Suvisesha Sadhu (‘Soodhu’!) Chellappa

published on August 7, 2009

Yesterday morning (Thursday, 6-8-2009) I got a phone call from some agitated senior Hindu citizens of Thiruvanmiyur. All of them were complaining about a poster put up by the Advent Christian Church at Thiruvanmiyur.

Advent Christian Church Building at Tiruvanmiyur. See the cloth poster displaying in Tamil ‘Christuva Brahmana Seva Samithy’

The poster has been put up by ‘Christuva Brahmana Seva Samithy’, announcing that there is going to be a ‘Kathaa Kaalakshepam’ by Poojyasri Bhagavatar Vedanaayakam Shastrikal on 8-8-2009 (Saturday) at 5 PM at the Advent Christian Church premises. The main man behind this initiative is one Sadhu Chellappa who is endevouring to beat the conversion record of St Francis Xavier (1605-1552) in Goa and elsewhere in India in the 16th century, Robert de Nobili (1577-1656) in Madurai in the 17th century, Fr Schwartz (1726-1798) in Thanjavur District in the 18th Century and Bishop Caldwell (1814-1891) in Thirunelveli District in the 19th Century.

What angered the enlightened Hindus of Thiruvanmiyur is that the Advent Christian Church is misusing the name (and of course caste!!!) and other symbols of the Brahmin community in order to use them as a ploy to mislead and deceive young Hindu men and women in general and Brahmins in particular, in order to lure them into the commercial trap of treacherous missionary Christianity.

I immediately sent a photographer to the spot to take a photograph of the poster. This photograph of the Advent Christian Church building at Thiruvanmiyur may be seen at the top of this story with the poster of ‘Christuva Brahmana Seva Samithy’ put up by Sadhu Chellappa. I also went to the spot and saw the poster outside the Advent Christian Church at Thiruvanmiyur. Later some of the Hindu citizens of Thiruvanmiyur met the concerned Inspector of Police at the Thiruvanmiyur Police Station and complained that their religious feelings, sentiments and susceptibilities had been hurt by the caste-based offending poster put up by the ‘Christuva Brahmana Seva Samithy’ guided and controlled by Sadhu Chellappa. They represented that the Advent Christian Church and the Adventist Christians have no religious right to tamper with or misuse the sacred and timeless symbols of Hinduism. It was also represented that the offending poster must be removed forthwith because it comes into conflict with Sections 153A and 295A of the IPC under which it is an offence to promote, on ground of religion, disharmony, enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE POLICE TOOK IMMEDIATE ACTION TO GET THE OFFENDING POSTER REMOVED IMMEDIATELY. THIRUVANMIYUR POLICE HAVE EARNED THE APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE OF THE AGITATED HINDUS OF THE AREA IN QUESTION.

According to the priests of Christianity — of all grades and shades at all levels — Christianity, unlike Hinduism, is a casteless religion. When fraudulent conversion takes place, the poorest sections of Hindu society in India — more particularly the Dalits — are taken for a ride and told that once any one becomes a Christian, there is no need for him to worry about the inferiority or superiority of his caste and that he joins the ‘Brotherhood’ of Christianity in which he will face no more caste-based oppression or social discrimination.

I CAN TESTIFY FROM MY EXPERIENCE AS DISTRICT COLLECTOR AND MAGISTRATE OF UNBIFURCATED TIRUNELVELI DISTRICT THAT THE CASTE FACTOR IS VERY RAMPANT IN ALL THE CHURCHES IN THAT DISTRICT. THERE IS A CONTINUOUS WAR BETWEEN THE NADAR CHRISTIANS AND THE DALIT CHRISTIANS, BETWEEN THE NADAR CHRISTIANS AND THE FERNANDO CHRISTIANS, BETWEEN THE NADAR CHRISTIANS AND THE VELLALA PILLAI CHRISTIANS.

Recently many Dalit Christians in Tamilnadu, who had converted to Christianity some years ago, have reconverted themselves into the fold of Hinduism, the religion of their forefathers. When I interviewed some of them they told me in one voice: ‘We have had enough of cruel and unbearable caste discrimination inside our Church. We are happy to return to Hinduism.’

Perhaps Sitaram Goel (1921-2003) had mercenaries like Sadhu Chellappa in mind when in his classic book ‘History of Hindu-Christian Encounters’ (AD 304 to 1996) he observed as follows: ‘Jesus Christ has been the stock-in-trade of Christian Mission down the ages. He has been packed in all shapes and sizes depending upon the gullibility of the clients to be duped. And he has been rammed down the throats of those who have refused to be hoodwinked by the hoax. As one surveys the history of Christian Missions in lands where this hoax has been hawked or imposed, one comes across no end of force and fraud employed in its service by a variety of soldiers and salesmen most of whom are presented as saints. It can be said without exaggeration that if one is in search of a hardened criminal with a clean conscience, one should reach out for the first available Christian Saint and one will not miss the mark. Saint Francis Xavier, the Patron Saint of the East according to the Roman Catholic Church, provides an excellent example.’

Heroic defender of Hindu faith and Sanatana Dharma

150 years before Sitaram Goel, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), one of the Founders of the American State and the Third President of the United States of America had come to the same conclusion about missionaries like Sadhu Chellappa today. Let us hear his eloquent words: ‘Millions of innocent men, women and children since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support error and roguery all over the Earth.’

According to Sri Ramgopalji, President of Hindu Munnani, Sadhu Chellappa belongs to the nefarious tradition of fraudulent Christian conversion in Tamilnadu. He said to me: ‘I strongly disapprove of the caste- based approach to fraudulent conversion at Tiruvanmiyur , Advent Christian Church, resorted to by Sadhu Chellappa through his front organisation called ‘Christuva Brahmana Seva Samithy’. I congratulate the Tiruvanmiyur Police for taken having prompt action to get the offending poster put up by this Seva Samity removed yesterday. I would appeal to the Thiruvanmiyur Police to see that the proposed fraudulent conversion meeting scheduled for 8-8-2009 (Saturday) at 5 PM is banned in the larger interest of social and religious harmony. All self-respecting and true practicing Christians — for whom I have the greatest admiration and respect — should strongly condemn the anti-Christian activities of an unscrupulous commercial evangelist like Sadhu Chellappa, whom I would like to describe as Suvisesham Soodhu Chellappa. In my view, such unprincipled men would only damage the cause of genuine Christianity, apart from deranging and destroying the fabric of social, cultural and religious harmony of our Nation.’

Seeing the way in which Sadhu Chellappa is trying to cleverly manipulate the time honoured and ancient symbols / names of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma, in order to meet the commercial targets of his induced evangelical programme, I am reminded of the letter that Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote to the Indian Express about the shady activities of one Christian priest called Bede Griffiths (who wore ochre robes) who had an ‘Ashram’ in Trichy District: ‘Ten years ago I suggested to a Papal Nuncio that I might don a friar’s habit and preach Hinduism in the Italian countryside. I was promptly warned that I would be charged with impersonating a cleric and public mischief, as Roman Catholicism was the protected state religion and in full control of Italian education. Hinduism is neither protected nor India’s state religion and we find priests like Bede Griffiths in the garb of Hindu Sanyasis preaching Christianity in the Tamil countryside’.

Later Swami Dayananda also told Bede Griffiths: ‘The sannyasin is the very embodiment of SANATAN DHARMA. The church does not recognize a priest outside of the Apostolic succession of St Peter, and we do not recognize a priest outside the Hindu parampara. In that you are a Roman Priest and a Benedictine Monk, you cannot possibly be a sannyasin; it is verily a contradiction in terms.’

Christianity, from its very inception to today, has subsumed and subverted the deities, symbols, rituals and philosophies of the peoples it wishes to conquer. This activity which is imperial and not spiritual, must cease before hostilities and mistrust will die; hostilities by the way that we Hindus never invited in the first place. Swami Dayananda warned Bede Griffiths by saying that he was trying to impugn Hinduism, slur sanyasa, rout reason, ruin meaning, mutilate categories, transpose symbols, deny sacred convention and usage, profane principles, philosophise and generally present an argument that is oxymoronic. Sadhu Chellappa is trying to do the same thing at the Thiruvanmiyur Church on Saturday 8 August 2009.

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)
e-mail the writer at [email protected]

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