Abstract of Applications received on Tour
The Chairman explained object of the State Government in appointing the Committee.
Shri Uddhra Wankhede: I was given baptisma in Wani in open market in 1938 and I also toured in several small villages with missionaries. I worked as preacher. I was given a scholarship of Rs. 11 per month from the time I took baptisma. In 1940, I was sent for Bible training. Rev. Iker was here at the time. In 1944, Rev. Telmore committed rape on my wife.
Rev. P. T. Gaikwad: He is not Rev.
Shri Wankhede: Rev. Timothy is a Christian missionary. I sent an application about this to police station. One man was sent to enquire into the matter. Nathar, Acquila and some others were executive members of the Christians. They (lid not give justice to me on the report of the enquiry. On the other hand they terminated my service. Telmore was transferred to some other place. He sent me a letter saying that he had raped my wife not once but twice before. I have got a sanad of local pracharak. I asked the executive committee the reasons of terminating my services. I sent a registered application. In 1953 an article was given in Tarun Bharat. There is loss of my prestige. I am still a Christian. Missionaries tell Hindus that they should boycot me. There are several people in the Mission who have disobeyed Ten Commandments. I am allowed entry into the church. Mr. Timothy converted me. I was promised economic lift and financial help. Till 1940, I was given Rs. 30 per mensem including dearness allowance. I used to preach in Mohalla Patipura where all Mahars live. I was formerly a Mahar. I was given preaching work. I used to say there that Christ has done good to all and he pardons the sins of all. Prayer is made “O Jesus, I am a sinner. Thou come in my heart”. I have converted about 10 persons My Christian name is Phillips. Puffer Saheb of Free Methodist Mission Church used to give me money. He informed me that a resolution had been passed and money was received for me from America. All the workers in Yeotmal district get their pay from America. Now there are 150 to 200 workers. I sell fruits now. There are several employees who are paid monthly at the rate of Rs. 100, Rs. 200, Rs. 500, etc. I am unable to give an estimate of the total expenditure of the Mission. Catholics allow smoking and drinking. Free Methodist Church lays down that there should be no bidi, pan, cinema, drinks, etc. It is supposed to be superior to Catholics. I was 25 and my wife was 20 years of age when we were converted. I was outcast by my Hindu friends and relations. We do not observe Dasera. Diwali, etc. We observe Christmas.
Shri Sadashivrao Chavan of Yeotmal: I was converted in 1935-36. I was economically distressed and financially hard hit. Missionaries promised me financial help and, therefore, I became Christian. They gave me a garden on rent basis. When the land has been well cultivated and is able to give far greater yield, they want to take it back. Similarly, a grass ganji, which I had taken on rent for Rs. 70, was tried to be taken away from me. Grubbs took me away from my house to Abdulla’s house and snatched away my pair of bullocks by force from my wife. Five of them had come to lily house for this. Patankar, Pleader, was approached by me on the advice Of several people. They give allurement and convert after six months. An honest and sincere man cannot remain in their fold. I was a Mahar before conversion. When my mother expired, these Missionaries did not come to bury the corpse. My caste-fellows (Mahars) refused to come because I was a Christian. You can get reports of my case from the Police Department. I was reconverted in about 1940. Illiterate, people who do not know the meaning of religion, are approached by missionaries. They never visit Brahnpura. They also do not visit Musalmanpura. They go to Maharpura and such other illiterates.
Rev. Davis: I was here when lie became a Christian. Sometime after his conversion he was allowed to plough the garden. No inducement was given to him for becoming a Christian. A lesson in my high school career has made a lot of change in my life. Before that, although I believed in God, I thought that God was far away, but that night I felt that God was within me. There came a very great joy, and peace and strength to me. I was educated in U. S. A. before I became a Missionary of Methodist denomination. Much more money is spent in U. S. A. to turn people into real Christian than in India.
Shri F. B. Lucas: I have been educated in mission boarding, and missionaries got me married. During the last four years they have been behaving very badly with me. They wish that we should please them by doing as they say, e.g., attend church meetings, etc. I have served under them as a teacher and not as a pracharak. I do not know much of my parents. They were perhaps on some Mission Board in Igatpuri. I have got a sanad of these people.
There is a Bible School in Yeotmal. That is a Bible Training College.
Rev. Davis: We make distinction between Mission work and church work. There are about 35 pracharaks in this area. We have a hospital, a middle school, a primary school and a boarding. Minimum age for baptism is 18. In the last six months, about 100 persons have been baptised in the four towns of this district and Pulgaon and Dhamangaon. This also includes baptisma given to Christian children.
Shri Gaikwad: We have some Marathas, Kunbis and Telugus among us. They are not students. They are mostly workers aging from outside.
Shri D. Y. Mahajan: Secretary, District Association, Secretary, Yeotmal District Jansangh, and Editor of a newspaper. In the villages of Kharagaon, Taroda, etc. There is intensive Missionary Activity. These are eight villages. They have been omitted from the tour programme. If the Committee visits these places, the Committee can get more information. Missionaries work among the illiterates. Therefore, most of the middle class of other people cannot give a correct picture of conversion. There is also no good organisation for reconversion in this district. Anti-national activities are of three types (1) Before three to four years some foreign Missionary had brought an aero-plane here. He took photographs of these places and they were published in America, but not in India. We want that the photographs of any place in our country should not be published in that country without the permission of our Government. So also a booklet has been published. Dr. Date, my friend, is not here. He said that the photographs were shown to him by a Missionary. (2) On the 15th August 1933 a lecture was delivered by Sheokumar (a Christian )in a meeting of Christians. He said that Christians should conquer India and our Christian religion should be a national religion in this country. This report was given to me by my friend who is a national Christian. I do not mind conversion, if it is for -the sake of religion only. Conversion gives birth to anti-national tendencies.
The conversions have not been a result of conviction. They are done by inducement or allurements. Missionaries give an amount Rs. 11 to Rs. 150 per month to convert for the first three years after conversion. When a convert gives up Hindu religion and its ties completely, the financial help is stopped. The converts feel that the Missionaries here are doing anti-national work. There is no good system of censuring their letters. Their living is luxurious and rich, and not as it should be. One Mr. Samudra (a Christian) was sent to America by the Mission. He does preaching now. This gives inducement and affords attraction to poor and illiterate people. The mission hospital in Umri provides free medical treatment to those who cannot afford to pay for it. Those who receive free medical aid are attempted to be converted.
Dr. Clyne: Shri Sheokumar is a student in Hislop College and he made a very good speech. I do not think he ever said as alleged here. He might have spoken in enthusiasm. He does not belong to our Mission.
Shri Mahajan: Today is Sunday market. Therefore, many Mahars could not come. If you want, I can give their list. The number of Christian missionaries here has increased since the last two years. Missionaries tell the illiterate that their God does not speak. He cannot walk, and he is helpless even if a mouse makes water over it, and thus offend our religion. They may convert but they should do so by conviction. If the foreign missionaries go away. I do not think there will be any clashes among Indian Christians and others. I can give evidence in support of all that I have said.
Shri Gaikwad: Most of the stories told here are false. I came here in 1933. I have nothing to say about Sadasheobhau. Since the time I came here, he never told me anything about what he said today. There are not more than 30 to 40 workers here. We are not in charge of Pusad taluq. Instead, we have Pulgaon and Dhamangaon area. We appoint a man for one year as local preacher. Mandali makes the appointment. They are appointed by the Hindi Khristie church. Next year again there is election of the Mandali and fresh appointments, missionary is only a member of the church as any other Christian. Missionaries should not be blamed for the decisions of Mandali. Mandali and Missionary are quite different. A Mandali consists of about 100 (there are about 200 in the district). About members 150 Christians have given an application saying that the Missionaries have helped the people in the best manner. Missionaries are not doing any anti-national things. Telmore is not a Christian worker now. The matter was enquired into. Wankhede was found to be a drunkard, a smoker and perhaps by now his services might have been terminated. He has not been seen as a Christian since 1940. I am a church Palak, but I do not know that he ever did any Christian activity.
Dr. Clyne: There is no ex-communication and no refusal to prayer. Church is the Indian Cultural Organisation. I have been invited by the Indian church. The word “Missionary” is misused. As far as I am concerned, we do not give false hopes. I am ashamed to hear the allegations made by Mr. Mahajan. He has been given false information b somebody. Mr. Timothy and nine Indians are holding high positions. There is an element of a desire in conversion. We do not encourage conversion.
There are 150 houses in the village. There is a missionary camp here and preaching is done by slides. Formerly, there was a Christian colony of the American (Free Methodist) Mission. This was formerly an ijara village and Missionaries had a share of one anna. There is no church here. The colony has been removed since a murder took place in this place. There are only two Christian families nosy. They marry in Christians only. There is no preacher. Bible is read by one of them. No complaints against Government servants. Missionaries say that the poor will have no troubles after conversion. Preaching was done formerly in bazar. Now it has been discontinued. There is bhajan only when there is camp. People, both Christians and non-Christians from far off places come for the camps. The Christians say that they live under His blessings. They believe that there is no salvation without Christ and accordingly they preach.
Shri Raghubirsingh Guruji: Conversions are mostly by financial allurement, cloth and education. Free Methodist Mission (American) works here. 22 preachers are from Mahar, Mang and Pradhan. They say that baptism has been given to them.
Shri Udhao Thool: I do not know my Christian name. I was given baptisms before four years. I do not go to church because I do not get time. I Worship old Hindu Gods. My son is getting free education. He does mission work and learns in their school. He is now 14 to 15 years of age. He has been converted. I was also converted (in Umri). Kamal is the name of my son. I do not know his Christian name. My wife has not been converted. We live together.
Shri Upasha: I was converted before about 11 months. I used to go to Christian bhajans when I was Hindu. They liked my bhajan. They requested me to become Christian and pressed for it. They showed me allurement of giving a good house and good clothes. They also promised financial help of Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 if required. Champat was with them. They said that Rs. 10 given to me should be returned to them or I should become Christian. Unwillingly I agreed to do whatever they liked. They used to give me daily wages for bhajan, because I used to sing well. Re. 1 per man and Re. 0-8-0 per woman are given to non-Christians attending church for prayers. After my conversion, I did not get any money.
Shri Kawadu: I was told that my son would be given free education and service. He would also be helped in emergent times. They were pressing me for about one month. After one month they give me baptisms. After conversion they were asking for Rs. 3 per mensem as fees for the boy. Therefore, I did not send my son to their school. My caste-fellows did not outcast me. We have all come back to our old religion. Upasrao was converted while in a state of intoxication.
Shri Kawduji Pendor formerly of Ninigaon: My son and daughter are in mission school. Missionaries told me that if I become converted they would educate my children and would give me books for reading. Before 2 months my children were given baptisma and I was also given baptisma. I do my previous work as a labourer.
Shri Charandas: I do not know my Christian name. I was converted before one year. I never attended the church. They said that they would educate me, appoint me as preacher and get me married. Now because I did not go to church, they aid not allow me to take water from their well. Baptisma was given to me in a private house. There is no regular church here.
Shri Vithal Balkrishna Onkar, Kelapur Janapada teacher: One Christian, who was questioned by me as to why he changed his religion, informed me that he had fallen in love with some body, and he was getting money a preacher. Nathar used to threaten villagers with a gun in 1951, which he used to carry with him.
Shri Panjab Fulzela: I was in Umri Mission Boarding. I was a poor boy. Missionaries told my father that I would get free education on concession and therefore he agreed to it. In boarding I was required to ply Rs. 3 per month He did not find the boarding alright and he called me back. I was given baptisma in Mission bungalow by Mr. Nathar. I was promised freeship, but was not given it because missionaries said that Christian religion was entered in my certificate and therefore I was not entitled to any freeship. (Names are not changed on baptism in this area.) In the A. V. School there is a Christian Headmaster. He compels boys not to use caps. Even a teacher who is very orthodox has given up his cap. Students caps are thrown away. Prachar books are distributed free.
Shri Champatrao Awale: I was ill. I went for medicine to Mr. Nathar. He gave me medicine. Mr. Nathar promised all help, medical facilities and even a good house. He said ‘Why don’t you become a Christian?’ I did not speak anything. Mr. Nathar went in the house, brought some water, poored it on my head. No medicine was given to me. I am in my own caste.
Shri Davidas Kawale, age 20: Missionaries promised me freeship in the boarding, as my parents had expired. They also promised service, but they did riot give anything.
Shrimati Ambabai Pardhan: My son Namdeo was in first class. He passed and went to second. Missionaries requested me to put him in the boarding house. He was sent there. His fees were paid by me. Before sending they had promised free education and free boarding. My son did not become Christian. I was promised freeship but after one year I was asked for fees, which I was unable to pay.
Shri Upasrao Tamoshar, Mahar: One old man Anwikar promised me spects. Water was sprinkled on my head. But I did not get spects.
Shri Kawdu Pendor Pardhan: Yesterday night wife of Anvikar asked me it the Christian teacher had come to me. She told me that if anything was asked in the meeting, I should give out whatever had happened. She said that there is a conflict among Congress and America, and that is why the Committee had come.
Shrimati Ashabai Shelke (Wife of a preacher): I preach among women. I am Christian since the last 12 to 14 years. I know reading and writing. I read books on God and prayers. I can’t say what, books are there on the Christian religion. Whatever people ask me, I tell them. I tell them by experience of salvation. I tell them that if they take baptisma, they will get salvation. Vishwasrao Shelke (her husband) gets a pay of Rs. 45 including allowances. Formerly she was a Mahar.
Shrimati Anvikar: I do preaching. I do not receive any pay. My husband receives pay of Rs. 58-8-0 per mensem. There are only two preachers in this place. My husband also tours. He is a priest. He works here and in the neighbouring villages. The church building of this place is dilapi-date. Its repairs will cost about Rs. 200 to Rs. 306. It will have to be contributed.
Shri Nathar: One-tenth of income is paid for religion by each Christian individual. Some of it spent on Church building, Missionaries and Mandali. There is a conference in Yeotmal district of Christians. All Missionaries and ordained ministers are members of this conference. There is a central fund of this conference, and three different types of churches, viz., Sponsored Standard church, added church, and Mission church. Aided churches send one-third among. Standard churches send the full amount. The treasurer of the Central Find is Rev. Davis and he will be in a position to say how much amount is there in the Fund. The church here is a Conference church. We do not call it a Mission church. We do not baptise without getting satisfactory replies to our discipline rules. We follow Free Methodist Mission Rules. We take a confession from every body that his sins can be pardoned by Christ only. I am a non-matric, trained in Yeotmal training school and an ordained minister. Mr. Anwikar has recently been made ordained minister. Before giving baptisma, I make very clear that a person does not become Christian by allurement or force. I give plessiongs of the Pious Soul, the Son, and the Father, and sprinkle water from a pot on his-head. 25 persons have been baptised by me so far in this village. Upasya was converted by me four years back. He was not converted in a state of intoxication as alleged by him. Those who learn Bible do not get sufficient time to earn their bread. Therefore they are paid a small amount. That is by way of compensation. I do not possess an arms license and I had no rifle as alleged earlier. One ex-soldier has got a piece of land from Government and he cultivates it. A preacher tells his own experience to people. He may not be able to read religious books. He informs them that he is pardoned for his sins and has got peace of soul. I keep a person under instruction for six months before giving baptisma. Those who have spoken here about baptisma, have been induced to do so.
One Congressite: No inducement was given. I simply brought the people when I learnt that the committee was to come here. Shrimati Ambabai paid all the fees of her ward from the very first month. There was not even an application for freeship. She only said that she was unable to pay more than Rs. 3 per month. Panjab Fulzele had come with his brother, who is a police here. Panjab’s father himself paid all the fees. Thool’s son is still in the boarding. One boy's name is given as a peon and the pay drawn in the name of the peon is utilised for paying fees of four students who work in the school.
One gentleman: Students do not get leave for their religious festivals even an applications from guardians.
Headmaster of local school: It is for boys to decide whether they should put on caps or not. I have simply said that those putting on white caps, should put on clean caps. None of our teachers puts on a cap. We cannot compel students to put on caps. Some girls had come with an application for leave when I was busy in cooking. They were asked to come later. But they did not turn up. Therefore the question of granting them any leave could not arise. This year they applied and got the leave.
Mr. Nathar: When there is election, Christian come and ask me where and to whom they should vote. Mr. Davis is in charge of correspondence. He tours in November for about a week and does some preaching. So far I have advised them that the person who is considered suitable should be given votes.
Chairman concluded with vote of thanks.
Shri Nathar: 8 to 8-30 life story of Jesus Christ is explained from 53rd chapter, reg. cure of diseases and salvation of sins. If people feel that they can do well by praying Christ, they purchase these books and read them. It is not obligatory on people to hear religious lectures. Those who like may attend. About 10 to 12 persons converted during the last 10 to 12 years. We allow freedom to patients to read different religious books. Last Commandment of Christ is to tell Good News (Shukh Vartaman) in all the places, bazar, school or any other place. The psychological factor is most important. We feel that it is not always possible to reach people in their places and therefore we take advantage of the facilities, which we get.
Shri S. T. Gaikwad: There is no preaching this side. After rains we start it during the night time by use of magic lanterns after giving due publicity.
Villages – Botoni, Jalka, Gokuldhara, Sarodhi, Khekadwai, Seonara, Bynanda, Khadki, Pahirhir, Khairgaon.
Shri David: Abhang of N. V. Tilak. Gajalsangrah, Upasana Sangeet, and ballads are used for propaganda in small villages. All attend and take part in the bhajans irrespective of religion. The effect is that gambler gives up gambling, and a drunkard gives wine. We do not work particularly among the non-Christians but we give attention to Christians.
We preach some times in a year. We do it openly. I am only a teacher.
We have got good results in the interior area of Wun Taluq. In a camp preaching is done for 15 to 20 days. We tell about Christ’s sacrifice. We teach people. In our Mandli, we do not call a person Christian simply because he is born of Christian parents. We want a he should behave in such a manner as would be keeping with the teaching of Christ. We must love Christ in such a way that we should be honest and sincere in our every day life. This yet there has not been regular preaching. If somebody comes to me, I give him a letter for medic aid or educational facilities. We are interested in doing that service also. The people in this tract are very poor. There was opposition from Arya Samajists but since we have got independence, there is no opposition. There is a Janapada school here.
Visited the High School and hostel. In the hostel there all Christian boarders and preaching of Christ takes place in it. In the school there was a board that attendance at prayers is not compulsory and it is simply optional. Chairman explained the purpose of the committee.
Dasharath Mahar was to be converted because he was ill and got himself cured as a result of medicines received from Missionaries. But he is not converted now.
Missionaries approach illiterates and poor persons, and not well-to-do or all.
Darvekar Preacher: People have been converted by conviction and not by allurement. Pay received Rs. 73-8-0 per mensem. Bhajans and records are sung in preaching. There are 25 top26 Christians in the village. Only seven to eight new Christians since the last two years.
Shri Kundalik of Nargaon and Rajaram of Selupur of Arya Samaj: 200 illiterates have been converted in this taluq. Mission is a place of entanglement. These people want to bring back British Raj and establish Isaisthan. Hindus don’t help their Hindu brothers. Therefore we are in need of Communist activities.
Shri Bapuji or Purshottam Sitaram Patil: Preaching is done among illiterates. They are given money. Even sprinkling of water is enough to convert them because they are very illiterate. Allurement of service is also shown. The converts are mostly of Madge caste from Telugus. In Rajpur there is a population of 2,000, of whom about 500 are Christians. The work of proselytization is going on in this taluq at a great speed.
Advocate Deshpande: I have no personal enmity with any Christian or Missionary. Christians have mixed up with the illiterates and therefore they have been able to gain their sympathies. In Taroda they have purchased 77 acres of land worth about Rs. 37,000. I was told that this has been purchased by Dr. Clyne. I do not think that Clyne has spent his own money for this. The land has been purchased for giving employment to converts.
Shri Moses David: His brother Dr. David Clyne has sent the money.
Advocate Deshpande: This has come from foreign count. I have nothing to say against the help. But the idea underlying is objectionable.
One gentlemen: Each one has got freedom of propagating his religion under the constitution. But it does not mean that foreigners should come and preach in this country.
Advocate Deshpande: Before 1947 the situation was different. Why should we now tolerate their old activities? Freedom to propagate religion does not mean that they have been given a license to preach. These people should not be encouraged to do as they like under the garb of religion. Inducement is important factor. Foreign capital is next important. Ecclesiasts had a very high position formerly. The Bishop used to get a chair by the side of the King. Maruti (now Marcus) lives in Taroda and looks after Clyne’s land and also makes conversions.
Shri Bapuji: There are two missionary shops and three teachers in Rajur. A christian is charged 4 pies and a non-Christian 4 annas for the same medicine. Even though a labourer earns Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 per day, he is addicted to wine and, therefore, he is always in need of money. Missionaries do not look to these shops from the point of view of benefit.
(Bapuni Patil promises to send information from Rajur in detail).
Shri Mom David: Service and money allurement may be true before some years. This has been stopped from the time Indian Christians came in majority. In 1937 India Providential Conference was established. Then Indian Christians realised that it was their duty to run religious dioceses. Two families were living in the neighbourhood of Bapuji Patil. They were Lilabai Naidu and Das, teachers. They were not allowed to take water from a well. But I told them that they should not try to insist on taking water from anybody’s private well.
Shri Bapuji Patil: They cook meat, which I do not like. This is my private well.
Shri Moses David: I started a movement of Mahargarh Association in Nawargaon and collected 4,500 rupees. Details are available of this. Therefore the allegation is false. Regarding money allurement, I am prepared to show church records. Money is sent to Central Fund every month from Sirpur, Yeotmal, Mendoli and Umri. We take only the amount required for cloth and food, i.e., our bare expenses. About Taroda, there are seven Christian families. They have separate property. Marcus sold his property and undertook preaching. The Mission desired that he should not stiffer later. Therefore we have given him a field of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 on lease. This amount has come from Mission’s Fund. The average expenses from this fund are 14,000 for preaching. 9,000 are contributed by Indians and 5,000 are received from abroad. Since 1937 it is our object to get rid of foreign influence, which we feel is anti-national. We maintain account books. Rajur information is false. Andhra Christians come there. There are only two priests who are kept there for worship purposes. Phillip Mallesh has a shop there, but Missionaries have nothing to do with it. There may be about 200 Christians. Most of the people came from Andhra as Christian. 200 are converted here. There are other Hindu shops. Phillip Mallesh has a shop of grain and provision. We recover money for medicines from all. The accounts may be checked. There are funds such as Central Pastors Fund, Central Evangelists Funds, Central Workers Health Fund, Conference scheme and the fifth is under consideration, viz., Provident Fund. These are attempted to be collected from local church bodies. I was a driver with Rana Lok Samsher Jang Bahadur. I got Christ salvation Message in Buldana district and I started preaching. This shows that preacher is in need of money even for his necessities. We had to face difficulties in British regime. For example, Bhopal State was not open to us for preaching. Now we are free to propagate our religion in any part of the country. We are thinking of making a resolve not to expect financial help from foreigners. Villagers should build walls of churches and we are prepared to give roofing. Religious and social rights are provided to Christians, such as arrangements for education of children. Central Pastors Fund is used for (1) construction of churches, (2) hospitals and (3) education. The fund for education is also called scholarship fund. We sent two Christian students to college. But they did not repay the amount. Now the amount is deposited with Government and it is advanced on 5 per cent loan. We have started an industrial co-operative society. Several cultivators have taken loan from this society, but they don’t repay. Such cultivators who don’t pay are given punishment and their monetary advantages are stopped. They are not given money, bait they can come to the church. They have got full membership as probationers. The list of probationers is with the pastor. The Committee settles marriages of their sons. We do not want to ruin their careers. So also at the death time. Our schools do not receive the same facilities as are given to other schools. Regarding Indianization of churches, 75 per cent religious work is done by Indians. Mr. S. Root is in charge of our Churches. Village leaders should get training in Christian religion. Ramkrishna Mission is also in America. There are several members if it. Some of our Missionaries have given up Missionary work and become Gandhiji’s disciples.
Dr. Bidary (Christian): One of the two preachers has been influenced by America. In one preaching he said that America is God’s country and each country has to take loan from it. The work carried out by Mr. Root was not Appreciated by Indian Christians. Mr. Root wanted that I should not practise in Umri in the interest of Mission Hospital. That is one objectionable activity. They want that our Indian Christians should not have justice and there should be foreign domination. Only very selected few should have all the privileges. My own mother-in-law who has served for more than 30 years is still lying idle. She is suffering from paralysis. All their reactions are such that they should have dominance over us. We have social injustice. Our Indians must be on the top of everything and if foreigners really feel that they have come to serve God and preach God, they should work under Indians. Under the name of religion, they have come here to work for their nation. In certain places, where people are not acting according to their wishes, they want to eject such men.
Shri Ramji Master: I was an orphan. I spent 57 years in the Free Mission. I was thrown out of the Mission compound once. This is before 24 Shri Root removed me from service. Shri Sadashiv Patil gave me a where Mrs. Root also came. Dr. Bidari is doing useful service for Christians in Kelapur taluq, but he is not liked by the Missionaries. Mr. Root and Mrs. Root have, so to say, outcaste him. Mrs. Makasarum and Mrs. Root showed me great hospitality when the Committee was to come here. Shri Moses used to say that there is no financial help for Independent Christians. Mr. Root is busy in creating division in the Christian society here since the time he came. My name is Ramji Samuel Samsware.
Mrs. Root - in 1905 I came to India. Before that I was doing Christian work in America. We preach here the same thing as we preach in America. We tell people not to do bad things. People came to me and wanted to become Christians. I did not know what to do. I did not baptise them. But they became Christians. I am old now and I have several friends in India. I can go to America, but I do not like to go back. When people come to me, I say that I do not make Christians, and they should go to Indian Christians for that. I had taken some ban children about 7 months in age. They naturally are Christians. One Mahar girl whom I had taken when she was 1½ months of age is doing well now. She came to me several times and calls me her mother. Some times somebody comes to me saying that his wife has gone away, and, therefore, I should take care of the children. I am not trying to make India like America. Mr. Root-We have come here to serve India. In the process we may have made many blunders. Rev. Moses, District Supdt. has given a good idea of the work we do here. If a man becomes Christian, it is a long process. As for American activities we have no concern with American politics. In 1937 I came and that time we had to sign a paper that we would not take part in politics here. We have to give that undertaking while obtaining our Visa.
Shri Gaikwad - Mr. Root is a human being and if he has committed any mistakes, it is human nature and he should be excused. Christians do not even ask for separate electorates. We are proud of our country. We receive pay for the work we do.
Dr. Bidary (Christian): Out of 8 family members of Mr. Gaikwad. 7 are working in the mission.
Chairman concluded with thanks to those present.
Shri Limaye, retired headmaster of Aided High School: Personally I and Puffer are friends. Missionary movement is going on since the last 32 years. They preach against Hindu religion. I have brought cuttings from which are used for preaching. Literature on Kishna especially from Murdoch’s pamphlet, regarding life of Shri Krishna is used for preaching. Here he writes of Krishna as “disobedient and mischievous as a child”. Missionaries approach illiterates only. Allurements of cloth, food, money and service are shown to them. This, in my opinion, is anti-national activity. They are establishing parallel Government because it is the duty of Government to provide cloth, food, service, etc. They are taking on themselves the responsibility, which Government should bear. We cannot tolerate such things in free India. Bishop Caldwell also writes against Krishna in his book. I do not know name of the book. The publishers are Dr. Murdoch, Christian Literature Society, Madras. Mostly bhajans and magic lanterns slides are used to create hatred against Hindu religion. Krishna is abused by telling his love towards Gopis and debauchery. These books are old, but they are used for preaching. This is ungodly. Missionaries do good work. They were running a school at Darwha. Now they do preaching only. They receive money from America. I have no objection if people get converted by conviction. We suggest that Missionaries should study our religions before coming here. They should be examined in all religions through a Commission and if they are found to possess adequate knowledge of all religions then only they should be given permission to propagate Christian religion in our country. Shri C. W. Leadbeater about (Murtipuja) idol worship says in his book “When ignorant Missionaries tilt upon the 330 Gods of the Hindus, they are making a very grave misrepresentation of a religion which is far more scientific than their own”. Hinduism like every other religion knows perfectly well that there can be only one God, though there may be countless manifestations of him “in our life”.
Dr. Khapli: Some people were admitted in Umri hospital. Missionaries want to simply capture the number of people. There is no beneficial motive. Mr. Puffer took photographs of Tajias, which were not immersed. I think Mr. Puffer may be using them to give publicity in his country. This is anti-national activity.
Shri Bhagirath Marwari (student): I was fined one anna in a primary missionary school for not attending Sunday prayers. The school closed before 3 years. Sumantrao Dhilpe (Christian) is the name of the teacher. Every day instruction was given about Jesus Christ. Lord Krishna was called bad names as a dacoit, etc. A photo of Christ was also given to me for worship. Prayers were compulsory.
Mr. Puffier. - We have never authorised teachers to recover fines from students for not attending prayers. I am not aware if the prayers were compulsory.
Shri Mahadeo Tukaram Gowari: He repeated Bhagirath’s statement.
Shri S. R. Bhonsle (Christian): I have the same respect for Hindu religion as for Christianity. Since the last 3-4 years we have got an instrument like loud-speaker. All people in the village including rich and well-to-do assemble for our programme. Therefore it cannot be said that we preach among illiterates only. I cannot say of the past, but now we do not abuse other religions. We have not a single book or slide which is against Hindu religion. Dr. Puffer has never done any preaching during the fast 3-4 years. Dr. Puffer has got the instruments and I accompany him. Missionaries had a school here when they saw necessity for it. Now they do not consider it necessary and have closed it. Their object was not to increase the number of Christians. We preach to all. Our Object is that sins should be pardoned and souls should get salvation. We preach for eight days consecutively before conversion. Missionaries have not given baptisms to anybody. Almost in all cases I have done the work. There are people in this place who were advised to take their children to Umri hospital . Therefore it is absurd to say that medical relief is not offered to all in Umri hospital. There are three preachers in the taluq. I get Rs. 99-8-0 per month. One gets Rs. 56-12-0. I was formerly a teacher. I have baptised about 25 persons during the last three years from among Mangs Mahars, Labhans, Kunbis and Marathas, etc. We receive the amounts from our central fund. There are about 14 to 15 churches. The accountant of the central fund is Indian. Mission gives its contribution and then it is given to us as our pay. I have been doing the work since the last 12 years. I will do the work even if I do not get pay. I was 18 to 19 when I was a teacher. One preacher came to Yeotmal church. I knew that after death I have to go to another world, i.e., Heaven. There I would get penance for the sins committed by me. Therefore I was anxious to get relief from the sins and I repented for my sins near the altar, and I got peace and joy of mind. Since then I have been working for the Christian religion.
Shri Rathod, preacher: I was converted from Banjaris. Hindus teach our own sanskriti which I am unable to follow. I was a teacher and had cultivation of 8 bullocks. A woman expired which I informed to one ‘Palak’. The Palak made prayers by which I was very much moved. I preach in Labhan (language). I do not deceive people. I cell them that they should give un all bad thing . My pay is Rs. 62-8-0. I have been working as a preacher since the last 20 years.
Shri Jairam: Christian preachers say that their God pardons our sins. My father was ill. A copy of the Bible was given to me who was placed under his pillow and we were asked to make prayers to Christ. Then they said that they would give education and fields. After the death of my father they said that he did not get converted. Therefore at least we should get converted so that we could die ‘in light’. We took baptisms but nothing has been given to us. One lame girl was shown to me for marriage. I refused and got reconverted.
Shri Jairam (another man): I was promised service and I took baptisma. I remained Christian for 6 to 7 years. When my son grew up; I requested missionaries to get him married. But they said that he was not educated. I told them that they did not give me anything. And I reconverted myself to Hinduism.
Shri Rathod: Jairam became Christian with an axe in his hands and had said at the time that he did not want anything after conversion.
Chairman thanked the persons present.
The 14th October 1954.
Shri Shukla, Pleader: The pusad Mission Hospital is only a sort of canvassing agency of the Basim hospital. There is no good equipment in this hospital. Preaching takes place in this hospital. There are two preachers who tell about Christian religion to illiterates and poor only. The medicines given here are mostly some tablets. 15 to 20 females had become Christian, but they got themselves converted willingly without any effort on any body’s part. This shows that some attraction was shown to them. Sometimes it is said that your child is so smart that you shall not be able to take care of it because of your poverty and lack of facilities. Shri Palaskar’s (Komtee) wife had been to the Basim hospital for delivery and her child was requested to be given to Christian Mission. This is before 2 years. She was not willing to part with the child. Ultimately with the intervention of several persons the child was given back to her. Wamanrao Patil of Taroda was converted.
Shri Wamanrao Patil: I live in Dahegaon near Umarkhed. In 1924, I was shown allurement of marriage, as I was not married till then because I was poor man. I was married in Nagpur to one Tara. She had a sister Shushila at Akola. The sisters were teachers and they were transferred to Tumsar. I was a motor driver. It was my condition for marriage that the girl offered to me in marriage should be a vegetarian. One day when I went home I found that fish was cooked in my house. I threw the pot containing fish away and I beat my wife. There, were three of them my wife, her sister and their mother. One preacher from Nagpur came and he advised us to live in peace, After some days my wife came back to me. Once when I was away on duty, my wife and her sister were observed to be going away with some other driver. Thereafter I stopped going on motor bus. The matter was reported to police and I chased them with a sub-inspector of police. They went to some mission bungalow in Sihora with the chhota chief saheb. The bada chief sahab was with me. Next day there was a great quarrel among the two chiefs and the chhota chief hammered a ruler on the bada chief. A meeting was later held in the Mission and both the sisters were transferred to Chandur Bazar. I left the job and came to Chandur Bazar. They did not leave their service. A compromise was later brought about to divorce each other. In Dahegaon they built a big school and entangled two to three persons. Bhaurao Patil was converted. The villagers got annoyed and the missionaries were driven out of the village.
Shri Shukla Pleader: Yadaorao Balkrishna Thekedar was chased by a Christian girl and he wanted to marry her. The girl was called here and when she told her love affair, she was asked to embrace Hinduism, which she refused. This is indirectly an attempt to convert people to Christianity. Had there been true love, the girl would have married him by embracing Hinduism.
Arya Samaj Mantri: Shankar aged 14 to 15 was entrapped by some Mission men on the attraction of marriage. He was going to be converted to Mission faith, but he was saved from that. The matter was reported to police. The boy was prevented at Akola by his guardians and this saved him from becoming a - Christian. He will give evidence when the time comes. Even now some Christians go to his house to beat him. Before 3 years there was free distribution of handbills regarding Christian religion. Head Mistress of the Girls A. V. School, Meghwan, brought her school girls to the magic lantern show, which was arranged by Missionaries. Last year they used to preach in cotton market. The preacher said that so long as he was Hindu he was in sin. This is against Hindu religion. He further said that when he became a Christian, his sins were pardoned by Christ. I was not given a chance to explain Hinduism, when I asked for it. Next day they came and put up a magic lantern show just in front of my house. It was harmful for me to allow their prachar there. I requested them to give me a chance to speak. When it was refused, I took a gramophone horn and sitting in my house I spoke in reply to the various things they spoke on the microphone. A widow remained in their hospital for four days. She was asked to become a Christian. She complained to the police on 27-1-1954. She was sent to Akola by collecting funds and then she went to Pandharpur. Missionaries preach among illiterates and use cinema slides.
Secretary of the Local Hindu Mahasabha: Foreign Missionaries are responsible for conversion, though they do not live here. They come from Basim. Well-to-do or able men do not become Christians. Most of the converts are from Hindu religion. It is difficult to get witnesses from converts. Their love for the country (Punyabhumi) changes after conversion. Indian Christians are only servants of foreign missionaries. The request is that, at the time of conversion, it should be specifically made sure (1) that the financial condition of the person to be converted is sound, (2) he is educated or intelligent enough to understand the principles of religion, and (3) ten persons should certify that he is being converted by conviction.
Pastor: I was not here when all the things alleged here have happened. I am a pastor since the last 25 years. My pay is Rs. 78 per mensem. I was employed on Rs. 13 per mensem. There is no pension for us. There is provident fund. We get our pay from Mission. About ten persons have been converted by me during the period of my service of 25 years. All of them belonged to Scheduled Castes. It has been clearly stated in our religious books that there should not be idols of God. I say that I myself was sinner. I do not say others that they are sinners. It is my object in preaching to help others in getting their sins pardoned. There are about 75 Christians here.
Other gentleman: We want that a particular religion should riot be preached against the other. We say all religions are equal. Whatever one likes, he should be allowed to do. A Christian festival was held here for 10 days some years back and educated persons were called there. The first song was from ‘I am a sinner’. It should not be told in this country that any particular religion is superior to any other religion. It is not compared. Christ himself converted 4 souls in 3½ years. We do not by numbers. It is written in our Bible that we should spread God’s message. One soul converted is like one world to us. Christ never used the word ‘religion (Dharma)’. He used the term ‘Kingdom (Rashtra, Rajya)’. Christ has asked to establish World Church. Non-Christians have misrepresented the idea of ‘Kingdom of God’ as a political kingdom, whereas we mean ‘Kingdom of heart'. I do not recognise any Hindu, Musalman or Christian. I know two kinds of people sinners and non-sinners. I was not a Hindu. But I was a sinner though I was born a Christian. My sins were removed by the abilities of Christ. I do not propagate the Christian religion, but I propagate the Christ.
The Chairman explained the object of the committee-
There is a preacher here, he moves in weekly bazars. There are three methods of conversion (1) by conviction, (2) allurement (advancing loan for purchase of bullocks), and (3) by discrimination in distribution of medicines. American Missionaries do come here. Last year Rev. Greer had been here. There is no Government control on missionary activities. They carry a copy of the Constitution with them to say that there is no objection to propagate their religion. Immoral women use immoral means in their attempts to convert males patients in hospitals. A time keeper in mission service was thus entangled by a Christian mission girl. It is understood that foreign Missionaries prepared political maps in their religious tours.
Patil of Bramangaon: Propaganda was made by a preacher who distributed free books and promised help if people embraced Christianity. Majority of the people assembled at the propaganda was illiterate and belonged to scheduled castes. Preaching is only a show and there is some other internal object. We are afraid of Isaistan.
Mr. Bansod: Preaching is done at Chavdi also. Denies allegations made by Nankumar.