Kandhamal and ‘Harvesting of Souls’

via H. Balakrishnan published on December 29, 2007

Church demands CBI probe on Kandhamal Violence.John Dayal, Secretary General, All Indian Christian Council, and, Member, National Integration Council (NIC), called for ‘an independent fact-finding team to asses the situation’. He is further reported to have stated that the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) would be visiting Orissa from 6 Jan 2008.

News Report


As a member of the National Integration Council, John Dayal, cannot plead ignorance on the contents of the background paper for the NIC Meeting held on 31 AUG 2005.

Para 3.3 of the paper has a heading as follows:

” 3.3 Communal tensions due to alleged conversion/reconversions:

3.3.1 In recent years, the issue of conversion/re-conversion has also become a major cause of communal tensions in some parts of the country. Allegations of forced conversions/reconversions and subsequent communal tensions have surfaced from time to time”.

To this background paper, John Dayal had shot off an ‘angry’ letter to the PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh. As this letter became public, the French journalist, Francois Gautier sent an ‘open letter’ to John Dayal on 30 DEC 2005. It was entitled: “Conversions threaten a way of life”.

The letter made for interesting reading:

” Yet, when I read your letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, apropos the inaugural meeting of the National Integration Council, I was a little uneasy. You continue by saying that ‘the agenda draftsmen of papers for NIC seem to believe that forcible and fraudulent conversions (to Christianity) are the main cause of civil unrest in tribal and other rural areas’. And you retort that ‘this is a malicious myth propagated by obscurantist and fundamentalist — and often violent — political groups’. Meaning Hindu groups, of course. I have to disagree with you on two points.

One, I have seen with my own eyes how conversions in India are not only highly unethical — that is, using unethical means of conversion — but also that they threaten a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs, wisdom, teaching people to despise their own religion and look Westwards to a culture which is alien to them, with disastrous results.

Second, I think people like you show very little gratitude to that Hindu ethos which has seeped into Indian Christian consciousness. It is because of that Hindu ethos, which accepts that god may manifest himself at different times in different names, that Christians were welcomed in India in the first century. Indeed, the Syrian Christians of Kerala constituted the first Christian community in the world. It is because of this inbred tolerance in Hinduism that Christianity and many other persecuted minorities in the world flourished and practiced their religion in peace in India throughout the centuries. And today, people like you continue ranting against Hindus and promoting unethical conversions, using the massive power of the dollars donated by ignorant Westerners, who do not know that their money is used to lure innocent tribals and Dalits, who still possess that all encompassing acceptance of all gods, towards another religion”.
(http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/dec/30franc.htm )

And, talking of the inflow of dollars, here is the latest report from the Ministry of Home Affairs,under the heading: ” Receipt of Foreign Contributions by Voluntary Associations.”(page 20):

Name and Country Dollars remitted to India

(a) – Gospel Fellowship Trust India, USA — $60,305,263
(b) – Gospel for Asia, USA — $36,100,000
(c) – Plan International, UK — $29,257,895
(d) – Foundation Vicent E Ferrer, Alicante, Spain — $27,428,947
(e) – Christian Aid, UK — $21,094,737
(f) – Miseror Mozartstrasse, Germany — $20,457,895
(g) – Foundacion Vicente Ferrer, Madrid, Spain — $2 0,118,421
(h) – Oxfam, UK — $19,721,053
(i) – NOVIB, Netharlands — $19,321,053
(j) – Deptt for International Devpt (DFID), UK — $15,723,684
(k) – Kindemothilfe, Germany — $14,318,421
(l) – Save the Children Fund, UK — $13,594,737
(m) – Manos Unidas, Spain — $13,050,000
(n) – Missio, Germany — $12,900,000
(o) – Population Service International USA — $12,826,316
(p) – Total funds sent to India: — $336,218,421

I query John Dayal whether these funds are ‘LOVE & FRESH AIR’?

Kandhamal was in the news in 1999 also!!

And for the very same reasons!! A case of History repeating itself !! It is also a truism that Mankind Never Learns from History!!

On 7 February, 1999, two children, aged 10 and 19,were found murdered, a third sustained injuries. Justice Wadhwa, who inquired into the Graham Staines killing and other incidents of violence in the area noted: “This incident again attracted a great deal of publicity in the media, including electronic media. Newspapers came up with headings, ‘Two Christians killed,one injured in Orissa’, ‘2 tribal Christians done to death in Kandhamal’,and, ‘Orissa hunts for Christians’ killer’. In short, as per various reports that appeared in the newspapers,the incident was taken as an attack on the Christians.

Ultimately investigation revealed that the crime was committed by a relative of the victims who was also a Christian”. Q.E.D.!! Hasn’t the reporting on Kandhamal 2007, followed ‘true to tradition’?

The same can be said of Dangs in Gujarat.Contrary to media reports then, Sarvodaya workers who had been in the area for four decades had attributed the violence at the door of the ‘Harvesters of Souls’ (missionaries),and their aggressive proselytizing activities.

The National Commission for Minorities reporting in the Graham Staines murder had written that Graham Staines had NOT been involved in missionary work and that cordial relations existed between Hindus and Christians, and that there was no ill-feeling between the two communities. The Commission therefore concluded that the murder of Graham Staines was out of the blue and the handiwork of Dara Singh!! And yet, Mr. S.C. Bala, the Superintendent of Police of the Crime Branch,testifying before the Wadhawa Commission into the Graham Staines murder stated: ” the motive appeared to be that non-Christian people were aggreived on the ground that Christian fathers/missionaries are converting the people to Christianity in a deceitful manner giving allurements”. (REF: Harvesting Our Souls: Missionaries,Their Design, Their Claims” – Arun Shourie- pp 10,19,20)

And yet — “Saffron Thugs”,”Hindu Fundamentalists” etc. etc. We can expect the NCM to adhere,once again to the tenets of ‘Suppreso Veri, Suggestio Falsi’!!

The demand of the ‘Harvesters’ and John Dayal for a CBI (Congress Bureau of Investigation) is understandable!! They do not want a judicial Commission as they FEAR the Wadhwa Commission ‘replaying’!!


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