Statement made before the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiries Committee


No. 1

Name-Maniklal Balkisandas Maheshwari.
Age-35 years.
Address-Assalgaon taluq Jalgaon.

There are Christians in Assalgaon.  They come there for preaching Christian religion.  There are no Christian residents in the village.  There is no Church at Assalgaon.  There were four or five men and four or five women.  They were all Indians.  The people were attracted by curiosity and collected round them.  They addressed them as follows “They said you worship idols as Gods.  That Jesus was a personality whose very name relieves the man from all troubles.  You should not worship stone idols.  Your religion is old”. I was offended and on my protest they said that they had a right to preach their own religion.  Then at my request the assembled people dispersed and the preachers also left the village.

To Mr. Tiwari-

I am Marwadi.  Assalgaon is in Jalgaon taluq.  Assalgaon is in Madhya Pradesh.  I had been to Jalgaon.  There is no railway-station at Jalgaon.  This is Jalgaon in Buldana district.  The above incident occurred in December or January last.  When they criticised idol worship I think it was an attack on my religion. I do not know the name of the preacher. I cannot say from where he came.  I came to Khamgaon yesterday to make my statement before the committee.  They did not distribute grain or cloth but they said that if you come into our religion we will give you fool and clothing and girls in marriage.  There is no Christian residents in my village. I cannot say how many people were offered inducements to become Christians.  I am not actually seen distributing clothes but this is what they said in the presence of the crowd, and Mahadeo Ingle was one in the crowds.  There were in all 25 to 30 persons.  They were all from Assalgaon.  Baban Khatik, Dharmaji Mahar, Narayan Mahar, Babunath Ganu Dhangar, Hari Dhangar were in the assembly.  I believe the number which was in majority was Mahar. I own 32 acres of land. I had engaged some of the Mahars whose names I mentioned, were engaged as my labourers. I do not go to Ingle’s house. I do not go to the Mahar’s house. I did not object to their preaching but I objected to their attacking my religion.

My opinion is that idol worship is good.  Any man who attacks it would be considered a bad man by me.  I know Arya Samajist.  No Arya Samajist lives in my village.

No. 2

Name-Rev. Raghuwel Puransingh Chawhan.

I file the Constitution, i.e., the Manual of the Christian and Missionary Alliance of India. I am resident of Akola. I am a Pastor.  There is a congregation of about 600 including children.  There is a Mission school which has the strength of 150 students out of whom only 50 are non-christians.  There are two active missionaries, viz., Mr. Iker and Mr. Vanigrift.  Both are foreign Missionaries.  There is a Hindu teacher in the Missionary school.  In the school everyday there is Bible period in the morning.  There is no compulsion for students to attend the Bible class.  They are taught the stories of Abraham, Lot and Jesus Christ.  We do not criticise any other religion. I am Pastor for the last 10 years. I was headmaster before I was a Pastor.  My pay is Rs. 175 per month. I am President of the Synod.  It is absolutely false that the foreign Missionaries want to establish the Christian rule in India. I positively say so because it is repugnant to Christian religion.  We belong to India and if we come to know such activities on their part we would ourselves drive them out.  It is within the power of the synod to retain them in India or to drive them out of India.  Now the procedure is that the synod of our Church in India recommends certain names for being sent to India as Missionaries and the home board of the Mission accepts our recommendations.  Both in Malkapur and Khamgaon there is the Alliance Mission working.  I know about the working of the churches.  The school at Khamgaon is financed with the aid of fees and educational grants and subsidy received from the Mission.  There are four Missionaries living in Khamgaon.  Miss Wolner an American lady is in charge of the boarding school at Khamgaon.  The other lady Miss Droppa who is also a foreign Missionary, assists her in her work of supervising the Boarding school.  They have come about six years ago.  They get their pay from America.  I can never believe that these foreigners will ever indulge in subversive activities.  If the Government ask them to leave India we Indian Christians are quite prepared to take charge of the institutions and run them.  But I have received no complaints against them and I know that they render disinterested service.  Sunday schools are attended even by non-Christians.  They are few.  It is not true that we distribute sweets to children to induce them to become Christians.  Mr. Carner is the only male Missionary here.  Mr. Carner works under the leadership of Christians, in fact under my leadership as I am President of the Synod.  Mr. Carner goes out for preaching but I am certain that he is not the man to offer any inducement.

To Shri Anekar, Pleader-

I am M. A. of the Nagpur University, in Marathi. I have studied Gnyaneshwari.  I have read the 1st and the, 12th Adhyaya. I did not read the 11th one.  I am Reverend for the last 10 years.  My father became Christian.  I am a born Christian.  He died when I was 10 years.  My father had left no property.  My father was a Rajput.  The Mission board abroad consults us as to whether we need any foreign Missionary.  It is only when we intimate to them that we have such wish that they send Missionary.  This wish of ours is incorporated in the Synod.  It is within our power to refuse to admit any foreigner if he is not needed.  This practice came to be introduced during the last two years.  I cannot give any instance of the home board having proposed to send any particular individual and we did not accept the proposal.  The Board of Managers are in America.  We have not passed any resolution demanding the withdrawal of foreign Missionaries here.  If we wish to do so it is within our competence to do so.  We can send our recommendations to this effect.  There was no occasion for us to ask the Mission Board to withdraw any foreign missionary from hear.  Under the Synod there are six Indian Reverend. Reverends are sufficiently senior.  We are quite capable of managing of our affairs.  I do not know even the approximate income or expenditure of the school at Akola. I know nothing about the Bible class. It is held before the, regular work of the school starts.

I cannot say how much subsidy we get for running the Anglo-Vernacular School.  We have no property of the Church yielding any income although the school has got about 40 acres of farm.  This farm was purchased out of school funds.  School funds receive subsidy from the Missions.  By active Missionaries I mean those who preach the gospel for evangelization.  In fact that is their duty.  All I can say his duty is only preaching and not converting Missionaries get money for the Mission work viz., evangelistic work.  They go to villages also.  First duty of a Christian is to preach Christ.  From 1947 on an average the rate of conversion may be 20 per year under the Synod.  The conversions will be found in the baptism registers of each of the churches.  The majority of converts may be from depressed classes.  There are no aboriginals in our area.  There are aboriginals in Malkapur taluq but they are beyond our area.  There is a library in Mission and no newspapers are there to read I do not know any book like “Bharatat Alele Preshit” We do not take “Herald of the Coming”. I have seen this paper with Missionary.

There is no process of uniting the Christians of all the world going on in this part of the country. I am not aware of such thing.  The ecumenical movement, if there be any, has not come in our area.  It is not true that there is an attempt to create one nation composed of all the Christians of the world. I know nothing of this Herald at all.  No activity can take place within my jurisdiction without the knowledge of the Executive Committee.  The pictures entitled “King of Kings” is shown to villagers in preaching.  These leaflets “Manushyani Sare Jag Milwile and Pakshi Kasa Wachala” might have been distributed in Khamgaon.  I file these pamphlets.

I have not read Manorama Bai Modak’s writings.  I do not subscribe to Kesari.

To Chairman-

Excluding Khandesh there are 16 Churches within the Madhya Pradesh area under our jurisdiction.  The Pastors are paid from the central fund which is made out of contribution from the congregation.  The total congregation including children and women may be 7,000 and the members are 1,394.  We ask the people to contribute to it but all do not contribute to it.  Total contributions from the church comes 17,000 and total disbursement on account of pay comes to Rs. 30,000.  The deficit of Rs. 13,000 is made up by subsidy received from the Mission.  We gradually are thinking of stopping that subsidy.  We have been replacing foreigners by our own people as, for example in Akola and we are also replacing them at Khamgaon.  The only work these foreign Missionaries do is evangelistic.  The money that is required for this purpose for the Missionaries comes from America entirely.  The accounts are sent to the Home Board abroad. I refuse quite a large number of people who wanted to become converts out of secular motive but I do not convert anybody who is prompted by any selfish motive of material gain, etc.  We give lessons from Bible and when he is satisfied that Christ is his Saviour and expresses his desire to become Christian then we baptise.  By conversion we mean new birth.

No. 3

Name-Kanhayalal Joshi.
Age-25 years.

At Katepurna I have seen some Christian Melas.  Katepurna station is next to Akola. There were about 50 to 60 small size tents and one big barrack like tent spacious enough to sit about 1,500 persons.  There were foreign missionaries males and females among the group of Christians who visited the Mela.  They had about 20 or 25 motor vehicles.  I had gone there specially to see the Mela as I had heard about it when I was at Akola.  This I am speaking about the Mela held in last summer.  I came to know that they hold such Melas every year on the piece of land which they own.  The foreign ladies wore Indian dress viz. Sari and were sitting among the Indian women.  They were singing what I thought to be hymns and also preaching the gospel.  I heard as Indian Christian lady telling the people that when they prayed to Lord Jesus for the recovery of patients they got cured without medicine, even without medicine they got relief by the efficacy of the name of Jesus.  Then “Jay Jayakar” in the name of Jesus was uttered through the loudspeaker.  Besides the Christians there were also large number of Hindus from the neighbouring villages.  A man got up and said that although a prayer was offered for the recovery of the child in his house, it was not on the way to recovery.  Hearing that a gentleman sitting on the platform asked a foreign Missionary to offer prayers to Jesus again and he assured the main that his child would be completely cured.  After this there was Bhajan.

I enquired of a few non-Christians as how they happened to come.  They said that they were supplied with motor vehicles by the Christian Missionaries.  Their camp was midway between the Railway-Station and the village.  The camp was in progress for a week or so.  The land on which it was held belongs to the Mission. It has got a spacious well and also a mango-grove.

To Mr. Tiwari-

I am a Hindu. I cannot say from what time I am a Hindu.  My parents are living.  There were about 50 tents according to my guess.  From Akola to Katepurna, I believe, I paid annas six as railway fare.  There is a motor road to Katepurna from Akola.  Camp is about a mile from the Katepurna Railway Station. I went there on foot. I did not see any non-Christian being brought in motor vehicle.  Near their camp I stopped there nearly two hours.  One man gave lectures.  They did not attack any other religion but only praised Jesus Christ. I do not know the exact month but it was summer.  There was heat and no rain. I did not meet any inmate of any of the tents.  Non-Christians must have come there from 3 or 4 villages. They may be about 700.  The Hindus used to take food at home as their villages were closeby. I did not take my food there. I went only once, and not more. I just learnt at the station about the Mela and on enquiry of the land where the Mela was hold and I came to know that it belonged to Christians.  I did not ask for tea.  There were cars and jeeps in all and buses also numbering 25.  I cannot mention the particular names.  There were about 7 or 8 persons and they were all Hindus who gave this information.  I got this information the very day when I had gone to Katepurna. I go frequently to Akola, I cannot say how many motor vehicles are with the Akola Missionaries. I went to Amravati.

No. 4

Name.-Daulat Fakira Jadhao.
Age.- 1 9.

While I was 12 or 13 years of age, I was in the National School. I used to help my parents in their labour as they were poor.  The weekly market of Khamgaon is held on Thursday. I used to help my father in carrying the loads of customers who purchased things in markets and get wages.  I carried such loads to Christians’ houses also.  The Christians used to pay me 2 or 4 annas more than the wages which others paid to me.  When I carried the load of a Christian he offered me a plate of bread and fish.  Then he said that we Hindus worship stone which are used in building latrines and the same are used as Gods after smearing them with virmilium.  He enquired about my caste and I told him that I was a Mang.  This incident occurred 7 years ago. I was told that there were 4 sub-sections among the Harijans but not one of them was allowed to enter temples nor admitted into their society.  On the other hand among the Christians there was no caste observance.  There was a student by name Sane who was a Christian reading in my school.  He once took me to Church and said if I became a Christian my needs will be looked after.  My needs included education and clothing.

To Mr. Tiwari-

Although I am Mang, I know how to worship God.  I am born in Khamgaon.  My father is living.  My caste has got one temple and Hindus have about 5 to 6 temples.  I am a Hindu.  I enter the Hindu temple of Hanuman and worship the God there.  I had been twice or thrice to the Christian who gave me food to eat but I do not know his name, but I can say this that he was living on the Shegaon road where there is a Christian colony.  I do not know where he lives.  I did not go to Sane’s house, nor did I go to the Church.  By Missionary I mean Indian Christian.  I did not go to any foreign Missionary. I never went to Akola. I did not go out of Khamgaon.  I used to lift load of two and half pailies of grain.  I used to get ordinarily one and half to two annas but the Christians used to give three to four annas.  They did not give clothes.  I must have carried loads to 7 or 8 Christians’ houses.  Others also used to enquire about my caste, etc., and used to offer fruits.  At that time I did not know much about religion. I know now something about religion. I go to the Hindus and eat there although they do not come to me.  There is no inter-marriage.  Our religion is the same although we belong to different caste.  My religion is Hindu.  I am a Hindu because I profess to be Hindu. I know nothing about Christianity.  Nobody told me about Jesus Christ.  We believe that in the stone there is divine spirit.  It is my faith.  By the existence of the divine spirit I mean my faith in it.

No. 5

Father’s name.-Nanagram.
Caste.- Arya.
Occupation.-Cotton Mapari.

I am an Arya Samajist. I married a Christian girl who was reconverted to Hinduism.  Her parents also had reverted to Hinduism.  My wife has a sister who is studying in a Mission school at Pendra Road.  I had been to Pendra Road to fetch the girl as I was told by my Father-in-law as he did not succeed to get her back.  She is about 16 or 17 years of age.  I had gone to Pendra in the year 1950.  When I went to the Boarding I enquired about the girl, Iba, i.e., my wife’s sister of a girl whom I met first.  She told me that Iba was in the hostel.  Then I enquired of a foreign Missionary lady about the girl Iba.  She replied that she was not in the hostel.  I was just arguing with her when Iba herself came up to me.  My wife also had with me there.  As soon as she saw us she began to cry.  We offered her some sweets which the Missionary lady did not allow her to take.  The lady took it herself.  The girl Iba was quite willing to come with us but the Missionary lady refused to let her go saving that she was not even allowed to go with her parents.  When I asked the reasons for this she declined to reply and she asked us to clear away.  We asked permission to stay on as it was hot, but she asked us to leave.  Then as we came out the Mali assured us that he would get her out if we waited for few minutes.  He was complaining that he was himself being discharged from service.  He went in and brought the girl out, and we brought the girl home.  As we were driving in the tonga with the girl the Missionary lady pursued us on cycle.  In the meantime the Father also arrived there in jeep and other Christians assembled.  Then the gill was sought to be dragged out of the tonga.  She clung fast to it and I also held her.  Then they began to beat me.  Then they pulled me by my legs and when the girl was relieved from my fold they put the girl in their Jeep and took her back to the hostel.  This incident occurred on 15th May 1950 about which I made a report to the Police Station, Pendra Road.  The Police pleaded their inability to help us.  They simply took down my report on a paper.

I consulted a retired Police Officer at Gorela which is near the Station and he also expressed his inability to help us.  I had no money to launch a litigation, civil or criminal, so I had to come back without the girl.  Now we understand that, that girl has been removed from Pendra Road.

On 13th March 1954 there was a recital of Kirtan in the compound of the Church at Khamgaon.  It was by Rev. Carner’s brother who had assumed the name of Ladkebuwa.  Public were invited by circulation of leaflet one of which I produce before the Committee.  That says that Ladkebuwa was going to perform Kirtan like Gadgebuwa and Tukdoji Maharaj.  In the Kirtan he said that Jesus was born of a virgin and that no Hindu God was ever born like that.  They honour Krishna as God but he was a thief.  How could he be a God when he had 16,000 wives? There were Hindus among the audience and I wanted to say something but the reciter of the Kirtan refused to allow me to speak.

To Mr. Tiwari-

I am styling myself Arya since I entered the Arya Samaj.  My wife was reconverted to Hinduism 7 or 8 years before.  Her parents had no permanent place of residence but they were moving from place to place.  They were moving in Bilaspur district near Kargi road. I do not know where else they were going. I met them for the first time when they came to Khamgaon.  The whole family reverted in Arya Samaj, Khamgaon.  It was after that I came in contact with them. I did not stop at Kargi Road. I went to Pendra Road only once. I do not know, the name of the Padri there.  I do not know the name of the Missionary lady.  There was only one lady to the best of my knowledge.  I had engaged the tonga for passage both way, I do not exactly recollect now after 5 years whether I came across the Church on the way to Mission boarding.  Between Gorela and Pendra there are some Churches.

All my mind was occupied with how to bring the girl out of the boarding. I did not attend to any buildings or the general features of the environment.  There was only tonga.  That Missionary lady first followed us on her cycle and then came a body of Christian people.  They were followed by the Padri in the Jeep.  They did not come out of the Boarding.  When we came to the main read after having travelled the Katcha road of about one furlong we were overtaken by the Christians and the Miss.  The place where I was overtaken there were other Christians.  Police Station may be about 2 furlongs from the place of quarrel.  Railway station must be a mile or so from that place.  I do not recollect if there is any church near the place.  There was a crowd of 25 or 30 persons. I think most of them were Christians.  As the days were hot there were thin people on the way.  The Mali was a Christian. I do not know who is the President of the Gram Panchayat.  He has got a cloth shop.

Only one time I saw Mr. Carner reciting Kirtan.  I did not see him before or after. I was there for an hour.  In the Kirtan there was some speech as well as Kirtan.  The subject of his Kirtan was Jesus Christ but I cannot give the particulars of it. I know Jesus Christ the founder of the religion. I do not regard him as God.  He was like all other risen.

I regard Krishna as equal to God.  All.  Arya Samaji regard Krishna equal to God. I do not believe in the story that he had 16,000 wives.  I am an Arya Samajist since 1936. I did not read tile whole of Satyaharprakash.  My religious sentiments were injured when there was an attack on Hindu religion, particularly foul reference to Krishna.

The name of the girl is Aini Iba daughter of Puranlal Pakshadilal.  I do not know where the girl is.

No. 6

Name-Shamlal Nema.
Age-42 years.
Occupation-Headmaster, Kela High School.

I am B.A., B.T. I am headmaster since 1945.  I do not belong to any political party because I am in service.  I am headmaster from 1945 and from very beginning of the school.  All the boys in our school are below 17.  Out of them Shriram Deolal Agarwal is studying in 10th class.  He is between 13 and 14 of age.  Shri Jayatram Panjabi is in 10th class and is between 16 and 17th and Mathuraprasad Agarwal is in matric class and he is between 16-17 years.  Each of them received by book post copies of Jeevan Prakash which is a Christian magazine issued from Chalisgaon, East Khandesh.  Shriram had already received the lessons in Bible which he was to answer after reading the gospel.  Here is a form which was filled by him.  I file all these book pests including the covers in which they are sent.  I have read this literature and I find that the tendency of this correspondence and the pamphlet sent to the boys is to influence their mind towards Christianity.  As our State is secular no religious teaching is given in our school.  Taking advantage of this there is an attempt to introduce Christianity among the young students by means of such correspondence.

To Mr. Tiwari-

I am teacher in Hindi.  I passed my B. T. in 1952, from Nagpur. The booklets began to be sent to this school since April 1955. I do not know whether anyboy sent the addresses of the boys to the Missionaries I do not known if the boys themselves had asked for these booklets.  The boys did not hand over these books to me, but I kept them as these books were received on school address.  The post was delivered at the school.  I did not give this to the boys. I opened it as it was the book-post. I said that I would not give this to you.  There are 40 girls in my school.  No letters are received to girls in my school.  The letters received from the parents are given to students.  The whole mail received to my school address is received in my school.  The peon is sent to post office to get the postal dak.  As headmaster I thought it was not desirable to give the books to the boys.  I had retained these packets with me to bring them to the notice of the D. S. E. who is expected to visit the school. I have no right to open the letters of the students.

No. 7

Name-Bhagwan Yeshwantrao Jagtap.
Age-26 years.
Address-Chandmari Road, Khamgaon.

My house is near the Church at Khamgaon.  There is scarcity of water in my part of the town.  In 1952-53 there was practically water famine.  State Government had issued orders that even private wells should be used temporarily for public use.  There are two burial grounds, one belonging to the Indian Christians and another belonging to the foreign Missionaries.  So far as wells in the town were concerned they were allowed to be used by the public but there is a well in the burial ground of the foreign Missionaries.  They prescribed time from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Christians to draw water from well and during these hours non-Christians were not allowed to draw water.  At 9 a.m. the water was all exhausted.  My sister once had been there at 7-10 to draw water from that well but she was prevented by Christian man by name Mr. George.  The matter was reported to Police.  When the members of the Hindu Maha Sabha went in a procession to Mr. Carner’s bungalow at the Mission bungalow asking him to quit India, I joined the procession.  I got a threatening letter from some un-named person.  No congressman had ever taken objection to my joining the Morcha or morcha itself.  My suspicion is that this letter must have been written by Christian Missionary.  In the procession did not shout any slogans nor its behaviour showed it any irritation. I file this letter.

To Mr. Tiwari-

I studied up to 10th standard.  The letter is signed by name by some “P. K.”. I cannot identify the person.  This procession was on 15th August 1954, just to ask the foreign Missionaries to quit India.  Because it came out in the papers Tarunbharat, Maharashtra, etc., that the foreign Missionaries indulge in subversive activities.  I know Dr. Ambedkar.  I do not know exactly who is the General Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha.  He may be Dr. Khare or Shri Bhide.  I do not know whether any objection was taken by Congress or other organisations but here no objection was taken. I know Dr. Khare who is the leader of Hindu Mahasabha.  I do not know whether he had taken out some procession.  I know of Poona, Khamgaon and of Nagpur.  There was a placard displayed in public asking the people to join.  I had joined the procession to Carner’s house.  There were Policeman.  The well in the burial ground may be about a furlong from my house.  Under notification by Government all private wells had been thrown open for public use.  I came to know this through paper.  This was in the year 1952-53.  The well is inside the burial ground.

No. 8

Name-Ukarda Govinda Dhangar.
Age-55 years.

I am suffering from leprosy for the last one year.  After some slight treatment I went to Ellichpur leper asylum which is conducted by the Baptist Mission.  A doctor drew blood from one or two places of my body and asked me to stay in the boarding.  He asked me to come into his religion if I wanted treatment.  In other words he said that I should become a Christian.  I refused and came out.  Now I am getting treatment from the Municipal leper clinic.  I am Dhangar by caste.

To Mr. Tiwari-

That place where there is a leper asylum is called Kothara.  There are many leprosy patients. I was there only for a night and half day.  I did not take my food there.  I had been there alone.  Its about four months ago that this happened.  Nobody met me.

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