Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Proselytization Conundrum

Francois Gautier is a French political writer and journalist based in India since 1971. The above link is a post by Gautier in FaceBook today.

He pinpoints the Jesuits, which is not necessarily true for Nepal where proselytizing is mainly the domain of Protestant groups. Churches are mushrooming in the country; the last census put the Christians as 1.5% of the population, that proportion has increased rapidly over the past 4 years. A significant portion of the blame is due to the non-reformist nature of Hinduism. A Dalit or an untouchable treated as a pariah by their fellow Hindus has no stake in Hinduism. Given the right motivation, not just spiritual but also education, health and finanancial, he/she will readily convert to Christanity. And who is to blame them for that? On the other hand, the missionary zealots who see Jesus Christ as the exclusive saviour of souls are no less to blame. They are tearing apart the intrinsic culture and traditions of society for their own purposes.

The caste system has been illegalized, but exists socially especially in rural areas. Without awareness raising and education, this social disease cannot just be litigated away. Further, if the judiciary system cannot, and it does not, enforce the fact that casteism is illegal, reforms become well-nigh impossible. There are needed reforms which must be addressed by the pro-Hindu state advocates. Not enough to just shout for a Hindu Rashtra while turning a blind eye to areas in Hinduism which need imminent reform. The status of women, the barring of non-Hindus to convert to Hinduism, the monopoly of Brahmins in rituals and ceremonies, the eclipsing of spiritualism by pedantic ritualism, and the list could go on. A concrete example: Pashupatinath Temple is arguably the most sacred Hindu site in the country; there is a sign at the entrance "Only Hindus Allowed". As a Hindu, I have visited churches, mosques, and Jewish temples all over the world. Why do we feel threatened by non-Hindus entering our holiest shrine? And, actually, the sign basically keeps out only Caucasians and Africans because anybody who 'looks' like a Hindu can enter. Or as a friend told me, there is a church in Cracow, Poland, with a sign outside "Enter to pray only". Pretty practical, I daresay. 


Anonymous said...

It was SO EASY to "break" Nepal's HINDU identity while it is now so difficult to "make" it. It is like the Ayodhya Temple that was broken by a "ROGUE" invader within a day but has not been re-built for the last FIVE HUNDRED YEARS despite the best wishes and efforts by all of us!

We can only hope that the Nepalese will comprehend the fact that if Hindu identity is diluted under Secularism it will gradually vanish and then disappear for ever.

Those who are most keen and adamemnt to IMPOSE "secularism" in India and Nepal are themselves EXTREMELY fanatic about their own religions, e.g., Catholics and Muslims.

(NB: Even the most adored, admired and trusted "secular" ex president of India, Abdul Kalam, did not declare even once that his religion was "Hindu", nor has the 'die- hard' devout Catholic Memsahib, SONIA Maino (bogus "Gandhi"), despite all the power and privileges she enjoys in gullible Hindusthan said so!)

Hindus in Nepal will have to realize this fact 'collectively' and very quickly in order to PREVENT further deterioration of Hindu SHAKTI & Dharma.

All they need to notice with open eyes is the NUMBER of churches and mosques that have come up since the old Constitution was "killed" along with the Royal family. They should also notice the number of Hindus in Nepal who have DESERTED the Hindu Faith of their ancestors since then, and then draw conclusions very quickly.

We may also note that NONE on earth expects, or tells, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Arabia to go "secular"! Ever wondered, why?

Akash Bhairab said...

Your assessment is very fair Birat. I too am all for removing that unnecessary sign from the outside of the Pashupati Nath temple. It does not do justice to just how all encompassing and tolerant the Vedic way of life is.

Govind said...

I fully agree with your assessment.Hinduism needs to reform but who will bell the cat?
Many temples in South India also don't allow non Hindus.And as the priests of Paupatinath are from S India they have made similar rules here. If you notice no other temples in Nepal have this strange rule.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi wife of then indian PM Rajeev Gandhi was not allowed into the temple.when they were in Nepal.this led to worsening of relations !between India and Nepal that led to the blockade of Nepal by India in 1990 and subsequent political changes that has landed us in the political mess we are now in.Who would have thought that this rule of not allowing non Hindus into Pasupatinath imposed by Indian priests would result ultimately iin overthrow of monarchy and all the political changes since then..

HORATIO said...

Not only in South India; Jagannath Puri in Orissa also has a only Hindus allowed policy. During my sole visit there, I was almost thrown out because I forgot my 'gotra'! Not sure if the only Hindus allowed rule in Pashupatinath is "imposed by Indian priests". If I am not mistaken, the Pashupatinath Trust has the sesponsibility for the operation of the temple. Am sure the buck stops with the Trust; it needs to open its eyes.

Govind said...

I have come to know from a reliable source that this rule was introduced by the Pasupatinath bhattas since a long time.They were the defacto rulers of the temple and almost all the offerings to the temple was theirs. And the kings and rulers of. Nepal were in awe of them.only later did Pasupatinath trust come into existence .And this rule was continued in the name of tradition

Birat Simha said...

Thanks, Govind. Ah, what we have to suffer in the name of blind "tradition"!