Saturday, August 20th, 2022 04:04:02

Anti-Christian Impiety

Updated: October 6, 2012 11:12 am

India That Is Bharat



Secular Satiricus lives and learns. Not that he did not already know that Indian secularism is perpetually in danger and constantly needs to be saved from the deadly virus of Hinduism. But he had thought this meant saving the Islamic essence of our secularism. He was wrong. He now realises that Indian secularism does not have only an Islamic essence, it also has a Christian core, which needs some serious saving from the viral infection of Hinduisation. Take this big picture that appeared in the papers the other day, showing three leading lights of the Indian Church being given a horridly Hindu welcome. The caption said: His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio, Apostolic Nuncio to India, with his Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Pune Bishop Rev. Thomas Dabre at the foundation stone laying ceremony of St. Antony’s shrine in Pune. What severely shocked Satiricus’s secular sensibilities was the unpardonably anti-secular way in which the picture showed these Christian eminences being welcomed by two Christian ladies. One of them had an arati thali in her hands, while the other held a mangal kalash, complete with a coconut, the age-old shriphal of the Hindus.

Satiricus, of course, was aghast. How could any Indian worth his secular salt stand such unholy Hinduisation of a Christian welcome? So Satiricus demands that the secular government of India run by a Roman Catholic put an immediate stop to such Hindu pollution of Christian purity. At the same time, he is aware of the fell fact that Indian Christianity, the second pillar of Indian secularism, is falling prey to this pernicious process for quite some time. For instance, in 2008 an ‘Indianised’ edition of the Bible was published somewhere in the south, in which Vedic verses were quoted to explain the teachings of Jesus Christ. The phrase “treasures of heaven” occurring in Matthew’s gospel (6:19,21) was actually explained as meaning the same as Nishkama-Karma-Yoga expounded in the Gita. Could there be anything more abominably anti-secular than crassly claiming that what the Gospel preached 2000 years ago was the same that the Gita preached 5000 years ago?

Unfortunately, this unholy adulteration of the holy Bible has an almost exact parallel in the history of Christianity. That is the crass case of Robert di Nobili. This Jesuit missionary, who had come to India in the 17th century, lived in a hut, squatted on the floor, declared that he was a Brahmin from Rome and a Hindu sannyasi, and even preached that the Bible was one of the lost Vedas. Jesus Christ! Had this Roman Catholic been living in the secular India ruled by the Roman Catholic of 10, Janpath, he would have been crucified. This man Nobili is now history in more senses than one, but Satiricus still sees instances of anti-Christian impiety. For instance, some churches now allow Christian ladies to apply bindi, although it has been discovered to be the “devil’s dot”. Then there is a Christian mission somewhere that is called an Ashram. Somewhere else a church had lit lamps on Diwali although a Christian television channel in the US of A had described it as a damnable day of darkness. And as if all this was not bad enough, that well-known French Christian journalist living in Auroville had written an article on the eve of the Pope’s visit to India in which he wrote, let’s tell the Pope how Hindu he is! Clearly the need of the hour to vanquish such anti-Christian (and therefore anti-secular) elements is to wage a crusade, a holy war of the Cross.

Luckily enough, the pristine purity of our Christian secularism has been at least partially salvaged by the editors of the above-mentioned Vedic Bible. For they have piously proclaimed, “This does not mean we accept all teachings of Indian tradition as those of the Church; we are merely adapting them to Christian teachings whenever we feel there are points of harmony.” What a relief to know that! But the curious cuss that Satiricus is, he wonders…. what are those points that they found not in “harmony” with “Christian teachings”? The answers are illuminating. They did not find the following teachings of Christ in Hinduism: “Think not I am come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:14.) “Suppose .… that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51.) “I came to cast division upon earth, fire, sword, war.” (Thomas, 16.) “From henceforth….the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother….” (Luke 12:52) “He who will not hate his father and his mother cannot be my disciple, and he who will not hate his brothers and his sisters….will not become worthy of me.” (Thomas, 56.)

What does Satiricus have to say to all this? He says he is overwhelmed by all this enlightenment. He is absolutely ashamed of his Hinduism which lacks these precious preachings of the ‘Prince of Peace’.

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