I am a Christian. I am a born Christian and belong to the Roman Catholic Church. From 1948 to 1952 I worked as a teacher in an Adiwasi School run by the Tribal Welfare Department. The local Christians outcast me because I worked in that school. When I lost my child, the local Christians did not attend the funeral. In the year 1952, I lost my wife and when my father went to ask the local Christians to attend the funeral they refused saying that I had been outcast because I had worked in the Tribal Welfare Department Adiwasi School. The dead body of my wife was lying for 2 days. I asked the village pracharak who is the Mukhiya “leader” of the Christians to perform the funeral rites but he declined saying that I had been outcast. Ultimately, I had to send word to some non-Christians in the neighbouring village Ghutmunda who came and the funeral rites were performed. The dead body was not allowed to be buried in the Christian graveyard and I had to bury it at some distance there from. When they had outcast me, they had prevented me from attending the Church.
There are 40 or 45 families of Christians in the village and 4 or 5 non-Christians. There is a Church and a Padri lives there. Ultimately, I was forced to give up my teacher’s job and was admitted in the caste after giving the customary feast. I had to incur about Rs. 60 or :Rs. 70 expenditure in providing one and half maunds of rice, and a goat and a pig. I have not been given any alternate job. I left the school last year.
Mr. Shinde.- I am a Christian even now and attend Church. I was
outcast in the year 1951. My wife died on Friday and the burial took
place on Sunday afternoon. The place where my wife was buried was
at a distance of about half a mile from my house and I can show the spot
to the Committee, if they visit my village. The land where she was
buried belongs to me. The people of my community only asked me to
give up the Adiwasi School’s job and would not give me any other employment.
I gave the feast to the Christians, as it is a custom amongst Christians.
A similar custom is followed amongst non-Christian Uraons also. I
do not know anything about Jharkhand.
I passed fourth Hindi standard from the Adiwasi school of the Tribal Welfare Department at Ghutmunda and thereafter went to Kiradi Middle School which is also run by the Tribal Welfare Department. One day when we were playing football in the evening, a foreign Missionary Padri of Ginabahar passed by and talked to me saying that I should give up attending the Tribal Welfare Department School and threatened to ex-communicate me saying that I would not be allowed to join the prayers in Church and that marriage and funeral ceremonies will not be performed by them. I am a born Christian and my parents are also Christians. I had to give up the school then. I started my cultivation. I did not join the Ginabahar Mission School, because I could not afford the expenses being poor. I was getting a stipend and feeding charges at Kiradi School. I was the only Christian student in Kiradi.
Mr. Shinde.- I do not know the name of the foreign Missionary Padri
who had threatened me to leave the school. I was at one time a student
in the Ginabahar Mission School which I had left, because I could not afford
to pay the fees and rice. The Father did not know me from before.
When I was playing football I had worn a cross round my neck from which
he could have known that I was a Christian. The necklace is worn
under the underwear. I was wearing a underwear (ganji) while
playing football. I am a Christian even at present. I have not been
Prior to one year I war, living in my village Siktatoli. The majority of inhabitants of the village are Christians. A foreign Padri who had a beard came to the village and told me that unless I became a Christian the other Christians of the village would not give me work. I refused to become a Christian and therefore the Christians stopped giving me work, would not allow me to fetch water from the well and otherwise socially bycotted me. I, therefore, had to leave the village and have taken residence in another village. They have now brought another blacksmith who has promised to become a. Christian. He has not so fat been converted.
Mr. Shinde.- It was about 2 years back that they brought another blacksmith.
Siktatoli is my ancestral village where I lived since my birth.
I am a Christian. There are about 28 or 30 Christian families in the village and about 15 or 16 non-Christian families. I attend Gholeng Mission for prayers. After prayers, the foreign Missionaries of Gholeng, preach against Hindu religion and state that Adivasis and Christians were still slaves and will be free only after they got Jharkhand. This preaching takes place sometimes in the Prayer Hall in the Church and sometimes outside also. I myself heard this type of preaching.
Mr. Shinde.- By Jharkhand is meant the rule of the Adivasis.
At present it is Hindu Raj and not English Raj (to the question whether
it is a Indian Raj or English Raj). When the Padri preaches like
this I do not like this as a Christian. Sansari Uraons who are.
Hindus do not make a demand of Jharkhand.
About 2 years back in the month of Jeth, i.e., April-May, the Christians of the village enacted a drama. In that drama Boko Sardar’s part was played by a Christian boy and Boko Sardar was shown asking Christians to become reconverts to Hindus and the Christians flatly refused to become Hindus. The drama later proceeded to show Hindu deity of stones being worshipped by boys playing the part of Hindus and being kicked and insulted by those playing the part of Christians. Also in that drama was shown a Hanuman being worshipped by Hindus and ridiculed by Christians. I had myself seen the drama being performed, and I was distressed to witness it. The audience consisted mostly of Christians. As we were only five-six Hindus, we did not protest for fear of creating a quarrel.
Mr. Shinde.- There are about 16 or 17 families of Hindus in the village
and about 15 of Christians. The drama was staged on a piece of ground,
about half-a-mile from the village. It was staged at night time.
Even now, there has been no quarrel in the village due to the incident.
About 40 to 50 Christians residing in other villages had come to see the
drama. I do not know whether any Minister had come to Jashpur on
About 2 years ago Christians of Lodhma and Ambachuwa villages had staged a drama in our village. It was arranged by the Christian pracharak of Lodhma. The first scene in the drama related to a criticism of the Hindu custom of visiting religious places and in the second scene Sant Tukdoji was shown as having visited Jashpur from Nagpur and swindling money from villagers.
Shri Shinde- The first scene started with a chorus, the words of which
I do not know, followed by a speech by the pracharak about Hindu places
of pilgrimage. We were about 5 Hindus present and when we did not
like the scenes we left the place. There are about 40 families of Hindus
and 26 of Christians in my village. Hindus of Lodhma do not stage
I studied the primary classes in the Mission school at Patratoli. When I was in that school Father Bulkans and a pracharak came and told the boys that the top-knot on my head and that of other Hindu students, viz, Ituram, did not look nice and should be cut. The boys surrounded me and Ituram, and cut our Chundhis, i.e., top-knots. We both failed in the fourth standard but as they wanted to make us Christians, Father Bulkans did not allow us to leave the school and promoted us to the fifth standard. I passed the fifth standard and then left the school because they were asking me to become Christian and I was afraid that they will some day make me a Christian. I sought admission in the Tribal Welfare School at Ara and when I demanded a certificate from Father Bulkans of having passed the fourth primary standard he gave a letter to me addressed to the teacher of the, Mission School asking the latter to issue a certificate. I gave that letter to the Tribal Welfare Department School teacher and must be in their possession. In the Mission School my name was recorded as Boda Kunjur.
Mr. Shinde.- My choti was cut about six years ago when I was in the
third standard. Even now I do not keep choti because I do not like
I am Panch of the Kesra Adiwasi School. This school is being run by the Tribal Welfare Department. It was once noted that six or seven boys of village Kelakona were absent for about 3 months continuously. I and others visited the village to make enquiries and asked the parents and they said that the children were sent regularly and they were surprised to know why they were not attending school. I called the children and asked them the reason. They said that they had once met some Missionary sisters who had told them not to go to the Adiwasi School where they might encounter a ghost and instead go to Ghogra Mission School which they were attending. I do not know whether the boys told me about the Sisters being Indians or foreigners. The children further told me that after joining the Ghogra School their Chundhis were cut.
Mr. Shinde.- I studied up to the first Hindi standard privately and
can sign my name. Kesra is 2 miles from Kelakona and Ghogra Mission
School is nearer than Kelakona. I did not myself go to the Ghogra
School to verify the statement of the boys. There were only 7 boys
from Kelakona in the Kesra School and they have left the school.
At village Bhandri there is a grain bank organised by the Ginabahtr Mission authority. I had gone to take loan of rice from the bank but was Fold that orders of the Saheb were not to give grain till I got my choti, cut, even though I was willing to give usual subscription. As I did not agree to get my choti cut I was not given loan.
Shri Shinde.- This happened about a year ago. I am slightly bald for
the last two to three years.
I was a Member of the Jashpur Janpad Sabha, and also a member of the District Congress Committee. Sometime before 18th May 1953, villagers of Karadiri Tigra had come to me and complained that they had been sent to Andaman for working on the tea gardens by the Ambakona Mission authorities, that they used to send money for their families through the Mission authorities and had found on return that the money was not handed over to their respective families and when they demanded it back from the Mission authorities they were asked to become Christians first. I advised them to make a complaint to the authorities. On 18th May 1953, when I was going to Manora village, I met a foreign Missionary whose name I do not know but who is popularly known as Paltania Saheb. He asked me why I was getting complaints from villagers for being sent to authorities and he abused me. I had reported 'the matter to the police.
Shri Shinde.- The Father did not know me from before, but he knew that
I was a Janpad member and a Congress worker. He had attended some
meetings of the Janpad Sabha where he had seen me. I was not acquainted
with the Father but I had known before the incident that he was a Missionary.
The Missionaries act as recruiting agents for Andaman labours. I do not
know whether the Government has appointed them. He uttered abuses
like Damn, bloody, Sala, etc. No one else was present. The
Police did make an enquiry but I do not know what action is taken. I have
not filed a complaint in court.
Uraons regard themselves as Hindus. Timarla village has about 60 Christian and about 6 or 7 non-Christian families. The Christians have been telling me since long to become a Christian and on my refusal they harass me by all means. They forcibly cut my crops and tell me how long I will remain without being a Christian because there are only 3 or 4 non-Christian families left in the village. I had reported the matter to the Police and those Christians who had forcibly cut my crop were fined by the Court but still they have not given up cutting my crops. A foreign Missionary also visits our village and tells us that our Hinduism will not last more than two days and therefore we should become Christians.
Shri Shinde.- There are only Sansari Uraons and Christian Uraons.
Sansari Uraons are Hindus. (To the question asked what is Hindu Dharma)
the witness replied that it is Sansari Hindu. Timarla is my ancestral
village. Besides removing our crops the Christians harass me in other
ways also as per example by not providing agricultural labour, and instigating
my labour to leave my service. They are harassing me for the last
four years. I reported the mater once only. The Christians in the
village are living there for a long time and I do not know when they became
I am at Jashpurnagar since 1948. I came here in the capacity of District Organiser under the Tribal Welfare Department and worked in this capacity till 1952. When I came here I was entrusted by the Government the work of looking after the welfare of the Tribal and to organise welfare activities. One of the main activities was organising of schools. Then I head to organise Co-operative Societies and to do some construction work like approach roads, wells, etc. As soon as our working was started here, I experienced a vehement opposition from the Christian Missions working here and it seemed to me that they were not in favour of Government starting welfare activities for the Tribal people. The Missions were Roman Catholics and Lutherans. So far as the activities were concerned, I found that the Missions claimed to have about 80 schools of theirs but all of them unrecognised. During the State regime, about 33 schools of theirs were recognised by the State organisation under certain conditions but later on even during the State regime the State Administration found that the Missions had committed some breach of conditions on account of this the very recognition of the schools was withdrawn. Except one Lutheran school, the other Roman Catholic schools were 33 in number. Even during the State regime, it was detected by the Administration that the Missionaries were utilising the schools for converting Tribal boys and girls. These are primary boys. Hence the State Administration enforced a condition that the Missions should maintain a register showing how many students were converted to Christianity and what material benefits were offered to them. During his verification by Mr. Menon, who was the last Diwan of this State, he has stated in his report that the columns of conversion and offering of material benefits were kept blank by the Missions though hundreds of boys and girls were converted. I had to make intensive tours for organising the activities of the Department. I had to encounter bitter opposition from the Mission as soon as a school organised and teachers started their work and number of reports were received by me in which the teachers and the people of the villages had complained to me that the Missions were instigating she Christian people of the village even to assault the teachers and boys of the Welfare schools. In some cases actual assaults were made and in few cases reports were received. That the Christians instigated by the Missionaries forcibly trespassed the school premises and started hooliganism. So far as other activities are concerned, I had to take the Cinema Operator with me to show pictures to the people. Everywhere I experienced that whenever a cinema show was declared the Missions were taking precautions that, no Christian of their fold would attend the show. I have seen personally Missionaries and pracharaks standing on the roadside and dissuading people from attending the functions of out Department. Generally, I have seen that it is the policy of the Mission not to permit any of their adherents to participate even in the social functions of the non-Christians. There are specific instructions, as a matter of fact, that Adivasi Schools or any school which is not Missionary is a school of infields and that participation in the social function of the non-Christians would amount to a sin. In the appendix, which I have attached to the answers to the Questionnaire of the Committee, I have given documentary evidence, like magazines run by the Missions, in which the instruction of Lord Bishop are published. Then I found that Missionaries are trying to control over all temporal affairs of the adherents of the church including political. Number of Christians have told me that during prayer hours they are given political instructions. During the last General Elections I have personally seen foreign Missionary belonging to the Roman Catholic Mission canvassing on behalf of the Praja Socialist Party. The paid pracharaks of the Mission I have seen canvassing and working as polling agents. Similarly, I have seen the Lutheran Missionaries working for the Jharkhand party. According to my verification of the situation I am convinced that so far as the move for Jharkhand is concerned the Catholics and Lutherans are one. The only difference lies in that the Catholics want to achieve the same goal with their own policy. The Catholics want to conceal their identity with the Jharkhand movement. The Catholic Missions have what they call a Catholic Sabha which is an appendix of the Mission, the President of this Catholic Sabha Shri Ignus Beck is the General Secretary of the Jharkhand party. Similarly, certain Catholic members of the Church like Johan Ekka are the members of the local working committee of the Jharkhand party. That the Catholic Sabha of Ranchi and Jashpur are the same. The Archbishop of the Catholic Mission in Ranchi is the Archbishop for Ambikapur and Raigarh. The Missions have been trying to gain a political control over the people of this place through whatever agency they can. Formerly, they tried to get this control through the Congress organisation but finding that perhaps they could not get control unless they had worked as sincere Congressmen for some years they left the organisation and organised the Praja Socialist Party with affiliation of theirs is only a make believe device but inside the intention is the same, i.e., to organise politically the people for Jharkhand movement. Now perhaps finding that they could not well succeed in their aim through the Praja Socialist Party they are trying to take up the move of joining the Congress again. In this area, leaders of Jharkhand Party like Jaipalsingh and others come and address meetings. In one of the last meetings, Shri Jaipalsingh used a very indecent language against our Chief Minister and our Prime Minister. People are always being provoked to oppose the Hindu community. The very working of the Missions begins from creating hatred in the mind of the Adivasis against their own Hindu bretheren but belonging to other sections of the Hindu social structure the Missionaries want the non-Christian Aboriginals of this place to treat themselves as non-Hindus and in this direction they always approach them for creating this feeling in them. So far as Christians are concerned, they want to show that converts to Christianity are superior to the non-converted Tribals of this place. In this direction they have got a very skilfull invention and that invention dates back about 50 to 60 years back that they have designated non-Christian Tribals as Sansars. By this they want to impress on the Tribals that so long as they win remain non-Christians, they will he only wordly people with no hope of Salvation. The Uraons have a deep-rooted pride in being called as Uraons and despite the fact that they were converted they would not compromise with this name. Hence the Missions had to compromise and while calling them as Christians they allowed them to call themselves as Uraons also. To encounter this difficulty though the Christian community does not claim to have any sub-communities the Missions of this place have permitted the converts to call themselves as Uraons. There is always an anxiety in the minds of the Missionaries to see that the converts are nit excluded from the category of Tribals so that the Uraon may feel that he is deprived of his Uraonship. The Christian Missions are anxious to have the recognition of their institution by the Government not because they would gain any monetary advantages as such but because they think that their activities would be safer under the name of recognised schools by the Government. The Missions have crores of rupees with them and they do not depend for their existence on tiny aids from the Government.
2. In 1908, the Christian Missions started an association called Christian Association, later on, in 1914, they merged this into another organisation called Unnati Samaj. Even though their whole aim was to consolidate the Christian converts they found that the name Christian Association was coming in their way and also in order to win the sympathy of the non-Christian Tribals they termed it as “Unnati Samaj”. In 1922, through the agency of this Samaj, the Missionaries started a rebellion against the Raja of this place. During this rebellion, one of the Christian converts was declared to be belonging to the original dynasty of the Kings of this place. In that name the rebellion was controlled with the aid of Military. During the State regime the Raja of this place having correctly smelt their mischief was strongly protesting against their establishing the Missions here and there are instances that the Missions have constructed churches encroaching upon the Government lands. Even now during the present Government, the Missionaries are encroaching upon Government land and constructing buildings. For instance, the Loyola High School of Kunkuri is constructed on the Government reserved forest land without sanction. Very recently, proceedings were started in the Court of Tahsildar, and the Tahsildar passed an order that the land should be vacated. The Mission authorities have made a confession of this fact during the proceedings. They did not file any appeal against this order and when the time of limitation of appeal got expired, i.e., about 4 months after all of a sudden they filed a revision petition in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Officer who pending hearing passed an order staying execution of the Order of the Tahsildar. Similarly, in village Duldula, the Missionaries have constructed a chapel on agricultural land belonging to one Christian. The agricultural land could not be diverted for non-agricultural purposes without the sanction of the Deputy Commissioner, having constructed this building and realising the implications of this so late they have now presented an application before the Tahsildar that permission be given for constructing a building over this agricultural plot and the Court is given to understand that no building is existing there despite the fact that the building is there. There were some cases where the Christians instigated by the Missionaries have desecrated places of worship of Hindus. Similarly, there have been cases in the courts about forcible conversions and I would request the Committee to send for the records. Certain Christians of this place have given me a copy of a printed booklet published by the Catholic Sabha of Raigarh district in the form of a reply to the Questionnaire of this Committee. In this booklet, they have used the most contemptuous language. The persons, who handed over this booklet to me have told me on their personal knowledge. Though a Catholic Missionary has declared that they are not participating in the proceedings of the Committee all the same this booklet is being circulated by them amongst the Tribal converts in order to create a feelings of mistrust against the committee and the Government. Vernacular translations of this booklet are read out to the Tribal people.
I have submitted a written statement in reply to the Questionnaire. I have also filed some 148 documents.
The idea of Jharkhand is on the lines of Pakistan. To this end, the Missionaries have been trying and before Pakistan was created they had close associations with the Muslim League. I filed one issue of Jharkhand in which it has been admitted by one of the leaders of Jharkhand party that substantial financial aid was given by Mr. Surhawarthy. Similarly, Jaipalsingh in his own Presidential Address in 1939 has declared that all the Christian Missions are in the Jharkhand movement and a document relating to this has also been filed. Similarly, the leaders of the Jharkhand party were in league with the Momin rally of Bihar. The “Abua Jharkhand”, which is the organ of the Jharkhand party till one year back, was being published by the G.E.L. Church Press of Ranchi. The Session of 1947 of the Jharkhand party of the Adivasi Mahasabha was held in the premises of G.E.L. Church, Ranchi.
The President of the G.E.L. Church is the General Secretary of the Adivasi Mahasabha, of which Jharkhand party is a part. More information on the point may be found in the documents which I have filed with my replies. I am filing a copy of the Jharkhand news, dated the 1st September 1946, edited by J.C. Haywert.
In 1936, the Catholic Sabha of Ranchi which had its branches in Jashpur merged its identity with the Adivasi Mahasabha and this Adivasi Mahasabha is thus an amalgamated picture of “Unnati Samaj” and Catholic Sabha of the Catholic Mission.
While the schools buildings of the Adivasi Department were under construction, the foreign Missionaries organised the Christian labourers not to co-operate with the construction work and there was lot of difficulty to be encountered to find labour.
The Forest Department, which was entrusted with this work of construction, made reports of this to the Sub-Divisional Officer who along with me on the 2nd November 1949 went to Tapkara. The foreign Missionaries of the Tapkara Mission were called by the Sub-Divisional Officer and questioned about it. During this talk those Missionaries promised that after that they would allow the Christian labour to co-operate in the construction work and this too when the Sub-Divisional Officer had administered a strong snub to them. During the Social Education Camps, which were held at the instance of Government, the Missionaries had debarred the Christian Tribals for Participating in these camps and they were debarred from responding to the slogan “Jai Hind”. This I came to now during my tours when I questioned some of the Christians as to why they were not saying “Jai Hind”.
Me. Shinde.- I have not met Joel Lakra. I From their own papers I say
that Joel Lakra is the Secretary of the Adivasi Mahasabha. I have not got
any paper. Joel Lakra belongs to the Jharkhand party. Till about
a year ago I had heard that he was Secretary of the Adivasi Sabha.
I do not know whether he continues now.-That paper gave the names of the
office-bearers of the Adivasi Mahasabha and I read Joel Lakra’s name as
Secretary. Before coming to Jashpur, I was practising as a Pleader
at Nagpur. I resigned the Tribal Welfare job in 1952 if my own free-will.
I belong to no political party. The word “Jharkhand” literally means
land of the forest. The word “Uroans” was originally Omram.
The Uraons are worshipper of Ram. When a Uraon calls himself a Sansari
he means that he is a Hindu. I do not know if the originators of the “Unnati
Samaj” movement were Rai Sahab Bandiram Uraon and Rungtu Uraon. But
I know that the real sponsors are Missionaries. I do not know Rai
Sahab Bandiram Uraon and Rungtu Uraon are Christians. Jaipalsingh
came here about seven months back and stayed at the Gholeng Mission. I
was informed that he stayed here for two days. If I am told by the counsel
Shri Shinde that Jaipalsingh came to Jashpur on 29th May 1955 and stayed
at the Rest House, all that I can say is that this may be correct but my
statement that about 7 or 8 months back Jaipalsingh came and stayed at
the Gholeng Mission, is correct. The Uraons are bound by the Hindu
Law of Inheritance. Some persons connected with the Missions have
told me that the Missions operating in the area maintain records of con
versions made. I have however not myself seen any such record. My
information about the conversions in the schools is based on my intensive
tours as District Organiser, Tribal Welfare Department, and enquiries made
by me from innumerable villagers, parents and guardians. Although
I cannot give the approximate total number of such conversions I can assert
that hundreds of such children have been converted. The process of
conversions is initially performed by cutting the top-knots followed by
compulsory attendance at prayers and teachings of the Ten Commandments.
I do not know what other ceremonies were performed by the Missionaries
for further conversion. Several parents told me that the children
were baptised. “Baptism” is locally described by such vernacular
terms as pavitra pani chhidk-snan karaya. The word “Tribal”
means a Hindu. On conversion, a person would cease to be a Tribal.
I have personally no occasion to be present at any meeting of the Missionary
where Hindu religion was being criticised. The “Unnati Samaj” started
in 1914. I got this information from Gazetteer. In 1922, there was
a rebellion against the Raja of Jashpur. It was an open rebellion
with arms orgainised by the Christian at the instigation of the Missionaries.
I have gathered this information from various reports and other sources.
When the Ministers came to Jashpur on mass contact tours I informed them
the activities of Missionaries in this area. When I said yesterday
that Jharkhand was being demanded on the lines of Pakistan I was referring
to their demand for a separate State, independent of the Indian Union.
The Missionaries want to secure political power through foreign aid and
therefore have created this demand for a separate independent state.
The Lutheran Mission in Jashpur is controlled by foreign Missionaries.
Before its merger in 1936 with the Adivasi Mahasabha, the “Unnati Samaj”
was working towards the creation of a separate Independent State.
I do not know whether they demanded Jharkhand. Although in those
days the British Government was in power the demand of the “Unnati Samaj”
was for a separate independent State when India would get Independence.
This was similar to the demand of the Muslim League for Pakistan.
Gharbandhu is the official organ of the Gossner Evangelical Mission. (Shri
Lakra admits). It is not my opinion that on changing the religion,
person cease to be an Indian.
a year back, I wanted to enlist myself as a labourer for Andaman and, therefore,
went to the Father of Gholeng Mission whose name I do not know. On
being told that I was a Sansari Uraon, he refused to enlist me saying that
he would enlist only Christians and that, if I wanted to go to Andaman,
I should become a Christian. My other two companions Dhibru and Pandu
became Christians and were sent, but as I did not agree to become a Christian,
I was not sent.
About two months back, I had gone to the Gholang Mission to get milk-powder which I was told was being supplied. The Father told me that milk and milk-powder was distributed only to Christians and not to Hindus and, therefore, he declined to supply the milk-powder.
Shri A. B. Shinde.- I have never tasted milk prepared out of milk-powder.
Milk-powder is being distributed for about a year. I do not know
whether other Hindus have been given milk-powder or not.
I am a pracharak of the Lutheran Mission since 1949. I am resident of Jashpur since birth. Our Mission has one Middle School and three Primary Schools which have not yet been recognised by Government. The schools have not been recognised because they are Christian schools. Christian boys are not admitted in the Government High School, Jashpurnagar. If some are admitted, they are not given scholarships. There was no rebellion in Jashpur but since 1920 the Adivasis had been complaining against the system of bigar for which they were being harassed and beaten by the State officials and authorities. When the harassment grew to intense, several rayats assembled and went to the Raja to make a complaint. The Diwan was deputed to make enquiries, but he too did not render justice. Therefore, the Political Department authorities at Raipur were approached. Being enraged on account of this move, the Raja and his men went to the villages and assaulted Adivasis. Several were killed and firing had to be resorted to. Telegrams were sent to the Political Agent who came to Jashpur and stopped harassment by the State authorities. The Raja was deposed and the State was taken under superintendence. In course of these assaults even the foreign Missionaries were beaten by the Raja’s men. One Missionary was killed also. By non-recognition I mean that students passing out of the Middle School are not admitted in the Government School. Primary and Middle Schools examination of our schools are conducted at Jashpurnagar a long with Government examination. I am not aware of the rules of Government for recognition of Primary and Middle Schools. Our schools were not recognised daring the former State regime. I do not know the rules of Government regarding the grant of scholarships to Adivasi boys.
Shri R. K. Deshpande.- I do not know how many Christian boys are studying
in the Government High School, Jashpur. I had brought my own son last year
for being admitted into the Government High School and the headmaster said
that there was no accommodation in the Government Hostel. Hence,
I say that Christian boys are not admitted in the schools. He was
admitted to the School and not to the Hostel. Even now he comes to
attend the school from my village. None of the Christian students
of the Government High Schools has told me that he is not getting scholarship.
I was also one of the of rayats who complained against harassment by the
Raja. Thousands persons had gone to the Raja to make demands. I was
prosecuted in a Court and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for taking
part in the demand. I was prosecuted and convicted under section
124, Indian Penal Code, My appeal before the Political Agent was rejected.
Once, when I had gone to witness the Christian jalsa, the pracharak of the Mission asked me which side I had cast a vote. On my reply that I had cast my vote in the “Suraj Chhap” box, he caught hold of me and took me inside the Girjaghar and tied me down with rope. A few persons of the village came there and got me rescued. These persons asked the pracharak as to why he had done this on which the pracharak said that he had done this under the orders of the Father of the Mission, at Gholeng. I made a report of this to the Police, as a consequence of which criminal proceedings were started and the pracharak was convicted to pay a fine. Prior to this incident, the White Father of the Gholeng Mission had come to my village and had asked me to become Christian. When I replied to him that I would not become a Christian, he got irritated and went away.
Shri Shinde.-The foreign Missionary who visited my village had a beard.
He was accompanied by another foreign Missionary. There was no Indian
Missionary with them. They first came to the house of the Panch who
is a Hindu and the Panch had called me and others to assemble. It
was in presence of the Panch that the foreign Missionaries told me to embrace
Christianity. On that occasion the foreign Missionaries neither beat
me nor threatened me to beat.
About two years back, the foreign Missionary of the Gholeng Mission visited the house of one Padur Bhagat who was then seriously ill. Padur Bhagat requested the foreign Missionary to give him some medicine so that he would he cured but the foreign Missionary told him that he would not give him medicine till he became a Christian. On this Padur Bhagat in the hope that he could save his own life agreed to become Christian, after his recovery. But the Missionary insisted on his becoming a Christian before treatment. As a result, Padur Bhagat agreed to this also and, in pursuance of this, the Missionary cut his Chundhi and sprinkled some water. After taking the medicine of the Missionary for about four or five days, Padur Bhagat died.
Shri Shinde.- I was present when the Father visited Padur Bhagat’s
Place. He did not repeat any Mantra loudly.
I am a Baiga of Jukari. The Christian persons of my village defiled the place of Hindu worship by cutting away the Sarana trees. I along with other persons of the village were felt hurt on account of this act. I have reported the matter to the Tahsildar. These persons cut away the trees after saying that they had already driven away our Gods and that because we were worshipping ghosts.
Shri Shinde.-In my village the greater number are Sansaris. There
are 12 families of Christies in my village. Cutting down of the “Sarana”
trees was done by the Christians of Kantara village. The names of
the people who cut the trees are Chaitu, etc. They cut the trees
for five hours.
In my village the majority are Christians. Foreign Missionary, one day, came and asked me to become a Christian telling me that I should fall in line of the majority but I refused. He said that I will see the consequences in near future. Then the Christians began to trouble me. They stopped the village blacksmith to do my work. They also stopped me taking water from their well. Then, I had to bring water from a long distance.
Shri Shinde.- There are Sansaris about 10 and Christians about 20 families.
I am the only Uraon Hindu, while the other Hindus in village are not Uraons.
Those Hindus are not baptised by Christians.
I have been working in this area for the last one and half years. I am the founder of the All-India Ganatantra Democratic Party. It was a political party. In connection with the work of that party I had to move in Chhota-Nagpur, Bihar and Orissa and coming in contact with Missionaries and others. Our political party included Christians as well as Hindus. While the foreign Missionaries profess to be non-political, I found that they have some political aims. At the last General Elections, Pandit Jawaharlal’s visit to Ranchi was awaited. While all the parties wanted to welcome him the Jharkhand party declined to welcome on the ground that the foreign Missionaries were opposed to welcome him. They even went to the length of disturbing the meeting addressed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The disturbance was mostly from Christian members of the Jharkhand party. The Christians who had not joined in disturbing Pandit Jawaharlal’s meeting were excommunicated by the Missionaries. One of them was Eliajhar John. Those who were excommunicated were Roman Catholics as well as Lutherans and they said they were dependent on the foreign Mission and they could not go against the Missionaries. This was what the Christians generally said. I learn from Christians that the Missionaries wanted to increase the number of Christians so that their case for separate state for Jharkhand, i.e., Issaisthan might become strong. There were many Christians who did not agree with this idea and they reverted to Hinduism.
I performed their Shudh ceremony and I have with me this record of large number of Christians who were reconverted to Hinduism. The Missionaries oppose idol worship and ridicule the Hindu Gods. I hand over these two pamphlets entitled, “Sevaka Samarthya” and “Muktika Marg”. This kind of preaching offends the sentiments of Hindus. I have opened an Ashram at Kunkuri. The Missionaries of Tapkara and Kunkuri along with certain Christians raised a dispute which is now pending in Court. I have opened an Ayurvedic dispensary and a gymnasiums for physical culture and a school is cinder construction. This has provoked some Christians to assault me and they assaulted me and the case is pending in Court. The buildings are erected on land purchased in the name of the Ashram. I file “Jharkhand Geet” and also file “Catholic Teaching”. Hundreds of people have approached me with different complaints against the foreign Missionaries. Such complaints included inducements, harassment, cutting of topknots, changing of names, abduction, etc.
Rev. Lakra.- I have no objection to the Indian Christian Padri to take
part in politics, but only when his action or policy is anti-national,
I object to it. I do not remember the name of the Chairman of the
Reception Committee organised to accord welcome for the visit of Pandit
Nehru to Ranchi. I did not see you (Rev. Lakra). I do not know
that you were the Chairman of the Reception Committee. Among the
foreign Missionaries, there are Belgiums, Americans, and Germans and Dutch.
They all behave in the same fashion.
I came this side from Durg from Balod on 13th January 1955. I wanted to enquire into the reports which I had, viz., the movement for a separate State called “Jharkhand” and the Missionary activities for mass conversions. Prakasha Datta of Gass Memorial Hostel, Raipur, had given me a letter of introduction addressed to Jagdish Tirkey who is Secretary of the Jharkhand party at Jashpur. When the States Reorganisation Commission visited Ranchi I along with Jagdish Tirkey and several others went there. From January onwards I took-part in addressing meetings, etc., and when I could secure the confidence of Jagdish Tirkey and others of the Jharkhand party I was appointed a member of the Working Committee of that party. I have three letters in my possession signed by Jagdish Tirkey, Secretary, in which my position as a member of the Working Committee has been stated. On the 29th May, Jaipalsingh visited Jashpur. He actually arrived on the night of 28th and stayed in the bungalow of Gholeng Mission. On the 29th, he came to Jashpur and stayed in the rest-house. To arrange reception to Shri Jaipalsingh I contacted some Roman Catholic Christians but they said that unless their leader, viz., the Father of Gholeng Mission directed them they would not take part in the reception arrangement. Accordingly, a day previous to the arrival of Shri Jaipalsingh I met Father of Gholeng Mission at Gholeng and requested him to direct the Catholics to join the reception. Father Verilas of the Gholeng Mission collected some people in the Church and asked them to join the reception which was being arranged by us for Shri Jaipalsingh.
I continued to work for the party and got more and more confidence of the members. About one and half months back I went to Ginabahar and interviewed the Bishop Sevrin. I had been to him to request him to lend support to the Jharkhand party. Although I had known that the foreign Missionaries and other Catholics were secretly supporting the movement for Jharkhand, I went to Bishop Sevrin to request him to extend his support openly. Bishop Sevrin told me that his policy was like that of late Mr. Jinha when he claimed separation of Sindh from Bombay which ultimately led to the creation of a separate State of Pakistan. I told him that further division of the country would not be tolerated by the Government of India and that people could get Pakistan because of the British Rule. To this, Bishop Sevrin replied by saying that I was in politics but a child and that I should not regard Christians and Missionaries as having without support; that they have the support of European nations, that the majority of independent nations were Christians and that the United Nations Organisation also had a majority of Christian nations. When 13 foreigners were arrested in China, a great hue-and-cry was raised in the U. N. O. I told Bishop Sevrin that these days when every nation is working for peace any armed assistance was out of the question. To this, Bishop Sevrin replied saying that history showed that whenever Christians wanted help it was forthcoming and whatever type of help was required was available. I asked Bishop Sevrin pointedly whether he hoped that a further division of the country on the lines of Pakistan would ever be possible. To this, Bishop Sevrin replied that having witnessed the Partition of 1947, such a doubt should not have arisen.
When the Prime Minister of India Pandit Nehru had gone to Rome and met the Pope, I had an occasion to talk to Father Bulkans. In course of our talk, Father Bulkans referred to the said visit and said that it was a proof of the greatness of the Pope which necessitated a visit by Pandit Nehru to him, otherwise India could never hope to secure foreign aid from European nations for its development programme, nor would it get milk-powder and ghee for distribution.
In course of our propaganda work wherever we went in the Jashpur area we stayed in the Lutheran Churches, called meetings there and that gave instructions to our local workers in those Churches. The Roman Catholics of Jashpur do not openly support the movement although secretly they work for it.
To Rev. Lakra.- Nil.
(Examined in camera).