A New Kerala Paradigm of Religious integration

published on November 27, 2010
“A church where cross, symbols of other religions coexists!”

Prof. C.I. Issac

It was the breaking news of The New Indian Express of 24 November 2010 [Kochi edition]. The news paper reports that “a church has been built in the style of the traditional temple architecture with a stone-carved huge traditional lamp at the entrance, verses from the Upanishds [verse 15 of Isavasyopanishd] and the Vedas adorning walls ………….  Omkara coexists with the Cross along with symbols of other religion”. No doubt it is intended to confuse and misdirect the Hindu community of Kerala.  Basically the Cross is a mark of disdain but the “Om” is the most holy pranava mantra. It is suicidal to equate or mix the both. Thirunelli St.  Kuriakkose Elias Catholic Church of Manathavadi Diocese’s intention behind the construction of the said church is malicious. First of all, this confusion creating combination of cross and Om is targeted to belittle the millions of years old sign of sanathana dharma. The aim of this unilateral and dictated endeavour is to reduce the distance between Hindus and the Church. The Church from its very inception firmly believes and advocates that the salvation is exclusively reserved only those who accept baptism and Christ as his redeemer and discard all other faiths. The bible is venturing to portrait all other faiths as heathen. To the Church “Christ is the only way, the only truth and the only life. Without him nobody can attain salvation”. This is the core of Christian religion. On the other hand to the Hindus all religions are different paths to attain the Ultimate. [See Rig Veda, Ch. III- “eakam sat viprah bahuta vatanti”] Hence, how it is possible to the Tirunelli parish priest Fr. Francis Njerlampuzha and his laity to maintain the newly constructed church without rejecting this biblical stance? To reject the biblical stance is to discard Christian faith.

It is interesting to see that they selected the verse 15 of Isavasyopanishd. It is easy to misinterpret and present an opposite meaning of the said verse before an ordinary Hindu. As it was done by St. Paul in the first century, Fr. Francis & Co can deposit bible beneath the ‘golden lid’ [hirnmeyena pathrena satyasapihitam”] which explained in the Isavasyopanishd. Like a magician they can easily present their god before the innocent tribes of Tirunelli through this amputation of the Cross. Earlier The Catholic Church attempted to highjack Saint Thiruvalluvar, destroyed Shiva Temple of Mylapore and superimposed the myth of St Thomas over it skillfully. All these are earlier abortive attempts of the Church to nullify Hinduism from its own land.

No doubt, the priest or the diocese has no courage to attest Hinduism is equal or more equal to Christianity. This is an age-old strategy that exercised from the days of St. Paul to convert pagans to Christianity. [See St. Paul, Acts of Apostles, Ch XVII, Verses:  22-24]. Let us see the Indian replica of St. Paul. The villain of the Indian replica was Robert De’ Nobili from Montepulciano of Tuscany. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1597. Thereafter he sailed for India in [1604] and reached the shores of Goa on 20 May, 1605. He studied Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit. In his fanaticism to convert the Brahmins, he adopted their mode of life, used saffron clothes and so had to cut himself off completely from interaction with his fellow missionaries. He translated bible and prayer books into Sanskrit. Before the sanathan dharma his endeavour miserably failed.  

The newly constructed church is another mask which aimed to cheat or befool the Hindus of Kerala. The location of the church, Tirunelli, is the largest abode of the Hindu tribes of Kerala. The new millennium target/prey of the Church in India is Tribes and Scheduled Castes. The conversion strategies of Indian missionaries are differing from region to region. In Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, etc. states of North India they are experimenting the techniques of allurement, gift-giving, education, medical services and so on as the instruments of conversion. In the North East the same missionaries uses the force over minority Hindu tribes, promotion of anti-Indian sentiments among the Christian tribes, etc. In a state like Kerala all the said stratagems of conversion has no impact. That is why the Church planted Cross in the Holy Grove of Sabarimala. The timely interference of the Hindu sanyasins defused the Christian conspiracy.  The case of Tirunelli Church is a dangerous endeavour from the part of the Church. Hindus of Kerala has the right to protect their religion and culture. Nobody can challenge it.  Tirunelli experiment is malicious one and at the same time a challenge to the Hindu community. Thus all Hindus irrespective ephemeral differences unite together and use force to replace sacred Hindu signs and sruti versus from the said church. Before concludes let me quote Anne Besant: “If Hindus do not maintain Hinduism, who shall save it? If India’s own children do not cling to her faith, who shall guard it? India alone can save India, and India and Hinduism are one.”

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