Swami Lakshmananda Murder- Media Bias, As Usual

published on August 26, 2008

Cause & effect

News Today Editorial


Almost every media house has reported the alleged burning of a ‘Christian nun’ in a ‘orphanage’ in Bargah district of Orissa, by VHP cadres, in its front page and prime time. But when Christian terrorists barged into Swami Laksmnananda Saraswathi’s Ashram on Krishna Jayanthi Day and murdered him along with five disciples, the electronic media chose to ignore it and the print media reported the incident as yet another crime story tucked in some obscure corner.

The VHP and BJP have observed a bandh against the dastardly killing of the Swamiji and his disciples on Krishna Jayanthi day and during the bandh they have resorted to arson in order to register their anger and protests against the unending menace of evangelisation and Christian terrorism.


It may be recalled that the Kandhamal district of Orissa experienced heavy communal riots between converted Christians and Hindu Tribals in December 2007. Even then an attempt was made on the life of 90 years old Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswathi and in his forty years of yeomen service to the tribals of Orissa, Christian militants have attempted to liquidate him more than half a dozen times and finally they have succeeded on Friday. Though the Churches and the ‘secular’ media try to brand the killers as Maoists, the arrest of Pradesh Kumar Das an employee of ‘World Vision‘ and two Christian Militants Vikram Digal and William Digal have established the unholy nexus between Missionaries and Maoists and that they are together in persecuting Hindu organisations, which render social services in the tribal villages.


The presence of VHP and RSS is an obstacle for the Churches to carry out their mission of ‘harvesting of souls’ and hence they take the help of Maoists to unleash terror on the Hindu activists like Swamiji. Maoists, who are always in need of money to buy arms and ammunitions, find the missionaries and churches as source of funds and that is how the Hindus become a common enemy for both the Church and Maoists. The nexus between the Missionaries and Naxals is not new to India, as it has witnessed enough in the ‘Northeast’, which has become totally ‘Christian’ in just fifty years with no end to insurgency.


Coming back to Orissa during last year’s riots, even the National Commission for Minorities reported that ‘Hindu fundamentalists’ have persecuted Christians, without even visiting the riot hit areas of Kandhamal district. Unfortunately the NCM has also been irresponsible like the mainstream media in giving one-sided reports, which added fuel to the fire, resulting in unfortunate violence and destruction.


The government has a huge responsibility in identifying the root cause of the problem, which has been occurring perennially through out the country. The various Commissions of enquiries over the years have clearly established that the conversion activities of the Churches and missionaries have been at the core of the problem. Justice Niyogi Commission constituted by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1956 has reported after extensive inquiries that the missionary activities in and around the tribal areas are blatantly coercive and illegal causing immense damage to the secular fabric of the society and recommended the enacting of a suitable Anti-conversion Law. The Madhya Pradesh government could not promulgate a law banning conversions due to the interference of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was known for his minority appeasements. But later in 1968 the Congress government formulated an Anti-conversion Law in Madhya Pradesh only after the Orissa Congress government passed a law in 1967.


 Similarly, the Justice Venugopal commission constituted by the Late MGR government in the wake of the Mandakaadu riots in Kanyakumari district, has also come out with the similar kind of findings in 1984 and clearly established that the root cause of the riots as evangelisation and recommended for an anti-conversion law. MGR’s attempt to bring one such law was curtailed by the then Congress government at the centre. Likewise, the Justice Wadhwa Commission, which probed the Father Stain’s killing, also came out with identical findings along with severe indictment of the media, which indulged in false reporting.


The western media and the Indian mainstream media do not seem to have even an iota of responsibility, as evidenced by their biased and one-sided vituperative reporting in the present case too. The Indian Constitution ensures ‘freedom of religion‘ subject to public order, morality and health. As long as the Churches restrict themselves to practicing, things will be fine, but the moment they resort to conversions showing scant regards to Constitution and the law of the land, they have to face the consequences. The government must also screen the foreign mercenaries and missionaries, their source of funds and other activities, which they do in the guise of education and health care and take appropriate actions against such fraudulent organisations. The media must ensure responsible reporting with the realisation that their misplaced sympathy is the second cause of the problem.

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