Demolished : myth of saint thomas

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Demolished : The Myth Of st. thomas.

Author : TRUE INDOLOGY and NS RAJARAM


According to Christian leaders in India, the Apostle Thomas came to BHARAT in 52 ad., founded the Syrian Christian Church, and was killed by the fanatical Brahmins in 72 ad. His followers built the St. Thomas Church near the site of his martyrdom. Historians however say this apostle, even if he existed, never came to India. The Christian community in South India was founded by a Syrian (or Armenian) merchant Thomas Cananeus in 345 ad. He led four hundred refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities.

This story was too commonplace to attract converts. So Christian leaders identified the merchant Thomas with Apostle Thomas and created the dramatic story of the Apostle’s persecution and death at the hands of the “wicked”Brahmins of South India. This became current in the 16th century when thePortuguese gained control of the west coast of India and forced the Syrian Christians to follow the Catholic faith. The Portuguese also destroyed theKapaleeswara Temple that originally stood on the site now occupied by the San Thome Cathedral on the beach.


The creation of this myth and the history is told in detail by the well renowed scholar Ishwar Sharan in his famous book The Myth of St. Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. The purpose of the myth was to create a local martyr. Christianity depends heavily on the appeal of martyrs who are projected as victims like Jesus Christ. Then as now, Church leaders liked to pose as victims to generate sympathy and propaganda. But no matter how much they tried, the Hindus of India refused to supply the Portuguese with martyrs. So they were forced to create their own. So they turned the merchant Thomas into the Apostle Thomas killed by the Hindus.


In his foreword to Ishwar Sharan’s book, the Belgian scholar Koenraad Elst wrote:


“In Catholic universities in Europe, the myth of the apostle Thomas going to India is no longer taught as history, but in India it is still considered useful. Even many vocal ‘secularists’ who attack the Hindus for relying on myth in the Ayodhya affair, off-hand profess their belief in the Thomas myth. The important point is that Thomas can be upheld as a martyr and the Brahmins decried as fanatics.”

The legend of Thomas’ Martyrdom in the hands of Brahmins has its origin an ignorant and intentional misreading of an inscription.


Targeting Brahmins to undermine Hinduism was a favorite tactic among missionaries. Elst gives the true picture: “In reality, the missionaries were very disgruntled that the damned Hindus refused to give them martyrs (whose blood is welcomed as ‘the seed of the faith’), so they had to invent one. Moreover, the church which they claim commemorates St. Thomas’ martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism, is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism. It is a forcible replacement of two important Hindu temples (Jain and Shaiva) whose existence was insupportable to the Christian missionaries.”


Another motivation for the myth was to erase the unsavory record of the Catholic Church’s close association with the Portuguese pirates and even worse, the Goa Inquisition inspired by St. Xavier. But serious scholars including Christians have rejected this myth as we shall soon see.


Who was this Apostle Thomas and why was his name invoked? The main sources relating to Apostle Thomas are two Gnostic (non-Biblical) texts known as the Acts of Thomas and the Gospel of Thomas. According to them Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus. For this reason the Thomas myth is not accepted by the Vatican because of a doctrinal problem: Jesus as the Only Son of God cannot possibly have a twin brother. (Greek for Thomas is Didymus, which means twin brother.)


Christians in South India who identify themselves as St. Thomas Christians claim that their ancestors were blessed by Apostle Thomas in 52 ad. who preached from the Bible. This has no historical basis as we shall see. In fact, there is no evidence that Thomas even existed. His “history” is full of contradictions as will become apparent.

As just observed the Portuguese missionaries who came to India in the 16th century found that they could not do without a local martyr and created the myth of St. Thomas claiming that he was martyred in India. They gave no explanation as to how they discovered it more than 1500 years later. Marco Polo is supposed to have mentioned it but there is no authenticmanuscript that can be attributed to him. Then there is the question of how he discovered it more than a thousand years later.



There is even a tomb that is supposed to contain his martyred remains in Mylaporein Chennai. But the problem is there are several such memorials spread across Persia, Acre (Israel) and a few other places dating to different times, all laying claim to be the place where Apostle Thomas was martyred and buried!


After examining all the evidence, the late Father Heras, former Director of the Historical Research Institute, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, said in 1953 that he was convinced that the tomb of St. Thomas was not in Mylapore. He had earlier said, quite emphatically in The Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara, that the Portuguese account of their discovery of some relics was “a most barefaced imposture [with] all elements of a forgery.” Heras was himself a Jesuit father but also an eminent historian.

This is not the end of the story, for while denying the myth because it challenges Jesus as the “Only Son of God” the Vatican wants to have it both ways. On September 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speechat St. Peter’s in Rome in which he recalled an ancient tradition claiming that Thomas first evangelized Syria and Persia, then went on to Western India, from where Christianity also reached Southern India. Syrian Christians derive status within the caste system from the tradition that they are converted Namboothiris (Brahmins), who were allegedly evangelized by St. Thomas after his delusional landing in Kerala in ad 52.


There are serious problems with this theory: the Namboothiris started settling in Kerala only from the fourth century onwards, which means they did not exist at the time the alleged St. Thomas allegedly came to Kerala. So we have a possibly non-existent apostle preaching in the first century from a text, the New Testament, dating to the fourth century, to a people, the Namboothiris who settled in the fourth century or later. In reality the Pope’s original statement at St. Peter’s, reflected the geography of the Acts of Thomas, i.e. Syria, Parthia (Persia / Iran) and Gandhara (Afghanistan / Northwest Pakistan) — all far removed from Kerala in the southernmost tip of India.

This is not the end to the contradictions. If Thomas landed in Kerala in 52 AD, he could not have taught from the Christian Bible(New Testament) with its four gospels which came into existence only in the fourth century. In fact Christianity did not exist at the time because there was no Christian scripture! In addition, the famous St. Thomas Cross supposedly brought by him made its appearance in Kerala only in the fourth century, about the same time as the Namboothiri Brahmins. So it is quite possible that the highly ornate St. Thomas Cross [with Hindu motifs carved in it] was borrowed from the Namboothiris, having nothing to do with St. Thomas or even Christians. The Church borrowed its cross from the Egyptians and the oldest so-called St. Thomas Cross is a pagan Persian symbol.


As if this were not confusing enough, FatherFrancis Clooney, a theologian with the harvard School has stated that St Thomas had preached in Brazil, no matter that Brazil as we understand today was unknown in his time. According to Clooney, one Ruiz de Montoya, writing in Peru in the mid-seventeenth century, thought that since God would not have overlooked the Americas for fifteen hundred years, and since among the twelve apostles St. Thomas was known for his mission to the “most abject people in the world, blacks and Indians,” it was only reasonable to conclude that St. Thomas had preached throughout the Americas:

“He began in Brazil – either reaching it by natural means on Roman ships, which some maintain were in communication with America from the coast of Africa, or else, as may be thought closer to the truth, being transported there by God miraculously. He passed to Paraguay and from there to the Peruvians.

So here is the substance of the St. Thomas story. First, if he existed he was a twin brother of Jesus which is unacceptable because Jesus was the Only Son of God(born to a virgin). Next, he could not have preached Christianity in 52 AD because Christianity and the New Testament came into existence only in the fourth century, after the Council of Nicaea called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 AD. The first Christians came to India with the Syrian merchant Thomas in 345 AD escaping persecution in Persia. This was probably because Roman and Persian empires were great rivals. The Namboothiri Brahmins settled in Kerala only after the fourth AD, so could not have been converted by Apostle Thomas in 52 AD using the Bible from three centuries later.


Finally, the myth was created by Portuguese missionaries in the sixteenth century with the help of pirates. They destroyed also the Kapaleeswara Temple and a Jain temple building the church known as San Thome Cathedral in 1504. It acquired its present status and recognition as a cathedral (grand church) under British patronage in 1893. It was also the Portuguese who converted the Syrian Christians to the Catholic faith.


Hence there is absolutely no need to take this hoax of st. thomas seriously. Its all fabrication stories.



In an article recently published by Haaretz, it has been claimed that Saint Thomas was murdered by jealous Brahmin priests of Kali with the headline– 72 CE: Thomas the Apostle Is Murdered in India. The official website of Saint Thomas(Santhome) church states-
St Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, walked on the sands of Mylapore and preached the Gospel to the people who embraced Christianity. This great Apostle was martyred on St Thomas Mount, near Mylapore in the year 72 AD and his mortal remains were buried in Santhome in the Church built by him….
The claims are summarised as follows
  1. Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, came to India in 52 AD.
  2. He preached gospel and converted a lot of people.
  3. The jealous Hindu Brahmin priests killed him by piercing him with spears.
  4. His relics are still enshrined in Santhome church in Mylapore, Madras.
The first part of our article concerns itself solely with the third claim. We trace the historical origin and formation of the legend that Saint Thomas was killed by jealous Brahmin priests.

The Portuguese Crusade.
As soon as they reached Calicut in 1498, the Portuguese announced that they were looking for spices and “Christians” . In Kerala, the Portuguese encountered Christians who were mostly known as “Syrians” and “Thomas Christians”. The search for “Christians” was obviously a justification and legitimization of future conquests. The Portuguese could simply portray their future conquests as a crusade to reconquer lost Christian lands. The Portuguese also claimed that conquest of non-Christian lands was an accomplishment that could closely precedent last Judgement. Portuguese historian Ameal sums up the Portuguese age of expansion as follows-
Wherever the Portuguese fleet cast anchor in the past, barbarity disappeared while the idols of tyranny, hatred, and gold were replaced by the cross of Christ. No colonization was more beautiful and noble….
Thus, it is clear that Portuguese conquest/expansion and Christianization went hand in hand.

India and christianity.
The tales of “Thomas in India” were well known throughout Europe in the medieval age. Hagiographical Latin works on Saint Thomas such as Flos sanctorum, De miraculis beati Thomae apostoli and Passio Sancti Thomae were well known in literary circles. These Latin works were not a faithful translation of the original Christian apocryphal scripture, Acts of Thomas, but further reworkings of it.
Given this background, it is no surprise that as early as 1507, the Portuguese Viceroy Almeida sent out a preliminary expedition to south to look for the tomb of St Thomas the Apostle . As observed, any discovery of St. Thomas would legitimise their conquests. However, the first mission was a total failure and Portuguese failed to find what they were looking for.

Thomas Legends procured from native “Thomas” Christians.
As a part of this grand project, Portuguese writer Duarte Barbosa completed his work “Geographical compendium of Portuguese Asia”(c.1518). He provided his account of the life and death of St. Thomas in India by reproducing the oral stories of the St. Thomas Christians from the region of Kollam(Kerala).
This account of St. Thomas in India, based on the oral stories, was full of myths. Relevant to us, however, is a striking reference on the “martyrdom” of saint Thomas. The miracle worker Thomas transformed himself into a peacock and wandered around. A low caste govi hunter shot at it. The hunter was shocked when the peacock retransformed itself into its original form of Saint Thomas.
Thus,in the earliest legends of Thomas Christians, St. Thomas was killed not by jealous Brahmins but by a low caste hunter who mistook him for a peacock. The legend of transformation of Thomas into peacock prior to his accidental death at the hands of a hunter was also noted centuries earlier by Marco Polo(1296) who collected his legends from the accounts of local Christians.
We pause and ask, why did Barbosa rely on the local accounts of St. Thomas Christians to reconstruct the history and martyrdom of St. Thomas? The Acts of Thomas which talked about martyrdom of Thomas in “India” was an old Apocryphal Biblical text. As noted, the Europeans had their own medieval accounts of Thomas’ martyrdom.
The Portuguese considered St. Thomas Christians as “heretics” and “Nestorians” and would soon force the Catholic religion upon them. Why did the Portuguese adopt late mythical foreign accounts of Hinduised “heretics” and discard their own versions of Thomas legend?
The answer lies in the fact that the Apocryphal text Acts of Thomas(written 3rd century) was never received very well in Christendom. As early as 310 AD, foremost early Christian historian and bishop Eusebius classified apocryphal acts as “heretical works” written by the “wicked and impious”.
Epiphanus of Salamis( 370AD) testified that Acts of Thomas were used by the “heretic Encratites”. After protestant reformations, the Catholics began a counter reformation movement and embraced stricter orthodoxy. The Acts would soon be condemned in the Catholic Council of Trent(1548 AD). Although not translations, the medieval works on saints were still based on Acts. Hence, even these works were considered “unorthodox”.
There is also another reason for discarding the western legends. According to the Acts of Thomas, the body of St. Thomas was taken to the West after his death.Ephraim the Syrian(d.377) mentioned that the body of Thomas was venerated in Edessa(Syria) .

Gregory of Tours (583-594) evoked the Syrian tradition in shifting St.Thomas’s burial from India to Edessa. By 1258,it was taken to Ortona, Italy where the skeleton of St. Thomas is venerated to this day. The Vatican also acknowledged these relics of “Thomas” with “deed of verification” meaning that the Christendom considers it to be the ‘real skeleton’ of St. Thomas.
Even in the widely read Travels of Sir John Mandeville(c.1499), it was stated that Thomas’ body was taken to Edessa(Syria, now Turkey) from India after his death. Had Portuguese adopted the old western legends of Thomas, they could not have claimed any Thomas grave in India. But as we have noted before, this was crucial for legitimization of their conquests.

Geographical expansion of the site.
In 1517, Armenian merchants came to the rescue of the Portuguese. They talked about a sepulchre of St. Thomas and persuaded a group of Portuguese returning from Melakka to travel to a site in Mylapore reputed to be St. Thomas’ tomb. When they arrived, what they found were partially ruined temples. Below we quote description of what the Portuguese saw when they arrived at supposed tomb of St. Thomas in Mylapore-
They found a vast expanse covered with buildings, for most part in ruins. Amongst these ancient remains were gopuras, towers, columns, stones covered with sculptures representing foliage, human figures, animals, birds of such exquisite workmanship that they could not have been finer even wrought in silver …
They found that the tomb was visited by heathens(Hindus) and Moors(Muslims), in addition to local Christians. Even Marco Polo had written centuries earlier that the tomb used to be visited by “Saracens(Muslims) and Christians.”
The tomb itself was managed by a Muslim who claimed it to be a tomb of a Muslim saint from Ethiopia. However, the presence of temples at the place of St. Thomas’ martyrdom should not have come as a surprise to Portuguese. Consider a more than century older testimony of Christian monk Odoric of Udine who recalled a visit he had made to this Tomb in 1322.
His church is filled with idols and beside it are fifteen houses of the Nestorians, that is to say Christians, but vile and pestilential heretics…
These Jesuit historians claim that this had been a temple of a Jogi which was appropriated by Thomas himself. But they are only partially correct. It was indeed a temple of a Jogi, but it is the Portuguese, not Thomas, who have appropriated it.They also found footprints which they considered to be those of St. Thomas. However, veneration of footprints is a Hindu-Jain-Buddhist practice.
We have further testimony from Manual Gomes, a Portuguese who took part in the expedition. They saw another tomb, which, they were sure, was that of St. Matthew the apostle and alleged author of canonical gospel.
The Portuguese then began reconstruction of this site, now called “St. Thomas chapel”. The tombs were opened one after the other and their bones exhumed. The Tamil inscription of what had until now been considered “St. Matthew’s Tomb” read as “tane mudaliar” and was found to be that of a Chola ruler. The Portuguese took a massive U turn.
Now, St. Matthew’s tomb became that of Chola ruler who had been a “disciple” of St. Thomas. It did not matter to them that the Chola ruler and St Thomas were separated by a time frame of 12 centuries. The tomb of “St. Thomas” was also exhumed. Among the finds was a wooden shaft of St. Thomas which miraculously survived for 15 centuries.
The Portuguese began their project and built churches all over the place. Retired Portuguese traders and Jesuit priests began to settle in Mylapore. A large number of locals were converted and a Christian colony in Mylapore was now a fact.

Brahminic(Jesuit?) reconstruction of Thomas’ Myth.
The tomb of St. Thomas was located on Little Mount(chinna malai) of Mylapore. The Portuguese also constructed a chapel on Big Mount(Periya Malai) to the south east of tomb. One day, during an excavation on the Big Mount, the Portuguese claimed to have come across an exciting find. They suddenly found a cross with small “drops of blood” on its surface. They also found an inscription on it. They invited a learned Brahmin named Pingali Suranna to decipher the inscription. Suranna translated it much to the delight of Portuguese which read as follows-
During the time of the Sagamo laws, Thomas the divine man was sent by the Son of God (whose disciple he was) to these countries to lead the people of this nation to the knowledge of God, and he erected a temple and performed miracles and finally, while he was praying on his knees before this cross, he was pierced by a Brahman’s spear and this cross was tinged with his blood for eternal memory…..
It should be mentioned that this version of Thomas’ Martyrdom corresponds to the version Jesuit priests knew from their books such as Acts of Thomas. There is however an important difference. In the Acts of Thomas, Thomas was killed by the king because he converted the queen and instructed her not to have any sexual intercourse with the king. It seems Jesuits wanted to implicate Brahmins and localise the myth. It is interesting that Suranna words come across as though from a Jesuit’s mouth.
Now, the Thomas legend underwent major reconstructions. It wasn’t a peacock hunter who accidentally killed Thomas but a Brahmin who intentionally committed the deed. The Little mount(cinna malai) was no longer the resting place of Thomas. Thomas was pierced by a spear on the Little mount after which he fled to the Big Mount, finally dying there, clasping the cross. The Big Mount was now the final resting place of Thomas, as it is until today.
One wonders how the Brahmin Suranna was able to read the indecipherable inscription. Brahmins were trained in Vedas and traditional sciences such as mathematics(Ganita), astrology and Ayurveda, but not linguistic epigraphy. The Brahmins with all their knowledge had no idea what Brahmi script was.
Thanks to James Princep the epigraphist who deciphered Brahmi in 1837, we are in a much better position to understand Indian history. Now we now know what was inscribed on the cross, thanks to modern day Epigraphists. The inscription is in Pahlavi. It is dated to circa. 8th century CE. It read-
My Lord Christ, have pity on Afras, son of Chaharbukt the Syrian, who has carved this….
As we see, there is no mention of any St. Thomas, let alone his Martydom. Thus, the legend of Thomas’ Martyrdom in the hands of Brahmins has its origin an ignorant and intentional misreading of an inscription.
It is most likely, that the inscription was brought from Goa and deliberately planted it on the mount.Recently,a similar inscription was found at Goa.


Indologist Dr. Koenraad Elst has written a comprehensive foreword for the book. His short foreword to the 1995 edition is posted below as he makes some pertinent remarks about Indian secularists and their uncritical acceptance of Christian mythology as Indian history.

Dr. KOENRAAD ELST studied under Jesuits at Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium, Europe’s oldest Catholic university at Leuven, and is in a position to say with authority that the St. Thomas in India tale today is a fraud on the people of India by crafty, untruthful Catholic priests who make their living by fooling the faithful. He writes:
According to Christian leaders in India, the apostle Thomas came to India in 52 AD, founded the Syrian Christian Church, and was killed by the fanatical Brahmins in 72 AD. Near the site of his martyrdom, the St. Thomas Church was built. In fact this apostle never came to India. The Christian community in South India was founded by a merchant called Knai Thoma or Thomas of Cana in 345 AD—a name which readily explains the Thomas legend. He led four hundred refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities.
In Catholic universities in Europe, the myth of the apostle Thomas going to India is no longer taught as history, but in India it is still considered useful. Even many vocal “secularists” who attack the Hindus for “relying on myth” in the Ayodhya affair, off-hand profess their belief in the Thomas myth. The important point is that Thomas can be upheld as a martyr and the Brahmins decried as fanatics.
In reality, the missionaries were very disgruntled that the damned Hindus refused to give them martyrs (whose blood is welcomed as “the seed of the faith”), so they had to invent one. Moreover, the church which they claim commemorates St. Thomas’s martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism, is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism. It is a forcible replacement of two important Hindu temples—Jain and Shaiva—whose existence was insupportable to the Christian missionaries.

No one knows how many Hindu priests and worshipers were killed when the Christian soldiers came to remove the curse of Paganism from the Mylapore beach. Hinduism does not practice martyr-mongering, but if at all we have to speak of martyrs in this context, the title goes to these Jina- and Shiva-worshipers and not to the apostle Thomas.
The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple – 2019 – Ishwar Sharan.

Book Cover (2019)
The Fourth Revised Edition of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple is available in print from Voice of India and Amazon › Pages 451 › Price Rs 395 › ISBN 978-9385485-20-6.

The 2019 edition of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple is a complete study of the St. Thomas in India legend—its origin, history in India, and communal ramifications. The book is named after the main, 24-chapter essay by Ishwar Sharan and includes authoritative, independent articles by senior journalists and research scholars.
The book exposes the vicious blood libel perpetrated by Christians against Hindus for centuries, that a Hindu king and his Brahmin priests murdered Apostle Thomas on a hilltop in south Madras, and the unconscionable support for this libel by India’s mainstream secular media.
Notably a chapter in the book documents the pronounced pro-Christian bias of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and popular on-line reference portal Wikipedia. Both encyclopedias carry fanciful, non-factual entries for St. Thomas the Apostle in India that they refuse to correct or change.
And last but not least, the book documents the destruction of the original Kapaleeswara Shiva Temple by the Portuguese and its replacement by San Thome Cathedral on the Mylapore seashore in Chennai.
The book has an extensive bibliography and is a valuable tool for researchers and historians.



Kapali Temple gopuram (original drawing).

Shrine of São Tomé de Meliapore


Kapaleeswarar Temple
Sri Kapaleeswara SHIVA Temple: This is the second temple built in the 17th century by Mayil Nattu Muthiyappa Mudaliar after the Portuguese destroyed the original temple on the Mylapore seashore and replaced it with the first St. Thomas Church.
San Tommaso Cathedral Basilica
San Tommaso Cathedral Basilica, Ortona, Italy: This cathedral in the diocese of Lanciano-Ortona, has held the complete skeletal remains of St. Thomas since 1258.
Tomb of St.Thomas in San Tommaso Basilica, Ortona.
The tomb containing the relics of St. Thomas in San Tommaso Basilica, Ortona, Italy.
San Thome Cathedral, Chennai

San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore, Chennai (Madras), India.
San Thome Cathedral: This tableau of St. Thomas and his Hindu assassin was built after the publication of Ishwar Sharan's book in 1995. Its objective is to malign the Hindu community with the accusation of the murder of a Christian apostle and saint, and to further the propagation of the St. Thomas legend which has made India's bishops very wealthy and supports their political claim on India.
Blood Libel: This diorama of St. Thomas and his alleged Hindu assassin was built in the San Thome Cathedral crypt after the publication of Ishwar Sharan’s book exposing the myth in 1995. Its objective is to malign the Hindu community with the accusation of the murder of St. Thomas on a hilltop in south Chennai (Madras).
St Thomas Tomb, San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore
The fake tomb of St. Thomas in San Thome Cathedral Basilica, Mylapore, Chennai.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Myth of saint thomas.

Author : TEJASVI SURYA.

Some myths are kept alive by a few people whose very survival depends on the survival of those myths. One such myth that has been kept alive despite having been debunked time and again is the myth of St. Thomas Church of Mylapore in Chennai. My latest visit to this church opened my eyes to the disgraceful attempt by the Santhome church authorities to perpetuate a bundle of historical untruths. Let me narrate the experience in full.



The St. Thomas church of Mylapore is an imposing structure standing on the shore of the Mylapore beach and being one of the most famous churches in Chennai is a major tourist attraction. After going inside the cathedral and reading brief introductions about the apostles of Christ and their various exploits displayed on plaques placed in the cathedral, I went to the museum in the next building. Among the various relics and artifacts on display were also a few stones and pillars, which the museum told us, once comprised the very first church built by St. Thomas himself. At the very first sight, these pillars triggered a few questions and some suspicions in my mind; the carvings on the pillars looked very similar to traditional Hindu temple carvings which are very unlikely to be seen in a church. The more I looked at the many stones and pillars displayed in the museum, the more suspicious I grew about the church and the story behind it.

The tomb of St Thomas is in the ground floor of this museum. When I went there I met a nun who was sitting in a corner reading the Bible. I thought that the best way to learn more about this church and St. Thomas would be to ask the nun. She was more than happy to explain to us the legend of St Thomas. Here is what she told me: St. Thomas was one of the direct disciples of Jesus Christ and he came to India in 52 CE to spread the ‘good news’. He was the first saint who brought Christianity to India. He first came to the shores of Kerala and from there travelled across South India before coming to Mylapore. Here, by his miraculous powers he healed hundreds of wounded, gave sight to the blind and cured many stricken with incurable diseases. These miracles not only got him a large following among the masses but also earned him royal patronage.


By this time, I already had many questions pounding in my head, especially about the year she had mentioned – 52 CE. Had Christians come to India as early as 52 CE? Weren’t the Syrian immigrants the first Christians to come to India and didn’t they come much later? Even if it was St. Thomas who arrived first, how did he manage to travel to India, crossing the seas, that early in time? The nun’s story was starkly different from what I had read in history books. Nevertheless, I didn’t interrupt her at that point and heard her out further: As the miracles St. Thomas performed earned him larger followings each passing day, he also invited a lot of ire from the traditional Hindu people of the region – especially the Brahmins who were apprehensive that their stranglehold over the society might slip away from their hands. Meanwhile thousands of people realized the falsity of the Hindu religion and embraced the true faith thanks to St. Thomas. The king also gave St. Thomas a piece of land near the beach – the place where the church is standing today. St. Thomas built this beautiful church on that land. I interrupted her at that point because I wanted to know what was there in this place before the church was built. Well, a lot of Brahmins stayed at this place. It was predominantly a Brahmin area. Many of them left this place after the church came up while many others accepted the true faith and continued to live here, the nun answered. She then took me over to the other side of the room and pointing at a tableau, continued, So this tableau depicts how the end of St. Thomas came about. The Brahmins in the state were getting extremely jealous of St. Thomas’s popularity among the masses and realizing that their hegemony was under severe threat, decided to kill St. Thomas- the peace loving apostle of Christ- when he was in deep prayer on the mountain. You can see in this tableau how the wicked Brahmin priest is piercing a spear into St. Thomas when he was lost in prayer. St. Thomas attained martyrdom in 72 CE.


I had to ask another question at this point. The man with the spear in the hand hardly looked like a Brahmin. His depiction was more like that of a local fisherman. More importantly, the said Brahmin was not wearing the sacred thread. When I asked her that the absence of the sacred thread, which all Brahmins wear was very strange, she conveniently told me that there are hundreds of sects among Brahmins and that this particular man in the tableau might have belonged to a sect which did not wear one. Her answer was not very convincing. She then took me to the adjoining room which had the tomb of St. Thomas and explained that the saint’s mortal remains were kept there: St. Thomas continues to remain an inspiration for the faithful. His martyrdom has sanctified this land and even to this day this place draws millions of people from all over the world. His spirit is guiding us in relentlessly carrying forward the task of spreading the ‘good news’. Upon asking if people from other faiths also come here, she told me that a large number of Hindus come and many are convinced of the greatness of the Christian faith and embrace it. I thanked her for taking us around and explaining about the place and took her leave.


My doubts however, did not leave me in peace. I told my friends that there were three things in particular that I wanted to verify:


1. If St. Thomas had really come to India, what was the year he first set foot here?


2. What stood on the place the church presently stands? The traditional Hindu carvings on the pillars – alleged to have been used in the original church built by St. Thomas– suggest that a temple might have existed on the spot.


3. If St. Thomas was indeed in India, how did his end come about? Was he murdered when he was in prayer? More importantly, was he murdered by a Brahmin?


Although it’s not very hard to locate any information you want in this age, very often even the so-called trusted sources can be adulterated to suit political ends. Here’s what Wikipedia says on the subject:


“According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, India in 52 CE and baptized several people who are today known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis… After his murder and death by spear in India, the remaining relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. In 1258 some of the reputed relics were brought to Abruzzo, in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle.”


This just confused me even more. I just had come back from Mylapore after visiting what I was told is St. Thomas’s tomb and Wikipedia says that his relics are in Ortona in Italy! And so I dug deeper and found Ishwar Sharan’s ‘The myth of St. Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple’ where a series of articles conclusively and comprehensively answered these questions with sound historical evidence.


So, did St. Thomas really come to India? If he indeed did, when and what historical or other evidence exists to prove this?


The St. Thomas-in-India story is not a new one; it has been making the rounds right from the fourth century. Ishwar Sharan elucidates this in the introduction to his book.


The legend of St. Thomas in India has its origin in the third century Gnostic religious text known as the Acts of Thomas. Judas Thomas called Didymus, identified in the Acts as the look-alike twin brother of Jesus, had travelled in Syria and Persia and had established a church in Fars (somewhere in erstwhile Persia). Judas Thomas was known as the Apostle of the East in all of West Asia and India up to the 1950s. His cult was brought to India by Syrian Christian refugees from Edessa and Babylon in the fourth century. Between the fourth and the sixteenth centuries, the Syrian Christians reinvented the tale many times over until at last they had St. Thomas coming to India himself to evangelize the heathen. St. Thomas then becomes the founder of Christianity in India and their very own “Indian” apostle.


This story was faithfully carried forward even by Marco Polo and from him by the Portuguese who captured and controlled the Coromandel Coast for quite a long time.


“The legend was later embellished by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century, who made the extraordinary claim that the apostle’s tomb was on the Coromandal Coast, and then it was taken over by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, who following Marco Polo decided, Mylapore with its great temple to Shiva was the place where St. Thomas was buried. They added their own redactions of the Acts of Thomas to the legend, their favourite being St. Gregory’s De Miraculis (Beati) Thomae, and in 1523 having established themselves in the thriving Mylapore sea port, began destroying temples and building their St. Thomas church on the ruins, pretending the sites were those of St. Thomas’s martyrdom and burial.”


There are a number of historical and even Christian religious texts which themselves question the veracity of the legend of St. Thomas.


A.D. Burnell, in an article in the Indian Antiquary of May 1875, writes, “The attribution of the origin of South Indian Christianity to the apostle Thomas seems very attractive to those who hold certain theological opinion. But the real question is, on what evidence does it rest? Without real or sufficient evidence so improbable a circumstance is to be at once rejected. Pious fictions have no place in historical research.”


Prof. Jarl Charpentier, in St. Thomas the Apostle and India, writes, “There is absolutely not the shadow of a proof that an Apostle of our Lord — be his name Thomas or something else — ever visited South India or Ceylon and founded Christian communities there.”


Rev. J. Hough, in Christianity in India, writes, “It is not probable that any of the Apostles of our Lord embarked on a voyage … to India.”


In other words, the story of St. Thomas coming to India is primarily based on a hagiography called the Acts of Thomas – in which we find no indication of Thomas ever landing in India – and which, being a hagiography, has no historical authenticity. The story was then reinvented many times over by the Syrian Christians who sought refuge in India, and was later picked up and reported by Marco Polo in his encounters with some of these Syrian Christians. From here, the story was lapped up by the Portuguese who then ‘established’ the link between this legendary St. Thomas and India by building the church on the Mylapore beach.


Yet, to this day this myth lives on. Attempts are being made to unabashedly perpetuate the propagation of this falsehood. Tomes of literature are written by theologians who pass off as historians and other ‘eminences’ who invariably have some ideological or political agenda. Starting from the Protestant missionary Claudius Buchanan to the Roman Catholic historian Fr. A Mundanan and the ‘historical fiction’ writer of our own time, William Dalrymple, all have parroted the same fabrication that originated with the Syrian Christians and have tried to legitimize it as the ‘truth’.


So what stood on the spot the church presently stands, and what explains the carvings on the stone pillars in the museum?

What stood on the place the church presently stands?


And so, it was pretty clear to me that the St. Thomas coming to India story is a myth. But that doesn’t answer the question of what originally stood on the site of the St. Thomas church.


The early Portuguese encounters with India have been exceptionally bloody. In their quest of ridding the pagan land of false faith and in their mission of spreading the good news, the Portuguese went about destroying Hindu temples and other places of worship on a large scale. The Portuguese were more zealous in this religious quest than the British. After tracing the St. Thomas legend to South India the Portuguese sought to ‘cement’ this firmly by replacing the Shiva temple on the Mylapore beach with a church in the memory of the fictional St. Thomas.


As to the evidence of a Shiva temple standing on the site of the St. Thomas church, we can turn to Ishwar Sharan’s book again.


Iyadigal Kadavarkon, the sixth century Shaivite prince of Kanchipuram, Jnanasambandar and Arunagirinathar, the sixth and fifteenth century Shaivite poets, consistently mention in their hymns that the Kapaleeswara Temple was on the seashore.


Jnanasambandar writes, “The Lord of Kapaleeswaram sat watching the people of Mylapore — a place full of flowering coconut palms — taking ceremonial bath in the sea on the full moon day of the month of Masai.”


Nine centuries later, and one century before the arrival of the Portuguese, Arunagirinathar writes, “O Lord of Mylapore temple, situated on the shores of the sea with raging waves….”



So what happened during the invasion of the Portuguese? What happened to this temple of Lord Kapaleeshwara located on the ‘shores of the sea with raging waves’? Ishwar Sharan quotes N. Murugesha Mudaliar and PK Nambiar.


N. Murugesa Mudaliar, in Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Temple Mylapore,writes, “Mylapore fell into the hands of the Portuguese in 1566, when the temple suffered demolition. The present temple was rebuilt around three hundred years ago. There are some fragmentary inscriptions from the old temple still found in the St. Thomas Cathedral.”


P.K. Nambiar, in Census of India 1961, Vol. IX, Part XI, writes “It is a historical fact that the Portuguese, who visited India in the 16th century, had one of their earliest settlements at San Thome, Mylapore. In those days they were very cruel and had iconoclastic tendencies. They razed some Hindu temples to the ground. It is probable that the Mylapore temple referred to in the Thevaram hymns was built on the seashore and that it was destroyed by the Portuguese about the beginning of the 16th century.”


Like in most other places where their religious places have been destroyed and desecrated, the Hindus relentlessly made efforts to reclaim and rebuild the temple. Ishwar Sharan quotes M. Arunachalam and says, “Later, devout Hindus built the present temple of Mylapore at a different site, a few furlongs west, out of whatever they could salvage from the ruins of the old temple. A number of carved temple stones can still be seen on the compound wall of the church.”


And this ‘replacing the temple with the church’ did not happen without bloodshed. In the foreword to the book, celebrated scholar on Hinduism, Dr. Koenraad Elst writes “… the church which they(Christians) claim commemorates St.Thomas’s martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism, is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism. It is a forcible replacement of two important Hindu temples — Jain and Shaiva — whose existence was insupportable to the Christian missionaries”.


And as to how many Hindus were slaughtered, Dr. Elst says,


“No one knows how many Hindu priests and worshipers were killed when the Christian soldiers came to remove the curse of Paganism from the Mylapore beach. Hinduism does not practice martyr-mongering, but if at all we have to speak of martyrs in this context, the title goes to these Jina- and Shiva-worshipers and not to the apostle Thomas.”


While the nun had told me that St. Thomas was murdered by wicked Brahmins who could not digest his popularity, history was telling me the exact opposite story – of a temple demolition and slaughter of Hindus by the invading Portuguese Christians. This was what the Hindus got in return for giving shelter and refuge to the persecuted Syrian Christians—they had, apart from being labelled as the ‘murderers’ of the holy saint, their temples destroyed and their people butchered.


Yet, this historical fact has been carefully kept in the dark. From my experience of travelling around the country, I say with confidence that there are several such instances where Hindu temples have given way for churches. The Archaeological Survey of India has not investigated the origins of early Christian churches in India in the same way that it has studied old mosques and other Muslim monuments. However, this work has been done by German scholars and awaits translation and publication in English. Most sixteenth and seventeenth century churches in India contain temple rubble and are built on temple sites and a deeper investigation in this direction needs to take place.


And then we have the third question of the story of the Brahmin killing St. Thomas.


Ishwar Sharan explains again.


“The Portuguese were familiar with the St. Thomas legend long before they arrived in India. They knew Marco Polo’s Il Milione, made popular in Europe in the fourteenth century, and the earlier sixth century Latin romances De Miraculis Thomae and Passio Thomae…The Passio Thomae had St. Thomas killed by a Pagan priest with a sword, and De Miraculis Thomae had him killed by a Pagan priest with a lance. These stories were at odds with the one found in the Acts of Thomas, which had the apostle executed on the orders of a Persian king, by four royal soldiers with spears.”


The stories were completely at variance with each other. But that won’t be an issue when you can yourself invent a new version! That is what the Portuguese precisely did.


The Portuguese preferred the Pagan-priest-with-a-lance story found in De Miraculis Thomae. They added Marco Polo’s seaside tomb to it, and elements from Syrian Christian traditions that they had gathered in Malabar, and concocted a legend…”


And so here we have how the Pagan-priest–with-a-lance became a wicked-Brahmin-priest-with-a-spear. This was how a St. Thomas who never came to India became a martyr and the local Brahmin priest became the wicked murderer. This again was the classic instance of the nefarious design of the Christian missionaries to not only convert large masses of Hindus to Christianity, but to also paint the Brahmins as wicked oppressors because they stood as an obstacle in their conversion pursuit.


As Dr. Koenraad Elst says,


“The well-spring of anti-Brahminism is doubtlessly the Christian missionaries’ greedy design to rope in the souls of Hindus. From there onwards, it spread through the entire English-educated class and ultimately became an unquestionable dogma in India’s political parlance. Communist historians and sociologists have been fortifying it by rewriting Indian history as a perennial struggle between Brahmin oppressors and the rest. When defending the Mandal report in 1990, the then Prime Minister of India V.P. Singh could say that Brahmins have to do penance for the centuries of oppression which they inflicted on the Backwards, without anyone questioning his historical assumptions. Anti-Brahminism is now part of the official doctrine of the secular, socialist Republic of India.”


The St. Thomas-in-India story, I realized, was only one example of the state of public discourse in India, which is completely divorced from truth and honesty, which have been sacrificed at the altar of a spurious brand of secularism.


When I told a few friends of my research into this issue and the shocking revelation that followed, they asked me a few very pertinent questions. “What difference does it make whether Christianity came to India in the first or the fourth century?” “Why raise such a squabble when no one denies that the Syrian Christians of Malabar are old immigrants to this country?” “What difference does it make if St. Thomas was killed or not?” “What difference does it make whether a Brahmin killed St. Thomas or not?” I found satisfactory answers in Sita Ram Goel’s Papacy: Its Doctrine and History.


Firstly, it is one thing for some Christian refugees to come to a country and build some churches, and quite another for an apostle of Jesus Christ to appear in flesh and blood for spreading the Good News. If it can be established that Christianity is as ancient in India as the prevailing forms of Hinduism, no one can nail it down as an imported creed brought in by Western imperialism.


Secondly, the Catholic Church in India stands badly in need of a spectacular martyr of its own. Unfortunately for it, St. Francis Xavier died a natural death and that, too, in a distant place. Hindus, too, have persistently refused to oblige the Church in this respect, in spite of all provocations. The Church has to use its own resources and churn out something. St. Thomas, about whom nobody knows anything, offers a ready-made martyr.


Thirdly, the Catholic Church can malign the Brahmins more confidently. Brahmins have been the main target of its attack from the beginning. Now it can be shown that the Brahmins have always been a vicious brood, so much so that they would not stop from murdering a holy man who was only telling God’s own truth to a tormented people. At the same time, the religion of the Brahmins can be held responsible for their depravity.


Fourthly, the Catholics in India need no more feel uncomfortable when faced with historical evidence about their Church’s close cooperation with the Portuguese pirates, in committing abominable crimes against the Indian people. The commencement of the Church can be disentangled from the advent of the Portuguese by dating the Church to some distant past. The Church was here long before the Portuguese arrived. It was a mere coincidence that the Portuguese also called themselves Catholics. Guilt by association is groundless.


Lastly, it is quite within the ken of Catholic theology to claim that a land which has been honoured by the visit of an apostle has become a patrimony of the Catholic Church. India might have been a Hindu homeland from times immemorial, but since that auspicious moment when St. Thomas stepped on her soil, the Hindu claim stands cancelled. The country has belonged to the Catholic Church from the first century onwards, no matter how long the Church takes to conquer it completely for Christ.



It is mainly for these reasons that we need to stir up debate on this issue. Sadly, even the biggest of political leaders in India have unquestioningly accepted and promptly parroted this historical fable. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in one of his travel books,


Few people realise that Christianity came to India as early as the first century after Christ, long before Europe turned to it, and established a firm hold in South India…


Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s St. Thomas Day speech at New Delhi, in 1955, where he parroted Nehru, was equally ignorant:


Remember St. Thomas came to India when many countries in Europe had not yet become Christian and so these Indians who trace their Christianity to him have a longer history and a higher ancestry than that of Christians of many of the European countries. And it is a matter of pride for us that it happened.…


Ishwar Sharan’s path breaking book was published for the first time in 1995 and ever since, the diocese has resorted to the old trick of suppresio veri and suggestio falsi.


Even after Pope Benedict XVI himself clarified that St. Thomas never came to India and despite several publications debunking the historical veracity of the St. Thomas legend, the Mylapore diocese, the secular intelligentsia and the mainstream media are peddling the same falsehood brazenly.


The Mylapore diocese in 2008, also planned the production of a mega budget movie on the life and times of St. Thomas, his visit to India and St. Thomas’s purported conversation with Tamil Saint Thiruvalluvar and Thiruvalluvar’s alleged conversion to Christianity!




The saddest part is that such fabrications continue to be peddled audaciously. Indeed, the dissemination of superstitions about St. Thomas and early Christianity in India is almost all-pervasive: from tourist guide books, official gazettes, school textbooks and, needless, Christian publications and websites. As a consequence, every boy and girl in the country believes that a Mylapore king and his Brahmin priest murdered St. Thomas on Big Mount. They cannot help but believe it because that is what they are taught “on good authority” either by the teachers in their schools or by the newspapers.


As I was about to leave the precincts of the church, a new batch of tourists entered in a large bus. They headed to the museum where the nun devoutly took the tourists around the church narrating the St. Thomas fable. It then struck to me that it’s precisely what we must do – exploit the power, reach and influence of tourism to challenge the distortions in our public discourse.


This is the kind of discovery of India that young people of our country must be exposed to, and not the Nehruvian kind.
 
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An Ias officer revisits a 400-year-old history hoax.

Author : V. SUNDARAM


The hoax of saint thomas.

______________________________________


V. Sundaram“In November 2006 Pope Benedict XVI had categorically stated that St. Thomas never visited South India. Is it not the inviolable duty of the Catholic Archdiocese of Madras to implicitly accept with reverence and humility the public stand taken by Pope Benedict XVI on the issue of St. Thomas and his alleged visit to South India?” – V. Sundaram
The myth of St. Thomas and the destruction of the Mylapore Shiva temple by the Portuguese was thoroughly exposed by Ishwar Sharan in his landmark book, The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple, first published in 1991. The second revised edition of this book was brought out by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1995. This interesting book brought out how history was distorted by our foreign rulers to conceal their misdeeds and how even today these fraudulent myths are accepted as real history by many in this country including the government itself. Long before Ishwar Sharan published his book in 1991, one T.K. Joseph wrote a number of books on St. Thomas in the early 1920s. He had done years of research on the South Indian tradition, and had presented his findings to a number of famous scholars of his time, who had replied to him by post. For example, in 1926, Prof. E.J. Rapson, who had written on St. Thomas in the Cambridge History of India, wrote as follows to T.K. Joseph: ” I have read your letter carefully and my impression is that you have given good for doubting the historical truth of the story of St. Thomas in South India.”

In 1927, Sylvain Levi, the renowned French Indologist and scholar, wrote to T.K. Joseph: “You are right in denying any historical value to local legends which have nothing to bring to their support. What is known from early books points only to Northwest India, and no other place, for St. Thomas’s apostolic activity and martyrdom. This is, of course, mere tradition, not real history”. Likewise, in 1952, Prof. K.S. Latourette, the Yale University church historian, and author of A History of the Expansion of Christianity, wrote to T.K. Joseph and said: “The evidence against St. Thomas in South India is very convincing.” The same view was repeated in 1953 by Father H. Heras, SJ, the then Director of the Historical Research Institute, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, when he wrote to T.K. Joseph: “I am fully convinced that the tomb of St. Thomas has never been in Mylapore. I have said that many times.”
What is interesting to note is that T.K. Joseph also wrote to the Encyclopaedia Britannica editor at Chicago in 1950 pointing out the glaring errors in the article on St. Thomas in the Encyclopaedia’s 14th edition in 1947. He was not successful in getting them corrected. Ishwar Sharan in his book referred to above, has clearly shown that the article on St. Thomas in that edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica was grossly mistaken, not only in factual essentials but also in proper interpretation. In this context the words of Ishwar Sharan are worth quoting, “We can only conclude that the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s editors like their cooked up St. Thomas story and plan to keep it intact for more editions to come”.
[The Encyclopaedia Britannica which is a Catholic-oriented encyclopaedia, still maintains the same spurious St. Thomas entry in its Internet edition today and is followed closely by the Internet’s infamous Wikipedia. Wikipedia has become an overt platform for Christian propaganda in India, and is presenting the public with a fabricated and factually incorrect account of the St. Thomas fable and related St. Thomas churches and sites in India. Any attempt to change these entries is met with violent resistance by the articles’ Indian Christian editors and administrators – Editor].
Now what is the fraudulent myth about St. Thomas? We are told by Catholic “historians” that Judas Thomas, a brother as well as an apostle of Jesus Christ, landed in Malabar in 52 AD, founded the Syrian Christian Church, and travelled to Tamil Nadu for spreading the Good News when he was killed by the “wily Brahmins” in 72 AD at the Big Mount (now called St. Thomas Mount) near Madras, at the behest of a Hindu king named Mahadevan. The San Thome Cathedral on the beach in Mylapore is built on the spot where the saint is supposed to have been buried.
As Sita Ram Goel puts it, “This spot, like many others of the same spurious sort, has become a place of Christian pilgrimage not only for the flock in India but also for the pious Christians from abroad”. He had examined the story of St. Thomas in 1986 when he wrote a book on the papacy during he Pope’s visit to India. Sita Ram Goel had discovered that while some Christian historians doubted the very existence of an apostle named St. Thomas, some others had denied credibility to the Acts of Thomas, an apocryphal work, on which the whole story is based. Even those Christian historians who had accepted he fourth century Catholic tradition about the travels of St. Thomas, had pointed out the utter lack of evidence that he ever went beyond Ethiopia or Arabia Felix. The confusion according to them, had arisen because ancient geographers of the Graeco-Roman world often mistook these countries for India.”
Bishop Stephen Neill in his History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to 1707 AD declared: “A number of scholars among whom are to be mentioned with respect Bishop A.E. Medlycott, J.N. Farquhar, and the Jesuit Dahlman, have built on slender foundations what can only be called Thomas romances, such as reflect vividness of their imagination rather than the prudence of historical facts”.
Bishop Stephen Neill was very pained by the spread of the spurious history and he lamented: “Millions of Christians in India are certain that the founder of their Church was none other than the apostle Thomas himself. The historian cannot prove it to them that they are mistaken in this belief. He may feel it right to warn them that historical research cannot pronounce on the matter with a confidence equal to that which they entertain by faith.”
Now a question can be raised: What difference does it make whether Christianity came to India in the first or the fourth century? Why raise such a squabble when no one denies the fact that Syrian Christians of Malabar are old immigrants to this country? The motives for the manufacturing of the myth of St Thomas were carefully analysed and detailed by Sita Ram Goel as follows:
Firstly, it is one thing for some Christian refugees to come to a country and build some Churches, and quite another for an apostle of Jesus Christ himself to appear in flesh and blood for spreading the Good News. If it can be established that Christianity is as ancient in India as the prevailing forms of Hinduism, then no one can nail it as an imported creed brought in by Imperialism.
Secondly, the Catholic Church in India stands badly in need of a spectacular martyr of its own. Unfortunately or it, St. Francis Xavier died a natural death and that too, in a distant place outside India. Hindus, too, have persistently during the last 500 years, refused to oblige the Church in this respect in spite of all provocations. The Church has had to use its own resources and turn out something. St Thomas, about whom nobody knows anything, offers a ready-made martyr.
Thirdly, the Catholic Church can malign the Brahmins more confidently. Brahmins have been the main targets of its attack from the beginning. Now it can be shown that the Brahmins have always been a vicious brood, so much so that they would not stop from murdering a holy man who was only telling God’s own truth to a tormented people. At the same time, the religion of the Brahmins can be held responsible for their depravity.
This is the argument that Karunanidhi, the Tamil Nadu chief minister, loves most and therefore I am not surprised he has agreed to participate in the inaugural function connected with the proposed movie on the manufactured myth of St Thomas. He would only have serious political doubts about the engineering qualifications of Lord Rama (who, definitely, is not from Syria or the Middle-East!) and not about the baseless myth of St. Thomas!
Fourthly, the Catholics in India need no more feel uncomfortable when faced with clinching historical evidence about their Church’s close cooperation with the Portuguese pirates in committing abominable crimes against the Indian people in the sixteenth century. By connecting the fraudulent myth of St. Thomas to the first century AD, the commencement of the Church can be disentangled from the atrocities of the Portuguese era. The Church was here long before the Portuguese arrived. It was a mere unfortunate coincidence that the Portuguese also called themselves Catholics. Guilty by association is groundless.
Lastly, it is quite within the ken of Catholic theology to claim that a land, which has been honoured by the visit of an apostle, has become the legitimate patrimony of the Catholic Church. India might have been a Hindu homeland from times immemorial. But since the day St Thomas in India in 52 AD, the Hindu claim stands cancelled. The country has belonged to the Catholic Church from the first century onwards, no matter how long the Church takes to conquer it completely for Christ.
Koenraad Elst wrote a brilliant foreword to Ishwar Sharan’s book titled The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. Let us hear his words:
St. Thomas never came to India and the Christian community was founded by a merchant Thomas Cananeus [aka Thomas of Cana, Thomas of Jerusalem, Thomas the Merchant, Knai Thoma/Thomman] in 345 AD, a name which readily explains the Thomas legend. He led 400 refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities. In Catholic universities in Europe, the myth of the apostle Thomas going to India is no longer taught as history, but in India it is still considered useful. Even many vocal “secularists” who attack the Hindus or “relying on myth” in the Ayodhya affair, off-hand profess their belief in the Thomas myth. The important point is that St. Thomas can be upheld as a martyr and the Brahmins decried as fanatics. In reality the missionaries were very disgruntled that the damned Hindus refused to give them martyrs whose blood is welcome as “the seed of the faith”), so they had to invent one. Moreover, the church which they claim commemorates St. Thomas’s martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism.
In November 2006 Pope Benedict XVI had categorically stated that St. Thomas never visited South India. When Catholic Indian missionaries want to manufacture false and fictitious fables to deliberately mislead the poor and gullible masses of India for purposes of mass conversion (known as “harvesting of souls”), then they are capable of treating even the Pope in Rome with supreme political contempt! The mega budget film on St. Thomas to be produced by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chennai should be viewed against this background.
Historian Veda Prakash, after conducting a methodical research published a book in Tamil in 1989. In this book, Indiavil Saint Thomas Katukkathai, he called the bluff of St. Thomas—a bluff marketed by the Catholic Church and its missionaries in India since the middle of the 16th century—and convincingly proved with irrefutable documentary evidence that the present Santhome Church, has been built on the very site where the original Kapaleeshwara Temple of Mylapore stood for centuries till the 1560s. Sometime after 1560, the Portuguese destroyed the Kapleeshwarar Temple on the beach at San Thome and built a church.
Veda Prakash’s statement about destruction of the original Kapaeeshwara Temple by Christians was confirmed by Dr. R. Nagaswamy, formerly Director of Archeology Tamil Nadu. In an article “Testimony to Religious Ethos”, published in The Hindu of 30 April, 1990, he wrote: “A great study of the monuments and lithic records in Madras reveals a great destruction caused by the Portuguese to Hindu temples in the 16 century AD. The most important temple of Kapaleeshwara lost its ancient building during the Portuguese devastation and was originally located near the San Thome Cathedral. A few Chola records found in the San Thome Cathedral and Bishop’s House refer to Kapaleeswara Temple and Poompaavai. A Chola record in fragment found on the east wall of the San Thome Cathedral refers to the image of Lord Nataraja of the Kapaleeshwara Temple. The temple was moved to the present location in the 16th century and was probably built by one Mallappa …. A fragmentary inscription, 12th century Chola record, in the San Thome Church region refers to a Jain temple dedicated to Neminathaswami.”
The point of view of Veda Prakash on the spurious and dubious visit of St. Thomas to Mylapore was later confirmed and established with formidable documentary and literary evidence by Ishwar Sharan in his book titled The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple published in 1991. Ishwar Sharan has demolished the fabled, fabricated and fraudulent myth of the visit of St. Thomas to Mylapore in the first century AD and his murder and martyrdom in 73 AD. My current story is wholly based on the facts presented by Ishwar Sharan.
The legend of St. Thomas in Madras is clearly the fabrication of the Portuguese to camouflage their destruction of the ancient Hindu Shiva Temple of Kapaleeswarar in 1561, which was situated on the seashore, at the very place where the San Thome Church now stands. Nearly 1000 years before the barbarous and savage Catholic Portuguese destroyed the Kapaleeswarar Temple, the great Saivite saint of sixth century AD, Thirugnanasambandar, sang 6th Poompavai Padikam Thevaram as follows:
Thirugnanasambandar sings of Kapaleeswara Shiva (6th century).
Thirugnanasambandar wrote in a moving manner: “The Lord of Kapaleeswaram sat watching the people of Mylapore—a place full of flowering coconut palms—taking ceremonial bath in the sea on the full moon day of the month of Masi”.
In the same strain sang yet another great Tamil mystic, saint and poet Arunagirinathar who visited the Kapaleeswarar Temple in San Thome in 1456, in his Thirumayilai Thiruppugazh:
St. Arunagirinathar sings of Kapaleeswara Shiva (1456).
The above verse of Arunagirinathar can be translated into English thus: “Oh Lord of Mylai (Mylapore) temple, situated on the shores of the sea with raging waves….”
The ancient Kapaleeswarar Temple at San Thome visited by Thirugnanasambandar in 6th century AD and Arunagirinathar in 1456 was destroyed by the Catholic Portuguese in 1561. To cleverly cover up this criminal act, the Catholic Church has come up with the fraudulent fable of martyrdom of St. Thomas at Mylapore in 73 AD. The Portuguese domination of Mylapore lasted from 1522 to 1697, by which time the British had established themselves in the Fort St. George and adjoining territories and the Portuguese had to withdraw to Goa where heir empire lasted in 1962.
As Swami Tapasyananda has observed: “In Goa Portuguese rule was noted for a spree of destruction of Hindu temples and persecution of the Goanese, so much so that large sections of them had to flee that territory and settle all along the west coast of India. They are the Gauda Saraswats. The fate of these Goanese would have overtaken the temples and the people of Madras also, a foretaste of which contingency they got in he destruction of the holy Kapaleeshwara Temple. Thanks to the British domination of the region after 1697 and the consequent elimination of the Portuguese, this tragic fate did not overtake them. The British had more political maturity and diplomatic perception, which helped them perceive that trade was more important for themselves than religious propaganda”. No wonder that the British kept an attitude of indifference towards the religion and religious edifices of the people of India in whose midst they carried on the trading activities which eventually led to the establishment of a great political empire not only in India but in other parts of the world.
Sita Ram Goel in his outstanding book titled History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (AD 304 to 1996), has given his magisterial verdict:
The history of Christianity, crowded as it is with crimes of the most horrendous kind, provides a running commentary on the Christian doctrine. And the biggest share in Christian crimes down the centuries can safely be allotted to the Roman Catholic Church, its head, its hierarchy, its theologians, its religious orders and its missionaries. There is, however, one criminal field in which the Roman Catholic Church has remained unrivaled. No other Christian denomination—there are as many as 23,000 of them—comes anywhere near the Roman Catholic Church when it concerns the committing of blatant forgeries and foisting of pious frauds. It is no exaggeration to say that starting with Jesus Christ, the entire doctrinal and institutional edifice of Catholicism rests on a series of staggering swindles. The Roman Catholic Church in India has remained true to this tradition. The literature it has produced during the last five centuries is full of lies of the filthiest sort, not only about Hindu religion and culture but also about its own “religion” and role. And this garbage heap is topped by the hoax about the so-called St. Thomas.
After our Independence, the Catholic Church went on spreading the myth of murder and martyrdom of St. Thomas at Mylapore in the first century AD. Meanwhile, the Liberation Theology of the Church had added a new dimension to it. St. Thomas started being sold not only as the first founder of Christianity in India but also as the first to proclaim a new social message in this country. A section of the “secular” media in Madras, in the late eighties, presented this new portrait of St. Thomas through an article written by one C.A. Simon in the Indian Express under the title “In Memory of a Slain Saint“. After repeating the same old standard fraudulent story of the Catholic Church in India, C.A. Simon struck a new revolutionary note: “St. Thomas spent the last part of his life in Madras preaching the Gospel. A large number of people listened and embraced the way of life preached by him. The oppressed and downtrodden followed him and claimed equal status in society as it was denied to them by the prevailing social norms. He condemned untouchability and attempted to restore equal status to women”.
This bold and brazen Christian scribe had written with great confidence because similar fictitious stuff, presented in a plethora of books [by S. Muthaih of The Hindu] as well as the popular press, had passed off without being challenged. He was not aware that formidable Hindu scholars had started examining Christian claims about Christian doctrines and Christian saints, as also the calculated Christian calumny about Hinduism, Hindu society, Hindu culture, and Hindu history. It is very unfortunate that certain editors of the pseudo-secular media allowed their respected columns to be used to promote this Catholic romance as historical fact in this age of excellent and critical scholarship. Though Veda Prakash had sent his book on the myth of St. Thomas to the Indian Express as early as September 1989 for review, yet the Indian Express had ignored it. The Indian Express did not apply the same standard of censorship to C.A. Simon. While it treated Simon with respect, it treated Veda Prakash with utmost contempt.
The anti-national and anti-Hindu pseudo-secular mafia of print and electronic mass media is being closely watched by the awakened Hindus of India today. Hindus of India are determined to win their war against the planned, organized and launched dissemination of disinformation in regard to Sanatana Dharma, Hindus, Hinduism, Hindu culture and Hindu society by the criminal cabal controlling the print and electronic media in India today.
Very recently Pope Benedict XVI shocked the Christians of South India in general and Syrian Christians of Kerala in particular by making a statement to this effect: “St. Thomas preached Christianity in western India [now Pakistan] from where it spread to other parts of the country. He was not the Apostle who ever came to southern India”.
This statement of the Pope has been viewed by Christians of South India as having the effect of taking away from St. Thomas, the traditional title of “Apostle of India”. Though the Pope referred to St. Thomas having preached Christianity in western India, yet he did not actually use the expression “Apostle of Pakistan”. According to George Nedungatt, a faculty member of the Oriental Pontifical Institute, Rome, who wrote an article in Satya Deepam, a mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar Church, the Pope’s recent statement may indirectly imply that St. Thomas is an “Apostle of Pakistan” and not India! In the same article, it has been stated that perhaps Pope Benedict XVI feels that the area St. Thomas evangelized was not south India, but what he called “western India” corresponding roughly to today’s Pakistan. As the Pope sees it, south India was not evangelized by St Thomas , but by Christians from North-Western India, seemingly at a later period.
Ishwar Sharan in his pioneering work of research, has clearly brought out the fact that the myth of St. Thomas is a prototype of today’s popular Jesus-in-India story. The first story of St. Thomas in India was invented by the Syrian Christians of Malabar and later taken over by the Portuguese. The second story of Jesus in Kashmir was promoted around the beginning of the 20th century by Western spiritualists who also paraded as historians of the arcane. To quote the words of Ishwar Sharan: “Both fictions are attractive to foreign spiritual seekers and to convent-educated Hindus who fancy the idea that an apostle of Jesus, or Jesus himself may have visited India. The Hindus do not notice that in these legends neither St. Thomas nor Jesus are presented as seekers of Truth or admirers of Hindu religion and culture. They are presented as teachers of a superior faith or as enlightened social reformers who are persecuted by avaricious and degenerate Pagan Brahmin priests.”
The St. Thomas story was invented to give the Syrian immigrants Indian ancestry and the patronage of a local martyr-saint—Christianity is the religion of martyrs—and it was resurrected and embellished in the 16th century by Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries who needed a pious story of persecution to cover up their own persecution of the Hindus. There is another reason for the Catholic Church to promote the story in Madras, for during that period (16th century) she and her imperial Portuguese “secular arm” destroyed many Hindu temples in Mylapore and its environs. The original Kapaleeshwar Temple was destroyed in 1561 and on its site the present St. Thomas Cathedral was built.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has never investigated the origins of early Christian churches in India in the same way it has studied old mosques and other Muslim monuments. Proper study of ancient churches has been done by German scholars and awaits translation and publication in English. The work done by the German scholars shows that most 16th and 17th century churches in India contain temple rubble and are built on temple sites.
The story relating to the martyrdom of St. Thomas on St. Thomas Mount in Madras is fictitious. This will be clear from the physical fact that there are six tombs for St. Thomas in South India. Two are in San Thome Cathedral at Mylapore, a third is on an island south-west of Cochin, a fourth in a Syrian church at Thiruvancode in Tranvancore, a fifth in a Shiva temple at Malayattur in Tranvancore and a sixth at Kalayamuthur, west of Madurai, near the Palani Hills. Likewise, there are six tombs for St. Thomas abroad. One is in Brazil, a second in Germany, a third in Japan, a fourth in Malacca, a fifth in Tibet and the sixth in China.
The most exciting part of the fraud is that, this is not the end of the matter of tombs. Marco Polo (1254-1324) was the first story-teller to place the tomb of St. Thomas in south India and an unnamed village on the Tamil coast. According to the apocryphal Acts of Thomas by Bardesanes (154 AD to 233 AD) of Edessa in Syria, St. Thomas was buried in a royal tomb on a mountain in King Mazdai’s desert country and the Ethiopian version of the same Acts of Thomas has the tomb located in Quantaria, which some say is ancient Gandhara in Afghanistan. The Alexandrian Doctors of the Church say that the tomb is in Parthia, i.e., Persia, but Antipope Hippolytus of Potus says it is in Calamina, a city much discussed and never found, and which today remains as elusive a place as the Elioforum of the Passio Thomae (a medieval redaction of the Acts). Still others say the tomb is in Betumah, which the Syrians identify with Mylapore but which the Arabs say is east of Cape Camorin. Col. Gerini in his Researches on Ptolemy’s Geography of Eastern Asia, says Bethuma is to the East of Singapore.
T.K. Joseph, author of Six St. Thomases of South India accepts Marco Polo’s story but believes that the identification of the tomb in Mylapore as a Christian tomb is a case of wrong identification, of the Syrian Christians identifying the tomb of a Muslim Thomas with their Christian Thomas. T.K. Joseph is unwilling to concede that the Mylapore tomb is a Portuguese fake. He seems to treat the problem of St. Thomas as an internal matter of the Christian community rather than as a problem of Indian history. He refuses to consider the Hindu side of the story or to admit that temples were destroyed in Mylapore in the 16th century by Franciscan monks and Jesuit priests. As Ishwar Sharan hilariously concludes:
T.K. Joseph rejects the Malabar and Mylapore legends of St. Thomas as inventions, but seems to be unaware that Marco Polo’s “tall tale” is also that—a tall tale of St. Thomas picked up in a Ceylonese port bazaar and retold with additions to an Italian public [new research suggests most of Il Milione was invented in Constantinople and that Marco never travelled to China at all – Ed]. His acceptance of the geographical designation “India” in the Acts of Thomas, as the field of the apostle’s work, is unreasonable, as the internal cultural evidence of the Acts points to West Asia and not North-West India. T.K. Joseph admits that he is forced to accept Thomas did come to North-West India and may have been buried near ancient Taxila.
T.K. Joseph and other Christian scholars who depend on the Acts of Thomas to fulfill their St. Thomas desires—seem to be unaware of Thomas Paine’s famous dictum concerning another collection of acts and gospels—the Bible. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) said:
It has often been said that anything may be proved from the Bible; but before anything can be admitted as proved by the Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it doubtful, it ceases to have authority and cannot be admitted as proof of anything.
Against this background it can be asked, where then is the tomb of St. Thomas, if the two in Mylapore are Portuguese fakes? Where did he experience his passion and seal his mission with blood if not in India? We do not know the answer to these questions, but there is a verse in an ancient St. Thomas hymn which reveals more than it conceals:
Thou despisist error; Thou destroyest unbelievers: For, in the city where thou truly liest, There never lives any of the heretics, Jews, or Pagans.
The unlimited capacity of the Catholic Archdiocese in Madras to manufacture fraudulent fables was brought to full public view in open court on February 6, 1986 when P. Aruvudayappan, II Metropolitan Magistrate, Madras delivered his judgment in criminal case No.100087/82. I am quoting below the operative portion of this judgment: “Taking advantage of the soft attitudes of public witnesses 2 and 3 (Father Mariadoss and Father Arulappa), the Defendant Ganesh Iyer had taken from them about Rs.13.5 lakhs between 1975 and 1980. This has been clearly established.”
How and why did Archbishop Arulappa hand over a whopping amount of Rs. 13,49,250/- to Ganesh Iyer for a spurious research project? Why had the Archbishop not bothered to verify the authenticity of the criminally fake “documents” produced by Ganesh Iyer in support of his research thesis—which was originally proposed to him by Archbishop Arulappa himself! Why did Archbishop Arullappa not deem it necessary to accompany Ganesh Iyer to the various sites of his “research” in India when he had found adequate time to accompany him to Rome, the Vatican, Germany, France, Spain and the United States.
The story of the intimate intellectual relationship between Archbishop Arulappa and Ganesh Iyer (given the title of Acharya Paul by Archbishop Arulappa himself!) indeed constitutes a glorious landmark in the intellectual history of Christianity in India! Archbishop Arulappa had directed Acharya Paul to establish a nexus between St. Thomas and Thiruvalluvar, regardless of the concerns for exact chronology or authentic history. “Scrupulous” Acharya Paul extended his full cooperation to the equally “Scrupulous” Archbishop! The whole story relating to this gigantic hoax was exposed in an article in the Illustrated Weekly of India in its issue dated April 26-May 2, 1987. This article, titled “Hoax!” was authored by K.P.Sunil. This very article was incorporated by Ishwar Sharan in his book on St. Thomas (1995 edition) under the chapter titles “Archbishop Arulappa Makes History” and “Acharya Paul Adds A Footnote“.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Madras seems to be drawing its inspiration today from Archbishop Arulappa and Acharya Paul for establishing the spiritual relationship between St. Thomas and Thiruvalluvar in its proposed mega-film project on St. Thomas.
Popes & Fascists
Post Script
“Every cleric must obey the Pope, even if he commands what is evil; for no one may judge the Pope.” — Pope Innocent III (1198-1216)

I have been reading in the Internet a series of articles on Rome’s fraudulent history by Dave Hunt. I am quoting below some excerpts from his brilliant book titled A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days.
The Roman Catholic Pope has often been the most powerful religious and political figure on earth. This is true today, even though the Pope no longer has at his disposal the armies and navies of past Roman pontiffs…. The Vatican’s constituency of 980 million followers is at least three times the number of citizens in any Western democracy and is exceeded only by the population of China. Even more important, these 980 million people are scattered throughout the world, many of them holding high political, military, and commercial positions in non-Catholic countries. Moreover, the Pope has thousands of secret agents worldwide. They include Jesuits, the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Malta, Opus Dei, and others. The Vatican’s Intelligence Service and its field resources are second to none…. Remember, the Pope’s 980 million subjects are bound to him by religious ties, which are far stronger than any political loyalties could ever be. No secular government can compete with the motivational power of religious belief….
The extra-ordinary position of the Pope in relation to members of the Church was expressed succinctly in Rome’s La Civilta Cattolica, which a papal journal described in the mid-nineteenth century as “the purest journalistic organ of true Church doctrine” (J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council) “It is not enough for the people only to know that the Pope is the head of the Church … they must also understand that their own faith and religious life flow from him; that in him is the bond which unites Catholics to one another, and the power which strengthens and the light which guides them; that he is the dispenser of spiritual graces, the giver of the benefits of religion, the upholder of justice, and the protector of the oppressed” (La Civilta Cattolica, 1867, Vol. XII).
The Catholic World in August 1871 (Vol. XIII) declared as follows: “Each individual must receive the faith and law from the Church with unquestioning submission and obedience of the intellect and the will…. We have no right to ask reasons of the Church, any more than of Almighty God…. We are to take with unquestioning docility whatever instruction the Church gives us”. The same requirement of unthinking submission is demanded in Vatican II. The Code of Canon Law likewise reasserts the same rule: “The Christian faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church” (James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel, eds., The Code of Canon Law, Canon 212, Section 1; Paulist Press, 1985).
In November 2006 Pope Benedict XVI had categorically stated that St. Thomas never visited South India. In the light of what has been stated above, is it not the inviolable duty of the Catholic Archdiocese of Madras to implicitly accept with reverence and humility the public stand taken by present Pope Benedict XVI on the issue of St. Thomas and his alleged visit to South India? In these columns yesterday, I had referred to the gigantic fraud that shook the foundations of the Catholic Church in Madras in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Reverend Archbishop Arulappa was the head of the Catholic Church in Madras. The Catholic Church has seen to it that a lot of embarrassing details relating to this fraud have been swept under the mat. The fearless journalist who exposed this fraud in April 1987 was K.P. Sunil. He wrote an article under the title “Hoax!” in The Illustrated Weekly of India, April 26-May 2, 1987. I am summarizing the facts contained in the article.
Reverend Dr. R. Arulappa, Archbishop of Madras Diocese claimed that he had been duped by one Acharya Paul, also known as Ganesh Iyer. The “criminal” (at any rate not “civil” by any standard!) association between these two characters began in the early 1970s. Ganesh Iyer, ho had embraced the Christian faith, was a self-styled Bible preacher known as John Ganesh. During the course of his evangelical journeys, he went to Thiruchirapalli and met a Catholic priest called Father Michael of the Tamil Ilakkiya Sangam (Tamil Literary Society). He presented himself to Father Michael as Dr. John Ganesh, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the Banaras Hindu University. He also told Father Michael that he had returned from Jammu and Kashmir where he was involved in research on Christianity in India. Father Michael put him on to another priest, Father Mariadoss of Srivilliputhur. Dr. John Ganesh impressed Father Mariadoss with his mastery over Christian theology. He showed him copies of notices extolling him as a speaker. He produced letters written to him by several scholars in the fields of education and religion. He also showed Father Mariadoss many photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions, which were several centuries old. Dr. John Ganesh told Father Mariadoss that these ancient documents and artifacts in his possession, traced the origins and development of the Christian faith in India. He convinced Father Mariadoss that he was not in a position to further pursue the research on account of want of money and other constraints. Taken in by the approach of Dr. John Ganesh, Father Mariadoss took upon himself the task of locating funds for the successful completion of the research project which he felt would prove to be a shot in the arm for Christianity in India. Father Mariadoss gave Dr. John Ganesh Rs. 22,000/- towards his research project. As he could not give more money, he introduced the researcher to Archbishop Arulappa, the head of the Catholic Church in Madras. Thus began the most exciting intellectual relationship between Archbishop Arulappa and Dr. John Ganesh who was given the name Acharya Paul by Archbishop Arulappa himself.
Archbishop Arulappa held the view that St. Thomas before his martyrdom on a hill near Madras in 72 AD, now called St. Thomas Mount, met Tiruvalluvar and influenced the bard to the extent of converting him to the nascent Christian faith. Thus a revolutionary theory had been propounded. What remained to be obtained was proof of such an occurrence. Archbishop Arulappa came to the conclusion that Ganesh Iyer, posing as Dr.John Ganesh, could play a vital role in establishing his new theory. Archbishop Arulappa entered into a deal with Ganesh Iyer and entrusted the research work relating to the establishment of the spiritual connection between St. Thomas and Tiruvalluvar to him. The Archbishop was also overwhelmed by Ganesh Iyer’s mastery of Christian theology. As a clever and crooked operator, Ganesh Iyer agreed not only to establish the nexus between St. Thomas and Tiruvalluvar through his research but also to furnish formidable evidence as to how the three great epic Hindu sages from the East—Vashishta, Vishwamithra and Agastya—had clearly prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ.
In 1975-76 Ganesh Iyer began his research. And the Archbishop Arulappa started funding the same in a liberal fashion. Ganesh Iyer produced photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions at periodic intervals. Whenever the Archbishop asked to see the originals, he was informed by Ganesh Iyer that they were stashed away in the safe custody of the Indian government’s archaeological departments and museums all over the country. As it was not possible to persuade these agencies to part with the priceless documents, Ganesh Iyer agreed to get the copies of the relevant documents duly authenticated by these agencies. Thus Ganesh Iyer produced forged copies of photographs and other documents bearing the seals of the state archaeological departments and the museums from which he claimed to have obtained them for purposes of completing his research. The cruel joke is that Archbishop Arulappa gave a total amount of nearly 13.5 lakhs to Ganesh Iyer between 1975 and 1980 for doing his great research for tracing the hallowed roots of Christianity in India!
The point to be noted is that Archbishop Arulappa never went even once along with Ganesh Iyer to any part of India to see for himself whether Ganesh Iyer was doing genuine work or not. Archbishop Arulappa knew how totally the spurious whole effort was right from the beginning. In 1976, Ganesh Iyer obtained a passport in the name of Acharya Paul. In 1977, accompanied by Archbishop Arulappa, he went abroad to the Vatican, among other places, where he had a lengthy audience with Pope Paul VI. The duo then visited several religious congregations and spoke about comparative religion. Wherever they went, Ganesh Iyer, spoke about the origins of Christianity in India and about his “monumental research”. Lot of money was collected in Europe for funding further research.
Soon after their return to India, Archbishop Arulappa was pressurized to file a complaint with the police against Ganesh Iyer. After a through investigation, the police arrested Ganesh Iyer on April 29, 1980. A criminal case was filed against him and on February 6, 1986, P. Aruvudayappan, Second Metropolitan Magistrate Madras sentenced Ganesh Iyer to undergo 10 months rigorous imprisonment. Even when the criminal case was going on in the court, a civil suit for compromise was also filed by the Archbishop in the Madras High Court. Soon after the verdict in the criminal case was given on February 6, 1986, the compromise decree was also taken up in the Madras High Court. Ganesh Iyer who had defrauded the Archbishop to the tune of nearly 14 lakhs was let off without any further punishment. Thus ended with a calculated whimper, one of the “holiest” subterranean alliances in the history of Christianity in India!
To conclude with the words of Sita Ram Goel: “High-sounding theological blah blah not withstanding, the fact remains that the Christian dogma is no more than a subterfuge for forging and wielding an organizational weapon for aggression against other people. It is high time for Hindus to dismiss the dogma of Christianity with the contempt it deserves, and pay attention to the Christian missionary apparatus planted in their midst. The sole aim of this apparatus is to ruin Hindu society and culture and take over the Hindu homeland”. – News Today, 20??
» The late V. Sundaram was an IAS officer. He lived in Chennai and blogged at Ennapadam Panchajanya.
 

asaffronladoftherisingsun

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HINDU DHARMA's first encounter with christianity happened in Roman empire not BHARAT :

All these marxshit christian shitstorians engage in a delusional propaganda that HINDU DHARMA first came in contact withchristianity in 52 ad when St. Thomas, apostle of Jesus Christ, landed in Malabar. He is supposed to have traveled in South Bharat and founded seven churches before he was murdered by the malicious Brahmanas. The old Christians in Kerala, who knew as well as introduced themselves as Syrian Christians till the other day, now often take delusional pride in calling themselves St. Thomas Christians. Infact this fantarded fictional fairytales is too fanciful to be taken seriously.


Coming to facts of history, the first encounter between Hindu Dharma and Christianity took place not in Bharat but in those parts of west of Asia, North Africa and Southern europe which comprised the Roman Empire at the arrival of the Christian era. There is evidence, archaeological as well as literary, that Hindu Dharma had made its presence felt in Graeco-Roman religions and philosophies long before christianity was born.

Demolishedthechristianhoax.JPG


The community of christians in South BHARAT was founded by a Syrian (or Armenian) merchant Thomas Cananeus in 345 ad. He led four hundred refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities.This story was too commonplace to attract converts. So the vermin evangelolis started inventing demented fallacies about the merchant Thomas with Apostle Thomas and created the fantarded story of the apostle’s persecution and death at the hands of the “wicked”Brahmins of South BHARAT.

These vermins syrian christians were given asylum by HINDU KINGS. These same syrian christians later became loyal slaves of pourtugays and started persecuting Hindus.

Nevertheless the imprint of Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta on Eleatic, Elusinian, Orphic, Pythagorean, Platonist, Stoic, Gnostic and Neo-Platonist philosophies is too manifest to be missed easily. It was widely believed in the ancient Western world that the Greeks had learnt their wisdom from the Brahmanas of Bharat. Evidence of Hindu colonies in some leading cities of the Roman Empire is also available. Hindu temples had come up wherever Hindu merchants and traders had established their colonies. There is great documentation of a flourishing trade between BHARATA and roman empire.
 

asaffronladoftherisingsun

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Early historical and archaeological traditions of Christianity in Greater BHARATA: reality and hagiography.

The works documentations slightly adapted from : SARASVATI/SARASWATI RESEARCH CENTER.

As a corollary appendix to the narrative of History of BHARATAM Janam, it is necessary to review the roots of Christianity in India, to start with. This account has to be extended to cover the early presence of Christian traditions in the Indian Ocean Region, what may be called the d’Extreme Orient or Greater BHARATA.


In my view, a reliable, falsifiable historical narrative on the appearance of Christianity along the Indian Ocean Rim, has NOT yet appeared. Only apocryphal, hagiographic accounts disfigure the itihaasa of rim of the Indian Ocean. For a bibliography compiled by the Kerala Council for Historical Research, with reference to Pattanam Archaeology Research, see http://www.keralahistory.ac.in/pdf2014/international_fellow_2014.pdf



The context of this open-ended enquiry are the opinionated reports and conjectures based on the ongoing archaeological digs in Pattinam, Kerala, with ardent hopes to find the remains of the mythical St. Thomas. Archaeological distortions of Pattinam digs well arguned in the media and in some journals necessitate a fresh enquiry into the historical and archaeological traditions of Christianity in Greater India

A sample report here:
Unearthing Pattanam. Explore "Muciri Pattinam", the legendary Indian Ocean port site New Delhi, National Museum, 28th November 2014 - 10th January 2015


http://arabiaantica.humnet.unipi.it/uploads/pics/22_12_14.jpg


The National Museum of New Delhi houses an exhibition dedicated to the archaeological site of Pattanam.

The exhibition shows the results of the research about the ancient port overlooking the Indian Ocean and explains the excavation works conducted at the archaeological site.
A replica of the archaeological trench with the excavation tools and an explicative video are provided. A wide range of artifacts are displayed: pottery, coins, gold ornaments etc. illustrate the material culture of the site from 3000 to 1000 BC.
The exhibitions will be open until 10th January 2015.

http://arabiaantica.humnet.unipi.it/index.php?id=28&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=83&cHash=ac 3f191fe9f8ebf4b4e81bb885abb28c


A separate area was allocated for Christians in the ancient capital Anuradhapura and there was a Christian chapel used by the Persian merchants who came to Ceylon in around 5th century. (MahavamsaTranslated by Wilhelm Geiger, Chapter 10).


A hypothesis: Roots of Christian presence in India are post-modern phenomena; dated not earlier than ca. 5th century CE (and do NOT date back to mythical Thomas the Apostle, who is said to have visited Muziris in Kerala in 52 CE) since ancient Indian texts have no reference to the Christian gestalt (excepting for a Mahavamsa reference to Anuradhapura chapel).

The earliest known Christians who came to India were those from Syria who were forced to leave their homeland because of persecution by the Christians who accepted Rome as their masters.
This happened in the 4th century or thereabouts. These Christians are now called in India as Syrian Christians. When the Portuguese tried to colonise India and Sri Lanka, some of these Syrian Christians in India and Sri Lanka changed their allegiance to Rome, and that was the beginning of the Syrian Rites amongst the Roman Catholics in India. There is still tension about continuation of these rites in the Church.
The others who refused to accept Rome as the masters, are called Syrian Orthodox Church. They have a major problem with the Roman Catholic Church. These Orthodox, both the laity and the cleric, have good relations with the RSS in Kerala.


Here is one quote on the subject:

"In brief, the caste system seems to have made it possible for Christianity to survive in Kerala, but on condition that it observed the norms of the system, in particular the prohibition on recruitment from `other castes’ and the acceptance of the rules of a radically hierarchical society. The Syrian Christians, like the Jews of Cochin and the Bene Israel of Bombay, survived and indeed flourished because they accepted the social system within which they found themselves and observed its norms."

Hindu-Christian Dialogue, Harold Coward (ed) (Page No. 18) {Duncan B. Forrester, Caste and Christianity: Attitudes and Policies on Caste of Anglo-Saxon Protestant Missions in India (London: Curzon Press, 1979). In this section I am following the sources and conclusions of Forrester. pp. 100-1.}


Again on larp of St. Thomas.

Thomas or another apostle seems to have come to NW India via Iran and been at the court of the Ephtalite or Kushan kings (his remains were repatriated to Edessa or Antioch later according to local traditions). Much less likely that he reached South India though. -- Come Carpentier

On the myth of St. Thomas See: http://ishwarsharan.wordpress.com/ This website hosts the 2010 revised and updated edition ofThe Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. It is a complete study of the St. Thomas in India legend—its origin, history, ideology, and communal ramifications—and is named after the main, 24-chapter essay by Ishwar Sharan.

(https://web.archive.org/web/20190422034205/http://ishwarsharan.wordpress.com/)


If, as Xavier found, non-Christian peoples were not entirely bereft of God’s wisdom and inklings of revealed truth, the cause of this knowledge had to be explained, and later generations spent a good deal of time reflecting on the matter. There were numerous theories early on among the missionary scholars. For example, Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, writing in Peru in the mid- seventeenth century, thought that since God would not have overlooked the Americas for fifteen hundred years, and since among the twelve apostles St. Thomas was known for his mission to the ‘most abject people in the world, blacks and Indians,’ it was only reasonable to conclude that St. Thomas had preached throughout the Americas:
He began in Brazil - either reaching it by natural means on Roman ships, which some maintain were in communication with America from the coast of Africa, or else, as may be thought closer to the truth, being transported there by God miraculously. He passed to Paraguay, and from there to the Peruvians.

Ruiz de Montoya reported that St. Thomas even predicted the arrival of later missionaries, including the Jesuits themselves:

[Thomas] had prophesied in the eastern Indies that his preaching of the gospel would be revived, saying: ‘When the sea reaches this rock, by divine ordinance white men will come from far-off lands to preach the doctrine that I am now teaching you and to revive the memory of it.’
Similarly, the saint prophesied in nearly identical words the coming of the Society’s members into the regions of Paraguay about which I speak: ‘You will forget what I preach to you, but
when priests who are my successors come carrying crosses as I do, then you will hear once more the same doctrine that I am teaching you.’12
Clooney, Francis, S.J., “A Charism for Dialog”, URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/SJ/dialog.html


Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 13:32:54 +0300

Reply-To: Indology <[log in to unmask]> Sender: Indology <[log in to unmask]>
From: Klaus Karttunen <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Apostle Thomas again
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Dear Colleagues
Sorry that I am rather late wit h my reply. I had to switch my e-mail to a new machine, and it took some time to have it running again.



As to the question of Ganesan, Cosmas mentions twice, in 3, 65 and 11, 14, Christian communities in South India and Sri Lanka, with a Persian bishop, but he does not mention Thomas' death. In fact he does not mention Thomas at all, in this I made a mistake. Sorry!

Of course the legend of Thomas' death near Madras is not true, as I think I made clear in my first message, but it was wise that Bal Prasad did not vouch for the veracity of his "paraphrase". Even the names of scholars were wrong: instead of C-J De la Vallee-Poussin and Robert Garbe, Louis de La Vallee-Poussin and Richard Garbe.
As to the Acts of Thomas, it is an apocryphal work, and no more history than other such legends. This kind of literature is common in many religions. As far as I know, no serious scholar is taking it as part of the Bible or as a historical source, although it may contains some points originating in history (such as the name of Gondophares-Gudhaphar). The point is that it is a genuine work of the fourth century and can be used as a source for ideas then current among Christians in the West. It is thus among the earliest sources locating Thomas' mission and its end in India. But as I said, nothing here points to South India, rather to the Indus country.

I do agree with Bal Prasad that there is no evidence of Thomas having travelled to India (only the spurious tradition nevertheless much earlier than the Portuguese), but I wonder, whether he visited Ethiopia and Arabia either. The earliest tradition seems to restrict his travels to Edessa (now Urfa in southeastern Turkey, then a principality under Parthian suzerainty).


Stephens quotes a few "Greek" (mostly Latin) Christian sources on India. His second extract, Jerome (in Latin) about Pantaenus and Bartholomew hails from the (Greek) Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (early 4th century). Many more passages can be found in the old collection by W. R. Phillipps in Indian Antiquary 32, 1903, 1-15 and 145-160. It shows that it was common belief in the West since the 4th century (but not earlier) that Thomas went to India (though not to the South).


As to Mylapore, attempts to identify it with Calamina, the traditional place given as Thomas' burial "in India", do not seem convincing. The first to mention Thomas' grave in Mylapore is thus Marco Polo (3, 18 in Yule - Cordier) in the 13th century. John of Montecorvino visited a church of Thomas on way to China in 1292, this probably was in the South. In 1345 John of Marignolli, another Catholic envoy to China, also visited Mylapore. Thus the Mylapore tradition was earlier than the Portuguese, although they certainly made much of it.
Michael Rabe asked about the stone cross found near Mylapore. See A. C. Burnell, Indian Antiquary 3, 1874, 308-316. If anybody knows a more recent source, please inform.


I was afraid that somebody will take up the story of Jesus visiting India. There are two traditions, both quite recent. One is propagated by the Ahmadiyyas, another by the Russian charlatan Notovich about hundred years ago. I do not know the German book still defending it, but I think Günter Grönbold, Jesus in Indien. Das Ende einer Legende (Munich 1985) has said everything that is necessary.

There are at least 10 books and some 50-60 articles about Thomas traditions, but I think my answer is long enough without listing them. I am not theologian and not much interested in history of Christian missions, so I would like to drop the subject now.



Regards.
Klaus Karttunen.
Institute for Asian and African Studies Box 59, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.
tel. +358-9-191-22224, fax. +358-9-191-22094.


The question of the St. Thomas origin of Indian Christianity – C.I. Issac Posted on December 7, 2012 | Comments Off

“The Thomas origin of Christianity in the Dravidian South was the outcome of the missionary schema against Hindu religion and culture.” – Prof. C.I. Issac


St. Thomas, Vasco da Gama & Marco Polo

Speech by Prof. C. I. Issac, Former Head of Department of History, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, on the occasion of the release of the bookBreaking India by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan, in Chennai on 03 Feb 2011.


First of all I would like to congratulate Mr. Rajiv Malhotra and Mr. Aravindan Neelakandan for their painstaking endeavour of the book “Breaking India”. Most of our intellectual community conveniently bypasses the contemporary realities that are chasing the Hindu society in their mother land.
The respected authors of “Breaking India” have shown enough courage to unwrap the vanity of the pseudo-secularist and democrats of contemporary India. The book gives us a thumbnail picture of how far the missionaries misused the word “dravida” and “arya” in order to balkanize and Christianize India since the days of British Raj.
The fabrication of South Indian history is being carried out on an immense scale with the explicit goal of constructing a Dravidian identity that is distinct from that of the rest of India. It is factual that term dravida is derived from the Greek tongue. They used Dhamir and Dhamarike respectively for Tamil and Tamizakaom. Similarly they introduced our arasi and inchi in the West as rice and ginger.


Anglican Bishop Robert Caldwell: He invented the Dravidian race!


But Bishop Caldwell, with his missionary zeal, misused the Greek derivative of Tamil and Tamizakaom and had given an anthropological representation. It was started in the 19th century with specific designs.
Suniti Kumar Chatterji, (1890-1977), a renowned linguist, was of the opinion that: Friedrich Max Muller, by the middle of 19th century, introduced Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy.
Subsequently Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814-1891) followed the same foot-steps and in 1856 published the book “A Comparative Grammar of The Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages”.
This book epitomized distinctive anthropological status to the South and pictured as linguistically separate from the rest of India with an un-Indian culture. There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the term Dravida. His work was influenced with the defunct Aryan-Dravidian race theories proposed by Max Muller the German linguist. Thereupon the term Dravida became the name of the family of a language.
During the early days of Common Era (CE) Greeks usedDhamir/Damarike for Tamil/Tamizakaom. Ancient Sri Lankans used Dhamizha for Tamil. Sanskrit also used Dramida/Dravida for Tamil long before the birth of Common Era. (Probably between 1500 to 1000 BCE).
Brahmins of India broadly divided themselves into two groups Pancha Gauda (Gaudam/Bengal, Saraswatam, Kanyakubjam, Utkalam, Kashmeeram) & Pancha Dravida (Gurjara, Maharashtra,
Karnataka, Andhra, Dravida includes Kerala and Tamilnadu). Thus it has no anthropological base.

(Suniti Kumar Chatterji, Dravidam, Annamalai Nagar, 1965, passim).
In the light of the said Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy it is better to make an enquiry into the contemporary attempts to transform Tamil identity into the Dravidian Christianity. The advocates of this venture are striving to baptize Saint Thiruvalluvar through re-writing history. For instance Chennai Arch Bishop Arulappa once hired Ganesh Iyer alias Acharya Paul for re- writing the history with the said end. Such vicious endeavours targets to transform even Saint Thiruvalluvar, the pride of Mother India, as the disciple of Saint Thomas. (Anyhow their rationality failed to depict Saint Thiruvalluvar as the disciple of Jesus).

They are attempt to reduce Saint Thiruvalluvar’s greatness by making him as the disciple of Thomas who never visited India. Thomas’s mission to India is rejected even by Vatican also. Thus, I think, it is genuine to peep into the futility of apostolic origin of the Indian Christianity.

Lord Parshuram with Brahmin settlers commanding Lord Varuna to make the seas recede to make the Konkan.

First question to be discussed here is the question of the so called delusional arrival of Saint Thomas and subsequent conversion of Hindu aristocracy (particularly the Namboothiris/Brahmins) to Christianity.

Second one is the date of the question of the origin of Christianity in Kerala, the gateway of Christianity to India.

Third is the European interest behind popularization of generating aristocratic (savarna) feeling among the native Christians.

Before the arrival of Europeans in India, a nominal Christian presence was seen only in the Travancore and Cochin regions of Kerala. According to Ward and Conner, even after two centuries of the birth of Christianity, the number of Christians on the Malabar Coast shrank to
eight families. (Ward and Conner, The Survey of Travancore and Cochin States, Trivandrum, 1863, p 146).

The antagonism that was generated amongst the Christians and Muslims due to the Crusades of 11th, 12th and 13th centuries prevented Christians from planting their roots in the Malabar region where Muslims got roots quite earlier.

The Christian population altogether in Travancore and Cochin during the early decades of the 19th century CE was 35,000 with 55 churches. (Ward and Connor, The Survey of Travancore and Cochin States,Trivandrum, 1863, pp 146 & 147)

C. M. Augur says that from the arrival of Portuguese till the early decades of the nineteenth century here in Kerala there were only less than 300 Christian churches for of all the denominations . (C. M. Augur, Church History of Travancore, Kottayam, 1902, pp 7, 8, 9).

G. T. Mackenzie observes, Christians prior to the arrival of Portuguese, did not form the part of Travancore aristocracy. (G. T. Mackenzie, Christianity in Travancore, Govt. Press, Trivandrum, 1901, p 8).


Pope Nicolas IV sent John of Montecorvino, a missionary to convert India and China into Christianity and thus he wrote to pope in 1306 that “There are very few Christians and Jews (in India) and they are of little weight”. (See G. T. Mackenzie, Christianity in Travancore, Govt. Press Trivandrum, 1901, p 8. & Cosmos Indicopleustus comments that Christians are not masters but slaves. Quoted from N. K. Jose, Aadima Kerala Christavar, (Mal.) Vechoor- Vaikom, 1972, p 127).

The center of the present savrna feeling of Syrian Christians of Kerala is the upshot of the wealth, which they had acquired through enhanced spice trade of the European period and the Portuguese pre-eminence in the Church. Above all the Christian Muslim antagonism of West Asia was the real cause of the birth of Christianity of Kerala as seen today. To escape from the Muslim persecution several Persian, Syrian, etc regions Christians secured refuge in India and thus it resulted in the birth of Christianity here. It is evident from the above mentioned pre- European period Christian Muslim settlement pattern of Kerala.
In 1816 C.E there were, in the Travancore State (now the part of Kerala), 19,524 temples and 301 churches for all denominations. But in 1891, that is after 76 years, the number of temples had shrunk in to 9,364 and the number of churches had burgeoned to 1,116. (C. M.Augur, Church History of Travancore, Kottayam, 1902, pp 7, 8, 9).


Colonel John Munro

Under the recommendation of Diwan (Col. Munroe, a British subject) in 1812 Queen of Travancore nationalized 378 wealthy temples. The villain Diwan tactically awarded a natural death to the temple with insufficient resources. Considering the geographical area, the number of the temples set ablaze or knocked down or tactically buried down in Travancore (a princely state of modern Kerala) was proportionately much higher than that of temples demolished by the Muslim rulers of Northern India or Mysore Sultans.

In the year 1952 CE, the native Catholic Church approached the Papacy in Rome for Pontifical approval to celebrate 1900th year of proselytism of Thomas. The Papacy declined the request of the Kerala Catholics on the ground that the claim has no historicity. Pope Benedict XVI had also declined the Thomas’s arrival and mission in the peninsular India. Only after the Portuguese Christianity in the South became a notable religious sect.

Tharisappalli Copper Plates (849 CE): Oldest documents to attest the presence of Christians in India.

Terisapalli (St. Theresa Church) Copper Plate Grant (Terisapalli Cheppedu) executed in 849 CE by Ayyan Atikal Tiruvatikal of Venaduduring the reign of Emperor Sthanu Ravi (844-855) is the available oldest historical document linking to Christianity of Kerala. [That] the grant holders were not native Christians is a notable fact.

Kottayam is the Rome of India. First church of Kottayam (Valiyapalli – Big Church) was built by a Hindu RAAJAA (Thekkumkur dynasty) in 1550 CE for the Persian Christian
merchants (Knanaya Christians)who settled here. (A. Sreedharamenon, A Survey of Kerala History, Kottayam, 1970, p 43).
The quality of missionaries to India until early British period was also remarkably very low. Missionary urge for Christianization of India was fermented in England long before the 1813 Charter Act. In 1793 William Carey reached in Bengal, at Serampore, with missionary spirit without proper permission from the Company. Originally he was a cobbler by profession and turned out to be a Baptist missionary and became instrumental to the general missionary spirit that prevailed over England during this period. (R. C. Majumdar & others, An Advanced History of India, Madras, rpt. 1970, pp 810, 811).
It is the fact that several of the much applauded missionary families of the colonial period were failed business men or opportunity seekers.
Christian population became decisive power only after the European intervention in the socio- economic structure of Kerala. Robert De Nobili, an early 17th century Catholic Missionary of India, who lived in the attire of a Hindu hermit and established a monastery in Madurai to convert Brahmins. His attempt was to present Christianity in India as an aristocratic and Vedic offshoot. Thus the Thomas origin of Christianity in the Dravidian South was the outcome of the missionary schema against Hindu religion and culture.


St. Thomas Icon

The construction of Dravidian identity and induction of Saint Thomas myth is a calculated affair by the European Church which is now facing the extinction syndrome. The fragility of Christian base in the West is a well attested factor. In this changing scenario the Church cast its eyes in the third millennium over a highly spiritualistic society, the Hindu, for its survival. To a certain extent missionaries of the South succeeded to construct and politicize the Dravidian illusion. The need of the hour is to prepare the society to counter all such disguised and overt anti-Hindu accomplishments.

RELATED

How Christian missionaries invented "Dravidian Christianity" - Rajiv MalhotraIn "apostle" 1 - In memory of a slain saint – C.A. SimonIn "apostle"
About the St Thomas reference in Shashi Tharoor's book Pax Indica - Poulasta ChakraborthyIn "history writing"
https://apostlethomasindia.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/the-question-of-the-st-thomas-origin-of- indian-christianity-c-i-issac/
orthodoxchristiansociety.


To be continued.
 
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Demolished : The myth of Christian contribution to Tamil –Thamizhchelvan

Slightly adapated from the works of Voice of INDIA and Voice of DHARMA :


“All of Christian missionaries from Robert De Nobili to Robert Caldwell, all Christian priests like Thaninayagam and evangelists like Deivanayagam, worked and are working for the same agenda of hijacking Tamil language, erasing its Hindu identity, destroying the native culture, converting the natives and ultimately forming a Tamil Christian Nation comprising Tamil Nadu and North and East of Sri Lanka.” – Thamizhchelvan
World Classical Tamil Conference 2010The case
In the recently concluded “World Classical Tamil Conference”, and also in columns, articles and reports about it, there was a fresh attempt to project the myth that the Tamil language would have died but for the contribution of Christian missionaries. There was also an immense propaganda that the “prose” style of writing was a gift from Christian missionaries to the Tamil language.
Indeed, such a misinformation campaign has been sustained for years since the Dravidian Movement was started, and fully supported by the Church. Dravidian racists who conducted the conference, and the crowd which rushed there to wash the feet of Dravidian racists for personal benefits, may blow trumpets in support of this misinformation campaign. But true lovers of Tamil and true nationalists who value the importance of national integration and adore the magnificent cultural bond between the various Bharatiya languages and linguistic groups would undoubtedly reject this misinformation.

Misinformation campaigners project missionaries such as G.U. Pope, Constantine Joseph Beschi, Robert Caldwell, Barthalomaus Ziegenbalg, Francis Whyte Ellis and Dr. Samuel Green et al as great champions of Tamil and magnificent contributors to its development, including the introduction of “prose” writing. Of these, Francis Whyte Ellis or ‘Ellis Durai’ in Tamil, was a Madras-based civil servant in the British government and Samuel Green a doctor in Sri Lanka; both supported missionaries in evangelical causes.
All the above mentioned missionaries landed in Tamil Nadu with one “holy” aim of converting Tamil Hindus and christianising Tamil Nadu. Ironically, the writer Dr. K. Meenakshisundaram termed the era of these evangelists as the “Golden Period” of Tamil in his book, The Contribution of European scholars to Tamil, originally presented as the author’s thesis at the University of Madras, 1966. So it is all the more imperative for us to demolish this myth of Christian contribution to the development of Tamil and bring out the truth.
George Uglow PopeMissionaries and their Mission
After landing in Tamil Nadu, the padris understood the need to learn the local language to converse with the populace for effective evangelization. They soon realized that the local populace, rooted in a centuries-old civilization, was culturally and religiously strong; hence they focused on Tamil literature to understand the cultural heritage and religious traditions, so they could devise different strategies for conversion. It needs to be understood clearly that these priests learnt Tamil language and literature with an agenda and not out of love or passion or with an intention of contributing to the growth of the language.
Moreover, it would not have been enough if these padris alone understood the cultural heritage and religious tradition of India; it had to be understood by the Church establishments which sent these missionaries on “holy” assignments. Only then could the masters realise the extent of manpower, money power and political power needed to destroy the 5000 year old culture and convert a spiritually strong India. That was why the priests learnt Tamil and translated the main literatures and wrote similar Christian works.
Abrahamic religions are political in nature; they are intrinsically political concepts more than religions, and aim to bring the entire world under their rule. They gain political power, capture territories and convert people. This was also the agenda of the Christian missionaries and the motive for them to learn our languages and literatures.
East India Company FlagThe Establishments
Starting from the 16th century, Christian aggression slowly spread to many parts of India. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, German and British establishments landed in places such as Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal and the North-East, etc., in the guise of trade and missions, and started encroaching fast and armed invasions followed suit. The Portuguese Inquisition in Goa was a bloody and terrible chapter in Indian history and the British oppression started with the advent of East India Company.
After capturing power and establishing Crown rule in 1858, the British government gifted vast stretches of lands to the churches and supported them with other infrastructures. They knew that the combined onslaught of political and religious power would produce quick results. It is pertinent to note that Indians have not woken up to this threat even after Independence, hence the government is being run by an Italian Catholic via a puppet prime minister, and many policy decisions are being taken in deference to the US administration.
Journalist Subbu in Dravidian Maya (Tamil) says that the Christian priests who landed in Tamil Nadu from foreign lands laid the foundation for Dravidianisation in Tamil Nadu as they knew Indians could not be subjugated as long as Hindu Dharma prevails. Speaking about the beginning of Christian encroachment, Subbu says, “The Dutch established their trade centres in Pulicat (Pazhaverkaadu) in 1609, Sadras (Sadurangapattinam) in 1647, Nagapattinam in 1660; the British set up shops in Masulipatnam in 1622, Madras in 1639, Cuddalore in 1683 and also in Calcutta; the French got Pondicherry in 1674 and the Danish settled in Tranquebar (Tharangampaadi) in 1620.”
He adds, “On one hand the Padires straight away indulged in conversions and on the other hand they started creating rift among the Hindus to divide them.” In the chapter “Caldwell’s Cousins”, he explains vividly the various methods of conversion used by the Padires and how they divided Hindu society (Dravida Maayai, Trisakthi Publications, Chennai, 2010; pp. 20-28).
As part of the agenda of grabbing political power and converting the population, the Christian missionaries, to destroy the native culture, also indulged in “Inculturation”.

Fr. Robert de Nobili SJRoman Brahmin!
The man who laid the foundation of inculturation was the Italian priest Robert de Nobili (1577-1656). He learnt Sanskrit and Tamil, wore saffron robes, sacred thread (attached with a small Cross!), sandal mark on forehead and called himself a ‘Roman Brahmin’. He set up an “ashram” in Madurai, became a vegetarian and used “Pathukas” (wooden footwear). He claimed the Bible was the “Lost Veda”, the “Jesuit Veda” revealed by God, and was considerably successful in harvesting souls. Fortunately for Tamil Nadu, his European masters were not happy with his inculturation methods and subjected him to an enquiry which forced him to shift to other places like Trichy and Salem. Finally he settled in a small house in Santhome, Madras, and died in 1656. (The Portuguese in India, Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 1990, & Christianity in India: A critical study, Vivekananda Kendra Prakasham).
De Nobili is supposed to have written some 15 books apart from preparing a Portuguese-Tamil dictionary. He is credited with the insertion of many biblical terms in Tamil and no wonder Christianity was developed rather than the Tamil language!
Approving untouchability, he said in 1650, “A person need not disown his caste, creed and culture to become a Christian. Those who say that these would get spoilt if one becomes a Christian are ‘Saathaans’. This teaching is the main obstacle in spreading Christianity”. [A. Sivasubramanian, Kiruththvamum Saathiyum (Christianity and Caste), Kaalachuvadu Publishers; cited in Dravida Maayai, p. 19).


The next Italian missionary, Constantine Joseph Beschi (1680-1746), called himself Veeramaamunivar (Veer-Maha-Munivar) to pretend he was a great lover of Tamil. Outwardly conducting himself like a Hindu sanyasi, he took care of the conversion business in the districts of Madurai and Thanjavur. His work on a biography of St. Joseph, Thembaavani, was hyped as a great work and projected as equivalent to Kambar’s Ramayana!
Even now it is propagated that impressed with the beauty and richness of Kamba Ramayana, Beschi wanted to create a similar Christian work and hence came out with Thembaavani. It benefitted Christianity by establishing St. Joseph in Tamil Nadu. But it contributed nothing to the development of the Tamil language. How could the biography of a Christian saint help the growth of Tamil? He then came out with another work ,Paramartha Guruvum avarin Seedarkalum (Paramartha Guru and his Disciples), to ridicule our centuries old guru-sishya parampara This “munivar”, who denigrated our guru-sishya parampara, was honoured by Dravidian racists who installed a statue of him on Marina Beach.

In the same period, a German missionary Barthalomaus Ziegenbalg (1683-1719) also worked in Tamil Nadu and called himself Ziegenbalg Iyer. This Protestant priest landed in Tranquebar (Tharangampaadi) in 1706 and worked with a Danish company which was the first to bring German printing machines to Tamil Nadu. He printed the first Tamil Bible (New Testament). Even while indulging in conversions, he often quarrelled with the Danish authorities who put him in jail for some time. He was the first to stoke anti-Brahmanism by creating a hatred for Brahmins among other communities. As he fell sick often, he died at the age of 36 in 1719, leaving behind two churches, a training institute for converted Indian priests, and 250 converts in Tranquebar.
When the Lutheran Church, which grew in size over the years, celebrated the 300th anniversary of his arrival in Chennai in July 2006, Tamil Nadu Governor Surijit Singh Barnala eulogized Ziegenbalg for his “services” to the Tamil language and Tamil people. A commemorative stamp was also released.

Ironically, even the British government didn’t bother to celebrate the second century of his arrival in 1906! It is truly unfortunate that a constitutional head of an Indian state eulogised a person who was instrumental in creating caste animosities among the natives in order to convert them and destroy the native culture.
The critical question is, did Tamil grow because of his Tamil Bible and other Tamil Christian works? Of course not! Only Christianity grew.
G. U. PopeItalian Iyer and Thiruvaachakam distortion
Next in the list of Christian Priests who “served” the cause of Tamil was another ‘Iyer’ – G.U. Pope (1820-1907) or “Pope Iyer.” He translated a few Tamil literary works such as Thiruvaachakam, Thirukkural and Naaladiyaar, and said he could find the teachings of Apostle St. Paul and St. Francis of Assisi in Sri Maanickavaachakar’s Thiruvaachakam; innocent Tamil scholars felt elated at his “graciousness”.
Even some Tamil Saivite Mutts felt proud at G.U. Pope’s statement. Tamil scholar Muthukumaraswamy, who has in-depth knowledge on Saiva Siddhanta, demolishes this myth, citing Pope’s own statement, “In the whole legendary history of this sage … there stands out a real historical character, which seems to be a mixture of that of St. Paul and of St. Francis of Assisi. Under other circumstances what an apostle of the East might have become,” as evidence of Pope’s sarcasm and disdain. He exposes the mindset of G.U. Pope who states that a religious guru from the East would not have attained a spiritual level beyond this in order to undermine the spiritual greatness of Sage Maanickavaachakar.
Supporters and admirers of G.U. Pope in general and the Dravidian-Christian combo in particular have spread the following story for years: “G.U. Pope has the habit of beginning with a Thiruvaachakam hymn every time he writes a letter to his acquaintances in Tamil Nadu. One such time, he was so moved by the sacred hymn that the tears rolling down from his eyes fell down and erased a few words. As he thought that the tears (due to the sanctity of the hymn) too were sacred, he decided not to rewrite those words and sent the letter without adding them.”
The story was circulated to show that Pope was a lover of Thiruvaachakam, and a great admirer of Tamil savant Sri Maanickavaachakar.
Dr. Muthukumaraswamy asks, “Who was the recipient of that letter? Which hymn was written in that letter? What happened to that letter? Is there any record of either Pope or the recipient or the recipient’s relatives and friends mentioning about that letter? Had this been a true story G.U. Pope would have certainly included it in the reprints of his translation. But why he had not done so? Even well-known Tamil scholar ‘Thiruvaachakamani’ K.M. Balasubramaniam, who has great admiration for G.U. Pope, has not recorded that story in any of his works. Why?”
‘Thiruvaachakamani’ K.M. Balasubramaniam says, “… the genuine and gigantic efforts of Dr. Pope in uttering ‘Open Sesame’ to throw open the doors of the treasure-cave of Thiruvachakam to the cultured savants of the West stung the Tamils of their callousness and startled them into an awakening and appreciation of their past”. What more need be said about the innocence (or ignorance?) of Tamil Hindu scholars? Balasubramaniam has translated Thiruvaachakam in English!
Shiva NatarajIn the course of an article in www.tamilhindu.com, demolishing the myth about G.U. Pope, Dr. Muthukumaraswamy exposes how Pope deliberately distorted the hymns titled Neeththal Vinnappam (Praying for Mukti), which becomes an insult to Sage Maanickavaachakar. He explains: “Bhagwan Shiva presents himself before Sage Maanickavaachakar in the Temple at Thruthuraipoondi, blesses him and tells, “You embark on a yatra and finally come to my abode Kailash. Wherever you go, I will present myself before you as your guru”. The Sage embarks on his yatra and one day reaches the temple at Uttarakosamangai near Ramanathapuram. As he didn’t get the darshan of Bhagwan Shiva, he feels let down and unable to bear this parting, with mounting sorrow and emotion sings a hymn earnestly praying for Bhagwan’s appearance.”
Explaining the above context, G.U. Pope infers, “The serene and beautiful environment prevailing in Uttarakosamangai Temple was too ‘testing’ for Maanickavaachakar to continue his sanyas. He also remembers his family life in Madurai married to a beautiful woman, and the patronage which he got from the Pandya King. His retrospection of married life leads him to keep contact with the Deva Dasis serving the Temple. As he lost his control and crashed down from the higher level of sanyas, he developed a sort of complex, which created a guilty consciousness forcing him to sing this hymn.”
To quote Pope, “From the evidence of these verses, we conclude that there were two things from which he suffered. One of these was the allurements of the female attendants who in bands pertained to the temple. We have noticed this elsewhere, Hindu commentators will often find mystic meaning, which are harmless, if unfounded. Again and again in this and other poems he deplores the way in which he has been led to violate his vow. The other difficulty often referred to was the way in which mere ceremonial acts had to be performed, affording no relief to his conscience.” By giving such a blasphemous introduction to this divine hymn, G.U. Pope not only insulted Sage Maanickavaachakar and denigrated Thiruvaachakam, but shocked the Hindu majority and hurt their religious sentiments.
Dr. Muthukumaraswamy explains: “It is a norm in Bhakti literature for the authors to take the sins committed by the people upon themselves… Maanickavaachakar takes upon himself all the sins continuously committed by the people without making any attempts to seek mukti, and sings the said hymn praying for Bhagwan’s appearance and His blessings for mukti. Does the distortion made by G.U. Pope add any value to the beauty and sanctity of Thiruvaachakam? Does it add value to the greatness of Sage Maanickavaachakar? Has it helped the development of Tamil? Will any self-respecting Tamil Hindu appreciate and eulogise G.U. Pope and thereby insult Maanickavaachakar?”

It is also a norm in Bhakti literature for poets to talk about ‘sitrinbam’ (kama) and later surrender at the lotus feet of Bhagwan praying for ‘paerinbam’ (mukti). Many poets have written such poems considering the presiding deity as their ‘nayaka’ or ‘nayaki’. The poets employ the entire range of Nava Rasas in order to create a Kaavya.
ManikkavachakarIn this case, Sage Maanickavaachakar’s hymn was not a confession, but a prayer for mukti by taking upon himself all the sins committed by the people. He ultimately surrenders to Bhagwan requesting Him to liberate him from this maya called prapancha and bless him with mukti. Pope’s interpretation is a nothing but an expression of Christian fundamentalism.
Dr. Muthukumaraswamy quotes another instance where G.U. Pope ridicules murti worship or vigraha aradana: “G.U. Pope says that a person who attains a higher level of spiritualism also indulges in murti worship and rustic rituals, which go totally against his level of spiritualism.” To quote Pope’s own words, “There is in them a strange combination of lofty feeling and spirituality with what we must pronounce to be the grossest idolatry. And this leads to the thought that in Saiva system of today two things that would appear to be mutually destructive are found to flourish, and even to strengthen one another. The more philosophical and refined the Saivite becomes the more enthusiastic does he often appears to be in the performance of the incongruous rites of the popular worship.
“Pope exhibits the typical Christian hatred for murti puja by terming it an act of stupidity. Dr. Muthukumaraswamy rightly asks, “When Thiruvaachakam is full of Guru Stuti – Invoking the Guru – how come G.U. Pope ridicules murti worship? Was it fair on his part to criticize such a divine act of Bhakti?”
Dr. Muthukumaraswamy cites another instance where Pope deliberately insults Maanickavaachakar: “All must be aware of the specific incidence (mentioned in Thiruvilaiyaadal Puranam – Purana on Bhagwan’s Plays) that Bhagwan Shiva takes the blows from Pandya king’s flog for the sake of Maanickavaachakar, after which the King realizes the sage’s greatness and appeals for pardon and later allows Maanickavaachakar to leave Madurai for Thiiruthuraippoondi. But G.U. Pope distorts this incident as follows:
“As there was a conflict between Madurai and Chidambaram temples, Maanickavaachakar left Madurai for Chidambaram and never returned to Madurai. He was afraid of going back to the Pandya king, who had not pardoned him for misappropriating the money given by the king for the purchase of horses. So, he never got back to Madurai.”
To quote Pope, “It does not appear indeed, that Maanickavaachakar ever revisited Madura after his formal renunciation of his position there. It may almost be inferred that he was never heartily forgiven by the king for the misappropriation of the cost of horses.” So much for G.U. Pope’s love for Thiruvaachakam!

Dr. Muthukumaraswamy says, “G.U. Pope wrote the translation of major portion of Thiruvaachakam staying in a town called Lugano in Italy, wherein he used to regularly visit the St. Maria degili Angioli Church to have the needed diversion, relaxation and a sort of rejuvenation by seeing the paintings of Bernardinao Luini. He has also recorded that he always used to feel the presence of Sage Maanickavaachakar beside him kneeling down and praying to Jesus. Pope avers that the Sage must have been a follower of Jesus until the time of his (Jesus) going to Heaven, which must be the only reason behind the feeling of great devotion found in his work. He also says that, he believed Maanickavaachakar, Mylapore’s Handloom worker (Thiruvalluvar) who wrote Thirukkural and the Nomad Gnanis (Jain Sages) who wrote Naaladiyar and others who have freed themselves from the flesh must have certainly visited this Church and realized themselves through the history of Jesus and Christian thoughts.”

There is another concocted story about G.U. Pope in Tamil Nadu which says that Pope wanted the statement, “Ingu oru Thamizh Maanavan urangukiraan” (A Tamil student is sleeping here) sculpted on his grave stone and that the statement is still present there on his grave. But those who have gone to the cemetery have confirmed that there was no such statement written on his grave except the ones from the Bible. G.U. Pope’s grave can be seen in this link:
Judas Thomas the ApostleMotivated lies on Thiruvaluvar and Thirukkural
G.U. Pope translated and published Sage Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural in 1886. There is an ancient folklore that Thiruvalluvar was friends with a captain of a ship and used to meet him often at the beaches of Mylapore. G.U. Pope accepted this as a true story. As a true Christian, he also believed the myth of St. Thomas and relied on the concoction that Thomas converted a large number of families in and around Mylapore. He then gave an introduction to the Thirukkural as follows:
“Thiruvalluvar worked hard to acquire knowledge by all means. Whenever a ship anchors in Mylapore coast, Valluvar’s ‘Captain’ friend would send him message about the arrival of new visitors including foreigners. Many foreigners could have travelled in his friend’s vessel and landed in Mylapore via Sri Lanka. Within me I see the picture of Thiruvalluvar talking with the Christians gathering information and knowledge. He has gathered a lot of Christian theories in general and the minute details of Alexandrian principles in particular and incorporated them in his Thirukkural. The philosophy of Christian theories from the church situated near Valluvar’s place is present clearly in Thirukkural. Thiruvalluvar lived between 800 AD and 1000 AD. The Christian biblical works were certainly an evidence for Valluvar’s Thirukkural. He was certainly inspired by the Bible.” (Dr. T.N. Ramachandran, Thamizhaga Andhanar Varalaaru, (History of Tamil Brahmins), Vol. II, LKM Publications, Chennai, 2nd pub. 2005, pp. 641 to 643).
This sordid introduction to his translated work shows G.U. Pope’s fanatic mindset and the ulterior motive behind his “love” for Tamil language and literature! Dravidian racists have installed a statue of this Christian missionary on Marina Beach, an inexplicable honour for a man who denigrated the sacred hymns of Thiruvaachakam and insulted Sage Maanickavaachakar and Sage Thiruvalluvar.
No wonder they blithely ignore Saivite and Vaisnavite literary works, the great Nayanmars and Alwars, and sing paeans on Christian missionaries during the so-called Classical Tamil Conference!!! The irony is that Thiruvalluvar’s picture was the emblem of the conference!
Robert CaldwellCaldwell the Racist!
Another missionary who inflicted massive damage on Tamil Hindus was the Scot Robert Caldwell (1814-1891) who, along with his wife Elissa Mault, resided in Tirunelvelli and made huge conversions. While he focused on the male population, she converted the womenfolk.
He sowed the poisonous seed called Dravidian Racism. He fully utilised the Aryan-Dravidian theories concocted by German linguist Max Mueller and imposed them on Tamil Hindus as true history. He abused the word “Dravida” to the hilt and projected Tamil Hindus as a separate Dravidian Race. His book, Dravida Mozhikalin Oppilakkanam (“A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages”, Harrison: London, 1856), which gave him the reputation of a great champion of Tamil, spewed venom on Brahmins and accused them of spreading lies. If Ziegenbalg was the founder of anti-Brahmanism, Robert Caldwell was responsible for spreading it throughout the region, giving a stimulus to the radicalization of the Non-Brahmin movement.

Ironically, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages cannot be termed his own work as he allegedly took lots of passages from Francis Whyte Ellis, who wrote Dravidian Language Hypotheses.. To understand why Caldwell resorted to “research” South Indian languages, one should read Dr. K. Muthaia’s article, Caldwell Oppilakkanaththin Arasiyal Pinnani (“The Politics Behind Caldwell’s Comparative Grammar”), published in the April 1997 issue of the Tamil monthly magazine Kanaiyaazhi.
Muthaia states, “Many research conclusions found in Caldwell’s book on comparative grammar of Dravidian languages have political reasons and undertones. The motive behind his arrival was to convert the South Indians and christianise the southern region. He was also considerably successful in his religious mission… A detailed and in-depth study of his work would make us understand that he had had Sanskrit hatred, anti-Brahminism and denigration of Hinduism as objectives, but not establishing the antiquity of Tamil and the individuality of Tamil people…. Knowing pretty well that he would not be able to spread Christianity among Tamil people unless their mindset on Hindu culture and Sanskrit language was changed, he indulged in creating hatred for North Indians in the minds of the Tamil Hindus. As a first step in that direction, he created the concept of ‘Dravidian Language Family’ ” (Dravida Maayai, Subbu, op. cit., pp. 26-28).
Caldwell’s infamous book Tinnevelly Shanars proved to be his nemesis. Though his focus for conversion was mainly on Shanars (Nadars), the dominant community in Tirunelvelli, he literally denigrated them and their lifestyle in the said book. The outraged and agitated community allegedly decided to punish him which forced him to shift base from Tirunelvelli to Ootacamund, where he breathed his last.
Robert Caldwell was instrumental in creating anti-Brahmin, anti-North, anti-Sanskrit and anti-Hindu feelings among the Tamil people and dividing them through Aryan-Dravidian racial theories. His activities laid the foundation for Tamil separatism, which badly affected the national integration. His Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages also played an ugly role in creating racial differences between Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka, for he argued in that book that “there was no direct affinity between the Sinhalese and Tamil languages”. There is not even an iota of truth in the propaganda that he was a lover of Tamil and helped the development of Tamil. That is a misinformation campaign floated by the Church and supported by Dravidian racist parties.
At a seminar on the last day of the recent Classical Tamil Conference, Prof. Parveen Sultana said, “Protecting our mother tongue is very important. We have come across many instances in world history where nations are conquered by capturing and dominating their languages. For example, a famous quote doing rounds in Africa says, ‘When they came here, they had the Bible and we had our lands. Now we have the Bible and they have our lands!’ This has happened wherever Christianity has landed”.
That she spoke this truth in a conference where the likes of Caldwell were eulogised shows her courage! Delving into the great culture of this land, the learned professor spoke about the construction of temples and their Juan de Britogreatness. Parveen Sultana’s speech was one of the rare highlights of the conference which was otherwise dominated by Christianity, Dravidian racism and eulogies for Kalaignar Karunanidhi.
More on Padires’ love for Tamil!
The history of Tamil Nadu has many more evidences of the “divide and dominate” policy of the White Church. During the reign of Kizhavan Sethupathi in the kingdom of Ramanathapuram, a Portuguese Padire by name John De Britto indulged in heavy harvesting of souls. He even converted the close kin of Sethupathi Raja, but was finally punished by the King. V. Gopalan has written a detailed essay on this missionary and his activities:

Sri Thyagaraja Chettiar was a great exponent of Tamil literature and had great love for the language. Once a European missionary who claimed to have mastered Tamil grammar came and showed some changes he had made to a few verses of Thirukkural. Outraged by the audacity of the Padire to change verses of such a great work, adored as a Tamil Veda, Sri Thyagaraja Chettiar scolded him and literally drove him away. This incident is mentioned in Dr. Vu. Ve. Swaminatah Iyer Urainadai Noolkal (Dr. U.V. Swaminatha Iyer’s Prose Works, Vol.-3, pp. 520-523).
Sri Pandithurai Thevar of Madurai, another great exponent of Tamil language and literary works, learned that a British missionary had made changes to the very first verse of Thirukkural and printed the same. He immediately purchased the entire lot and burnt them! (Dravida Maayai, op. cit., pp. 21-22).
Thiruvalluvar
Baptising Thiruvalluvar and Blaspheming Thirukkural
Christians who had the temerity to lay their hands on Thirukkural then, have now gone to the extent of baptising Thiruvalluvar! Taking a cue from G.U. Pope’s atrocious introduction to Thirukkural, a fanatical evangelist called Deivanayagam, supported by the Madras Catholic Diocese, has been on a relentless campaign that, “Thiruvalluvar was a disciple of St. Thomas and most of the teachings in Thirukkural have been either taken from Bible or from the preaching of St. Thomas.”
The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Kerala and Tamil Nadu had announced in 2008 that they would be producing a film on the life and times of St. Thomas, wherein they would depict Thiruvalluvar as a disciple of St. Thomas.
Later, as confirmation of the unholy Christian-Dravidian nexus, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi graced the occasion of the said film’s inaugural function as chief guest. Though himself an expert on the Thirukkural, the Chief Minister chose to participate in the inauguration of a film falsely portraying Thiruvalluvar as a disciple of St. Thomas, a complete concoction and an audacious expression of extremist evangelism.

Palm leaf manuscriptTamil prose and Christian farce!
An oft repeated propaganda is that Christian missionaries introduced “prose” writing in Tamil. A blatant lie! When Tamil Hindus have been adept at art, literature, music, architecture and theatre, wouldn’t they have been good in prose too? Is it not outrageous and insulting to say that people from Europe came and introduced prose writing to Tamil Hindus?
Tamil as a language is at the least 2000 years old. Starting from the Sangam Era, Tamil tradition has been a literate tradition with written records, preserved down the centuries by late classical and early medieval Tamil Brahmin and Saivite Hindu scholars. It was not an “oral” legacy as alleged by Christians and Dravidian racists.
We have had commentaries on almost all ancient literary works, Sangam and post-Sangam, in prose, by learned scholars such as Ilampooranaar, Senavaraayar, Peraasiriyar, Parimelazhagar, Nachinaarkkiniyaar and Deivachchilaiyaar. Saivite Hindu Adheenams have helped preserve the classical Tamil literary tradition down the centuries. The important fact to be noted is that the continuance and preservation of written Tamil literary heritage happened despite repeated invasions and unsettled political conditions.
Arumuka NavalarThe rich tradition continued in more modern times by devout Hindus such as U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, Ramachandra Dikshidhar, Neelakanda Shastri, P. Narayanaswami Iyer and Raghava Iyengar, etc., in Tamil Nadu and staunch Hindu activists such as Arumuka Navalar, C.W. Thamotharam Pillai and Swami Vipulananda in Sri Lanka.
The so-called contribution of Christian missionaries comes nowhere near the contribution of these devout Hindus to Tamil scholarship in recent times. That is mainly because these devout Hindus had Bhakti, involvement in the growth of Tamil language, passion towards the culture of the soil and the mind to sacrifice everything for the development of the language, continuance of the culture and preservation of the tradition. The missionaries focused destructively on the christianisation of the native culture. They had ulterior motives unlinked to the Tamil language – consolidation of European rule in India and conversion of the natives to the religion of Europe.
South Indian lady scholar holding palm leaf book -10th century

The Lexicon story!
The website www.cathnewsindia.com says, “The task of setting down on paper the alphabet, grammar, rules and vocabulary of the Tamil lexicon began in Christian schools, towards the end of the 19th century. It was pioneered by Father Swamy Gnanapragasam, who transcribed hundreds of ancient scripts into print. A statue in his honor can be seen in Jaffna city. His work was continued by Father Hyacinth Singarayer David, a master in Indo-Aryan languages and doctor in linguistics, who published six volumes of the lexicon….”

This is an inappropriate claim – the alphabet, vocabulary and rules of Tamil lexicon by far precede the Christian colonial missionary era. It seems Tamil Scholars in Sri Lanka are divided over the acceptance of Father Gnanapragasam as a scholar and historian. Some say he had made claims on history and linguistics that were not backed by historical evidences. For example, he said Tamil was the mother of all languages in the world! They also say that none of his works were peer reviewed by well known academics on the subject or published in reputed journals of history; he lacked post-graduate training in the historical method and was hardly a scholar of note.
Long before the arrival of Christian missionaries we had “Nigandus” or dictionaries. Tamil scholar/poet Dandapani Desikar’s direct student Sri Maniyan, who had written lexicons for many ancient Tamil literary works, says, “Nigandus were in the form of poetic verses, which made the students, teachers and research scholars to remember them easily. These Nigandus have been there since 11 century CE. But, the dictionary of alphabetical order was introduced by Foreigners”. (Interview in Rasanai monthly magazine, July 2010, Chennai) To claim that “prose” writing was introduced by Christian missionaries and only because of their contribution Tamil got a second life in the 18th century and survived is outrageous.
Padires; Proselytisers; Printers!

The fact of the matter is that the white Christians imported printing machines from their countries and introduced printing technology here. What for? To help them in proselytisation works and to speed up the process of conversion!
Before the introduction of paper and printing, valuable books in Tamil language were written on both sides of palm leaves and committed to memory. Writing on the palm leaf, a common practice in those days, was a difficult work which only a trained person could do (so also writing on stone, copper plates etc). Several written leaves were bound together with wooden or brass boards at each end and tied up into a book. For referring to anything in a book, it had to be untied, the relevant page spotted, and the matter read. This laborious process was quite easy for Tamil Hindus.
But the missionary found it extremely difficult. So he transported the printing machine, the paper and the techniques, from his native west. Another great handicap with the palm leaf was that only one copy could be written at a time; it could be duplicated only by hand copying one at a time. Every pupil under a teacher copied his own book in manuscript. But for the proselytizing missionary, many copies had to be taken at a time for distribution among prospective converts. Hence the printing machine was essential for them.
We may note that printing for the first time in India was in the Tamil language. Printing machines were imported by Jesuit priests and the first books in Tamil Nadu were printed in Tirunelvelli. The books printed through German collaboration for Danish Protestant missionaries were in vogue in the east coast around Tranquebar in Thanjavur district. (We have already seen that the German Protestant Padire Barthalomaus Ziegenbalg printed the Tamil Bible through a German machine owned by Danish Church in Tranquebar).
Similarly, the British established a printing press at Vepery in Madras for their own missionaries. The East India Company had a law which prohibited natives from opening any printing press or from printing any book. Only foreigners and missionaries (including native Christians) were permitted printing. The admirers among native Christians say the missionaries did great service to Tamil by introducing printing. But, it was done with an ulterior motive. In the matter of printing, only missionaries were encouraged by the Company. Printing in local languages helped the missionaries in their conversion work and the Company wanted proselytisation. The history of printing in India, as of any other progressive enterprise like education, shipping or even medicine, is the history of suppression of Indian activities.
Thomas MunroEllis, who was a civilian, and Munroe, who was governor of Madras, both took great trouble to get the Press Law annulled, but this was done only in 1835. But for this ban, printing of Tamil books by eminent Tamil Hindu scholars of the day would have commenced even in the 18th century, and a great volume of classical Tamil literature could have been preserved through print.
The Company positively helped only in the loss of a vast literary wealth in the whole of India. The loss is said to be the greatest in Tamil, because Tamil had the largest heritage of ancient classical literature in the whole of India, barring perhaps Sanskrit (“History of Early Printing” in Christianity in India – A Critical Study by Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan).
This being the truth, the claim by Christians and Dravidian racists that Christian missionaries helped the development of the Tamil language is outrageous, atrocious, and simply fallacious. It is evident that the Christian establishment in fact destroyed the Tamil language and culture to a great extent by not allowing natives to own printing presses and print books by promulgating a law to this end. Ergo, this is the “great Christian service” to Tamil!
According to the website www.cathnewsindia.com “It was Father Xavier Stanislaus Thaninayagam who founded the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) and called the first International Conference of Tamil Studies in 1965. That event ultimately led to this year’s highly prestigious conference”.

While one can agree that Father Thaninayagam founded the IATR, one can only say that the claim of his IATR leading to the just-concluded First World Classical Tamil Conference is dubious. In fact, the Christian website should have had the courage to say IATR refused to conduct the World Tamil Conference this year despite a request from Karunanidhi.
Yet it attempts to take credit for the event even though Karunanidhi ignored IATR and went ahead with the First World Classical Tamil Conference, wherein he announced the setting up of World Tolkappiyar Classical Tamil Sangam (WTCTS) to the utter shock of IATR.
Depending on the political climate, both may merge tomorrow, for the Church is capable of going any lengths to establish its “love” for Tamil. The IATR has conducted 8 conferences in the last 45 years, of which one was a DMK conference (Madras, 1968, when Annadurai was CM), two were AIADMK conferences (Madurai 1981, by MGR and Thanjavur 1995, by Jayalalithaa); the remaining five (Kuala Lumpur 1966, Paris 1970, Jaffna 1974, Kuala Lumpur 1987, Mauritius 1989) were relatively lacklustre.
And what did the Tamil language, literature, archaeology or culture receive from these eight conferences – NOTHING! Undeniably, the just concluded Classical Tamil Conference was also a DMK jamboree. Television channels clearly confirmed this through their live telecasts. And Christian domination was also quite visible in this conference, which again underlined the Christian-Dravidian nexus.
Rev. Thamil Nesan, in his article on Rev. Thaninayagam in the Christian website www.transcurrents.com says, “At this memorable occasion (Tamil Meet at Coimbatore), it is very much appropriate to remember gratefully Rev. Prof. Thaninayagam (1913–1980) who toiled hard and dedicated his entire life to make Tamil Language, Tamil Literature and Tamil Culture better known and appreciated in the world…. The name, having served so well this Catholic ambassador of Tamil culture, now stands immortalised in the history of the Tamil people and Tamil studies…. Since he was well versed in many European Languages and their literatures, he was able to blaze a trail in the comparative study of Tamil Literature with the literature of European Languages”.

A question arises, what is Tamil culture or rather, what do these Christians define as Tamil culture? Is there such a thing as Hindi culture, Telugu culture, Marathi culture, Gujarati culture, Bengali culture, when all the Bharatiya language communities are united by a single civilisational inheritance, that is, the Hindu in inspiration? That is the culture of this Hindu Bhumi! There may be minor differences in customs and rituals, but the culture and tradition are one and the same. Though the spoken languages are diverse, the Gods and Goddesses, festivals and way of living are all the same for ages. In the Hindu way, Unity is not at odds with Diversity; indeed, Diversity flows from Unity.
PongalIn the above mentioned article Father Thamil Nesan says, “Tamil festivals are celebrated in many parts. All this was possible, thanks to the strenuous efforts by one individual: Xavier S. Thaninayagam, a Catholic Priest from Jaffna.” He does not list the so-called Tamil Festivals. If we ask the Dravidian racists who changed the traditional Tamil New Year to list out the Tamil festivals, they would come out with only one – Pongal, also claimed as Thamizhar Thirunaal. Yet this is none other than the Makara Sankranti celebrated throughout India. But what about other festivals celebrated by Tamils? The Dravidian racists have not included them as they are Hindu festivals.
So why did Father Thamil Nesan use the word “Tamil Festivals”? Here is the answer! In course of his article Thamil Nesan says, “Fr. Thaninayagam has made a tremendous contribution towards internationalising Tamil Studies. He was a Catholic priest who championed Tamil Culture”. As Tamils world over celebrate each and every festival with great fanfare, would it not have added respect and pride to Father Thaninayagam had the Christians addressed him as a “Champion of Hindu culture”? They wouldn’t have, because they wanted to remove the Hindu identity of the Tamils! They have not said “Indian culture” either. Destroying “Hindu” identity and establishing “Tamil” identity would be possible only by hijacking the language, literature and culture. That is why all Christian missionaries have been projected as champions of Tamil, Tamil literature and Tamil culture.
Thamil Nesan literally confesses: “ … Fr. Thaninayagam, an ardent advocate and zealous Apostle of Tamil language of the 20th century… From his younger days, he was quite conscious of the linguistic and literary talents that God had given him and he cultivated them well in order to use them in the service of God and men. As a priest he made a deep study of the Tamil language and literature in order to equip himself better for his ministry among the Tamil speaking people of South India and Sri Lanka.… Fr. Thaninayagam has made a tremendous contribution towards internationalising Tamil Studies. He was a Catholic priest who championed Tamil Culture. Catholic Christianity is an international religion and it seemed to have helped him a great deal in his lifetime task of internationalising Tamil Studies…. In the midst of all his international activities for the acknowledgement of the antiquity, richness and beauty of the Tamil language and literature, he remained always a devoted priest of God.”
Thamil Nesan quotes Prof. C.R. Boxer, University of London, UK, as saying, “He (Thaninayagam) was in the best sense a ‘Citizen of the World’ widely travelled in four continents and on seven seas, he was always alert and receptive to new ideas, people and places; but he was never deflected by them from his vocation as a Roman Catholic Priest.”
A section of Tamil scholars, unconvinced about Thaninayagam’s ‘contribution’, ask, “what precise contribution did Thaninayagam make to the Tamil language in terms of publications in reputed journals of history, in the study of Tamil linguistics as peer reviewed by accredited academics or the study of Tamil history? Did he add to the store on knowledge?” They aver, “no doubt, his organizational skills were excellent in spearheading the IATR. But let’s not forget that the IATR was a joint endeavour with several others participating in it to make it a success. One cannot confine the credit to just one individual”.
U.V. Swaminatha IyerCompare that to U.V. Swaminatha Iyer who did yeoman service in first publishing the Sangam era Tamil classics for posterity. His contribution to the preservation of Tamil classics was phenomenal. Or to the role of Hindu savant Arumuka Naavalar in Sri Lanka who was the first to use the modern printing press to publish early Tamil classics.
As for Vaiyapuri Pillai, noted Tamil lexicographer, he remains the only scholar who critically evaluated the dates of Tamil literature by addressing issues of syntax, vocabulary and literary cross references. He was the only academic schooled in the science of textual criticism. His dating of Tamil literary works would demolish the subsequent exaggerated claims by Dravidian parties in general and DMK in particular on Tamil literature, an exaggeration aided and abetted by the Christian missionary effort.
M. KarunanidhiConclusion
All Christian missionaries from Robert De Nobili to Robert Caldwell, all Christian priests like Thaninayagam and evangelists like Deivanayagam, worked and are working for the same agenda of hijacking Tamil language, erasing its Hindu identity, destroying the native culture, converting the natives and ultimately forming a Tamil Christian Nation comprising Tamil Nadu and North and East of Sri Lanka.
Dravidian racists, lacking in pride, passion and patriotism, have joined hands with the Church and Christian establishments to alienate the Tamil region from the national mainstream. The situation is ominous, and we need to defeat the nefarious designs of vested interests at any cost. The present political climate in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka is not encouraging and the political establishments are of no help in both regions. The onus lies on Tamils living in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. They must re-Hinduise their identity and reiterate themselves with pride, passion and perseverance. They must understand that their language, music, art and architecture are all part and parcel of the great Hindu culture inherited from the Vedic civilisation, which evolved along the sacred rivers Sindhu and Saraswati.
Tamil identity is linked to the broader Hindu identity. We witness this in Carnatic music, the Bharatanatyam dance form, temple architecture, sculpture, classical literature, politics and overseas trade. The Sangam era literature may not have been explicitly religious in theme, but whenever the early poems referred to religious practice, one discerns Hindu observance as in the worship of Mayon or Vishnu, Seyon or Murugan, Kotravai or Durga, Venthan or Indra, and Varuna.
Immediate post-Sangam works like Tirukkural, Silapadhikaram and Manimekalairesonate even more with the broader Indic philosophic currents. The subsequent era of the Thevaram and Naalaayira Dhivya Prabandham or Hindu devotional classics sponsored the growth of Tamil imperial power and the political consolidation of the land which in turn facilitated overseas trade and prosperity. Agriculture and irrigation grew in no small measure. The origins of the Tamil language and its development were linked throughout history with the broader Indic world. Let’s never forget that!
This explains why the Thiruvaachakam is sung at the coronation of the Thai king, why the traditional Tamil New Year in April is the New Year observed in Cambodia and Burma, and the Tamil influence in the Hindu religious iconography of Indonesia. The Hindu identity is connected even to New Zealand. The bronze temple bell presumably gifted by the Maoris (tribals of what later became New Zealand) to Protestant missionary William Colenso (around 1836) contained Tamil inscriptions!

Tamil is Hindu; Tamil culture is HINDU DHARMIC culture; Tamil tradition is SANATANI tradition; Tamil heritage is a continuity with the VEDIC civilisation which evolved on the banks of Sindhu-SARASVATI and flows down to KANYAKUMARI.
 
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