Christians and Christian Missionaries of Kerala

via Visharad Sharma published on October 17, 2010

A recent article in Haindava Keralam by Dr.Ajith ( ) had created some hue and cry; as some Christians became touchy about a passing remark by him on the question of chastity of a nun. This calls for a deep look into the phenomenon of both Christians and their missionary brigade of Kerala who go on proselytizing the gospel into remote Indian villages, coaxing and converting the ignorant and illiterate, only to abandon them wisely once they become Christians as they have done in the entire Africa and elsewhere as well.  The Kerala state has some peculiarities, which one needs to understand before speaking anything about that place.

An understanding of Kerala

Kerala is one of the four South Indian States which has a full length beach with many ancient ports, though most of them had become extinct today. While there used to be many ports on the western cost, the eastern mountain range had limited its intimate contact with the rest of India considerably. Thus the first commonplace contact this place had with external world seems to have been through these ports, and people who came there from Greece, Phoenicia, Rome, China, Arabia and the like. Spices cultivated in that land had been the main attraction, and thus began intense trading activity in these ports that thrived for quite some time. Unfortunately, most people who went to Kerala had all been traders, and other than traders, there were only very few. A trader, no matter from which part of the world, has just the same ethics, the ethics of the trader, of making profit and being materialistic, which is a matter of fact existential situation. Thus, the first exposure of general Keralites to outside world had been intensely materialistic.  One can think of the Dutch landing in Kozhikode of late, and the Phirangies as they were called not only traded in materials, but also had contributed the “Phirangi disease”, as Venereal Disease came to be known in the language of Malayalam. It is here, that Kerala first became materialistic.

Shortly, Christian missionaries landed in Kerala and stared their zealous missionary business. Essentially, Christianity is a materialistic religion with hardly any room for spirituality. The importance was to thrive in mundane ways, under the umbrella of an organized and established religion to prosperity. On the contrary, India had essentially been a spiritual land with entirely different value system which the missionaries are instrumental in replacing with the Victorian Values. This is the second baptism of Kerala into materialism.

Finally, it was the Communists who initiated their philosophy of materialism into the Kerala society, which still carries much of the stigma. The society indeed was a fertile one for the Communists, it was divided into mutually excluding casts with such Kings in authority who least bothered of their subjects and their problems. They were not welfare rulers as against the general Indian experience; they remained comfortable in their own world like the King of Mysore, who did not bother even when the Muslim Hyder Ali and his son Tipu practically ruled the Wadayar Kingdom of Mysore. The Communists interpreted Marx’s Class theory as casts in Kerala and successfully alienated the lower castes from the upper castes to find their brigade of supporters. As a matter of history, the Communists had reversed social progress in Kerala which was initiated by some of the Sanyasis and Saints, under the guidance of Swami Vivekananda both directly and indirectly. The land of Kerala, which is essentially one that of Sankara, Arya Bhatta and Kumarila Bhatta had thus gone into the callous hands of the Communists, who were subsequently elected to power at the very beginning of Indian democracy. The Communists had finalised the fate of Kerala and lead the society to negativity, selfishness and materialism ever since.

This is simply evident from the experience of the days after independence both from the academic activities and literal activities of Kerala. The society is much more drawn to existentialistic negativism from France, negation of tradition and of late, Post Modernistic anachronism. Such negativism had effectively alienated the society from the archetype essence of Indian culture and tradition, and much more than that; of hating everything Indian, the Vedas, Vedic culture, and Brahmanical qualities. Maharishi Dyanand Saraswati is nowhere of any influence in that society.

Still, in Kerala, Hindus are in marginal majority. But the other two, Christians and Muslims are also more in number and with the aid from the Communists, are thriving. This makes Kerala an ideal society to do serious study on the concept of “Tridoshas” as propounded by none other than Pujniya Guruji, Golwalker. All the ‘doshas’ are equally and powerfully present in Kerala society, working against the Indian culture and tradition.

The Christians

When the British were in rule, the Christians of Kerala left no stone unturned in their devotion to the Gora. They were extremely polished and devoted to whatever duties assigned to them by the masters and were unhappy that they were born in India. Till date, this attitude goes on, of appreciating whatever from the west and condemning whatever from India. They do not have much to do with India as such, and given a chance, they will easily migrate to anywhere in the west and will be the first ones to belittle India. Most of them got educated through the instruments of Church, and remained affluent. With education and money, they now faced some identity crisis; and hence they wished to create a separate identity or the Keralites, indirectly distinct from the Indian national identity which has its direct moorings on the Vedic culture. They started writing and speaking about a “Kerala culture” as something distinct from the national mainstream. Here the Christians of Kerala come close to the Muslim intellectuals of the Muslim rule period; who to juxtapose the Sanskrit language started learning Persian, though the Indian Muslims had nothing much to do either with Persia, Frassi language, or the Shia tradition of Iran. Later, the Muslims started using Persian script to write the spoken language of Hindi, and started calling it by another name, ‘Urdu’. Such used to be desperate attempts from the Muslim intellectuals to juxtapose the Hindus and their classical language of Sanskrit, to carve out an identity of their own as Muslims, distinct. This separatism had slowly gone into the minds of people like Sayyad Ahmad, upgrading of the MAO College to Aligarh Muslim University, the Deobandh School, many journals, many books, Abdul Halim Sharar’s fictions based on history glorifying the Muslims, Rahmat Ali and his Pak-Stan idea, Iqbal, Jinnah, and eventually to, Pakistan. The creation of Pakistan is nothing but a result from such separatist tendencies sprouted by the then Muslim intellectuals, with their desperation for an identity of their own as distinct from the Hindus.

Christians of Kerala are also on the same track, though they are polished, civilised and not callous like the Muslims. A separate Kerala identity as distinct from Indian identity shall put the Christians on a supposed pedestal; they can then start claiming that they are the educators of Kerala, cultural autochthones, contributors to the causes of low castes, and finally, the ones who “civilised” the land of Kerala. The Communists are happy to support such things, as it is only convenient to them, to propound their theories of separatism, class antagonism and class contradiction. Without contradiction, the theory of Marx becomes null and void.

Normally, the Christian families have many members, as many as more than ten children to parents on a routine till the last generation. They sent some of their off springs to the service of the church, as missionaries, and it is these specimens that we see whether in Ludhiana, Orissa or in the North-East. A good amount of them are not from very affluent families who had not started thinking seriously about their distinct identities or Kerala culture, they are out there as missionaries normally to support their families, and to find employments for their Keith and kin in other states of India. These missionaries go into the society of the poor and the innocent, to lure and convert them into Christianity. They create antagonism among these people against the caste Hindus and Brahmin caste in particular; create dislike towards Hindi language even if their mother tongues have affinity to Hindi, and in a nut shell, make them first non-Indians, and then anti-Indians.

Tribes of the NER are generally against eh Bengalis, as a rule. The Bengalis must have dominated them once upon a time, and when the tribes got their own states to rule, they started taking some sort of revenge on these present generations of the Bengalis, who actually do not even know what might have happened in the olden days. I personally saw several times the missionaries of Kerala filling venom in the minds of the tribes’ people against Bengalis, just to find their sympathy and be good with their feelings. Missionary run institutions in the NER are mostly managed by people from Kerala, and they openly speak against the Bengalis and infuriate hatred to the Bengalis in the minds of the tribes. Interestingly, when the missionaries of Kerala try to become the “Brahmins” among the Christians, sometimes the tribes also beat them up in specific manner!

To sum up, I should say that the missionaries of Kerala had contributed greatly towards separatism, negativism and India hatred in where ever they are operating. They use every opportunity to belittle India in which ever manner possible, with the desperate hope that they can make the poor and illiterate easily Christians. But they are wasting their lives on these endeavors. Some lessons from history shall be enough to make them know that they are fighting their own shadows; and a battle that shall never be won. Let me conclude giving the historical examples from McCauley and Max Muller once again. Their published personal letters are the source to this. McCauley was convinced that he can make the entire India Christian in just thirty years and he wrote the same home. He made very wise but cunning calculations of educating the Indians English language and teaching them gospels, to easily convert the next generation. To avoid the influence of Indian culture and the Sanskrit texts, he ‘created’ a Max Muller and posted him at Oxford to translate the Sanskrit texts into English in such a manner that anyone who reads them shall find them trash and throw them out in favor of the New Testament. But unfortunately, Max Muller could not make the Sanskrit translation as bad as McCauley wanted, and the Aryan Race theory he created bounced back on England, when Germany took the Aryan theory to their nerves. At the same time, two personalities, Maharishi Aurabindo and Swami Vivekananda had destroyed all dreams and plans of McCauley effortlessly with the help of the Vedas and the Vedic culture.

Some missionaries who came to India had understood this, and they lamented in their folly of sending missionaries to India. Some others realised this as they heard Swami Vivekananda’s speech at Chicago. Sensible people were ashamed indeed!

And the Missionaries of Kerala still go on even though no one wants them in their vicinity. They should stop these obsolete acts, escape from anachronisms, and perhaps to return to Kerala and cultivate tapioca.

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