1. Answer: We have no figures for the years 1947 and 1954 for the districts. As regards 1951 we have census figures for both the districts – Raigarh and Surguja. For 1941 we possess figures only for Jashpur Sub-Division.
Jashpur Sub-Division - 1941
Total Population – 223,632
Raigarh District - 1951
Total Population – 919,520
Surguja District – 1951.
Total Population - 822,041.
NOTE. - With regard to the population of Christians in 1951 in Jashpur Sub-Division attention is invited to our reply to question No. 2.
2. Answer: While there is a general rise of population on account of the common causes that have led to the general rise in the whole of this country, the population of the scheduled tribes has been reduced to a large extent due to conversions to Christianity brought about by the Christian missions.
The Christian population has increased by leaps and bounds. The intensive activities of the Christian missions have practically begun as late as about 1951 in Surguja and parts of the Raigarh, district except Jashpur sub-division. The statistical study would, therefore, naturally depend on Jashpur sub-division alone, as the present figures of other areas could not be covered up in the Census of 1951, being the later development. However, Jashpur sub-division can well be taken as a measuring rod to understand, the implications involved in the problems of the Christian missionary activities in Surguja and the said other parts of the Raigarh district also.
The figure of the population of Christians in Jashpur sub-division as shown in the Census Report of 1951 is a surprise. Irrespective of the fact that the figure of the 1951 Census shows a fall in the population of Christians, the actual position is that there has been large increase in their population since after the year 1941. The total population of Roman Catholic Christians according to their own statement in the Catholic Directory of the year 1954 is 80,440 for the year 1953. This figure is for Raigarh and Surguja districts. We may roughly estimate the population of. Roman Catholic Christians in Surguja and other parts of Raigarh district except Jashpur sub-division as about 12,000. Substracting this figure of 12,000 we get the approximate population of Roman Catholic Christians in Jashpur sub-division 68,440. According to the Census of 1941 the population or Lutheran Christians in Jashpur sub-division was 6,165. It can be roughly estimated that the population of the Lutheran Christians had increased up to about 8,000. Totalling up the figures of Roman Catholic and Lutheran Christians we get the total population of Christians in the Jashpur sub-division 76,440 as against the population of Christians shown in the Census Report of 1951-9,692.
This rapid increase in the population of Christians is due to the intensive and extensive activities of proselytisation on the part of the Christians Missions.
3. Answer: The district authorities or the Missions could alone be in a position to furnish right information in this respect. But it will be evident from the statistical study of the Christians population at each of the census years that the rise in the population of the Christians was due only in a negligible proportion on account of increase in the birth-rate as compared to the huge rise on account of the newly brought about Christians.
4. Answer: The figures can be supplied by the District authorities or the Missions. It can only be asserted here that almost all the conversions have taken place amongst the scheduled tribes in tribal areas of these districts.
5. Answer: The Missions maintain registers in which the names of the persons supposed to be newly converted are entered. Before all other things the top-knots of such persons are cut off. They are required to attend church prayers on each Sunday. The pracharaks have to keep a vigilant eye on these persons and mark the progress of their disassociation from their traditional ways of living and customs. New patterns of social life are tried to be instilled in them. Such persons qualify themselves for baptism as soon as they have convinced the mission authorities about their complete isolation from the old community life of the village in so far as such life is regarded against the interests of the mission.
People are converted individually as well as in groups. Yes, in the case of a family, it is only the head of the family who is usually converted.
6. Answers: (1) Roman Catholic Mission of Ginabahar in Raigarh district.
(2) National Missionary Society of South India, H. Q. Guntur (Madras).
(3) British Mission of Nawa Bhandaria, district Palamu (Bihar).
(4) Elim Missionary Society, H. Q. Dehri district, Shahabad (Bihar).
(5) General Conference of Mennonite Mission of North America H. Q. Champa Bilaspur.
(6) Church of Christ Mission of America, H. Q. Bilaspur.
(7) Swedish Lutheran Church, H. Q. Sagar.
(1) Gossner Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Ranchi (Bihar).
All the above Missions are under the control of their respective Home-Boards in foreign countries.
The agents of these organisations approach people individually.
7. Answer: All the organisations have an established machinery through which contacts with the people are maintained. In suitable areas, mission centres are working with their respective areas of operation. Under the heads of these mission centres, personnel up to the Pracharak of the village work. Each of the activities has a separate department under the charge of trained hierarchy of the personnel. The popularly known departments are-Ecclesiastical, Educational, Medical, Banking and Moneylending, including Grain Banks and Co-operative Societies, Labour Unions, Labour Recruitment for Tea Gardens in Assam and Bhutan, etc., Students’ Unions Women Organisations, Agricultural Department, Handicrafts, Finance, Propaganda, Publications, including Press, etc., Orphanages, Mission Stores, err...
All the above departments work with the spirit of proselytisation. In places, where this incentive is absent, the missions have not cared to render their so-called humanitarian services. J. Waskon Pickett, who has tried to justify even the most ignoble acts at mass conversions by the missionaries in India, in his Survey Book "Christian Mass Movements in India”, has recorded:
This can be taken as a representative case applicable to all the organisations. Had the poor tribals of this area sufficient mind to reply to the missionaries in the same as the persons in the above case did, then, here too, perhaps, we would have witnessed the departure of the missionaries of this place away to some other areas in search after the fields responsive to their motives. But another example which Mr. Pickett has recorded could be nearly applicable for this area.
(Page 162, Ch. Mass Movement in India.)
These activities enable the missions to come in close contact with the people and have gone a long way towards the exploitation of the needs of the people for increasing the strength of converts. It has also helped the missions to isolate the community of converts from the general community life and to keep them tied down to the loyalty for the missions. In the actual working rarely can the poor Hindu tribals reap any advantage from the missions without risking their faith and culture.
The organisations indulge in the political sphere also. Whichever politic party suits best their purpose is the criterion on which their adherents are advised to take part. And the converts are seen tossed from one sphere to another. For example, in Jashpur, in the beginning of 1948, the Roman Catholic Mission had though it beneficial to sympathise with the Congress. But later on, when they found that they could not get control over this party here, the converts, as a community, were advised to join Praja-Socialist Party en block, which they did. Their loyalty to this Party even is not founded on the acceptance of the principles of this Party as such, but on the expectation of dominating the Political sphere of this area, e.g., they have got their own man. Shri Johan Ekka, elected as M.L.A., on the ticket of the Praja-Socialist Party, they have as many as ten members in the Janapada Sabha of this area. But in reality all the organisations politically are dreaming of a separate province of Jharkhand which they think would depend on the expansion of Christianity and strong consolidation of the community of their converts.
It must be borne in mind that the general policies of all the organisations are controlled and prescribed by the Home Boards of them in foreign countries.
In new fields the post of Pracharak itself is an inducement and temptation for conversion. In such fields, out of the newly converted persons Pracharaks are in many cases appointed and their influence is utilized to the fullest. To attract people towards the missions, the posts are also advertised. But in settled areas, candidates are trained in their training schools and then appointed as Pracharaks. In new fields, the seasoned Pracharaks of settled areas are also deputed till such areas have fairly progressed. But in the settled areas the Pracharaks generally belong to the same area in which they work.
The emoluments, in cash, of the Pracharaks, range from Rs. 30 to Rs. 50. The Pracharak, in addition, as the teacher of the primary school gets contribution in kind yearly from each of the students, e.g., one mound of paddy or so. Further, he gets help in kind from the villagers of his jurisdiction on some other counts in lieu of the services he renders on behalf of the mission. The Head Pracharaks get emoluments ranging from Rs. 60 to Rs. 70 per mensem, in addition to what they get in kind similar to the case of the pracharaks mentioned above.
Rewards in different forms are offered to the successful pracharaks.
8. Answer: Different and diversified methods are used by the Christian Missions according to the conditions in which the people live and think.
Approaches are made on the plane of the understanding of the people so that exhortations may be quite-intelligible and appealing to them.
Plans and techniques applied offer vehement inducements on the worldly plane. The areas chosen have been of purely tribal people whose ignorance and gullibility afford best field for reaping the harvest.
To start with, centres away from the touch of civilized people and possibilities of easy notice or exposure are chosen where a batch of missionaries or Pracharaks is settled who make announcements of the arrival of heavenly aid for the removal of the long-lived sufferings of the people. People are attracted to offer expression to their needs with the hope of their fulfilment. Holding this as the first grip, a sense of frustration and hopelessness, as to the means for the satisfaction of their needs of their belief and knowledge is created in the mind of these credulous people and picture of their needs being satisfied by the selfless services of the mission is presented before them. To convince them inventions or exaggerations are made to paint ugly and black pictures of their exploitation by the Hindu community. The Government is also not spared inasmuch as it is termed by them as incapable to solve the problems of the people or as hostile to their welfare. The basic achievement of creating disaffection, discontent, hatred, sense of isolation is further aggravated till the tribals fix it in their mind formerly the false conviction that they are the most hated and neglected people, and non-Hindus. The remark of Mahatma Gandhi may be aptly quoted here:
This creates a favourable situation for the mission for gaining the confidence of these ignorant people. Then they begin rendering a few of the services, like, medical treatment, improving the sanitation, etc., which enables them to gain further confidence of the people. In course of this naturally some of the people come in more contact and begin to manifest signs of interest or devotion to the mission people with a feeling of obligations. People also begin to look upon them as benefactors. It is generally at this stage that the motives of the mission begin materialising, and it is at this stage that it has become easier for them to bring about all types of conversions-mass, group, family individual.
The flood of conversion movement in the Chhota-Nagpur district amongst the tribals-Oraons, Munda, Kharia, etc., entered in the Raigarh and Surguja districts, and the mass conversions of the first two decades in Jashpur subdivision are closely related to those taking place in bordering tract of Chhota-Nagpur. Hence the mass movement of conversions that took place in Jashpur could be well illustrated from what took place there in strengthening the plans and technique of the missionaries for Jashpur.
(1) Copy of the letter published in the issue of the newspaper “Statesman”, dated the 12th May 1916.
“The true history of the agrarian agitation in Chhota-Nagpur has yet to be written. The task has so far been attempted by partisans only. Munda children of the German Mission are even now sedulously taught the gospel of hate in the class-room of their schools. One of the school text-books entitled ‘Nelem Odo Senem’-Look and Walk-Which was published by the Munda Sabha of the G. E. L. Mission, Chhota-Nagpur, in 1909, tells how the ancestors of the Munda reclaimed the jungles and converted the country, by their labour, into a smiling garden. It tells the Munda boy how his forefathers successfully drove away all wild animals from the country and also how enemies who were worse than the wild enemies came in as inter-loppers and robbed them of the fruit of their toil. In further states that in spite of various laws framed by the English to restrain these foreigners, as are still being despoiled by Hindus and Mussalmans. The schools in which these doctrines are inculcated are largely subsidised by our Government.”
(2) Extract from the copy of the official note recorded on December 16th, 1879, by Mr. C. W. Bolton, I. C. S., Secretary to Government of Bihar.
“The missionaries made no secret of the fact that their principal motive in stirring on behalf of the Kols was to preserve and extend the influence of their Mission with their people.”
(3) Extract from the statement of Mr. M. G. Hallet, I.C.S., in the Gazetteer of Ranchi District, 1917.
“During the fifty years which has elapsed since the mutiny, the history of the Ranchi district is one of agrarian discontentment culminating in the Sardari Larai and the Birsa rising. It is also the history of the spread of Christianity.”
(4) Extract from the introduction by Sir Edward Gait to Rai Bahadur S. C. Roy’s book on the Mundas and their Country.
“There is no doubt that the great success of the Christian missions in obtaining converts is due largely to the secular benefits which the Mundas, thus, obtained.”
(5) Observations of late Sir Richard Temple, Governor of Bengal, made in 1876.
“An elaborate memorial has now been received bearing the signatures of all the German missionaries. It contains many passages or expressions which make me fear that the Kols having embraced or intending to embrace Christianity expect to have their rights (real or supposed) vindicated by their priests and pastors. It would almost be inferred from one passage in the memorial that in some instances they are dissatisfied with their change of religion because they do not and that it leads to social advancement. It so happens that the rights which the Kols claim in the land are being investigated under an enactment especially passed and by Tribunal appointed for the purpose, therefore, it is very undesirable that any extraneous agitation should arise, the benefits asked for by the memorialists’ impressively on behalf of the Kols could be conceded in full only by depriving other classes-Hindu and Mohamedan-of something which they now enjoy.”
(6) Extract from Lord North Brook’s introduction to Mr. Bradley Bird’s - “Chhota-Nagpur”
“The aboriginal tribes of India afford promising field for missions.”
(7) In the booklet entitled ‘An enquiry into the causes of land acquisition in Chhota-Nagpur proper’, that German missionaries themselves could not make a secret of at least the following remarks:
“However, it must be said that the many of those who were the first in their respective localities in embracing Christianity, did so neither for the sake of knowledge nor for morality, but because they believed that, by coming into contact with Europeans and adopting their religion, they would be assisted by them in their social difficulties.”
(8) In 1868, the German missionaries approached the Local Government with various charges against the Hindu Landlords, pleading the cause of the Kols. The then Commissioner of Chhota-Nagpur, Col. Dalton, investigated into the charges and has stated in his report to the Government:
“The Christians were more frequently the aggressors than the aggressed.”
(9) Extract from the resolution of the Bengal Government, dated the 25-11-1880.
“An unquestioned fact that many of the latter (Kols) embraced Christianity merely in the hope of obtaining possession of lands to which they rightly or wrongly laid claim.”
(10) Extract from the final report of the Survey and Settlement operation in the district of Ranchi, 1902-1910, page 80. In this Mr. John Reid, I.C.S., states:
“The German missionaries who were then the only missionary body in the country a appeared to have adopted a theory that the Mundas and Oraons gave up their half, the fields of their villages for the maintenance of the Raja, when he was first elected, on the condition that they had the other, the better half, free of rent themselves, and that they continued to do so till the establishment of the British courts in 1834, from that period it was said, oppression began. There is no evidence whatsoever in support of the theory that the half of the land was reserved for Raja. The claim to half the lands rent-free was evidently capable of indefinite extension. It was a very convenient theory for adoption by the turbulent ryots, who dreams of recovering their ancient status through the agency of Christianity.”
(11) Observations of Sir Steursluar Bayley, Lt.-Governor, in 1887 to 1889.
“The religious movement among the Kols in the direction of. Christianity has been at once a consequence and a cause of their disputes with their landlords.”
(12) Mr. G.K. Webster, I.C.S. in his report of April 8, 1875, on Land Tenure of Ranchi States in terms similar to the following:
“Luthern Missionaries instilled such feelings in the Christian Bhuiyars that they turned the tables on their masters and took forcible possession of large quantities of land to which they had not the remotest title.”
(13) Mr. Grimley while introducing the Tenure Bill in Bengal Council in 1897 referred to the work of the Christian missionaries as affording ground:
“For the belief that many persons conceived the idea that by embracing Christianity they would be entitled to the support riot only of their spiritual pastors but also of Europeans generally in the settlement of their grievances and vindication of their rights.”
(14) German Mission report for 1875 discloses:
“There is not the slightest doubt that the majority of our converts who apply for admission to the Church are almost actuated by secular motives.”
(In the above quotations the term “Kol” is used for Adivasies - Oraon, Munda, etc.).
The Oraons and Munda of Jashpur being related with their neighbours of Chhota-Nagpur, they also were influenced with the sweeping tide of mass conversions that took place among their own kith and kin in Chhota-Nagpur. The whole history of the foreign missionaries in Chhota-Nagpur reveals how they tinder the pretext of taking up the cause of the tribal people misled them into the belief that they were separate from the Hindu community, the Hindu are aliens and their enemies, the Hindu landlords were their exploiters and oppressors, and turbulent rivalry with the Hindus and the embracing of Christianity were the only possible solutions for the solution of their problems. And thus ultimately led them into open feuds with the Zamindars and brought about their mass conversions to Christianity. In the Jashpur State the foreign missionaries created no less trouble. They began sowing the seeds of their subversive activities in the 1st decade of the 20th century in this area and the newly made converts of Chhota-Nagpur were cleverly used by them as fertilizers for the soil of this tract. The missionaries from the border lines of the Jashpur State began preaching the gospel of disloyalty towards the Ruling Prince, who being endowed with an exceptional prudence and foresightedness could see through the game of the missionaries. He made timely and wise protests against the movement of the missionaries to the Political Agents, and took a firm stand against their being permitted to carry on such kind of activities in the State. But the Britishers guided by their notorious policy of Divide and Rule permitted the entry of these foreign missionaries inside the borders of Jashpur. The result was, which was bound to be, that the Missions established themselves firmly in this area too and converted as many as 40,516 persons up to 1921. So many subjects of the Ruling Prince had thus become fanatically disloyal to him. Here too the missionaries tried to spread the poison of false idea that the subjects were being oppressed by the Raja and that the people were mere slaves and that the people must revolt against his administration. As a climax the missionaries brought about an open rebellion by the converts against the Raja which resulted in loss of life even. But the disturbed conditions satisfied the missionaries all the more in their lust after gaining converts and in the years to come till today we have witnessed a continuous rapid growth of Christian population and along side with it the influence of the missions in all domains-religious, social and political. Jashpur was the first target of attack by the missionaries and all that took place here entailed a risk on the part of the British Government to support indiscriminately the missionaries. Hence the trouble that was imminent to break in the adjoining Udaipur State through the activities of the same missionaries was cleverly discouraged by the Political Department and thus fortunately this State was saved. It was through this State that the tide of the missionary activities was to enter Surguja, Raigarh and other adjoining States of the Chhattisgarh Agency which now form the part of the present Raigarh and Surguja districts. Hence these States were also saved by force of circumstances that had led the Political Department to think in terms of sobriety till it had regained the confidence of the people and the Ruling Princes. It was perhaps the postponement of the missionary enterprises in these States and it carried them safely till 1948. But as soon as India got independence, the secular policies of our Government as if granted a lease to these missionaries to enter into these States and to carry on the work of even the worst type of proselytisation, which they have done within the last three or four years in these places with the result that they have now thousands of converts while they had almost nil prior to the year 1948.
The sense by which the Political Department was thenceforth to be governed had led them to display an impartial attitude and in response to this it came to record certain truths. In the year 1936, Lt. Col. A. S. Meek, Agent to the Governor-General, Eastern States, Ranchi, made a report to the Government of India on the nature of the activities of the foreign Christian .missionaries. A few of the following remarks or references of his will be sufficient to throw light in support of what has been stated above. It is an undisputable fact that the foreign missionaries have played a role in the history of India, of paying the way of establishing the foreign imperialism in this country. But it is fortunate that occasions used to arise in the midst of the imperialistic rule of the English when the truth itself warranted its expression through the month of the rulers themselves and, therefore, it has much more value:
(1) “Colonel Murphy went immediately to Udaipur and visited 15 of the villages, his visit being without any previous intimation. He found that the statement that the movement of the people in the Udaipur State towards Christianity was entirely spontaneous and actuated by a knowledge of the benefits to be received was entirely incorrect. The people concerned had no knowledge whatever regarding such benefits and had been actuated by one idea and one idea only, that being the receipt of money from the mission on loan……… He found that the information bad been disseminated throughout this area of the State that loans were to be readily obtained at the mission station at Tapkara on a note of hand without security, all that was required of payers being that they should have their top-knot cut off …… that when one member of a family had taken a loan all the members of that family were shown as would be converts……… Christian schools had been started by catechists who had invaded the State from Jashpur and in one instance a mission teacher had stopped the boys from going to the State school. People questioned made it plain that their only purpose in going to the mission station had been to get money and all said that without this payment of money none would have sought to become Christian.”
(2) “The Raja of Jashpur was prevailed upon to agree to terms of a modus operandi but Friction continued and a few months later the Raja sent in a memorial of protest. His case was that ‘conversion to Christianity was synonymous with subversion of old custom and existing rights and obligations’. He stated that the catechists induced catechumen to rebel against his authority and refused to render services due from them as rent-free holders of certain lands. He demanded that he should be permitted to vindicate his authority and enforce his traditional rights. The Political Agent was anxious to support the missions and while admitting that catechists did ignore the Ruler he held that the latter must abide by the agreement.”
(3) “Mr. Blakesley made a thorough enquiry in Jashpur and submitted a full report to the Local Government in 1913. He found that the movement towards Christianity in the Jashpur State was in no sense a religious one, it was one actuated in lesser measure by the expectation of social benefits to be obtained, Christians being able to get their children married by the missionaries in the adjoining districts of British India without incurring heavy expenditure, but the real governing causes were political and agrarian………. He found that the missionaries had advanced loans to many of their converts and that the missionaries had a considerable hold on them by means of these loans. He found that the catechists interfered on every possible occasion in the temporal affairs of the Christian converts. ‘These catechists carried complaint to the missionaries, wrote petitions for the converts, accompanied them to the courts, worked out cases for them and generally acted as unrecognised Vakils, the State authorities having no control over them at all’.”
(4) “His (Raja of Jashpur’s) distrust and dislike of missionary propaganda, especially that of the Jesuits, arose solely out of the agrarian and political agitation and the subversion of his authority which he foresaw, and against which he sought in vain the protection of the political authorities.”
(5) “Mr. Blakesley showed that, under the guise of religious proselytism, political propaganda had been spread throughout the State (Jashpur). The Roman Catholic priests alleged that they had no concern with the temporal affairs of the State, but this was abundantly disproved and the Arch Bishop had himself been continually referring to the Political Agent in respect of temporal matters. He expressed the opinion that the rulers authority had been seriously undermined, a result which, he observed, the Chief (Raja of Jashpur) had himself expected from the spread of mission activity in his State. He pointed out that his predecessor had in 1906 assured the Chief that he would be responsible that his authority in his State would not be weakened by people becoming converted to Christianity, a promise that had not been maintained.”
(6) “I will set down here also the fist of note made by Mr. Napier, that the Anglican Bishop of Nagpur, who had worked by the side of the Jesuit Mission, had told him that they had no real hope of Christianising adult men and women but that they did hope to be able to instil the doctrine into the minds of children. This accounts for the recent action of the Jesuits in removing children from the Udaipur State to the Catholic Station at Tapkara, in Jashpur.”
(7) “I now come to the disturbances which occurred in Jashpur in 1922, and which resulted in some loss of life and in the deposition of the Chief. In May 1922, the Superintendent of Police at Ranchi informed the Bihar and Orrisa Governments that a society had been formed by the Lutherans of Ranchi called the Unnati Samaj……… In July, an Englishman, who had been in Jashpur in connection with the recruitment of coolies for the Tea Gardens in Assam, reported to the Political Agent that there was a dangerous movement amongst mission preachers in the State, and that secret societies had been formed……… Enquiry revealed that the trouble was caused by the Unnati Samaj acting through the agency of the Lutheran Pastors and Pracharaks. A state of rebellion ensued, and the Raja connived at illegal acts of repression designed to secure his secret purpose of expelling the mission agents from his State.”
(8) “No trouble of any serious dimensions seems to have taken place till 1927 when the Superintendent made a report that the Roman Catholic Mission was taking a strong action in spreading Christianity through the large Khuria Zamindari, a jagir of the State (Jashpur), which had hitherto not entered the field of the missionary activity…… The Superintendent at the same time was ordered to go into the Illaqa and make a report on the conditions there, and he found that the priest had commenced their operations thereby sending Christians into the country who concealed the fact that they were Christians and took service as field labourers or lived there with relations. When in course of time a sufficient number of such people had taken up their residence in the Illaqa three preachers went into the country and they appointed 16 assistants from amongst the Christians who had gone to live there and a mass movement of conversion to Christianity ensued.”
(9) “Describing the position as it is today in Jashpur, the Superintendent gives the population of the State as 193,000, the number of Catholics 50,000 and the Lutherans 4,000. Christians are now to be found in practically all villages of the State (and continuous pressure is being exerted by the Fathers to secure conversion of the remaining part of the population.)”
(10) “There are 12 Jesuit Fathers resident in and distributed throughout the State (Jashpur). There are 163 Indian preachers paid at rates of Rs. 4 to Rs. 6 plus a small quantity of rice from each Christian family. The Christians have given these preachers little land so that each holds also a small farm. They are badly educated people and the Superintendent describes them as mere pawns in the hands of the priests. They act as Vakils for their people in all matters, and interfere continually in all temporal affairs. They are compound non-cognisable criminal cases and pay the composition money into the mission funds, and they at times, hide criminal cases occurring in their communities. In 1935, a preacher was convicted for attempting to suppress the offence of murder and the record of trial shows that one of the Catholic Fathers knew of the murder and connived at the concealment of the crime. There was a case in 1928 in which preachers so persecuted certain aborigines who had renounced Christianity that one of them committed suicide. The Superintendent shows that these people have no regard for the ruling House, and that they have in their hands to cause riots and rebellion. The Superintendent has shown tact in his dealings with the European priests and gets on well with them, but he states that they have no interest in purely humanitarian work and that they have done nothing for the people on the medical side, their whole aim being to secure converts and to increase the number of Christians in the fold.”
(11) “The Roman Catholic Mission has established co-operative banks and through these banks they secure the added obedience and devotion of the people. They encourage immigration to the Assam Tea Garden, and on the return of the emigrants get them to deposit their savings in the banks.”
(12) “This officer is of opinion that in course of time the Jesuits will convert all the aborigines of all the States in this part of the Agency. If this were to occur and foreign priests were to be given full freedom of entry and residence the result might be virtually a foreign Government of the whole group.”
(13) “I have shown the admissions of the Jesuit Archbishop of Calcutta and of the Anglican Bishop of Ranchi that, in so far as religion is concerned, the change of faith has practically no meaning for adult men and women amongst aboriginal people. It is to my mind clear from the methods adopted by the Roman Catholic Missionaries that they too know that the theory of freedom of conscience is a sham. They know fully well that, as the historical account of missionary enterprise which I have given abundantly proves, the aboriginal people of this part of India change their faith and accept Christianity in the expectation only of material benefits to be received. True religion has nothing whatever to do with the matter.”
(14) “We have seen that the late Raja of Jashpur was described by many political officers and by the Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces as a just and kind ruler. He was, apparently, a man of exceptional personal merit who had kept his people content. He saw the danger that lay in Store for him after the missionaries entered his State and he endeavour 'd to keep them out. They were forced upon him; he lost heart; and when the missionaries stirred up agitation he was unable to cope with the situation and was deposed.”
The above is, in short, the historical record of the deeds of the foreign, missionaries - the deeds which speak for themselves to present a true picture - the picture which represents the implications of their present activities also as also of the future. As to their methods enumerated in the question, it must be stated that they employ as all these methods. In further support of this a number of their recent acts and commissions are herewith appended to this - Appendices A and B. Reference to these is invited.
9. Answer: No instance has come to notice where a person of Matriculation standard or above has converted himself to Christianity. There are instances where boys who have studied higher classes in the mission schools have been converted. But in such cases the background of long association and the inducements of material benefits were responsible to cause their conversion.
No instance of a well-to-do person of an annual income of Rs. 1,000 or above of his being converted has come to our notice.
10. Answer: In this area, so far, we have not come across any instance where the Conversion was the result of religious conviction.
11. Answer: True Christianity should not become the cause for the loss of any kind of loyalty to the nation. But the experience is that the conversion to Christianity has adversely affected the national loyalty and outlook of the converts. Which is this Christianity then? It is the Christianity of the Foreign Missions and not of Jesus Christ. Rev. E. De Meulder, S. J., the foreign missionary whose influence works in this tract, may be cited as an authoritative representative of the mission-Christianity. He has written a number of books, like “The Whole World Is My Neighbour”, “The Tribal India Speaks”, “India Immortal”, etc. In his literature, he appears to have spared no pains to make the best of the propaganda for the mission, to justify with the skill of perversion and twisting facts all the activities of the mission, to secure as much benefit as possible from the Government and to, instal in the mind of the reader contempt for, all that might expose or cause failure of the plans of the mission; but, he has not failed to decorate his books with the glazing photos of personalities like, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, etc., and why should he have not done so, if he had thought that the blocks of photos in his books would almost blind the readers as to the purpose and reality behind them. In his “The Whole World is My Neighbour”, this Rev. Father of the Catholic Mission pleads:
The above are the aspirations of the Christian Missionaries in India. Conversion of people is their motto, and, through it, the political domination over this country. The very methods and the process employed for bringing about conversions cut at the very root of the native sense of national loyalty and outlook. Almost all conversions have been preceded by the deliberately created background of extreme discontent and abhorrence in the mind of the would-be-converts for their own heritage, culture of thousands of years, social bonds, past history, things of common pride and honour, and other vital factors which go together as the very essence of the sense of nationality. Can it be believed that a convert who, in the very process of his conversions to Christianity, became defiantly antagonistic to the brotherhood of his community and the fellowship of the countrymen will never be able to regain as a convert what he has lost while in the process of his conversion? It was not for nothing that Dr. Verrier Elwin the anthropologist, wrote, in 1944:
Shri K. M. Panikkar, who has served as an Indian Ambassador in China and Egypt, has also said:
Dr W. Y. Evans-Wentz, M. A., D. Litt., B. Sc. (Oxon), in his speech has delivered a previous warning:
As a matter of fact, the whole history of India bears testimony to the sad fact that conversion to Christianity adversely affected the national loyalty of the converts. Right from the first war of our Independence in 1857 till we won it, the history reveals in broad daylight that the converts as a community did not participate in any of our national struggles. Dr. Duff, known amongst the missionaries as the great Missionary, has made a clean breast of the use the foreign Government could make of the converts :
During our national struggle in 1857, the Tribal people of Chhota-Nagpur and adjoining areas had shed their blood as any national of other part of the country. But the history also speaks that the Christian converts who were made of the same blood and flesh of the tribal community to which they had belonged only a short time before, had taken pride in fighting for the British Government, Dr. Richter has described this:
The small area of our two districts where there are now converts to a number more than a lakh is a witness to this feature. It is the converts who are wholeheartedly supporting the cause of the Jharkhand Movement the movement for a separate home-land for Adivasis as they say, the non-Christians Adivasis do not support this movement. The persons, who are made leaders of this movement like, Jaipalsingh and others, are all converts.
The attitude of the converts towards our National Reconstruction Efforts has been most disappointing. The converts felt no hesitation in obeying the missionaries in the act of opposing the welfare works of the Tribal Welfare and Social Education Department. The record of these departments can bear testimony to this.
Even the days of our national importance have not invoked their interest. In unavoidable circumstances, their mechanical participation is only seen. One example of this may throw sufficient light on this. Attention is invited at page 5 of the issue of “Ghar Bandhu”, the official organ of the G. E. L. Church-enclosed with Appendix B-a news is published about the opening of a Church in Zaria Coalfields. It was opened on the 16th August, the day, which the publisher says would be more important than the 15th August-the day of Independence.
Many instances have been cited in reply to the different questions which in the main will indicate the same conclusion. So long as conversions of the type, which have taken place, will continue mote and more, this aspect is bound to arrest our anxious attention. The simple reason is that religion had no or in rare cases very little part in such conversion, and what is essentially contained in it is all that must adversely affect the national outlook of a person. The. demand of Naga land in Assam and Jharkhand in this area and all that is happening in Travancore-Cochin are, at present, but the minor experience of what is in store for the future, if not checked in good time.
12. Answer: It is not the Christian preaching but the mission propaganda that is generally carried to brine about conversions. This takes place in all the places mentioned in the question.
The other places where they carry on this propaganda are: -
(a) Mission-managed hotels or lodges, like Gass Memorial of Raipur.
13. Answer: Yes, such kind of propaganda has offended the sensibilities of people of other religion. It has also resulted in unpleasant consequences. There are numerous instances to this effect which have been cited under question 8 and elsewhere.
14. Answer: Yes, foreign missionaries also use such language. The following two examples may be sufficient to prove this:-
in the documents which we are forwarding herewith in many places, it will be seen how the foreign missionaries have used language and remarks to offend the sensibilities of the people of other religion. Some of the instances have been recorded under question 8 also which may also please be referred to in this connection.
15. Answer: Pracharaks invariably are from the class of the local converts. In areas, where the missions start the work newly, outside pracharaks are imported. In the initial stages of their work in Jashpur, the Mission had brought pracharaks from Chhota-Nagpur many of whom, in course of time, got settled here. Similarly, in Surguja also the missions brought in Pracharaks of Jashpur and other places who are still working there. They generally long to the family whose main occupation is cultivation. Generally, they are persons who have studied up to the seventh vernacular standard. They are supposed to be the preachers of the chapel of their jurisdiction and work as teachers of the mission primary schools.
The Pracharak is the strongest link of the mission’s field work. Pracharak is supposed to be the most devoted servant of the mission. The principal work with which a Pracharak is entrusted is that of bringing about conversion of the non-Christian people of his area. With this sole aim in view, he has to carry out different activities of the mission, and through the instrumentality of these, he is supposed to achieve the aim.
The following are the important functions which he performs. :-
(1) As a teacher of the school he exerts to enrol as many students as possible. He makes best efforts to see that people don’t send their children to other non-mission schools. In this direction, he holds panchayats of his own people, for those persons who, despite his direction, dared to send their children to some other school. If the persons do not yield even to this pressure and do not agree to withdrawing the names of their children from the prohibited school, he reports their names to the mission heads for award of punishments. He gives religious instructions to the students and pays special attention to the fact that non-Christian boys learn by heart the Christian prayers and at least the Ten Commandments. His success is judged more by the number of non-Christian students he has enrolled in his school, the extent to which he has succeeded in disallowing the Christian boys and girls to attend other schools, and the number of non-Christian boys and girls he has converted or prepared for being converted.
(2) The Pracharak holds Sunday Prayers. He maintains a roll of those who have to attend these. Absentees are taken to task in panchayats and, if this fails to serve the purpose, he reports the names of such persons to the mission heads for action.
(3) He trains boys and girls of the villages for performance of dramas, dialogues and other means of propaganda designed to attract the people to Christianity.
(4) He maintains the list of persons due for baptism. He acts as Godfather to the baptised children.
(5) He plays a roll of the physician or arranges for medical treatment of particularly those who are supposed likely to be induced or influenced for conversion. But, at the same time, he offers his services to the sick person and induces the person to accept conversion as means of speedy recovery or when he attends the dying persons as a means to his sure entry in the heaven.
(6) He performs intensive tour in his area. He holds meetings and makes propaganda-for Christianity and in favour of the mission to which he is attached.
(7) He is the immediate guide and adviser of his flock of people in respect of their difficulties and problems in relation to mission affairs. He takes lead in working out social boycotts in favour of the mission.
(8) He keeps himself informed about the needs of those non-Christian persons whom he believes likely to agree to their conversion, if their needs are promised to be satisfied. Further developments take place with the aid of the mission heads.
(9) He looks after other activities of the mission. like-
(a) Seeing that the converts deposit their savings with the mission bank.
(10) He sees that Christian festivals are observed as desired by the mission. He brings about large gathering of converts and non-Christians at certain festivals and fairs observed and conducted at mission centres.
(11) He sees that no Christian boy or girl is able to marry a non-Christian girl or boy without the latter being converted, and that all marriages take place accordingly.
(12) He tries to keep or bring the panchas of villages under the command of the mission as the work of the mission is most facilitated through the help of the panchas. If the panchas appear not well disposed towards the mission, he tries to make them unpopular to bring about their removal and substitution of those of his liking. He is supposed to manage these affairs skillfully enough to avoid possibility of exposure of the designs of the mission.
(13) He sees that none of the persons of his flock could possibly take the liberty of mixing up freely with the non-Christians especially during their folk dances. Similarly, he takes precaution that none belonging to the mission attends the festivals or social functions of the non-Christians.
(14) He makes attempts to see that customs and ways of living prescribed by the mission are fostered in place of pagan ones.
(15) He sees that arrivals of the heads of the mission are met with attractive receptions and big gatherings are arranged.
(16) He has to attend periodical meetings held in the mission centre. Every month or on other fixed time, he has to submit his written returns showing the progress of his work; the important items are-
(a) New births.
In the same report, he has to 'report about other things of particular importance for the period in question, for example-
(a) If there are any, how many school-non-Christian children have been prepared for conversion.
(17) In general, the pracharak has to exploit every opportunity to bring about conversion of the people. To this end, he has to try to create a sense of disbelief, frustration, hatred futility, etc., in the mind of the villagers with regard to their customs, traditional beliefs, deities, places of worship, saints and persons held in reverence, present state and way of their life, religious and social bonds, economic and political condition, the prevailing sense of security and all hopes of the betterment of their conditions without the support of the mission. He has to employ all kinds of methods and means to succeed in such aim. The more he succeeds in such attempts the better field for the success of the, mission he is supposed to have created.
The head pracharak supervises the work of the pracharak. He guides and advises them. By rendering all possible help to them, he strengthens and intensifies the work of the pracharaks.
16. Answer: Generally, the pracharaks are educated up to the VII vernacular standard. Persons educated in the Christian Mission schools are alone without exception appointed as pracharaks after their training as pracharaks. They get emoluments disproportionate to their qualifications inasmuch as they receive much more than what they deserve or could get anywhere else. Special rewards are offered for increasing the number of converts.
17. Answer: Missions run training schools or classes where chosen persons are trained up to undertake the work of pracharaks. The training consists of such kind of teaching enough to make the candidate as fanatic as possible. The candidate is made to imbibe in himself the zeal, persistence, and the faculty to exploit situations to gain converts. The pracharak is supposed to work in different capacities – as a teacher, a manager of grain golas, holder and leaders of panchayats, convener and taker of Sunday Prayers, acting as a mediator in the moneylending business of the missions, recruiter of persons for different tea gardens in Assam, Bhutan, etc., watchman over his flock of people to guard against their being influenced by people or things outside mission range, propagandists of all mission activities, etc. Training thus consists of the above items amongst others which together make a pracharak a stronghold of the mission in its area.
No case of a local pracharak having been sent to foreign from these districts for training has come to our notice. It may, however, be mentioned that Shri Juel Lakra, the President of the. G. E. L. Church and the associate of the Jharkhand Party, for the last about 15 years, was educated in America and had visited Germany and other countries about two years back with certain other members of the Lutheran Church. At present, he is also the member of the Surguja Board which is parrying on its activities of proselytisation in the Surguja district for the last about four years. An example of an advertisement that has appeared in the “Ghar Bandhu” magazine (issue of May 1954), the G. E. L. Church may be cited here. In this, the Secretary of the G.E.L. Church Council of Ranchi has invited applications from Lutheran Young graduates belonging to the G.E.L. Church for being selected to be sent to Germany for higher Theological studies.
18. Answer: The area of a pracharak may range from one village to about four villages on average according to the density of population, the number of converts, the possibilities of increasing the number of converts, distance between the villages and from the mission centre, the nature and type of people where he has to work, difficulties and opposition to be encountered and overcome, etc.
Head pracharaks, fathers, assistant fathers and pastors of the mission centres supervise the work of pracharaks.
The following are the criteria of the success in a pracharak’s work:-
(a) Increasing the number of converts.
19. Answer: Literature in different forms suiting the nature, type and understanding power of people and areas where to be distributed, are used, e.g., books, pamphlets, tracts, weekly, monthly or other periodical magazines, newspapers, circulars of missions containing instructions and directions, etc.
All such literature is created with the object of making vehement exhortations to the people to embrace Christianity. To this end, not only Christianity is extolled to the extent of ridiculous and absurd claims of the mission institutions of bringings miraculous happiness and salvation to the people, but also vilification of non-Christian religious faiths, dogmas, rituals, cultures, customs, etc. Instances are not wanting when such literature is seen to have covered political domain in order to justify the politics of the missionaries as if supported by the principles of Christianity. In many a place, even principles of Christianity-are loosely relaxed and misinterpreted to justify the nefarious activities of the missions towards their reckless attempts to expand the community of their adherents. The literature is also seen not to have failed to try to assume exclusive claims of the Christianity propounded by the missions over the whole ethical code of the world-in short, to exemplify we might quote what Miss Jane Alden stated in the American Magazine Asia for June 1926, while she was travelling in India and was the guest of some missionaries who had given her some books to read-she found these books containing expositions about Indian religion in following terms:
In America some of the missionaries claimed that Rabindranath Tagore had derived his inspiration for Gitanjali from the Bible. To this, the poet replied-
Mahatma Gandhi held Christian religion in all reverence and for this reason some of the missionaries have tried to impress on the Hindu mind that but for his inspiration from the Bible, the Hindu religion could not have made him as great as he was. But we wonder if these missionaries have ever read the Chapter XX of his book “The Story Of My Experiments With Truth”. Herein Mahatma Gandhi writes-
The literature issued by the missionaries will also be seen containing deliberately manufactured snap-shots to make the Indian civilization ugly and loathsome. It will be interesting to read the following passage from what Shri I. J. Appaswamy, a wellknown Indian Christian, wrote in the July 1919 number of the “Young Men of India, the Organ of the National Council of the Y. M. C. A. of India and Ceylon”:
To cite an instance, John Fischer may be quoted in his article published in the “Catholic Digest” of February 1952’ “A Step Toward Lasting Peace”. The world revolution is on, and if we do not guide it, the communists will condescend from his book, to show how darker aspects of the unfortunate Indian life are exhibited to the foreign countries: “Once I threw a banana peel out of the window of a train to a monkey sitting on the platform of a little station west of New Delhi. The monkey never got it; a pack of naked-brown children beat him to it, and nearly clawed each other to pieces before the biggest gulped it down. Not a banana, just the skin; and this was not a famine area.” Yet another example of a skilful refined way of lowering the Hindu culture and religion in the eyes of the people may be quoted from the book “India Immortal” written by E. De Meulder, who is hailed by the missions as a great Christian Missionary: “All the rishis of ancient India that were saved, were saved because in all sincerity they did not know Christ explicitly…… But if those noblest rishis of India, now glorified in heaven, were to be reincarnated what would their message be? They would cross and recross the country and cry out unceasingly: “Bharat, Bharat, we have stared ourselves blind by gazing at Truth, and it was Christ we were looking for but unhappily we did not know; we have crippled ourselves, and it was he, we were reaching after; at the gates of India’s shrines we have squatted, arms dried up pointing to heaven and it was He, the Christ, we were pointing to. The best systems of thought we built were centred on Him, our Bhakti movements were pure longings for Him, our temples, our greatest epics were but a mighty sigh for Him, and we did not know. Join Him! He alone is worthy of the utter self-surrender of which we dreamt. By following Him, you render to God the highest glory. Christ alone is worthy to be the heart of Indian culture.” – “Such is the message of the Indian rishis to Young India.”
H. Butterfield, Professor of Modern History, in the University of Cambridge, has rightly said in his book “Christianity and History” to show how Christian Missionaries have ever tried to excel in the art of exploiting all situations, religious, political, social, to expand and make felt their influence:
The above are a few examples of the kind of refined propaganda carried on by the missions. There is numerous other vulgar type of literature which contains even rustic, crude and ignoble vilification of other faiths, to foster an attitude that all heathens or non-Christians are savages, ignoble or inferior to the religion and culture propagated by the missions. It will not be possible to quote such volumnous material and hence the literature which is available with us is being sent herewith with prominently relevant portions marked in ink or pencil.
20. Answer: Besides magic lanterns, films and loud-speakers, the mission., employ the following methods also:-
(1) Lyrical propaganda.
It may be worthwhile to mention that a new film is reported to be under production at the instance of the Belgian Roman Catholic Church. The film will depict the life-story of the Father Livens of the Catholic Church who worked in the village of Torpa in Ranchi district. It will show how the wife of a zamindar was seriously ill of malaria and how the medical help rendered by the Father Livens to cure her made him popular enough to create a field for the mission work. Further, it will be shown how Father Livens took up the cause of the poor ryots against the tyranny of the zamindars and, thus, won the hearts of the poor. It is also reported that the film is supposed to exhibit the ugly aspects of the Indian life and, thus, impress the Indian civilization as an ignoble object to be thrown, away in favour of Christian culture. It is said that the film would be a bigger attack on the Indian civilization than that was intended to be through Miss Mayo's “Mother India”. Yet another film is reported to be under production by the same Catholic Mission by name “The Hindu Rebel”. In this film, it is reported attempt of the meanest type have been made to depict the life of Nanasahib Peshwa, the Great Hero of the War of Independence of 1857, as black as possible.
21. Answer: The following cases have come to notice where patients were refused help at critical stages:
Regarding the school children, please refer to question No. 8.
22. Answer: Different missions hold their own fairs separately. Usually the programmes conducted at such fairs contain the items of the following nature:-
According to the dictates of the mission heads, all the converts of the jurisdiction are supposed to attend the fairs and the programmes. Mission schools, hospitals and other organisations have to participate on the institutional basis and these are tried to be presented before the people in the best of the colours. In short, the whole show consists of skilful and vehement propaganda on behalf of the mission. Such fairs have invariably encouraged conversion of the non-Christian people of the villages who are also encouraged to attend the fairs and stay in the mission premises.
23. Answer: Missionaries and pracharaks are seen often making references to the Central and State Governments in India. In some cases they have made even personal references to the Prime Minister of India, the President of India, Chief Ministers and other Ministers. Such references in almost all cases have emerged out of their antipathy towards the welfare activities of the Government and birth of active public consciousness of the implications of their activities against public interest, peace and tranquility in the country. The, missions appear cherishing the fear that the more people are drawn towards the Government the more they would lose their hold on the people, especially the community of their converts. To this end, therefore, they have always looked with disfavour on the items of the National Reconstruction Schemes of the Government. The following items have been almost always the subject of their references:-
In their books, magazines, newspapers, etc., the missions have often made unfavourable comments and remarks against the policies of the Government-educational, economic and political and social welfare-not as fair comments but actuated with the motive of discouraging such schemes as would possibly come in the way of their desire to maintain a monopoly of their ideas and beliefs in the people around them.
It is believed that the copies of such references could be obtained from the Governments concerned and that the Governments would be in a position to enlighten the committee. However, a few of the references which have come to our notice are appended separately herewith.
The Home Boards of all the missions are in the foreign countries. In their literature the missions are seen often referring to the foreign countries. A few of such which are in our possession are also separately appended herewith. Such references among other things primarily would disclose a systematic policy of planning enlisting of sympathy and support of the Indian people for the particular political ideologies of the missions and the particular blocks of countries which they favour in disregard of the accepted foreign policies of our country. How Foreign Embassy of America is connected with the Christian Missions of our country can be well illustrated by the following instance. One Mr. Sheo Avatar Chaube, Pleader at Khunti, district Ranchi, had written a letter to the Foreign Embassy of America at Delhi for supply of certain books. The office of the Foreign Embassy replied that the books could not be supplied till Shri Chaube had forwarded to them the approval and recommendation of the mission at Khunti. This we have come to know through a reliable source.
24. Answer: There are none. It is reported that some Christian converts reconverted themselves to Hinduism, but this was not the result of working of any institution or organisation.
25. Answer: The relations between the Christians and non-Christians since the year 1947 have all the more deteriorated. The chaotic conditions in the year 1947 and the success of the Muslim League as if enkindled new hopes and aspirations in the mind of the missions to fight for Jharkhand. The Jharkhand leaders had made secret pacts with the leaders of the Muslim League and plans were chalked out for achieving Jharkhand. Since after 1947 it is being felt by the missions that the success of creating Jharkhand mainly depends on the numerical strength of the Christians. For this purpose, vigorous and intensified attempts began being made on a much more bigger scale than before and as a consequence the relations of Christians with the non-Christians began all the more strained and deteriorated in proportion to the increased aggression of the mission work on the public morals and the sensibilities of the non-Christian people. Many instances in this respect can be found in our reply to question No. 8 and some other questions.
Up to the year 1948, the missionaries had not materially stepped into Surguja district and some other parts of the Raigarh district except Jashpur. But our Independence and the Secular Constitution opened the gates out for them as if missionaries and pracharaks in hundreds have poured themselves in these areas after the year 1948. The type of activities they have started there, as if with all vengeance against their restricted activities before this, have broken out an epidemic of regular dashes in the affected villages, so much so that police reports were made and administrative actions called for to maintain and restore peace. The Raj-Mohini and Gahira Guru Hindu cults of the Adivasis and their ancient religious beliefs are being attacked with such recklessness that the sensibilities of the people of other faiths are being mortally offended. To protest against these acts of aggression, the Maharaja of Surguja and other prominent persons including M.L.As. and M.Ps. issued pamphlets and toured to see the condition of the people. The similar incidents are taking place in the Raigarh district also. In Jashpur, two Jesuit foreign missionaries are standing trials in the Courts of Law for committing offences under the Penal Code. Some cases against other persons of the missions involving offences of desecrating the places of worship of Hindus and assaults and trespass have been instituted and in one or two of them the offenders have been convicted with fine. In one or two cases, it was complained that the top-knots of the persons complaining were cut off forcibly. All the above incidents and cases with particulars will be included in the appendices of incidents and documents which may please be referred to in this connection.
Last year, when the Hon. the President of India honoured us with his visit to the Surguja district about 8,000 adivasis laid before him humbly their grievances and complaints against the missionaries and their activities. A deputation of the prominent representatives of the Adivasis waited on the Hon. the President and submitted the griefs of the people for being remedied.
The above very brief account will show the extent to which the conditions have deteriorated since after the year 1947. The activities of the missionaries amount to serious breach of peace and if conditions do not improve early there is every reason to apprehend breach of peace of still greater magnitude.
26. Answer: The Christian missions do not permit the converts to participate in the festivals, melas or other functions of even purely social nature of the non-Christians.
In villages where Christians are in majority social boycotts have been used as a weapon to coerce the non-Christian minority to embrace Christianity. Similarly, those who dare to protest against the activity of the mission are threatened with this weapon. Instances of this may be seen in the appendix of incidents, attached herewith.
27. Answer: Almost all the office-bearers of the Jharkhand Party led by the Adivasi Mahasabha are Christians.
The Praja Socialist Party in Jashpur. Sub-Division has Christians as its office-bearers. Shri Johan Ekka, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Mission, is the elected member of the Legislative Council in Madhya Pradesh from the Tribal Reserved Seat. Two or three paid pracharaks and three others of the Roman Catholic Mission are members of the Janapada Sabha of Jashpur.
The Catholic Sabha of the. Roman Catholic Mission for all practical purposes indulges in political sphere and is intimately connected with the Jharkhand movement. It is only as a policy to cover its identity with the Jharkhand movement that the man Catholic Mission is seen connected with the Praia Socialist Party. Other appendages of the missions, like, Labour Unions, Students Unions, etc., are for all practical purposes tools for political consolidation of their Jharkhand Move.
The head offices of all the missions being in Ranchi the correct picture of what has been stated above is prominently visible in Bihar where Roman Catholic Mission is seen participating in the Jharkhand movement as openly as the Lutherans are seen in this tract. The “Abua Jharkhand” the paper, which is the Organ of the Jharkhand Party, till recently was printed in the G.E.L. Church Press at Ranchi. But now though there is a change in the name of the Press where it is shown to be printed, its connection with the missions are the same.
The literature that is issued from the Church Presses contains political matter and the political opinions of the missions.
28. Answer: Yes, the office-bearers are given advice and direction by the foreign missionaries. During the last general elections and the Janapada elections the foreign missionaries were even seen making propaganda in favour of the candidates set up by them.
As an example, Rev. Father E. De-Meulder, may be quoted from his Look “Tribal India Speaks”:
(As a matter of fact the Father is trying to further his end and giving direction and advice to his followers masking the motive by abuses to communists and the Zamindars.)
29. Answer: Says the great Indian Christian Shri J. C. Kumarappa.
It was for this reason that Sir Charles Elliot, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, described missionaries of all Churches as forming “un-recognised and unofficial branch of the great movement which alone justifies British rule in Southern Asia”.
What Mr. Osborne said has happened in India:
The history of India has proved close association of the extension of “Kingdom of God” with the extension of the Foreign Political Power”. This was exactly what the Rev. Dr. Mactarish head of the Presbyterian Church, said:
Dr. K. N. Katju, the Home Minister, Government of India, made a statement with regard to the work and activities of the foreign missionaries in India which is known to all. In this connection, the statement of Shri J.N. Wilson, M.P., is very significant. He has said-
“The foreign missionaries base their work on destruction and condemnation of all even the best in India's culture and civilization……, I say from my personal experience and knowledge that they did take part in the politics and our country and carried on subversive activities in the British regime specially during our struggle for freedom. It is an open secret that they condemned the movement and prevented Indian Christians from taking part in it. What will be their attitude in the future it is for Government to decide and satisfy itself.”
The National Christian Councils of India are without exception not only predominantly but, perhaps, wholly tinder the influence or domination of the leadership of the foreign missionaries. Christian missions of India are being financed by the foreign Government, like, America, through the foreign missionaries who have to execute the policies laid down by the foreign countries to which they belong or owe allegiance. This is why in their “Communism and the Social Revolution in India” Shri P. D. Devanandan and Shri M. M. Thomas have expressed the fear that-
The World Christian Council has reaffirmed the sanction which the foreign missionaries were enjoying so far to intermeddle in the politics of the country through the report of the Ecumenical Study Conference for East Asia, held at Lucknow, India, in 1952:
What happened in the Naga-Assam recently and in other parts of the country has the essential similarity or identity with what has happened in this tract and is happening. The part the foreign Missionaries played in Chhota Nagpur and the Jashpur State during the British regime has been enough dealt with in our reply to the question No. 8. They have led people to rebel and carried on all kinds of subversive activities detrimental to the interests of our nation. As it has been already seen the rebellion of 1922 in Jashpur was the piece of their ingenuity to establish their temporal domination through the expansion of Christianity and the expansion of Christianity was the consequence of their temporal influence and mission-craft. The places a foreign missionary did not reach remained in peace and safety has been admitted by Mr. A.S. Meek, Agent to the Governor-General of India in 1936:
In 1898, the foreign missionaries organised an association called a Christian Association. For all practical purposes this Association was designed to carry out activities neither religious nor social and save the Church of this tract from any further exposure of its-association with such activities. In 1914, this Association was converted into another association called Unnati Samaj. Shri Juel Lakra, who is at Present the President of the G.E.L. Church, and who was educated in America, was made the General Secretary, and later on, the President of the Unnati Samaj. It was through the working of the Unnati Samaj that the foreign missionaries broke out a rebellion in the Jashpur State. They indulged in various kinds of such activities through this Organisation. An Organisation by name Catholic Sabha was separately organised by the Roman Catholic Mission with the same aim and object. Later on, the missionaries thought to have one single political organisation to which end the Unnati Samaj and the Catholic Sabha were fused into one giving birth to the Organisatien called the Adivasi Mahasabha, which is today the most aggressive party in the demand of-
Jharkhand-Independent State. - Up to the day of our independence this organisation was led by them to work as a sister-organisation of the Muslim League. Shri Jaipal Singh, who was brought up by a foreign missionary and got educated in England, was made the President of the Adivasi Mahasabha. In his first presidential address on the 20th January 1939, he has referred to the and which the Adivasi Mahasabha is getting from the foreign missionaries as the strength of this institution:
“All the missionary institutions
working here are with us……
As the first experiment of this institution, no payment of rent-movement was launched in the Gangpur State in 1939 and disturbances were created there. Now, through the instrumentality of the Adivasi Mahasabha, the foreign missionaries have been trying here what they did in Indonesia when it became independent through the Ambonese Christians in revolting against the national Government and in Burma on its independence through the revolt of Karen Christians. The cry for Independent Naga State in Assam and Jharkhand here have no difference in implication and association with the foreign missionaries. Shrimati Wilson, the President of the Kashmir Christian Fellowship, sometime back wrote a letter to Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, throwing light on the dangerous activities of the foreign missionaries in Kashmir. In this letter, she has mentioned facts about the anti-national activities of the foreign missionaries like, Dr. Edmund, the Head of the Bisko Memorial School and Rev. Swear. She has also given a note of warning that these foreign missionaries are strengthening the foot of the enemies in the soil of Kashmir. With regard to the proposed Jharkhand, it has areas bordering on the East Pakistan like Santhal Parganas; and the existence of foreign missionaries in this area like the Moravians at Lab in Ladakh is being felt not safe. When the five units of their proposed Jharkhand-Jashpur, Udaipur, Surguja, Korea and Changbhakhar (all then the independent States merging in the Indian Republic) were declared merged in the present State of Madhya Pradesh in 1948, an anti-merger movement was set afoot in favour of their merger in Bihar. What was in fact the reality behind it is the fact that it was not out of geographical consideration but on political considerations of tile Jharkhand move. So much so, as has been stated elsewhere also, that section 144, Cr. P.C., had to be promulgated in Jashpur Sub-division and Udaipur and that the mission people courted jail in defiance of the administrative orders. Shri Johan Ekka, M.L.A., the staunch right-hand of the foreign missionaries was taking the lead and had courted jail. The foreign missionaries of this place have shown no less active interest in elections. In the last General and Janpada elections in Jashpur Sub-division, the foreign missionaries were seen canvassing in favour of the candidates set up by them. Shri Johan Ekka, M.L.A., and six members of the Janpada Sabha (of the Catholic mission as pracharaks or workers) were elected.
The whole history of this tract reveals very prominently that foreign missionaries have freely and licentiously taken part in politics under various pretexts of doing social service. A number of references of authorities on the point have been quoted in our reply to question No. 8. The Survey and Settlement Report of 1901-1910 of the Chhota Nagpur district contains reference to such activities of the foreign missionaries. The foreign missionaries have been carrying on their propaganda in politics in some form or the other. Elsewhere, it has been already mentioned that the Orgyan “Abua Jharkhand” belongs to the G.E.L. Church and till very recently it used to be published by the press of the same church. It is regularly carrying on virulent type of propaganda in favour of “Jharkhand”. The official Organ of the Roman Catholic Church, “Nishkalank” also shows the political trend of this Church under the direct charge of the foreign missionaries. For example, in its issue of August 1950, Rev. H. Jacquemotte, S.J., has published the opinion with regard to the “Goa Problem”. It is stated therein:
Besides this participation of the foreign missionaries in politics, many of their activities, though not outwardly purely political are neither religious nor social – as a matter of fact in different degrees, positively anti-social, anti-secular or anti-national.
The proselytising activities are based on sectarian communalism, hatred and malice. Their methods of conversion are against public morals. Disintegration in the general fellowship and an isolated community of converts has been created with hostile attitude to all that is essential for loyalty to the nation.
The institutions run by them like, schools hostels, hospitals, etc., are run with the motive to convert persons to Christianity which is neither religions nor social.
Their activities of money-lending, commission agency in respect of recruitment of labour for tea-gardens, trade and commerce involving profiteering are neither religious nor social. During the former state regime in Jashpur the foreign missionaries had taken contracts of road construction from the state administration. While this helped them to earn money it also helped them a lot to convert labourers. Father E. Demeulder’s Jamin Bachais Sabha other Labour or Students’ Unions under various names, etc., are essentially neither religious nor social. Through such activities, class hatreds are created and agitations fomented like those done formerly through the Christian Association or Unnati Samaj.
The literature in different forms issued by or at the instance of foreign missionaries will show much intermeddling with political matters. Every book stall attached to the Church or other place are flooded with books containing matter encouraging political participation by the missions in India. For this area, Rev. Father Demeulder can be quoted as an instance, his books – “The Tribal India Speaks”, “The Whole World Is My Neighbour”, “India Immortal”, etc., support this charge. The books – “Yuwak Majdoor Yesu Tumhe Bulata Hai” and “Lal Jhanda” and other books sent herewith are a few of other instances.
30. Answer: Shri Bikramajitsingh, President of the Tahsil Congress Committee, Soorajpur (Surguja), and Shri Bobadram Gupta, the then, Vice-President of the Tahsil Congress Committee of Soorajpur, and some others are said to have made certain complaints before the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee during their last visit to Surguja against Shri John Masih who was Additional Deputy Commissioner in Ambikapur. The Committee may refer to this.
In Jashpur Sub-division, people were heard making complaints against Christian- patwaris and revenue inspectors about their partial treatment on the ground of religion in favour of the mission. The district authorities may please be referred to in this connection.
31. Answer: Jharkhand Party. - Almost cent per cent Christians.
Praia Socialist Party. - In Jashpur Sub-division-About 80 per cent Christians and 20 per cent non-Christians. In Surguja and other parts of the Raigarh district, except Jashpur, the number of Christians is negligible.
Congress. - Non-Christians almost cent per cent.
32. Answer: So far as cleanliness is concerned improvement to some extent is visible amongst one living in the close vicinity of the missions. The rest of the generality of the converts seem in this respect as good as their non-Christian neighbour’s. There is no improvement in the economic condition of the converts. In regard to literacy, only Jashpur Sub-division can be taken into consideration as in all other parts of Surguja and Raigarh district, the missions commenced working as late as about 1951. In Jashpur, before this state merged in to Madhya Pradesh Government, it were practically the missions who had monopolised the educational sphere. As such a large number of boys and girls were imparted education in their schools. Since 1948 and onward, the Tribal Welfare Department is running nearly two hundred schools in the Surguja and Raigarh districts. The rate of literacy in these schools appears much better than what is in the mission schools.
33. Answer: There is no improvement in the moral level of the converts. On the contrary, iii many cases it was noticed that it had declined. It is difficult to expect even any improvement till Christianity remains dominated by the missions. Swami Vivekananda has said addressing missionaries:
The Murmula Catholic Mission in P. S. Basiya in Gumla Sub-division (Bihar), on the border of Jashpur, in village Tengra, the Rev. Father Seel in charge, some of the mission people buried a dead body of a Christian in the Sarana of the Hindus (the place of worship) – there was a let of agitation and serious breach of peace was apprehended-reports to the administrative authorities were made in consequence the Father Seel and his five disciples had to execute bonds of security for keeping peace of the amount of Rs. 500 each.
(4) Village Marang Loiya-P. S. Balumath-district Balamu (Bihar) Catholic Mission. - Certain mission persons of the Mission are reported to have tried to convert one ryoti field of one Hindu Oraon by name Thutha Oraon as a burial ground of Christians by burning the dead body of a pracharak of the mission-the matter was report to the Sub-Divisional Officer of Latehar Sub-Division, published in the newspaper-“Gram Nirman” of 2nd April 1953.
(5) Village Nagar Prahatoli, P. S. Chainpur, Sub-division Gumla, bordering Jashpur - the Roman Catholic Mission. - The Hindus while were burying a dead body in their usual place of burial-ground, the Christians of the mission tried to obstruct this and an agitation took place-the body was somehow or the other buried but the mission people threatened that they would dig out the body and throw away-police report was made, police reached the spot and after enquiry bound over the culprits for keeping peace.--Published in the “Gram Nirman” issue, dated 2nd April 1953.
(6) In Tamamund village, P. S. Farsabahar, the Pracharaks and other people of the Roman Catholic Mission are said to have dug a well, the trees of the Hindu Sarana were cut and the sacred stone which was regarded as deity in the Sarana was used in the built of the said well-afterwards in order that the Hindus may not drink water of the well they threw cooked rice in the well-the matter is said to have been reported to the police.
(7) It is reported that the “Saranas” at Lowakera and Jodamal have been descreted by the mission people-similarly on the burial place it is reported that the mission people have dug out bandh-that is water reservoir.
(8) In village Balachhapar, P. S. Jashpurnagar - One Junas Prachar of the Roman Catholic Mission cultivated the Sarana place with the intention of injuring the feelings of the Hindus-the matter was reported to the police and the accused-Junas was prosecuted and tried in Cr. C.R. No. 241-1954-the accused was sentenced to pay fine.
(9) Near Sanna - P. S. Sanna - (Jashpur). - The Rev. Father of the Abmakona Mission of Roman Catholics is said to have tried to possess the “Sarana” area of the Hindus on account of which there was lot of agitation and breach of peace was imminent-the police and other administrative officers had, it is reported, to intervene and set the matter right-Near the Sarana the mission has constructed its chapel and it was in extension of this that the sarana area was tried to be encroached upon-
35. Answer: The consequences of such acts were that the relations between them have been acutely strained. As regards such cases being reported to the local authorities, information as far as was available has been given in the previous question so also with regard to the action taken in their connection.
36. Answer: The Christian missions have not welcomed the National Reconstruction efforts.
The most important schemes undertaken by the State Government towards National Reconstruction are Tribal Welfare, Social Education and co-operative movement. The missions have opposed these schemes.
The Tribal Welfare Department had to face serious difficulties which the missions created in the way. They put up vigorous efforts to bring about the closure of the schools started by the Tribal Welfare Department. The converts, are strictly prohibited from sending children to the adivasi school and there are instances when the converts were encouraged to use criminal force for causing withdrawal of the children from the adivasi schools. Their opposition went to the extent of boycotting the construction work of the Adivasi school-buildings by withdrawing Christian labourers which cause a lot of handicaps, for carrying on construction work of the buildings. For the removal of this difficulty the local authorities had to take certain steps and the mission authorities were warned against such acts. The converts are directed or encouraged to boycott welfare programmes of the Tribal Welfare Department.
Similar attitude was adopted by the missions in regard to Social Education Camps. Converts were discouraged front attending them.
The missions have also not permitted the freedom to converts to cooperative with the non-Christians in organising co-operative societies. So much so that they organised their own “Christian Regional Association” as ,an attempt to avoid Christians coming under the influence of co-operative movement not under the direct control of the missions.
The Adim Jati Sewa Sangh of which Dr. Rajendraprasad is the President is opposed tooth-and-nail by the missions in Bihar on the border of Jashpur.
In proof of what has been stated above, the Appendices A and B. attached herewith, may please be referred to.
37. Answer: The mission have not been seen contributing or encouraging their converts to contribute, to National Welfare Schemes or Funds for relief in national calamities.
38. Answer: It is reported that there are many cases where the missionaries have encroached upon such lands, usurped them and constructed their churches, chapels, schools, hostels or hospitals. It is believed that such cases are within the knowledge of the Government and the district authorities would be the proper persons to enlighten the Committee in this connection.
Even during the old state regime of the Jashpur State, the missionaries indulged in unlawful acts of encroachments upon Government or common lands. In the year 1930, Father Gallaghar of the Roman Catholic Mission constructed a hostel building in Tapkara on the State-land without permission. This was done by him for keeping concealed the boys he had brought from the Udaipur State to effect their conversion unnoticed by the Udaipur State authorities who had viewed the activities of the missionaries with grave suspicion and who would have punished severely this priest of the Church for such an act which he thought safe to commit in Tapkara.
39. Answer: Missionaries are seen mixing up with the Indian people and professing to render them their selfless services. But could we, therefore, say that they are trying to identify themselves with the Indian people? Our painful experience gas been otherwise. It has led is to no other experience or inference but that the missionaries have all along worked to cause disintegration among the Indian people. In the converts they have sown the seeds of separatist tendencies as a result of which Jharkhand and Naga Land movements claiming separate and independent rule of their own have taken birth. The different activities of the Missionaries, as is evident, are aimed at creating a distinct community of native converts Hostile to the unity of the Indian people and we have had even before our Independence the bitter experience of this very community keeping aloof from our national struggle, so much so, that openly the missionaries were seen supporting the British Rule. Superficially whatever may appear to be the nature of their activities, it is certain that these are actuated with motives hostile to the unity and solidarity of our country. As a matter of fact the whole history of missionary movement in India up to the present day bears as a witness to this sad experience. Their underlying motive even behind their so called humanitarian works which many times creates a false impression in the Indian mind as to their relationship with the Indian people can be best illustrated through the mouth of the German Catholic Beshop himself who while rejoicing over the worst of the calamities that befell the poor Indian subjects or the British Empire uttered in the fit of ecstasy: “How marvellous are the Lord’s Ways?” - One might almost say that the divine intention has been to make the parents disappear in order that their children might be led to the mission and there find the Christian salvation. The last two periods of famine has brought to Catholic Mission thousands of orphans who are all today pious Catholics.” published in the “Christian World” and reproduced in “India” the official organ of the Indian National Congress published in London of December 26, 1902.
40. Answer: The whole working of the Christian missions is based on an indifferent and hostile attitude towards Indian culture with affinity to foreign culture. This Christianity. propagated by the missions and which we see around us has fast created this tendency of hostility in the community of their converts.
It may be worthwhile to quote a few of the following references: -
(1) Evangelism in India - A survey prepared by the Secretary for Evangelism National Christian Council, Nagpur, Central Provinces, by Dr. R.W. Scott-entitled “Ecumenical Studies”, page 13:
But further the writer feels oppressed by the dynamic force of Indian nationalism and expresses with a deep sigh:
The writer asks: “Are Christian schools and colleges helping to evangelise by the process of leavening society and culture.” He feels encouraged by one of the answers given by a missionary educator in 1950.
But here also despair takes hold of him as soon as he recollects what P. D. Devanandan said:
(2) As regards children, Mr. Ernest Thurtle in the “Literary Guide”, January 1933, writes:
(3) Mr. Harold Begbie has written a book “The Light of Asia” for the Christian Literary Society for India. In this book, Hinduism is described as a-
The above are a few examples to show how missionaries are imbued with the motive of uprooting the whole structure of the Indian culture. 'Their day-to-day activities are in themselves the mass of evidence in support of this. As many of such activities have found place in being mentioned under the heads of other questions, they may not be repeated here. These will amply further show how the missions are creating a big communal group of the converts not only distinct, indifferent and hostile to the Indian culture, but with the avowed object of its affinity to the foreign culture. The admission of Mr. Albert James Saunders, Professor of Economics and Director of Research and Extension, American College, Madura, University of Madras, can alone best illustrate here how missionaries are creating exclusive affinity in the community of the converts for the foreign culture:
The writer further quotes Alexander Duff who, in his defence of his method of work in Calcutta, said to the people of Scotland in 1840:
41. Answer: The motive of the Christian Missions has all along been to foot out all ancestral religious, social customs from amongst the converts. The whole social and cultures fabric of this country being interwoven from time immemorial with the Hindu religious beliefs, the anxiety of the missions to establish Christianity as the exclusive religion in India has led them to the adoption of means and methods which must also destroy even the practice of ancestral social customs. Therefore, all possible attempts are made by them to serve completely the relationship of the converts with their inherited pattern of life. But this being deeply ingrained in the very bones of the converts, they find it most difficult to isolate themselves from the bond of their old social and religious customs. It is for this reason that the missions have always tried to identify Western social patterns and customs with Christianity with good results.
So far as purely religious observances are concerned, the converts have been strictly made to give up these. Hence worship of Gram Devatas, etc., is not visible amongst the converts. Similarly, marriages among them are performed according to the rites prescribed by the priests. But despite this, the missions have not been able to escape the deep-rooted attachment of, the converts to the external forms of such observances and for this they had to yield and to own these as forms of observances of certain substitutes religious or quasi-religious functions or festivities which they have cleverly introduced on the lines of the Hindu ones with certain changes in order that the converts could be safely detached without the risk of their participating in the functions and festivals observed by he old Hindu fellowmen and relations of the converts.
The conversion of the tribal people has caused a lot of disintegration in the old community life of the converts in their old relationship and brotherhood of the non-Christian tribals. The old social customs which had served for thousands of years as a unifying force and a bond to realise and keep alive the sense of unity and deep Brotherhood have been ruthlessly attacked by the missionaries.
The following may be cited as illustrations for what has been stated above: -
(1) The non-Christian tribals observe Sarhul Pooja when they perform pooja of the God Mahadeo and worship the trees on their Sarana. This almost coincided with the Easter of the Christians and hence no difficulty is felt by the missions as the converts are kept engaged in the observance of the Easter. The non-Christians offer their prayers on the Sarana while the converts do it in their churches. The non-Christians dance and sing in their own villages or with group of different villagers. The converts are not permitted to join with them and hence they perform these in the church or mission premises.
(2) The festival of Nawakhani the non-Christian Tribals observe in honour and worship of the newly grown crop of the year. This festival is celebrated by them by partaking of meals prepared of the newly grown crop jointly with the large gathering of the village or group of villages. The converts are prohibited to participate in this function of the n-on-Christians. On their own part, the converts are required to celebrate this function in the church where they go with at least a handful of newly grown grains and offer them in worship to the Church. The priest sprinkles water on the collected heaps and people are supposed to believe to have received the blessings of God.
(3) Bhayari Pooja is the group pooja of the persons of the same totem (Gotra). Tribals have their own Gotras like Minj, Topno, Tirkey, Ekka, etc. The converts could not be made to forget their old Gotras and hence the missionaries, in order to lead them at least to forget and take pride over the implications of these Gotras, have introduced the custom of these being used by the converts in the form of surnames. This practice is contrary to the belief of the non-Christian tribals that the Gotras are too sacred to be used in this fashion. But all the same, the converts could not be led in to the total disregard of the feeling of religious sanctity behind them and hence the missionaries have been compelled to permit them the observance of this ritual though in a different way and not in the same name. The converts of the same Gotra meet together and hold a joint prayer. But none of them can join the pooja performed by the non-Christian tribals of the- same Gotra.
(4) While the non-Christian tribals perform their Karma Pooja, the converts are engaged in special prayers in the Churches or Chapels.
(5) As a substitute for the festival of Daserah, the missions have introduced a function popularly known as “Jubilee”. Similar to Daserah in this function of jubilee, the converts hold joint prayers, meet with each other and exchange greetings of good-wishes, etc.
(6) The month of Magh is considered as the end of the last agricultural year and the beginning of the new one. It is observed as a socio-religious month when the leases or services of the agricultural servants are renewed by the landlords and rejoicings and merry-makings take place. The converts also observe this but separately and within the community of the converts.
(7) Similar to the festival of Diwali. the missions have introduced a festival of their own for the converts which generally takes place just immediately after the festival of the Hindus. The converts decorate their houses and cattle-sheds with lighted candles, hold prayers and enjoy joint feasts.
(8) The Hindu Oraon women have nut on their foreheads three tattoo marks. This custom is said to be connected with a story of their bravery and gallantry on three consecutive occasions in the mediaeval period, which is believed to be a historical fact. While the Oraons as a community were living in the Rohatasgarh on three occasions the Muslim invaders came on with a deadly attack on them. On all these three occasions the male members of the community were unfortunately dead drunk with wine which had made them completely unconscious of the calamity. But the womenfolk of the community on all these three occasions are said to have put on the garb of males and fought and defeated the invaders with bows and arrows. From this time onward the Oraon women have been keeping these three marks on their forehead in memory of the wonderful bravery of the above fact which is cherished as a sacred heritage. The Roman Catholic Missions have made to disappear two marks and have permitted only one. But the Protestant Missions have proved more ruthless in wiping out all the three marks.
(9) The Missions have brought about changes even in the style of greeting, the mode of dressing the clothings, the mode of dressing of the hair of the women and in many other minor things of daily life of the converts. The converts are seen shaking hands with each other in place of wishing by folded hands.
(10) The converts not only cannot participate in dances and folk songs, of the Hindu Tribals but also they are forbidden to sing among themselves their traditional folk songs. For this purpose, the missions have brought about changes in the mode of dances and introduced their own ideas in the folk songs which converts can play and sing. While the Hindu tribals dance and sing in the villages, the converts have to do it in the Mission or Church premises only.
(11) In regard to the marriages it may significantly be mentioned that the converts are still following the custom of marrying within the tribal community and for this purpose they have not completely detached, themselves from their old community. An Oraon Christian boy is prepared to marry a non-Christian Oraon girl, but he will not marry even a Christian Munda girl. But in this connection the missions have succeeded in forbidding marriages of Christian girls with non-Christian boys. This has helped the missions to satisfy the traditional instinct of the converts as well as to achieve additional number of converts through the non-Christian girls who are married to Christian boys.
(12) The Hindu Tribals keep top-knots on their heads. But the converts are not permitted to have them and during the formalities observed during conversion of a male, these are cut off by the priests, though it is said that the cutting of top-knots has nothing to do with the admission of people into the Church.
(13) The converts are discouraged vehemently to adopt for themselves Indian names. Invariably they have to adopt western names for themselves and their children.
In short, the Missions have formed a distinct community of converts isolated from the general fellowship. The converts are not permitted to participate with the non-Christians even in the programmes of purely social nature which are confined to rejoicing and merry-making. Converts are forbidden to witness even as spectators the folk dances and songs of the non-Christians. They are forbidden even to attend without participation the melas of the Hindus. The “Catholic Dharma ka Pracharak” the book of instructions for the Pracharaks, which is being sent herewith, will testify even to more than what has been stated in reply to this question.
42. Answer: Dr. Kumarappa gives a clear idea of this:
Shri Verrier Elvin was invited to contribute to a volume which was being prepared, in anticipation of the World Missionary Conference to be held in India, a chapter on the aboriginal tribes with special reference to “the needs of the aborigines, the Menace of Hinduism, the Christian Task methods, etc.” Shri Elvin addressed a long letter to the Editors. The following quotation is the extract from his letter:
Patriots of India have thought Christian missionary activities detrimental to the interests of our Nation.
Their proselytism is opposed to the secular constitution. Fundamentally, it is opposed to the idea and principle of coexistence of religions. It is based on malice and hatred. It has created schism for the community life of the nation. It has sought to create a community of converts hostile to the Indian culture, since the essential culture of a country and nationality are inseparable, the activities towards the destruction of the essential culture of our country and artificial imposition of foreign culture are detrimental to the interests of the Nation.
The missionary activities are against public order and morality. Their so called humanitarian activities like, schools, hospitals, etc., are but the means to convert people to Christianity. Likewise, all other methods of conversion adopted by the missions are destructive forces of the peace and tranquility between the communities and the unity of the country. There can he no other result but constant hostility as a result of the missionary aggression and attack on other religions and communities.
The Christian missionaries have marched far ahead of the limits of the right of propagation of faith. Conversion of people by unfair and foul means is not confined to the fanatic lust of expansion of Christianity, but proselytism has for them political significance. For the achievement of political aims the missions are trying to increase their number of converts and make their community powerful enough to hold political domination. The role of the foreign missionaries in this respect is predominant. The purse and policy of all the missions of the country are in the hands of the foreign missions and these are the wing of foreign imperialism. The fact is that the missions being the children of foreign parents their loyalty is increasingly being fostered by, foreign feeding.
Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Potha Camury, Archbishop of Bangalore, and Secretary of Bishops’ Conference, has recently said in reply to a suggestion about nationalisation of the churches in India, that foreign missionaries in India cannot agree to the concept of nationality not permitting them the foreign missionaries the liberty of loyalty to and to be under the control of foreign countries. Shri Jaipalsingh and Shri Heyward of Ranchi, the leaders of the Jharkhand movement, broke into rivalry with each other, and in the course of exposing and accusing each other, they had exchange of correspondence which has brought to light many secrets about the activities of the Adivasi Mahasabha, the creation of the foreign missionaries. A circular is enclosed with Appendix B which discloses how this institution was in league with the Muslim League as a menace to this Nation. This is an example of the product of foreign missionaries.
43. Answer: As to the first part of the question please refer to our reply to the question No. 6. In Jashpur Sub-division, the missions have been working since the beginning of the 20th century. In Surguja and other parts of the Raigarh district, they started their activities since after the year 1948.
44. Answer: There has been an increase, in the number of foreign missionaries since the year 1947. The district authorities may please be referred to for information about the exact number of increase.
45. Answer: The missions own properties worth lakhs of rupees. They have number of buildings in different parts of the tract. They have enormous landed property also. It is not possible for us to give details of the assets and. liabilities. This can be done by the district or mission authorities.
46. Answer: For the exact number of Indian and foreign missionaries, the mission or district authorities may please be referred to. As far as known to us, the nationalities of the foreign missionaries are Belgian, Dutch, American, English; for further information, if there he any, the authorities mentioned above may please be referred to.
47. Answer: The Mission or the district authorities will be able to supply correct information in this connection.
48. Answer: For the first part of the question the Mission or the district authorities may please be referred to. As regards the selection, persons agreeing to devote their life for the Mission work are selected. The cost of their training is borne by the Mission and the foreign Home Board.
49. Answer: The Indian Missionaries do not enjoy the status of the foreign Missionaries. Though we might see Indian Missionaries raised to high ranks in the administration of churches, the policy and purse being under the control of foreign missionaries, for vital purposes the said status has but a nominal value.
50. Answer: The Roman Catholic Mission is under the sole control of the Pope who has his high office in Rome. Like any secular Government the Vatican has its departments through which the influence of Rome is felt everywhere. None in the hierarchy of this papal administration is a free agent and the discipline demands unquestioning obedience. According to the decree of the Vatican Council the word of the Pope is infallible. For doctrine and morals the Bible is not to be considered as the source of authority.
There is the Lord Bishop in charge of the dioceses consisting of Raigarh and Ambikapur districts. Under his supervision work officers designated as Superior Father and Fathers. Each of the Branch mission centres has a Father and assistant Fathers. Areas have been divided and allotted under the superintendence of these branch Mission centres. Head Pracharaks and Pracharaks and all other staff in charge of different activities works tinder the control of these branch Mission centres.
Other Missions working are the bodies belonging to the Protestant churches. Lutherans are most dominant amongst them. Lutherans owe their allegiance to the German Home Board.
In the constitution of these there are Church Councils. Church Councils provide for the Ministry and has powers of supervision over all local churches. Regular inspections are held. They exercise control over all the activities of the Mission of their Jurisdiction. Over them are the synods and the General Assembly.
All these Protestant Missions have their controlling Home Boards in the respective foreign countries. The Foreign Home Boards control the purse anti policy of all these Missions, though nominally they are called autonomous churches.
51. Answer: The missions are financed by the foreign countries. The Directory of Churches and Missions in India and Pakistan for the year 1951 published for National Christian Council by the World Dominion Press. Farley, Ootacamund Page 33 reveals Rs. 3,16,33,159 as foreign grants as against the Field Income of Rs. 1,64,99,600. The National Missionary Society of Surguja alone received the following grants from America through the U. L. C. M.:Rs. 8,00,000 for the year 1952 (published in their “magazine Ghar Bandhu” for November, 1952), Rs. 90,000 for 1953 (Published in “Ghar Bandhu” for April 1953). Shri Juel Lakra, President of the G. E. L. C., had admitted before the committee during its tour in Surguja at Kosmi, to have received a grant of Rs. 60,000 in ad ion from Geneva.
Besides the huge finances they receive from the foreign countries, the mission organisations have local incomes on various counts. Some of them are:
(a) Schools and Hostel-fees in cash or kind, (b) Yearly contributions from each house of the converts, (c) performance of marriages, (d) fines which the missions levy for breach of their rules or directions from the converts, (c) hospitals and nursing homes, (f) publications, (g) agriculture, gardening and horticulture, (h) money lending and Banking, (i) co-operative societies and stores run by the missions, (j) commission for recruitment of labour for tea gardens, (k) rents from buildings and lands, (l) offerings from converts at Sunday Prayers and at other occasions like festivals, etc.
It is presumed that they must be maintaining regular budgets and statements of accounts for themselves. The missions alone can furnish annual statements of accounts.
52. Answer: Only missions can tell about this.
53. Answer: The mission or district authorities alone can tell about this.
54. Answer: For the first and second parts of the question it can only be said that huge amounts are being used for purposes other than religions or social in reality. The type of activities carried on by, the missions can neither be termed as religious nor social. Solely as they are actuated with the intention of converting people, the methods employed are against public morals and peace. Proof in this connection has been given in reply to other questions.
Non-Christians are not associated with the organisation and execution of any of the so called humanatarian works of the missions. Non-Christians rarely get any advantage from such works. It is generally the tribals and other backward people among whom they work and it is generally seen that non-Christians amongst them have not been able to have any benefit without risking their faith and culture.
55. Answer: For the first part of the question please refer to our reply to question No. 19-Specimen copies of these are enclosed.
56. Answer: Reports of the achievements of the missions are published by them in their own literature. They also publish Directories every year showing the progress in the expansion of their activities. A few of such are enclosed with Appendix B.
57. Answer: The following are in main the activities undertaken by the missions:-
(1) Schools.- The teachers of the schools are pracharaks and the priests of the mission. Religious training is compulsory in the schools. The schools are decorated with all kinds of symbols of Christianity. The atmosphere is kept purely sectarian in the schools. The students are not permitted to read books on other religion or culture. But the exclusive superiority of the Christian religion is taught to the children. A sense of inferiority complex is tried to be created in the minds of non-Christian children. The mission is more interested in converting children to Christianity than their education. Non-Christian children are required to learn by heart certain Christian prayers and Ten Commandments. Various inducements are offered to children for converting them. An attitude hostile to the culture and faith of the soil to which they belong is fostered in their impressionable mind. In a word, the schools are run with the sole aim of converting to Christianity non-Christian children. At best what the mission schools have meant to the Hindus can best be expressed in the words of Dr. W. Y. Wantz, M.A., D.Litt., B.Sc. (Oxon.):
The result is that through the instrumentality of the, schools the missions have succeeded in converting school children in large numbers to Christianity. The schools have also served as the best means to foster fanaticism in the mind of the Christian children.
(2) Medical.- Medical treatment is used as a. means to induce persons to accept Christianity. Only Christians work on the staff of the dispensaries or hospitals. Very few non-Christians can receive any benefit from the medical service of the mission without risking their faith and culture. What the missions term as Hospital Evangelism is the creed the missions follow in regard to this branch of their activity. The nature of this activity and the motive of proselytisation behind it are sometimes confessed by the missionaries in their own statements in appreciation of their achievements. Dr. R. W. Scott, Secretary for Evangelism, National Christian Council. Nagpur, in his “Evangelism in India - A Survey”, has referred to the journal of the Christian Medical Association of India, Pakistan and Ceylon, September 1952, issued from Mysore City, as follows – “A recent Conference on Hospital Evangelism showed that a great deal of proclamation of the Gospel takes place in medical institutions.”
(3) Banking and moneylending. - Missions have banks of their own. Converts are required to deposit their savings with these banks. These deposits enable the missions to invest money in profitable concerns and to use them as additional aid to carry on their different activities. The deposits serve as a bondage of the converts to the missions also. Allied to this the missions lend money. This lending business has brought a large number of converts to missions. Our reply to question No. 8 contains quotations from the reports of administrative officers in support of this with regard to the incidents that took place in this tract. A recent example of Surguja may, however, be cited here. In 1952, the missionaries disseminated the news in the villages that those who wanted loans of money could approach the missionaries. A number of people approached and before they could be entrapped fortunately intelligent people came to know of this and an atmosphere, of grave suspicion arose in higher circles. Police reports, it is said, were made. The result was that missionaries stopped doing this with this kind of publicity. In all the parts of these areas this method of converting people is being used by the missions, but with precaution to safeguard against public-notice or administrative action. The nature of this activity as revealed to us is that the Mission lend money to illiterate Tribals at other backward people. After the lapse of some time invariably when the debtors are hard-pressed, the mission people begin demanding repayment with interest. Naturally, the debtors plead and entreat for grant of more time. But the mission people, while they press for repayment, tell them that they can agree to this on only one condition that the debtors attend their Sunday prayers. Out of fear and under the pressure of obligation, they agree to this as a means to have some relief. After they thus come in close contact with the mission, inducements to embrace Christianity are practised on them. As time passes and the debtors become all the more indebted with the addition of interest calculated by the missionaries and believed to be true by the credulous illiterate debtors, the more difficult they find to free themselves from this obligation. Ultimately, the poor people find embracing Christianity as the only possible means of discharging this otherwise unending debt.
(4) Grain Banks. - In villages the missions have, organised Grain Banks. It is only the converts who in reality benefit from the Colas in the shape of seed-loans. As a rule non-Christians are not permitted to have any advantage. But this in itself works as an inducement for the hard-pressed non-Christian villagers to embrace Christianity. The rule is relaxed in case of persons who are likely to be converted under the pressure of this obligation as in the case of moneylending business.
(5) Co-operative Societies. - The missions have organised co-operative societies. The societies are run with rigid sectarian views. The source of inspiration for co-operative movement is in Ranchi where missions have succeeded to a large extent in the expansion of Christianity through this agency. There was a time when non-Christians were as a rule debarred from membership of the societies and this was observed as a means to offer inducement on non-Christian aboriginals to embrace Christianity. But later on as public criticism increased and pressure was brought to bear on the mission, the missions made certain modifications. The above will be evident from a passage in the Survey and Settlement Report of the. Ranchi district: “In the first decade of the present century, the co-operative movement was started amongst the aboriginals by various Christian-missionaries and great strides have been made. Except the Chhota Nagpur Catholic Co-operative Credit Society, the societies now admit non-Christians.” But even then the societies are managed in such a manner that the missions are enable to have their arbitrary control over them and the non-Christians cannot derive benefit equal to Christians. Yet another quotation from the same Report will testify to the fact that the societies have been used as a means to bring about conversion of people: “The above-named society is the largest and most flourishing. The Chhota Nagpur Christian Central Co-operative Bank operates in Sadar. Gumla and Khunti sub-divisions. The societies founded by the Society for the propagation of Gospel and Lutheran Missions in these areas are affiliated to this Bank.
(6) Labour Bureau and Unions. - The Labour Bureau of the mission recruits labour for tea gardens and other places. Through this agency the missions have recruited converts also. The extent to which Roman Catholic Mission has alone succeeded in gaining converts through recruitment may well be illustrated through the words of Rev. Father E. De Meulder himself:-
The missions have organised labour unions also, e.g., Khristi Majdoor Yuvak Sangh. This has enabled the missions to keep under their command an army of labourers. This has helped them in their drive towards conversion also.
(7) Press and Publications. - The missions have their own presses in Ranchi, e.g., G.E.L. Church press, the Catholic press. Through these they publish literature of all kinds. Their literature has helped them a lot in propagating religion and making propaganda in favour of the missions. Their literature covers political matter also. ‘Abua Jharkhand’ - the newspaper for propagating the Jharkhand movement-is the product of the G.E.L. Church and till recently it was printed in the Church Press. As described by Dr. R. W. Scott, Secretary for Evangelism, National Christian Council, Nagpur, “Christian literature of all kinds is taking on new evangelistic life. This is both in preparation, by writing with a particular group in mind and in distribution, both free and for sale. Book shops are becoming conscious of the front they display to the public.” “Period evangelistic week ends are organised with special out side speakers, and careful advertising, all co-ordinated with the distribution of leaflets”.
(8) Students’ Unions, Youth Leagues, Mahila Sanghs, etc. - Effective propaganda of the mission and its religion are made through the agency of such organisations. Spirit is infused in the members to render their services for undertaking conversion-campaigns. Camps are organised with this end in view and services of such persons are used during vacation or at other leisure periods
(9) Bible Classes or Sunday Schools, etc. - Young children are induced to join these. And through the agency of these the impressionable mind of the children are fostered with sectarian ideal of the mission.
(10) Regular Religious and Mission Propoganda in Villages through the Paid Staff of the Mission. - Pracharaks and other staff of the mission regularly tour in the villages. During their tours they bring people in their contact in different ways and try to attract them to the mission. The old customs and beliefs and faiths of the tribals are scornfully painted in black and distrust and misbelief in respect of these are tried to be created in their mind. Bright picture of benefits to be derived from the mission are tried to be impressed on the mind of such unsophesticated people. The mission-aid is placed before the people as the only means for the solution of their problems. In result it is seen that needy people have fallen prey to such exhortations on behalf of the mission. The missions possess cycles, motor cycles, motor vehicles as a means of communication for carrying on this activity and these in themselves have proved to be a source of attraction of the people to the mission.
(11) Celebration of Christian Festivals, Fairs, etc. - Festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show. Likewise, fairs are organised on the same scale. Through the agency of different programmes large gatherings of people are attracted to witness the show. The missions thus get ready audience for their propaganda. Audio-visual crafts are also used which enable the mind of the tribals to be all the more drawn towards the mission. Missions have immensely profited through this kind of activity in gaining converts during celebrations or in creation of good background for the fulfilment of the aim of the mission.
(12) Organisation of Sports, Reading Rooms and Libraries. etc. - Through the organisation of sports students and other young children of the villages are easily kept isolated from the general programmes of village recreations. Christian children are expected not to join with non-Christian children in their games. More over, this has helped the missions in a large measure to make disappear playing of Indian games y the village children. Even in the remotest village Christian boys will be seen playing Hockey-game with hockey sticks made of hockey stick-like shaped and mended branches of trees. Through the agency of reading rooms-and libraries, the missions have to a large extent succeeded in concentrating the mind of the Christian school children or other educated people over their literature only. This has had its effect on the impressionable mind of the non-Christian boys and girls also.
The above are their prominently conducted activities. Associated with their major activities they have number of other small activities as a means to strengthen the former ones. The aim underlying each of the activities is the same as described above, though outwardly they may appear as actuated with motives of service to the people.
58. Answer: Interference of missions in all kinds of temporal matters is seen. For the community of converts the mission heads are supposed to be the final authority even in certain temporal matters. The Panchayats and the authority of the mission heads, though not termed as courts in the usual sense, are made to feel like courts of law. Each of the villages has a panchayat for the community of converts under the advice and guidance of the pracharak. When mission instructions or directions are supposed to be disobeyed panchayats are held and offenders taken to task in different ways. Panchayats levy fines also. The following are some of the major things for which the panchayats are invariably used (a) non-attendance at Sunday prayers or other compulsory prayer programme, (b) participation of converts in the meals, festivals, dances or social functions of the non-Christians, (c) enrolling of christian children in any school other than the mission school-(the rule is that every convert must send his children to mission school alone if he wants to educate them and in case there is no mission school nearby, the convert must prefer to keep his, children uneducated rather than enrol them in other school), (d) failure to contribute periodical subscription of the church or offerings, (e) Christian boy or girl marrying non-Christian girl or boy without the non-Christian partner becoming Christian-if the boy or girl do not yield, their parents or guardians are placed under pressure, etc. Punishments of different types are awarded some of which lie exclusively in the hands of the mission heads. The following are some of the types of punishments inflicted: (a) fines, (b) warnings, (c) debarring from sacraments and threat of non-performance of marriage or death or other rites, (d) withdrawal of certain facilities, like, disallowing to take advantage of grain-bank, etc. Fines are usually recovered in kind, barring a portion of it going to the Pracharak, the remaining is appropriated by the mission.
In our reply to the question No. 8 quotations from the reports of some of the administrative officers will reveal that missions have in cases compounded the offences of the people with the composition fees going to the mission. A few instances have been recorded in the Appendix A. to show how pressures brought on the converts to compel them to send their children to mission school alone and in case they are already going to some other school, to withdraw them from such schools. A most funny case deserves mention here to show the extent to which mission people have gone in their aggression. In the village Udamkela, P.S. Sitapur (Surguja) a Pracharak of the mission by name Ravi is said to have formed some illicit connection with a woman of the house of another in which he was permitted to stay. This led to serious protest and sensation and the Chowkidar of the village thought it wise to report the matter to the police. While the chowkidar was to proceed to the police station for this purpose, the head pracharak by name Theophil sent for the Chowkidar who not knowing the design of the head pracharak went to him. The chowkidar was wrongfully confined by the head pracharak with the help of his other five followers for two days to prevent the chowkidar from performing his official duty. The matter in this aggravated form went to the ears of the police and this head pracharak and his helpers were prosecuted and put on trial in Cr. C. No. 19/1954. The head pracharak was convicted to an imprisonment of six months and the other live to three months by Shri Jha, M. S. C., on the 18th December 1954.
59. Answer: In our tract the missions have concentrated on areas populated by the scheduled tribes.
60. Answer: The following are the locations of the different missions:
Roman Catholic Missions
Surguja: (1) Ambikapur, (2) Patora-P.S. Dhaurpur, (3) Basen-P.S. Sitapur, (4) Baniya-P.S. Sitapur, (5) Rattasilli-P.S. Samri and (6) Jodhpur-P.S. Samri.
Raigarh: (1) Gholengh-P.S. Jashpurnagar, (2) Ginabahar-P.S. Narayanpur, (3) Tapkara-P.S. Farsabahar, (4) Musgutri-P.S. Bagicha, (5) Ambakona-P.S. Sanna, (6) Jokbahala-P.S. Narayanpur, (7) Ludeg-P.S. Pathalgoan, (8) Cuttak Loya-P.S. Lailunga, (9) Pathalgaon-P.S. Pathalgaon, and (10) Raigarh.
Surguja: (1) Ambikapur, (2) Batauli-P.S. Sitapur, (3) Sitapur-P.S. Sitapur and (4) Rattasilli-P.S. Samri.
Raigarh: (1) Ichakela-P.S. Jashpurnagar and (2) Saraipani-P.S. Bagicha.
Church of Christ Mission
Surguja: (1) Ambikapur, (2) Sontarai-P.S. Sitapur and (3) Manendragarh-P.S. Manendragarh.
Swedish Lutheran Church
Surguja: (1) Baikunthpur and (2) Chirimiri-P.S. Chrimiri.
Elim Missionary Society of London
Surguja: (1) Ramanujganj.
British Mission of Nawa Bhandaria
Surguja: (1) Khuntipara-P.S. Samri.
Mennonite Mission of North America
Surguja: (1) Ambikapur and (2) Lakhanpur-P.S. Lakhanpur.
American Evangelical Mission
Raigarh: (1) Katangjor-P.S. Pathalgaon. (2) Raigarh and (3) Sarangagarh (Ambabhana, P.O., via Sambalpur).
In Surguja and other parts of the Raigarh district except Jashpur Subdivision, the missions were established by the year 1950. In Jashpur Subdivision the missions have been working since first decade of this century.
There are fair weather or kacha roads leading to the places. The missions possess cycles, motorcycles, jeeps, trucks and other motor vehicles. Missions are in a position to keep contact even with the remotest village all the year round.
61. Answer: Most of the places selected by the missions for their concentration are those which have only petty Government officials, like, patwari, forest guard, etc., under the administrative machinery. For details a reference to the district authorities may please be made.
62. Answer: Such meetings are regularly held. The proceedings are not known to the general public.
63. Answer: The Protestant group of churches have agreed amongst themselves as to their independent areas of operation. The Roman Catholic Church has not become a party to this compromise. But in practice, however, the standing of the missions in particular areas had given a sort of recognition of its monopoly in. that area and the new enterprisers try to choose areas outside its influence. Appendix B contains reference as to the scheme in general of this allocation of areas. Vide “Intelligence” of N. M. S. for March 1954.
64. Answer: In Surguja and parts of the Raigarh district except Jashpur Sub-division up to the end of 1947 there was practically no mission activity. In these parts now it is noticed that tens of missions have started their activities and brought about conversions of people in thousands within a short duration of about 3 or 4 years. The missions have now firmly established themselves and have organised different kinds of activities. In Jashpur Subdivision besides the number of converts having increased to a large extent the Roman Catholic Mission has organised one more Mission centre in the new place at Jokbahala. This mission has added to the number of its schools and started a High School at Kunkuri.
The year 1947 increased the impatience of the missions towards the achievement of their political ends. On the first day the congress ministry of Bihar in Independent India assumed office, a demonstration of about 60,000 people was led to march on the Secretariat to express their no-confidence in the new administration and to demand the creation of the Jharkhand. The Roman Catholic Mission is supposed to be the most tactful and diplomatic, but it. has too not failed to publish the account of this self-applauded act in the issue of its Organ “Nishkalank, vide Appendix B. The merger of Jashpur, Surguja and Udaipur, etc., in the Madhya Pradesh was opposed by the missions tooth and nail and in this direction the had opened an anti-merger front and got demonstrated black flags to the Honourable Chief Minister of our State when he visited Jashpur in the year 1948. Breach of peace was later on apprehended and section 144 had to be promulgated in Jashpur and Udaipur. People of the missions courted jail even in defiance of the orders of the administration. During the last general elections and the Janpad elections, the missions set up candidates of their own with the result that one seat in the Legislative Assembly and nine seats in the Janpad Sabha have been won by them. Shri Johan Ekka who is the member of the Roman Catholic mission and who had courted jail in connection with their C. P. anti-merger movement, is the elected Member of the Legislative Assembly.
65. Answer: In Jashpur Sub-division the tide of mass conversion had served its purpose by the end of the second decade of this century. Later on the campaigns of group, family and individual conversions took place as a rule. But the missions do not still fail to exert to bring about mass conversions confined to the villages or group of villages. Instances in the nature of mass conversions in this sub-division were noticed in the village Kardih, P. S. Sanna and the similar attempt in the village Laranga, P. S. Sanna (Please see Appendix A, incident, 1954).
In Surguja from the year 1951 the missions are seen to have planned the working out of mass conversions. In one instance in the tract of Sitapur, the missionaries disseminated the news that America had given them four crores of rupees for being lent to the poor of this tract and that whoever desired to have the benefit of this might approach the missionaries. People in thousands are said to have been induced to approach the missionaries. The missionaries as a preliminary noted down the names of the persons but fortunately before they could further proceed with this mischief the police took cognizance of this and the missionaries put a stop to it. (The details of this could be correctly furnished by the authorities concerned). But all the same this activity was not without its effect. The missionaries came to be known by people. And there are number of instances where the missions have effected mass conversion of the people in Surguja. Some of these have been published by the G. E. L. Mission in its Organ “Gharbandhu” in its attempt to impress and inspire the people and workers of the mission, vide Appendix B. In the issues of this magazine-Gharbandhu-the mission published the news of it having received $2,000,000 and this was shown all over the infected area as a means to induce people to be drawn to the mission in the hope of receiving money.
The major incentive for mass conversions was the hope of receiving money from the mission and other material gains. Some of the other incentives that were impressed on the credulous mind of the tribals were:
(a) It is almost in Oraon tribe that the mass conversions took place in Surguja. They belong to the same community of Oraons in Chhota Nagpur and Jashpur. The missionaries and their agents made a propaganda by depicting false pictures about how the Oraons converts of other tracts had immensely progressed and had become the happiest of the lot by embracing Christianity. The mission help could not be availed of by the people without embracing Christianity. Hundreds of converts in the shape of pracharaks had already been poured in and spread throughout the area and they represented themselves as specimen of the communities of other tracts who they Raid bad Glorified themselves by embracing Christianity. Such kind of propaganda worked as an incentive on the mind of the poor Oraons of Surguja.
(b) Parties of pracharaks and missionaries visited hundreds of places with pomp and show of richness most inducing and tempting to the mind of the Oraon. Jeeps, motor cycles, cycles had added to the glory of the propagandists in the simple eye of the tribals. People were led to believe that such glory was within their reach, but they had only to become Christians. The pracharaks and missionaries posed as physicians and benefactors in all respects for the poor. This too worked as an incentive.
(c) In short to sum up, inducements of various kinds of material benefits were offered to the people which led to mass conversion of them. Some of the methods used by the missionaries have been published by themselves in the issues of the Gharbandhu which are enclosed as part of Appendix B. In one or two cases they have described, how they bribed certain persons in order to stop their opposition or enlist their support. For more information as to the methods used by the missions, the same has been furnished in reply to other questions.
66. Answer: The missionaries and Indian Christians have made a demand before the States Reorganisation Commission for Jharkhand-a separate province in the name of the Adivasis. The proposed map of this Jhar khand covers the following units: (1), Jashpur, Udaipur (Raigarh district), the whole of Surguja district including Korea and Changbhakar, from Madhya Pradesh, (2) Ranchi, Palamu, Hazaribagh, Singhbhum, Manbhum (five districts of Chhota Nagpur) and Santhal Parganas from Bihar and (3) Mayurbhanj, Koenjhar, Bonai, Gangpur and Bamra from Orrisa.
The Political Organisation “Adivasi Maha Sabha” is the creation of the missions and Jharkhand party is its branch for active propaganda and agitation to this effect. There are some other organisations of the missions who have also made this demand to the Commission for Jharkhand along with the Adivasi Maha Sabha. The Catholic Sabha of the Roman Catholic Mission which is pleaded by this Church generally as a social organisation, has also, it is reliably understood, passed a resolution in favour of Jharkhand and submitted it to the Commission. Almost all the Indian Christians of this tract are either members or supporters of the Jharkhand move.
67. Answer: The history of India is full with facts of Christian missions having taken part in politics. In this area the G.E.L. Church and Roman Catholic Church have taken part in politics from, the middle of the 19th century. The new missions which have cropped in recently in Surguja and other parts are in the process of organising themselves for the purpose.
Our reply to question No. 29 has fairly dealt with at length much of what would apply to this question also. It has been already stated there that Shri Juel Lakra, who is the President of the G. E. L. Church, was the General Secretary and President of the Adivasi Mahasabha-the political body for establishing Jharkhand. He is now intimately connected with the Jharkhand movement through the Adivasi Mahasabha. The Roman Catholic Mission is also connected with the Adivasi Mahasabha and the Jharkhand movement, though as a policy in Madhya Pradesh, it does not wish to show its association with it. Through its Catholic Sabha of the Roman Catholic Mission is taking part in politics. The President of the Catholic Sabha. Shri Ignus Beck, is at present the General Secretary of the Jharkhand party. In their drive of Jharkhand movement the leaders of the Lutheran as well as Roman Catholic Church were taken into custody by the Central Provinces Government in 1948 for the defiance of administration by these persons in connection with the anti-Central Provinces merger movement. Shri Johan Ekka, M.L.A., the prominent worker of the Roman Catholic Mission, was one of the leaders so arrested. In his first presidential address on the floor of the first session of the Adivasi Mahasabha, the President Shri Jaipalsingh has said that all the missions working in the area of the proposed Jharkhand are with the Adivasi Mahasabha (please refer to question 29), The very annual session of the Adivasi Mahasabha for the year 1947 was held in the premises of the G. E. L. Church. During its visit to Surguja some people had made complaints before the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee that the paid pracharaks of the missions during their tours in the villages make propaganda in favour of Jharkhand movement. The Appendix A also contains some instances where mission fathers or pracharak,, have made political propaganda in the villages up to the extend of misleading the poor illiterate tribals into the belief that English rule will again come over shortly in India. Some of the pamphlets in propaganda of the Jharkhand movement are enclosed with Appendix B which will reveal that these were printed in the G. E. L. Church Press, Ranchi. Similarly, a few of the copies of the paper “Abua Jharkhand” will reveal their publication from the same press. A few other pamphlets enclosed therewith will show the extent to which people of Surguja and other places are feeling alarmed over such activities of the missions.
The missions have freely taken part in political elections also. There are 32 members in the Legislative Assembly of Bihar belonging to the Jharkhand party. The missions had set up candidates for the last general elections for the Jashpur Constituency. Shri Johan Ekka, the follower of the Roman Catholic Mission, was elected. Similarly, in the Janapada Sabha of Jashpur, the Roman Catholic Mission has six members belonging to the mission. The heads and the pracharaks of the missions were seen actually canvassing for the candidates of the missions. Many of the paid pracharaks of the missions worked, as polling agents; this can be verified from the record of the elections.
The Lutheran Mission is out and out supporting the Adivasi Mahasabha and its Jharkhand party in this tract. The Roman Catholic Mission as a policy is trying to get political hold through the Praja-Socialist Party. But far all practical purposes it is with the Jharkhand move. All the missions are from the beginning with the Adivasi Mahasabha, 1938. Before this they were associated with Christian Association and Unnati Samaj, the history of whom has been given in detail under question No. 29. The Roman Catholic Mission is associated with Praja-Socialist Party since 1951.
The question of the participation of Churches in politics is not confined to certain regions of the country, but this has been accepted as a policy and part and parcel of the Church organisations. The politics has implications Pertaining to foreign countries and under suitable names this politics is entering this soil under the guise of ideologies. Though missions are opposed to Communism, it is, as if giving them a free passport to tread the soil of different political fields. The visit of an expert on Communism as a representative of the International Missionary Council in 1951 and the founding of an Institute for the Study of Society at Bangalore are significant. The primary aim of the Institute through the co-operation of the National Christian Councils is to study the political situations in India. This is but one instance of the general trend of the joint action of the Churches in India.
68. Answer: Yes, the missionaries have undertaken the work of recruitment of labour for the tea-gardens in Assam. Relevant information about this has been furnished in reply to question No. 57.
They receive commission for this. The correct rate of this commission may please be obtained from the missions.
They undertake remittances of salaries of labourers to their dependants. It is through the missions that labourers go to the tea-plantations and for this reason the home address of such persons is given as the mission address. In the case of non-Christian labourers recruited to tea-gardens, it is reported that on the receipt of their remittances the dependants were brought under pressure of conversion on the pain of otherwise non-payment of the money to them. For want of particulars, which could not made available. specific instances have not been cited here. But after particulars are obtained such instances will be immediately communicated.
69. Answer: There are about four hospitals and almost each of the mission centre has a dispensary attached to it.
70. Answer: Admission is open to all. Fees are charged. But converts enjoy special facilities.
71. Answer: This may be best stated in the words of J. Z. Hodge, “Recent Evangelistic Work in India”-
72. Answer: Wherever it is possible, the tendency has been to enforce taking part in Christian prayers by non-Christians. Christian prayers and other religious exercises are the part of the hospital functions and converts have as a rule to participate in these. But non-Christian patients are induced in different suitable ways to participate. Favours are shown to those who attend such prayers. Inducements during the delicate mental condition of the patients are bound to have their own effect.
The whole staff plays the role of a pracharak.
73. Answer: We are told that books, leaflets, pamphlets, etc., suiting the understanding power of the patients, on Christian religion, are distributed free among the patients. Specially, literature showing the miracles of Jesus Christ in curing diseases are distributed.
74. Answer: The mission authorities will be able to furnish this information.
75. Answer: We know of three hospitals being run by the Roman Catholic Mission (published in their own Directory for 1953) and one by Swedish Lutheran Mission. For the rest, the mission authorities will be able to furnish information.
76. Answer: As far as we know, the staff of the hospitals is composed of Christians and that owing allegiance to the mission which runs it. Hence no complaint has been heard about any one of them being prohibited from following any religion other than Christianity.
77. Answer: In their smaller dispensaries, the missions keep first-aid material-quinine, medicines and ointments for itches, scabies, etc. Dr. De-Chane’s home treatment medicines and a few others like these. The medicines are administered by the mission staff including priests, preachers, pracharaks, mothers, sisters, etc.
For the second part of the question, mission or district authorities will be able to furnish information.
78. Answer: Primary, Middle and High Schools are run by the missions. The Roman Catholic Mission runs three Girls’ Middle and one High School.
79. Answer: It is true that missions run their schools as purely Christian schools. But other schools cannot be termed as non-Christian schools in the true sense of the word as these schools are not run with any non-Christian sectarian view in the sense the missions run their schools with the purely sectarian view of Christianity. All other schools, except perhaps four or five which are run by the Adimjati Sewa Sangh, are Janapada or belonging to either the Tribal Welfare or Education Departments of the Government.
No discrimination has been shown by Government officers in regard to Christian and other schools.
As per the Directory published by the Roman Catholic Mission for the year
1953, in its diocese of Raigarh and Ambikapur districts, it runs:
(All the middle and high schools are run in the Jashpur Sub-division. As to Elementary schools, schools over 100 belong to Jashpur Sub-division.)
Lutheran Church runs one or two middle schools and about 12 primary schools in the Jashpur Sub-division. In Surguja and other parts missions are running number of schools but their number could be ascertained correctly from the missions concerned.
It must be mentioned that in almost all the places, where pracharaks work and where there are shown by the missions to have no schools of theirs, there they are running schools called ‘Shishu Schools’. These are kept out of the sight of the inspecting staff of the Government and most of the training in such schools is purely religious. Such Shishu Schools are attached to what they have declared as their schools also, but here too they are not made available for inspection by the Government officers.
As regards the proportion of Christian to the non-Christian students, the information could be furnished by the Missions or the Education Department.
81. Answer: It is no hidden secret that schools are used by the Christian missions for converting school children to Christianity. This underlying policy of the Christian mission is rather boldly stated in the following two letters :-
(From the pen of Father A. S. Pettit, S.J. Headmaster and Secretary of a High English School published in the “Jesuit Mission”, Newyork-June 1932, page 139.)
(The Supplement of Mission letters page 43, published by the Bishop’s House, Patna.)
There must be innumerable instances of non-christian students becoming christian as the result of attending christian schools. The rate of such conversion, it appears, had alarmed the former state administration of Jashpur even while under the Court of Wards. Some time after 1936 the State administration issued orders to the Missions that they must keep regular registers for conversions in each school and a column was prescribed for writing what material benefit was offered for conversion. After some years during the regime when Shri T.C.R. Menon was the Dewan it was noticed on the inspection of the registers that the column meant for showing material benefit offered was cleverly left blank by the mission schools in each case. It was also found that the R. C. Mission had opened as many as 36 schools without sanction in defiance of the strict order of the state that the mission could not open or run any school without the sanction from the administration. The fact of the mission running such unsanctioned schools was brought to the notice of the Education Department after the merger of the State also. The state administration had placed yet another restriction that there was to he no religious teaching to non-christian children as compulsion. But in this respect also it was found that in contravention of this order the mission schools were holding compulsory classes of religious teaching for the non-christian children.
A few of the instances of non-christian children becoming christian as a result of attendance in christian schools may suffice for the purpose. But it may be suggested that if the above-mentioned conversion registers, which the mission schools were required to maintain, were made available for inspection by the Committee, additional light of significance and importance could be thrown on the subject.
Instances: (1) A reference is invited to the issue of the magazine-of the G.E.L. Church “Gharbandhu” for the months of March 1953, June 1952, March and April 1952 and January 1952, at pages (8), (11-12). (5 and 16) and (4-5), respectively (the copier are enclosed with Appendix B).
(2) One Hindu boy by name Premprakash of Pandhripani-Sarhapani of Jashpur after passing his IV standard joined the mission school in Sarhapani. His house and two or three houses more were the only Hindu houses in the village which has majority of christians. A lot of pressure was brought on his family-elders to become christian but they some how or the other could stand firm in their conviction of not changing the faith. But the mission school teachers induced the boy with the temptation of providing him with a good service in the mission. To his name in the school register as soon as he was enroled the term ‘Ekka’ was added in the fashion o the christian way of terming a name. Later on he was converted by the teachers and he came to be known Premprakash Ekka. After he passed the VII standard he was made Pracharak. For some time he worked as Pracharak in Surguja and at present he is working as such in Jashpur.
(3) Some time back about five or six Hindu boys of the village Saila (tahsil Jashpur) were learning in the Adivasi Primary School at Kesara. The Pracharaks of the village under false pretexts induced the boys and their parents to join the mission school in Ghaghra. In this school after a short time they cut off their top-knots. This was very much resented by the parents and hence the' with great difficulty took the boys out of the school.
It a appears that in very rare cases that parents might have been in the know e conversion of their children at the time it took place. Immediately after the non-christian children are admitted in the mission schools a psychological play for converting them begins. The first step begins with the enrolment of their names in the christian fashion. Then ideas against keeping of top-knots are instilled in the child mind in different ways. The usual way is to make the children believe that it is through the top-knot that ghosts enter the human body. Some cases have been within our knowledge where the teachers of the mission schools got the top-knots of the non-christian boys cut away by the christian boys while playing or sleeping. These are the cases of the following boys: (1) Ghudaram, son of Ladhoram Oraon, village Doomerkone near Sanna, P.S. Sanna, (2) Sheocharanram, son of Butanram Nagasia, village Kesara, P.S. Jashpurnagar, (3) Tirtusingh, son of Manbodhsingh, Darigaon-Bonai, P.S. Jashpurnagar, (4) Raghoram, son of Punairam Oraon, village Harri, P.S. Sanna, (5) Shankerram, son of Lalooram, village Harri, P.S. Sanna and (6) Jituram, son of Jahaluram, village Dandtoli, P.S. Chainpur.
The existence of top-knot being considered by Christian Missionaries as a symbol of Hinduism, they are ever keen to cut top-knots as soon as possible though this has nothing to do with christianity. It is considered by them a symbol of having discultured a non-Christian of his old culture. It has the effect of creating an impression amongst the Hindu community also that such persons have in fact been converted to christianity even though baptism may not have taken place. After the teachers of the schools have succeeded in cutting the top-knots inducements in different ways to tempt the boys away into the christian fold take place as a regular feature. Occasionally children begin to be taken in to Sunday prayers. During the course of their school hours instilling of ideas hostile to Hindu religion and culture goes alongside with the above. As a result of all this children are thus converted.
Three cases of very recent conversions have come to our notice which having the importance of time might be thought not out of place even though these pertain to the mission school in Bihar on the border of Jashpur. These are the cases of the following Hindu boys who have teen converted in October 1954: (1) Manga Oraon, son of Sano, (2) Lakho Oraon, son of Sakru Oraon and (3) Suka Oraon, son of Laghu Oraon-when they were converted they were learning in the mission school at Mandar.
82. Answer: It is from the name that persons came to be known whether they were Christians or Hindus from the time the missions commenced their activities in this area. In the registers of the mission schools also children used to be distinguished as Christian or non-Christian. Tribals being Hindus it will more than often be seen that their names are suffixed with the name “Ram” even so far as that though the first part of the name is after some God like “Shanker” the name “Ram” will be seen suffixed all the same-the name coming as “Shanker Ram” for example. It was this appendage of the name “Ram” that is viewed by the missions as carrying Hinduism with the name and hence they are ever keen to remove this appendage from the name of a non-Christian as much as they are about cutting a top-knot. The impression also gained ground among the tribals that where the name had the appendage of “Ram”, its removal was equivalent to the bearer of it having become Christian. Similarly, they have interfered with the “Gotras” of the tribals, like, “Tirkey”, “Minj”, “Ekka”, “Kujur”. The tribals cherish these gotras as sacred names not to be used alongwith the names in daily usage. The tribals have a deep rooted pride with the gotra and it is supposed by them as inseparable from their “tribal-hood”. The missions could not succeed so far in disassociating the tribals with this pride that goes alongwith their gotras and hence they invented a way out by converting the gotra into a mere surname so to say, along with the conversion of the person. Accordingly a tribal by name “Shanker Ram” came to be known as “Shanker Tirkey”. As far as possible the missions try to change the original name into a foreign name altogether permitting of course the use of gotra as surname like “Luis Kujur” in place of “Jagdeoram”. But when they find difficulty in this they adopt the above method.
In the light of what has been stated above, this question will have to be looked to and the instances will have to be understood. A few of the following instances can suffice:
(1) Radho Ram, son of Punaia Ram Oraon of village Harri, P.S. Sanna (Jashpur)-while he was on the roll of the mission school at Kotadih (Catholic Mission School) his name was recorded in the school register as “Radho Tirkey”. he was nine years of age then.
(2) Shanker Ram, son of Lalloo Ram Oraon of village Harri (as above)-when he was enrolled in the Kotadih Mission School, his name was recorded in the school register as “Shanker Tirkey”. For further studies the Roman Catholic Mission kept him at Ambakona. He was fed for eight months at the mission cost. During his stay he was constantly being-induced to embrace Christianity. But his parents having come to know of this, they strongly protested and the mission authorities tried to induce them also. But when they found that the persons could not be persuaded, they made the demand of paddy as the cost of the feeding the boy had received from the mission for eight months. But fortunately this trick also did not succeed.
(3) Jagdeo Ram, of village Dhasma near Manora, P.S. Jashpurnagar-when enrolled in the mission school at Ambakona, his name was entered in the school register as “Luis Kujur”.
(4) Shri Ram, son of Bipta Ram (Harijan)-when enrolled in the mission school at Jaria, his name was recorded in the school register as “Joseph”.
(5) Jahar, son of Budhu, Ghansi (Harijan)-when enrolled in the mission school at Jaria, his name was entered in the school register as “Matius”.
(6) Ratia Ram-when enrolled in the mission school at Ginabahar, his name was entered in the school register (serial No. 182): as “Matius”. The boy is at present learning in the Adivasi Middle School at Kunkuri.
This was the usual practice of the mission schools during the former state administration in Jashpur. This perhaps was kept continued till 1950. But later on the missions appear to have become apprehensive when they suspected administrative notice of this having been taken. As a result of this fear, we know on reliable information, the mission schools have removed all the old registers from the schools and that those are not available for inspection as they used to be before.
A few instances are recorded in the Appendix A also,
83. Answer: As to the first two parts of the question, the Education Department may be consulted for correct information.
As to the last part of the question, only one piece of evidence may suffice:
In the issue of the official organ of the G.E.L. Church “Ghar Bandhu” for October, 1951, page 11, enclosed with the Appendix B, there is an advertisement based on the minutes of the meeting of the Church Council in following terms:
Distribution of Study Help: Help was given to 20 students in 1950-51. Henceforth this help will be given only to those who give a declaration to the following effect:
“I dedicate my life for the service of the Church”.
84. Answer: Religious instruction is compulsory in all the mission schools. Except Christian religion no other religion is taught. As a matter of fact all other religions are scorned before the children as false or inferior, though no study or understanding of these is permitted in the schools. The religious instructions include church prayers, Bible and other instructions closely associated with these. Just very recently, the Roman Catholic Mission turned down the request of the non-Christian-students to perform Saraswati Pooja in the St. Xavier College, Ranchi, and Battiah Mission School (Bihar). Great resentment has been felt and it is learnt, the controversy is still going in with greater agitation.
85. Answer: No such provision is made. On the contrary, other religions are held in contempt and scorned.
86. Answer: No other instruction apart from what has been described in reply to question No. 84 is given, which could be termed as moral instruction distinct from the former.
87. Answer: There are no non-Christians on the staff of the schools. The staff belongs to the same religion to which the mission belongs.
88. Answer: Education Department can furnish correct information.
89. Answer: The mission schools are not seen celebrating publicly days of national importance. As a policy the missions desire their students not to participate in any public functions organised by others. Otherwise also, the missions have shown no interest in celebration of days of national importance. When mission schools were supposed to have celebrated the days of national importance, it is understood on reliable information that the functions displayed something different. For example, it was seen by our reporter that on Independence and Republic days the school children of the Roman Catholic mission were, according to them, celebrating in fact what was termed as “Mary days”. Though non-Christian villagers are encouraged to attend school functions, barring a few exceptions which the missions could not per haps avoid, as a rule, non-Christian gentry is not invited or desired to attend such functions.
90. Answer: Yes, dramas and plays of the type are staged in the school. Some of such instances with relevant details of the performances have been given in Appendix A; these instances refer to having been performed outside the school, but the performers were trained in the school in the performance of the plays. Another example is that on 27th April 1954, it is said, the pracharak of the village Bhitghara, P. S. Bagicha (Jashpur), performed a drama with the help of boys of the village, in the mission school building. The drama performed went by the name “Jahannam Ka Jabada”, in the jaws of Hell-One of the actors had put on the role of Sant Tukadoji Maharaj, another a young girl and the third acted the Father of Christian Mission. Tukadoji Maharaj was shown to have been demanding money and grains from the poor Oraons under the false pretext of rendering services to them. After this the young girl was shown going to him and then the flirtations of Tukadoji Maharaj with her. It was then shown that Tukadoji Maharaj enticed her away with the promise of marrying her. Then came on the stage the Father of the Mission and described to the people how Hindu Sadhus were hypocrites, immoral and corrupt. In the course of the same he explained to the people that Hindu religion was false and that it could only produce immoral persons like Tukadoji Maharaj. The Hindu community of the village felt deeply hurt at this performance.
91. Answer: Yes, there are mission hostels and boarding-houses. Admission is open to all in them. As to the fees, correct information can be supplied by the Education Department.
92. Answer: Yes, religious exercises are compulsory for the inmates of the boarding-houses. It is reported that children have been converted to Christianity by staying in such boarding-houses. In or about 1936, Father Gallaghar of the Roman Catholic Mission, Jashpur, took away about 120 boys from the adjoining Udaipur State and confined them in the hostel of the mission school at Tapkara and converted them to Christianity. He was not being permitted to stay in Udaipur and expelled from that area on account of his objectionable activities. A recent example is of a boy by name Biswanath who belongs to the village Saila, P. S. Jashpurnagar. He was studying in the Kunkuri High School of the Roman Catholic Mission and staying in the school hostel. He has been converted to Christianity. The elders of his family did not know of this even. His grandfather, father and other members of the family have been mentally disturbed. The boy has been sent by the Mission to Ranchi for his further education in their College.
93. Answer: Various activities of the Christian Missionaries have been dealt with at length under different questions above, specially question Nos. 29 and 42. It. has already been shown therein which of their activities ale most objectionable and why? It will be needless to repeat the same over again here. Lord Curzon’s (Governor-General of British regime) opinion of their activities supports in full what has been stated by us: “………. Missionaries are a source of political unrest and frequently of international trouble, subversive of national institutions of a country in which they reside”.
As to remedies we may like to suggest the following:-
(1) The Constitution of India has placed the responsibility on the Government of India and the State Governments for welfare and uplift of the tribal people in our country. Tribals being the weakest section of our society there is ever the danger of their exploitation by outside agencies. Law has been made to protect them from the loss of their lands. Similar protection, nay march stronger, is absolutely necessary against their cultural and moral exploitation. Missionary activity is a menace to the ultimate well-being of a tribal as a part and parcel of the national community. Hence no missionary activity should be allowed in tribal areas till the tribal population has been brought up to the intellectual level sufficient to enable them to protect themselves.
(2) No change of religion should be permitted on the part of a tribal till he obtains the sanction of the District Magistrate. The District Magistrate will verify and examine if the proposed change of religion is by conviction or material inducement. Change of religion by conviction may be permitted.
(3) All the missionary educational institutions be taken over by the Government and no educational institution in any form be permitted to be run by a Missionary in Tribal Areas or amongst the weaker sections of the society.
(4) All the humanitarian or philanthropic work or institutions desired to be carried or run by missionaries should be run under the strict supervision and control of the Government.
(5) Priests of the Church should be allowed to minister to only devotional service and spiritual needs of the converts. District authorities should have the authorities to remove priests or other persons of doubtful nature.
(6) Persons from Tribal Community who have embraced Christianity should be declared Indian-Christians and they must be treated to have ceased to be the members of Scheduled Tribes. It is the social, cultural and moral structure of the c6mrnunity, which has required designating it a scheduled tribe. The problem of tribal welfare arose on communal basis. The problem involves essentially the growth and not the destruction of the social, moral and cultural structure of the Tribals as community, and not as Tribals distinct from their community life. Converts by becoming Christians have repudiated the bonds of the social, moral and cultural structure of the Tribal community and have thus ceased to be the members of the community. The issue is generally confused and misunderstood on the ground that tribal converts share the same intellectual, educational or economic weaknesses. But this is a separate question altogether. For the removal of such disabilities equal facilities in this direction could be given to them, but the point is that they will be recipient of these as Indian-Christians and not as members of the scheduled tribe. It is the Hindu social structure alone which has within itself different sections including the Tribal bound together in common thread of unity in variety.
The above suggestions have been made with reference to these areas
94. Answer: Every religion has the expression of its own culture where it was born and every culture has the expression of its own religion to which it has given birth.
The religion and culture are inseparable. Hence desertion of religion is bound to involve change of culture.
In its true and pure form, change of religion will not geek to destroy the old culture but will mould, assimilate and grow it in cohesion with the new one which will mean an essential change or religion from within. This is a case of change by conviction in quest and search of truth-a real conversion or change of religion or faith.
But the change of religion, we witness, as a result of Missionary inducement, is not a change of religion in truth. It is a corruption imposed by the institutionalism of a Missionary. It is not “religion” that brings this change but the “missionary” with the board of advertisement in his hand the name of his “religion” boldly inscribed thereon. It is not the religion in which he is interested, but the destruction of other’s and the number of converts he can add to his flock of adherents. He is more interested in the destruction of the culture of others and the artificial imposition of his own. The pitiable sight of a convert in such a case is deplorable. He neither remains what he was culturally nor does he belong to the culture which he should have been supposed to embrace. It is for this reason that Dr. Radha Krishnan with his command of thought has beautifully expressed:
95. Answer - Shri Aurobindo:
The Constitution of India has eliminated religious teaching in schools maintained wholly by State Funds. It appears multiplicity or religions in India came in the way of the framers of the Constitution to enact otherwise. Also, it must have proceeded from the fear of exploitation in the name of religion. But this provision does not relate to institutions other than these as in denominational institutions religious instruction is not banned.
The point under consideration is whether religious institution be permitted in all schools whether maintained by the State or private organisations. If religion is feared as a medium of exploitation there should be a consistent policy in this respect irrespective of difference in the nature of management of educational institutions. In fact, to be more correct, it should have been thought, that there was far more fear of religion becoming a means to mischief in religious denominational institutions.
The State’s primary interest must go to the school children. Permitting denominational institutions might seem fitting in very well with the secular scheme of the State in this act of religious liberty to all; but what about if such institutions were to manufacture anti-secular material? How will this fit in with the secular scheme? Will this not be more dangerous?
The fear of the framers of the Constitution was not imaginary. They had before their eyes the prevalent exploitation, especially of the weaker sections of society, in the name of religion. But they should not have placed a ban on religious instruction in State schools where there is very little possibility of mischief. The remedy is that it should save religion from molestation by the exploiter-class in the educational sphere; and with it, of certain, it will save the school-children.
In our opinion religious instruction should not be banned in educational institutions. An ideal for this has been given in the opening two passages from our Holy Sage-Shri Aurobindo. He has also said somewhere that religious instruction is to suggest and invite, not command or impose.
But it must be said that religious instruction in the hand of a missionary who is out to proselytise and convert is bound to be a dangerous experiment. It is not the religion which has created this problem but this missionary. Hence the problem can be solved not by eliminating religion but by eliminating the missionary.
96. Answer: Yes, consolations of religion are aids to recovery of patients. But it is the religion of the patient that must go to his aid, and not the religion of the doctor or the hospital. If the hospital claims to be religious it may pray also for the recovery of the patients. The conflict arises when the doctor tries to impose his own faith or religious belief on the patient. If religion is to aid the patient as a spiritual aid, it is the religion-of the patient himself that can best do it. If this is treated as a mere remedy of “faith cure”, in this case also it is the faith of the patient that alone can best help him. Imposition of new faith presupposes shattering of the old faith. And those who claim to believe in this theory of religious aid to recovery but at the same time try to impose their own faith, either have no genuine impulse of religion or are traders in religion. For no truly religious man will ever think of rudely shaking the faith of a patient in his delicate state of mind and impose his own.
There is no alternative to missionary propaganda in hospitals except its total prohibition. If hospitals were to be reckoned as a field for religious propaganda, God knows if it does not imply the wicked desire for increase in the number of sick persons. Even at the cost of repetition we are tempted to quote the “Hospital Conscience” of the standard Bishop-the Catholic Bishop of Lahore:
97. Answer: Propagation of one's religion or faith is subject to public order and morality. Any propagation in the name of religion, which transgresses the limits imposed by law amounts to an offence against the State. The propagation envisaged by the Constitution of India must be confined only to the essence of religion and does not cover activities of proselytism or other methods of conversion like those carried out by the Christian missions in the name of religion.
Further, the State cannot allow subversive activities in the name of religion. Propagation of faith which creates in the name of religion, not spiritual but secular loyalty, relationship or association of any kind outside the country is the transgression of the-right to preach and propagate one’s faith or religion. In this connection it may also be mentioned that our Constitution does not treat foreign missionaries on par with the Indian national.
Christianity as propounded by the missions is based on anti-secular outlook and idea. But, for its expansion by them they need a secular field like India. For their most intolerant attitude at other religions, Hindu toleration affords them all chances to outrage the Hindu Community. In India, it is the Hindu Community alone which the mission-Christianity has attacked with success. Islam, they could not touch here; doors of Afghanistan are closed to the preaching of Christianity. A Hindu can tolerate as many religions as there are in his neighbourhood, not by compulsion or legislation, but in his own nature which is the outcome of the culture of his own religion. If Christianity cannot tolerate the most tolerant in its neighbourhood, the consequences of the tolerant becoming intolerant at the thing which is intolerant in its own nature and constitution can be better imagined than described.
98. Answer: Yes, we think that the different religions in the land can cc-exist peacefully and co-operate in realising a just order of the society.
The foremost requisite for this is that all intolerant religions adopt the attitude of tolerance. This tolerance must include recognition and acceptance of spiritual truth in all religions. In fact, a religion to be a religion cannot remain confined to the four walls of certain dogmas and creeds, but must be a creed for all creeds and a dogma for all dogmas. A religion which claims an exclusive superiority to its own creed or dogma or form of worship is, in the real sense of the word, a mere sect and not religion. A religion in its true sense must be comprehensive of all paths which help a man in his quest and search of Truth. Dr. Radhakrishnan, the great Philosopher, has said: “Toleration is a duty, not a mere concession. In pursuance of this duty Hinduism has accepted within its fold almost all varieties of belief and doctrine and treated them as authentic expressions of the spiritual endeavour, however antithetic they may appear to be.” This has been beautifully described by Dr. Wentz: “Hinduism is the federation of all the philosophies and religious customs and faiths that have survived in India”.
The significant fact of vital importance is that, like all other federations, all cults, religious customs, faiths, creeds or sects to survive must join the “federation” or perish. A religion opposed to this ideal cannot be a party to an agreement of coexistence.
Without a radical change in the attitude like the one of the Christian Missions, coexistence of different religions will not be possible. In his “Christianity and History”, H. Butterfield, M.A., Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, has correctly remarked: “The genuine victory of toleration in Europe, for example, seems to me to have been due to the growing power in the world of secular interests and secular considerations. The churches seem to me to have refrained from persecution-or reconciled themselves to the abandonment of it-very much in proportion as churchmen lost the government of society, or lacked the power co behave as they wished”. While in the name of the “secular State” the missions on the one hand praise our Constitution ass a justification for their willful acts of aggression, on the other hand it is noticed that their lust for expansion and power is not satisfied even with our “secularism”. Dr. John McKenzie, C.I.E., D.D., Vice-Chancellor, University of Bombay and sometime Professor of Wilson College, Bombay, while expressing his opinion with regard to the policy of “Secular Democratic State” advocated by Shri Jawarlal Nehru, has remarked in his “Two Religions”: In accordance with this policy they have continued to offer to Christians and Muslims liberty and protection in the observance of the requirements of their religion. What they have failed to grasp is the fact that neither Christianity nor Islam fits into the scheme.” A revelation from the “Christianity and the Asian Revolution” edited by the Joint Secretary for East Asia of the International Missionary Council and the World Council of Churches, is significant: “A new secular faith is entering the Eastern world, asserting that the Nation is both God and believers. But you cannot convert the State into a God and worship it without at the same time converting men into a beast……… Secularism and atheism are gaining ground alongside of the revival of ancient religions……… Against these tremendous odds, the Church of Christ is living and working in East Asia”.
“Secularism” itself is being regarded by the missionaries as a denial of their supposed monopoly of religion. They cannot tolerate any other religion being treated as equal to Christianity nor any other religion to have equal liberty to preach or propagate or even to live. This aspect of the Christianity is not the religion but the “Europeanism” Till the latter is removed the former cannot emerge out. “Toleration” as the inherent quality of a religion has been explained by Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: “ The whole history of India was witness of the toleration and even encouragement of minorities and of different racial groups. There is nothing in Indian history to compare with the bitter religious feuds and persecutions that prevailed in Europe. So we did not have to go abroad for ideas of religious and cultural toleration; these were inherent in Indian life”.
It is “Hinduism”, in Shri Jawaharlal Nehru that has essentially made him the respecter of all religions and the porport of his above remark is that it is the Hindu culture that inherently conceives the ideal of “toleration” as the only essential requisite for “secularism”. It is that latent “Hinduism” in Indian-Christians and people of other religions, which is the only hope to make possible coexistence of different religions in this land to peacefully co-operate in realising a just order of society. But this depends on people realising consciously and actively this “Hinduism” in them.
99. Answer: We shall be willing to render all possible service whenever so desired.
The 28th January 1955.