christianity at all. But even if it was true
that Christianity influenced Hindu concepts of a personal god, what do
Christians gain by making such a claim? Hindu bhaktas direct their love and
devotion to Shiva and Murugan, Vishnu, Krishna and Rama, not to Jesus. Jesus
has failed in India! And failed and failed and failed again in India!
7. There appears to be an effort on the part of certain Christian groups to
'indianize' the church: for instance, they have created a cult of the Infant
Jesus to compete with the worship of the Baby Krishna, and a cult of the
Madonna to compete with the worship of the Mother Goddess. Is this a genuine
effort at cultural synthesis?
The Pope has made it absolutely clear in the Vatican document called Dominus
Jesus that enculturation and indigenization are the means by which the
Indian heathen is to be evangelized. Enculturation is not an effort at
cultural synthesis but a means of conversion. Its object is to undermine the
integrity of Hindu religion and culture and subsume it into Christianity. It
is a tried and true method. It is by this method that Christian missionaries
starting with St. Paul undermined Greek and Roman religion and culture and.
took it over for themselves.
Christianity is a simple personality cult with an elitist ideology. It can
be insinuated into any open society. It is parasitical in nature and feeds
on the spiritual and cultural body of the society it invades. In the process
it destroys the invaded culture and absorbs it into itself. This is what
happened in Pagan Europe..
Hindus do not understand this process because Hinduism is spiritually
self-sufficient and does not require outside nourishment. At the same time
Hindus are flattered by the attention given to their religion and culture by
Christian operators and are vulnerable to their overtures. See my dialogue
with Fr. Bede Giffiths in Sita Ram Goel's book Catholic Ashrams concerning
this important subject.
8. Some Christians have written to me quoting various Sanskrit texts to
"prove" that they foreshadow the arrival of Jesus Christ. What do you think
Prophecy is the last refuge of the religious scoundrel and unfortunately the
Indian missionary community is made up entirely of scoundrels. They can find
and foreshadow whatever they like in scripture (be it Hindu, Muslim or
Christian) because of scripture's obscure language and context and the poet'
s use of allegory and metaphor. For example, Bible scholars know that the
Old Testament "prophesies" concerning Jesus' birth are forced contrivances
of interpretation and editing used to give Jesus divine legitimacy and.
royal linage. They know that these prophecies are false but because they
appeal to the believer's imagination and reason and help inculcate faith in
Jesus, they continue to be quoted as divinely inspired and true.
In India a favorite method of foreshadowing from Vedic texts is closely
related to the enculturation process. Christian preachers simply appropriate
the meaning of Sanskrit terms and claim them for Jesus. They argue in a
round about way that terms like Isa, Ishwara and Parameswara only ever
referred to Jesus in the first place! I have got letters from Baptist
converts who claim that Prajapati is really Jehovah!
If Christian missionaries want to find Jesus in the Veda and Christ in India
they can do so with the help of clever and amoral scholars like Fr. Raimundo
Panikker. He and they should carefully consider that these "inspired"
claims, and, indeed, the inducement to convert by means of these claims is a
sin against the Holy Spirit. According to their own doctrine, there is no
forgiveness for a sin against the Holy Spirit. But the real problem is not
that Christian religious entrepreneurs invent prophecies and manipulate the
meaning of Sanskrit texts, the real problem is that Hindus accept their
claims at face value and do not know how to reply.
People who follow prophets invariably become idolaters of The Word. They
believe that the prophet's word is divine word, that a man's word is God's
word. It is the worst kind of idolatry and leads to the religious
fundamentalism and violence that we are witness to today throughout the
9. If you criticize Christians in any way, their immediate response is. "We
are a tiny minority of two per cent of India's population, and see how much
social work we are doing." How do you respond to this?
The question of numbers of population, which for Christians is something
like three per cent, is very misleading. Not long ago India's millions were
ruled by a cadre of 30,000 Christian foreigners. It is not a question of
numbers but of institutional wealth and influence, of organization,
political ambition and high ideological motivation, and, especially, of
undue control of institutions like education and health care that counts.
And then there are the special constitutional privileges for minorities that
make Hindus second-class citizens in their own land, and the uncritical
sympathy for all things Christian in the English-language press.
It is an absurd situation. No country in the world allows a minority
community to dictate to the majority the way India does, or to allow a
foreign-trained minority community to proselytize in a society that has
never proselytized and cannot protect itself against the psychological and
emotional assault and material inducements that go with proselytisation. No
country in the world would allow virtually unchecked the foreign money and
expertise that flows into the Indian churches, much of it under the guise of
social aid, when the bigoted leaders of these churches have declared over
and over again that they intend the religious and spiritual annihilation of
the Hindu community.
10. There is a shadowy group called Opus Dei that is supposed to be doing
significant theoretical work to help spread Christianity around the world. I
believe the well-known Indian-Spanish Jesuit priest Raimundo Panikker is
associated with them. What do you know about them?
Opus Dei is everywhere but nobody really knows anything about them except
their Vatican banker and the Pope who is their special advocate and patron.
They are an authoritarian secret society with members in such places as the
CIA and MI5. I am inclined to doubt that they would employ a theologian like
Fr. Raimundo Panikker because he is a married priest and they are advocates
of strict church discipline. Their fronts in India (and other developing
countries) are scholars associations, history conferences, Hindu-Christian
dialogue seminars, certain NGOs and aid agencies (all missionary outfits use
NGOs and aid agencies as cover for their proselytizing activities), some
Western embassies and the English-language media.
Opus Dei is especially interested in creating favorable public opinion for
the Catholic Church and has infiltrated every major English-language daily.
Read the op-ed page and letters column in any big city newspaper and you
will probably find the handwork of Opus Dei. They want to manipulate and
control public opinion. They would never employ a venomous journalist like
A.J. Philip but soft columnists like Renuka Narayanan are definitely on
their list of honorary lady Jesuits.
11. Arun Shourie and other scholars have detailed the on-going assault on
Hinduism by Christians from British times. Do you see this clash of
civilizations abating any time soon?
The clash of civilizations will continue, indeed, will become more
pronounced, unless Christianity and Islam give up their religious bigotry
and worid-conquering ambitions. This is very unlikely as bigotry and
religious imperialism are inherent within their belief systems. These
systems have to be reformed, but cannot be reformed because their adherents
believe that they are the work of Gods of divine revelation. As the systems
cannot be changed, the adherents of the systems have to be weaned away from
them. This has happened in Europe and, to a lesser extent in America where
Christianity has been abandoned for a rational humanism and Vedantic
spirituality. But it has riot happened in the Islamic and Marxist worlds of
Asia and will not happen without a war.
12. In your book Koenraad Elst quotes the fact that the place where Jesus is
alleged to have been crucified was "divined" by Emperor Constantine's mother
in a dream. What similar stories do you find in Christian mythology in
In the 4th century when Christianity gained political clout in the Roman
court, the Emperor's mother Helena "divined" various sites in Palestine
which, she claimed, were associated with the life and death of Jesus. These
sites already had old Roman temples sitting on them. Nevertheless, in
Bethlehem the Church of the Nativity was built on the ruins of a demolished
Adonis temple and in Jerusalem the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built
over a Venus temple that had been destroyed on Constantine's personal order.
See Joan Taylor's book Christians and the Holy Places.
The parallel in India is the identification of various temple sites in
Kerala with St. Thomas and the building of churches on them by Christian
immigrants from Persia in the 9th century. Nestorian Christian missionaries
were active on the West Coast and up into Kashmir and Ladakh in the 9th and
10th centuries, and it is they who left crosses carved on rocks and various
Christian signs and symbols that later European writers of historical
fiction have associated with a life of Jesus in Kashmir.
In the 16th century the Portuguese "divined" various sites in Madras at
Mylapore. Saidapet, and Big Mount (now known as St. Thomas Mount) that they
claimed were associated with the martyrdom and burial of St. Thomas. The
temples that occupied these sites, including the original Kapaleeswar Temple
referred to in the hymns of Jnanasambandar and Arunagirinathar, were
demolished and churches built on their ruins.
13. There is a certain school of thought that says Jesus Christ came to
India and that a lot of what he taught is based on Hindu and Buddhist ideas.
The idea that Jesus came to India as a boy and studied in a Buddhist
monastery or, alternatively, came to India after the crucifixion and married
a princess of Kashmir, tickles the romantic imagination of Western travelers
and quite a few Indiana too. The story originates in a clever piece of
fiction by the Russian forger Nicholas Notovich that was published in Paris
It cannot possibly be true, and if it is true it destroys completely the
special claims made by Christian doctrine, of the sacrifice made on the
cross and the resurrection, and the vicarious salvation of the Christian
believer. The Buddhist monastery where Jesus is said to have studied did not
exist until the 16th century, and the Srinagar tomb where he is allegedly
buried is really the tomb of a Mogul ambassador to Egypt who converted to
Christianity while on tour there. The key to unraveling the tale is to study
the activities of the 10th century Nestorian Christian missionaries who
passed through Kashmir on their way to China and left crosses on rocks and
an abundance of children with biblical names in their wake.
The Hindu and Buddhist ideas found in the New Testament books, including the
Sermon on the Mount, were picked up by the gospel writers in Alexandria from
Indian pundits and monks who were teaching there. But it should be
remembered that the New Testament books contain ideas quite the opposite of
Hindu ideas of pluralism and tolerance. For example, there is the virulent
anti-Semitism and religious bigotry of the gospels. Jesus was perhaps the
first religious teacher in history to threaten his critics with eternal
14. There is another school of thought that says Jesus Christ did not
actually exist and that the legends about him are a collection of stories
about several other leaders and teachers of the time. Comments?
It is quite true that the New Testament books as we know them today are
composite works edited and rewritten a number of times after the 4th century
Council of Nicea. Christian doctrine was formalized as this council and
Jesus was raised from mortal prophet to immortal God by a vote of the
collected bishops. (Two bishops from Libya voted against deification and
were soon murdered by their colleagues.)
Some years after the Council, Emperor Constantine sanctioned and financed a
new edition of the Bible. As there were no original documents to work from
(they had been destroyed by Emperor Diocletian), the bishops were free to
edit, revise, and rewrite the Bible according to their own tenets. (The Old
Testament books are also compiled from many sources and they are not a true
history of the Jewish people.)
The result of all this 4th century religious activity is that the Pauline
salvation cult that we know today as Christianity came into being. It was
modeled on earlier Greek salvation cults except that Jesus replaced Apollo
as the saving god. The famous Sermon on the Mount that so appealed to
Mahatma Gandhi, is a later literary interpolation from a Pagan source. It
may even be of Indian origin.
The Jesus of the Bible is a literary creation not a real historical person,
though it is probable that his character was modeled on that of a real
person, say, the Teacher of Righteousness of the Essenes of the Dead Sea.
The evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls, dated 100-200 BCE, bears out the fact
that there is nothing new or true in Christianity. The Catholic Church has
for decades tried to suppress the evidence of the Scrolls as they virtually
prove that there was no historical Jesus as depicted in the New Testament
I do not think that St. Paul believed in a historical Jesus either, which is
why he preached a Christ of faith rather than a Jesus of history. The term
"christ" is a Greek title not a proper name. It can be used as an
appellation for any person so deserving and there were many christs in the
Roman world of the 1st century CE. St. Paul is the true founder of the
Christian religion. He was a Gnostic and a very forceful character who has
left his imprint on all aspects of Christianity.
Does Jesus exist? Yes, indeed, he does. He exists in the romantic
imagination of every Christian believer (and not a few Hindus too). He is a
dark knight of the soul, an asuric being not a human being.
15. If Jesus did not really exist, how does that affect the organized church
and its shibbohths?
Christianity is not going to collapse just because it has been discovered
that Jesus was not torn of a virgin mother (as a recent BBC programme
declares), did not die on the cross for our sins, and did not bodily rise to
heaven on the third day to sit at the right hand of God. People believe what
they want to believe, and, more important, what they are taught to believe
as children. The Pope or any dictator will tell you in private that there
are not many people in this world who are willing or able to think for
themselves, and those few who do are to be eliminated (like the courageous
Giordano Bruno who we burned at the stake for teaching that the universe was
It is not a question of seeking truth, as the naive Hindu pilgrim seems to
think, but of ideological indoctrination, of repeating the shibboleths over
and over again until the believer is "saved". But salvation theories aside
(and Marxism is also a salvation theory), there is the more important
business of Big Business. The Christian churches are Big Business. They
employ hundreds of thousands of people who are otherwise unemployable. They
are important cultural and political institutions. The Vatican itself is
Europe's most famous circus and the Pope her best-loved clown.
More importantly, the churches, and especially the Orthodox, Catholic,
Anglican, Lutheran, and Baptist varieties, are important international
financial institutions. They hold all, the ready capital, not only in souls
but also in dollars. They are not going to disappear just because their
doctrines have been proved false and their god has been found to have feet
16. There have been recent admissions from the Vatican itself about nuns
being raped and sometimes murdered by missionaries and priests. Similarly,
there was a startling expose in the Kansas City Star about the rate of AIDS
among Catholic priests in the US being four times the national average. Does
this imply that the system of celibate nuns and monks is not quite working?
Incidentally, these reports died quiet deaths in the Indian Press whereas
they regularly jump all over allegations of misconduct by Hindu sadhus and
Sodomy, incest, the abuse of nuns and the molestation of children have been
endemic in the Christian church from its very origins. Read the fascinating
book A Testament of Christian Civilization by the famous Jesuit-ex-Jesuit
historian Joseph McCabe. He was a linguist and had access to documents that
are never published in Christian histories. He records the extraordinary
sexual, license among ecclesiastics from the first centuries of Christianity
up to the 1950s.
At the various church councils where the Christian creed was formulated, the
bishops would quarrel over doctrine during the day and dancing boys during
the night. More shocking than the sex was the violence and cruelty that went
with it, which found its high point in the Inquisition. This institution was
run by Dominican monks and was an orgy of sadism and unspeakable cruelty. It
was introduced into India by St. Francis Xavier, whose tomb sits on the site
of Old Goa's most important Shiva temple. In the medieval period in Europe,
convents became high-class brothels and their bishops forbade priests to
live with their mothers and sisters because of the moral dangers involved.
The then pope introduced a rule of chastity for priests and nuns but it was
never taken very seriously.
Today there are thousands of priests involved in various kinds of sexual
relationships and thousands more who seek to be relieved of their vow so
that they can marry. Abuse of children in church-run institutions has become
rampant and recently in Canada a major Protestant church has gone bankrupt
paying the lawsuits brought against it by hundreds of victims who were
sexually molested in church boarding schools. All of this is not very
surprising to those who have read history and know the moral rot that has
always existed within the Christian church even at its highest echelons.
After all, it was not very long ago that the Pope was collecting a tax from
the lepers and prostitutes who operated in St. Peter's Square.
Of course, the great irony in this sad state of affairs is that in Christian
doctrine sex is a sin, indeed, it is the original sin invented by woman to
bring about the downfall of man. In fact it has brought about the downfall
of the Christian churches. They have tried to deny this state of moral
debasement but modern human rights and instant exposure in the Western media
do not allow the deceit to continue except in India. In India the churches
are protected from scandal by state authorities, minority commissions and
the English-language press. If the allegedly impartial editors of our
national newspapers and news magazines spent as much time at the local
convent or seminary or church-run boy's school as they do at the ashrams of
Premananda and Satya Sai Baba, they would get a story much more satisfying
of their prurient interests. All of these editors are sewer inspectors at
heart but they will not touch a Christian sewer with a barge pole. Such is
the power of the Christian church in India and the overt bias of the
national English-language press.
The Christian church in India is still an 18th century colonial church
financed from abroad. It has a sophisticated international support system in
place (and this is especially true of the newer American evangelical
churches). It is very arrogant and corrupt, a quasi-independent state that
is coddled and pampered by the Indian government and media alike. It is
answerable to nobody, which is reason enough for a responsible government to
order a white paper investigation into its finances and activities.
Calumny and more calumny is the Church's current weapon of choice and all of
the bad press India and Hindus get in Europe and America originates in
bishop's houses, church councils and the offices of Christian NGOs in India.
Their "authoritative" and "secular" views are picked up by an accommodating
English-language press and broadcast abroad with alacrity.
The truth of this observation can be verified by listening to Indian editors
and Christian fathers reporting from Delhi and Madras to their English
masters in London on the BBC's various religious programmes and South Asia
news services in the morning. It does not enter the heads of these Indian
media worthies that the BBC is a neo-colonialist radio network dedicated to
the promotion of Christian culture and values and British government foreign
policy, and that it does not have a kind word for Hindus or Hinduism or
Hindu issues even though Hindus make up a large part of its world audience.
(It may be noted that this interview was given to Rajeev Srinivasan with the
understanding that it would be published in his column on the rediff.com web
site. However, the editors of this website have not published it allegedly
because of my criticism of their col1eagues in the English-language media.
They have unwittingly proved my point about the pusillanimity and bias of
Indian editors and their inability to tolerate any kind of criticism.)
17. There seems to be a large element of land-grab in the actions of
Christians in India. They buy land, get it ceded by the authorities, and
then grab the hillsides by painting crosses on rocks and. claiming the area
The Christian churches are the largest landowners in India after the
government. Much of this land is alienated temple land that was given to
them by the British in the 19th century. They also own large amounts of
prize commercial property in the cities. This fact has become a scandal
among many of the Christian faithful who do not feel that their churches
should be real estate agents and owners.
However, this reservation is not true of the newer, smaller American
churches like Pentecostals and Evangelicals who have mounted a caste war
against the Hindus and seek to provoke the Hindu community at every
opportunity. They simply grab land in the towns and districts by painting
crosses and Christian slogans on stones and hillsides and then claiming the
property as their own.
This activity is especially evident in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
Nadu. In Arunachal Pradesh where proselytizing and conversion are illegal,
Christians claim whole villages and put up signboards that say
"Non-Christians Not Allowed" at their entrances. These Arunachal converts
originate from Mother Teresa's institutions in Assam where they are
indoctrinated and baptized and then sent back to their villages to convert
In Tamil Nadu Christian slogans appear on Hindu pilgrim routes to Tirupati
and on the route around Arunachala Hill at Tiruvannamalai that pilgrims
circumambulate on full moon days. I am told that Christians plan to raise a
cross on the hill's summit when the opportunity arises. I am not at all
surprised. The theoretical ground for this "good deed" has been laid years
ago by Catholic theologians and missionaries like Fr. Raimundo Panikker and
the Benedictine monk Abhishiktananda. They have already claimed the holy
hill and all of India for Christ in their writings. I myself hope that the
cross-raising comes soon. Perhaps then Hindu leaders and district officials
will wake up to the threat that an aggressive, proselytizing Christianity
poses to Hinduism's most ancient sacred sites.
18. There are detailed war-game scenarios on the Internet by various
Christian fundamentalist groups who have identified India as a soft target
India is a soft target for the Christian missionary for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Hindu society still suffers from many social ills that the
missionary can exploit; secondly, Hindu society is by nature pluralistic and
accommodating of all ideological views including those that would destroy
it; and thirdly, Hindu society is divided against itself and its religious
and political leaders have failed it totally. These leaders with few
exceptions are not willing or able to challenge the ideological forces that
would destroy Hindu religion and society.
The result is that Christianity and its younger sister Marxism have the
ideological upper hand in India today. They have an unhealthy influence on
government, education, publishing, the English-language media, and some
vital social services. It is a shocking situation for which Hindus
themselves are to blame (even if the overall situation is a legacy of
British days). The very fact that Hindu intellectuals and entrepreneurs are
not able to publish a national daily newspaper and present their own point
of view to the world is sad proof of Sri Aurobindo's observation that Hindus
have lost the power to think.
19. There is the decline of the church, particularly the Catholic Church, in
Europe and the Americas. Hence the need to find new recruits to man the
barricades in the growing clash of civilizations with Muslims. There is the
need to create nuns and priests in Kerala as they provide a lot of menial
labour in European convents and monasteries. Is there a pattern? Is there an
element of racial exploitation as well?
As this is the last question, I would like to make a digression before
replying to it. New converts to Christianity like to tell me, a white
foreigner of European descent who has lived among the white Jews of Israel,
that Jesus was an Asian and by extension he was therefore an Indian. I am
very much amused by this rhetoric. It is so juvenile and simplistic. There
is a whole world of difference between Semitic West Asia and Hindu South
Asia. To begin with, one is white and the other is brown.
But were Jesus born in Asia, Africa or Antarctica (we must assume here that
be bad a human birth), he is verily the white man's god and personifies the
white man's race and values. Look at any statue or painting of him. He has
red or brown hair, blue eyes, a Roman nose, and lily-white skin. If you take
a peek under his Roman toga you will find that he has been circumcised (a
very un-Indian custom except among Muslims who follow a West Asian religious
Now, it is true that Hindu sadhus had penetrated the Egyptian desert as
early as the 4th century BCE and that Brahmin pundits and Buddhist monks
taught at the great university of Alexandria in the first centuries BCE-CE,
but their contribution was to Jesus' philosophy not to his ethnicity and
culture. Where then is the Indian Jesus? And who is fooling whom by
pretending that Israelite is synonymous with Indian?
St. Thomas too had a Roman nose, blue eyes, red hair, and a lily-white skin.
He too was circumcised. He was Jesus' look-alike twin brother according to
the Acts of Thomas. He wore a Roman toga and lay at table to eat and drink
just like a Roman aristocrat. All of these facts require some explaining by
the local Indian priest if we are to accept him as our own Indian apostle.
And I am talking here only about physique and culture, not about the
vexatious doctrinal problem of there being TWO only sons of God, Jesus and
Judas (for St. Thomas was known as Judas Didymus).
Now to your question. Indian priests and nuns are the peasant workers of the
Catholic Church. They are welcome in Europe and America to clean the toilets
and scrub the floors of the empty convents and seminaries, nurse the sick
and dying, present the news in funny English on Vatican Radio, write lengthy
dissertations on indiginizing the church in India, and get trained as native
missionaries for work in the jungles and outback.
This is the pattern and it has been followed for decades. Indian priests and
nuns are numerous and expendable. They are everywhere there is dirty work to
be done. They are the first victims of the white man's most elitist
institution. Casteism is rampant. They seldom if ever move up the
ecclesiastical ladder if there is a European available to fill the post.
There are in South India only two or three Dalit bishops and one of them is
an Anglican (CSI).
Everybody knows that if a black pope were ever elected (and Indians are
black people according to Europeans) the Catholic Church would lose half of
its membership. It cannot be otherwise in a European feudal institution
whose bishops wrote the first theoretical justification for slavery in the
16th century. After all, the Bible says (1 Peter 2:18-25); "Servants, be
subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but
also to the forward."
I have had more than one Dalit convert tell me that the racism and caste
prejudice within the Christian churches is a crime against humanity. I have
to agree. I have to say after a lifetime of study, that the advent of
Christianity and its forced establishment in the Roman Empire under the
wicked Emperor Constantine is one of the great disasters in the history of