State funded conversions to Christianity

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by sasi, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    On the afternoon of December 29, 2014, a group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists were mercilessly cudgelled by the Uttar Pradesh police in Allahabad.The activists were peacefully demonstrating in front of the Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Science. The demonstrators alleged that the institute had become a hub of evangelical propaganda. This Government-funded ‘science’ institute is better known for organisingYeshu Darbaror evangelical/faith healing sessions in its campus. Its videos are available for a search onYou Tube.
    The Chief Executive Officer-cum-Vice Chancellor, Mr Rajendra B Lal, is also a Bishop who excels in exorcising devils at theDarbar!At a time when the media is teeming with reports ofghar wapsi(re-conversion to Hinduism), few newspapers or television channels took cognisance of the Allahabad atrocities.
    The Government is under fire over the cases ofghar wapsi. These (re)conversions to Hinduism are being done by forums affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the VHP. The RSS and the VHP are private organisations that do not receive any funding from the Government. But, believe it or not, the Government is constrained to fund some institutions promoting conversions. The Sam Higginbottom Institute is one of them. Earlier called the Allahabad Agricultural Institute, it was accorded a deemed university status under the University Grants Commission Act in the year 2000, when the NDA was in power.
    The UPA-I gave it a ‘minority institution’ status in 2005. In September 2009, the UPA-II allowed it to be renamed as Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Science. Though being a deemed university, the institute tried to hedge itself against the Right to Information Act, 2005, by invoking its Christian minority institution tag. Mr OP Kejriwal, the then Information Commissioner, found this contention rather surprising during a hearing of an appeal. Mr Kejriwal, in a decision dated January 23, 2009, observed, “The way the whole case has gone has only strengthen the suspicion of the commission that there is something rotten there.”
    In 2008-09, the institute received Rs3.81 crore in grants from the Union Government and Rs5.84 crore from the Uttar Pradesh Government. The financial statements on the official website of the institute have not been updated since then. This is perhaps because the Vice Chancellor is more obsessed with organisingYeshu Darbarthan discharging the RTI obligations. The Gospel axiom, “Render unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God, things that are God’s”, has partly been lost upon him. Mr Lal believes in promoting Christ, with Caesar’s money.
    It is strange that an institution dedicated to agriculture, science and technology, should have a socio-political agenda. Its charter mentions justice to the minorities, and other weaker sections of the society, especially to the women and the rural poor, as one of the commitments. This, read with another object , ‘International fellowship and cooperation in the educational and developmental Ministry in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ’, exposes the institution’s blueprint.
    Now, let’s turn our focus to the south. A glimpse of PhDs, produced in the Department of Christianity, University of Mysore, would be illustrative. ‘Jesus as a model for political leadership in Indian Context’ (2004); ‘Moral dilemma in the ecological crisis: A Christian response to it in the Context of India’ (2002); ‘Vision of sarvodaya for the mission of kingdom of god in India’ (2005) etc. The activists are in the process of retrieving a complete list.
    The University of Mysore (established in 1916) was apparently the first university in India to establish a department of Christianity in 1980. A large endowment by the Diocese of Mysore — an accredited Christian religious body, aided the foundation of the department. The rest of the money was provided by the Karnataka Government. Under the venerable title of ‘Mysore University’, PhDs are being minted for political triumph of Christianity! Is the Government not unwittingly promoting evangelism? It would be far easier to plug such holes than bring an anti-conversion law at national level.
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Religion, any religion, should not be funded by Govt since that is contrary to the concept of secularism.

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