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India: Forgive, But Don’t Forget

Bharat Mata - Forgive but don't forget

An Indian friend wrote the following to me some time back:

Q: I write to you for your views or advice on a certain common topic.

As you know world over there are political and religious biases and there will be two sides which argue, debate vociferously. India is no different. In recent years the ruling government is said to be more right aligned or say as the media calls it “Hindutva” polarizing. So you will encounter these debates and arguments occurring in news and social media, and now it has entered the churches.

A sizable portion of the Christians and the Muslims carry on continuous criticism against the government regarding this matter. (They also criticize the government for all and everything.)

Living in this acerbic environment many Christian clergy indulge in one-sided stories and lop-sided data to sway the Christian population against the government, inducing dislike and hatred.

I always had and want to keep a centrist, balanced and true view whenever I encounter such one-sided propaganda from churches and clergy who should indulge in spiritual upliftment, uniting the society and spreading the message of harmony, but are instead poisoning the minds of their congregations.

My query is, should I, when encountering such one-sided accounts, express a balanced view. Or should I just ignore these and remain a spiritual recluse and live in my own space?

My answer was this:

A: If you feel you can bring some peace and understanding into the discussions you describe, then you might try–unless you feel it best to be silent, considering that you can usually never change anyone’s opinions.

Understanding the Hindu attitude

However, it is foolish to expect Hindus to forget seven hundred years of cruel oppression under Moslem rulership which included both bribing and forcing Hindus to convert. Right there in Delhi you have the memorial shrine of the Sikh guru who was murdered by the Moslems as the signs at the shrine clearly state. Nor need Hindus forget three hundred years of cruel Christian oppression in which people were bribed and coerced into converting.

Christian persecution of Hindus

Even after Independence the Christians have continued buying converts and doing terrible things, such as sneaking into villages at night and throwing cow flesh into the common well. When as a result the villagers who had drunk innocently of the water were considered polluted and shunned by those around them, those very Christians would come in and announce they held no such prejudices and would accept them into their religion and “help” them economically. And in their desperation they would agree.

It was Christian policemen who used to arrest and beat and torture those who visited Sri Ma Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna, in her home village.

More than one Indian friend of mine, though they forgave, told me of incredible atrocities suffered by them and many others during the British Christian oppression.

An Indian friend of mine hated Jesus because when he was in school in Gujarat the Indian Christian teachers in his school spent hours every week mocking and blaspheming Hindu beliefs and even brought pictures and images of Hindu deities into the classroom and mocked and dishonored them. Though I told him not to equate Jesus with these hate-filled fanatics, I could not get him to even listen to me. And I understood, though I was sad about it.

In India I myself have been insulted and mistreated by both Moslems and Christians because I was dressed in traditional Indian clothing that indicated I was an adherent of Sanatana Dharma. And it was worse after I was dressed as a sannyasi. Missionaries and their Indian toadies have said terrible, slanderous things to me about Hindus and Hinduism–and therefore included me in their defamation. But I answered them right back, not yelling or fussing, but proving the falsity of their words and the evil of their ways, and standing up to these despicable enemies of dharma.

“Hindu Fundamentalist” misdeeds

The thugs who harm Christians and Christian churches are not real Hindus, for such actions are against Hindu Dharma. Throughout history violent and evil people have espoused causes as a cover for their thuggery. But the causes were not at fault.

Certainly, violence and destruction against Christians is evil. But you notice that such base and cowardly “Hindu fundamentalists” rarely or never bother the Moslems whose religion is historically based on violence and who will therefore retaliate. Rather they attack the Christians whom they know will forgive.

True words spoken about the destructive character of Moslem and Christian fanatics and other enemies of Hinduism should not upset them. But bullies always whine when they are opposed and exposed.

The Christian British continually used Moslems as their tools against Hindus. And the partition of India continued it.

So it is. The past cannot be changed. Especially when it lives on in the present.

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