INSIGHT IX: Reality of Christian missionaries through the lens of Arun Shourie's book

The role of Christian missionaries would definitely help detach people from everything that is Hindu and try continuation of British rule.

NewsBharati    11-Oct-2022 11:00:11 AM   
Total Views |
Namaskar, the new series 'INSIGHT' is an attempt to present the central thought of a thought-provoking book. "Missionaries In India Continuities, Changes, Dilemmas", a book by Shri Arun Shourie compels readers to contemplate various points put forth.

INSIGHT ix Gandhi and Swami's views on Christian missionaries

Outwardly British administration and missionaries and in a way Indologists had disagreed over effective ways of ensuring the objectives of conversion of people to Christianity, and extension and perpetuation of British rule. They all agreed on some points which are all noted in the book.

• Our country is comprehended as a house of ignorance, inequity or injustice and falsehood. Hinduism is the cause of all these things. It is to be completely defeated and overthrown.

• Brahmins are responsible for this, this strong fortification, this is to be totally destroyed.

• It is the duty of Christians to deliver them to Christianity. The most essential and effective means would be indefinite British rule consolidated.

• Government involvement directly might cause displeasure or dissatisfaction. The contribution of the administration is to be sought. The example of government school is used to explain that English as a language and concepts of science and geography would help weaken and ultimately finish Hinduism. Western learning would certainly pick up this role.

• The role of missionaries would definitely help detach people from everything that is Hindu and try continuation of British rule.
• They were to '"expose roots of Brahminism and uproot everything that flowed from it". Obviously, missionaries were supposed to focus on the outcastes and tribal people. These oppressed people need the Devine touch of Christ. They would definitely respond and break the Hindu society into pieces.

• The scholars would try to explain that these groups will never get justice or any respect in Hinduism. It would create small cracks in the faults in Hinduism and prepare the ground for Christianity.

The books portrayed the British to be unwilling rulers but this was done as a design.

In 1835 Macaulay presented the treatise 'Minute' to establish the need for English education. He wanted a class of people who would be '"Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals, and in intellect". It was full of disrespect for our country, Hinduism especially, our language and literature without knowing any Indian language, nor did he read any of the books to form his opinion. His impression was based on the false interpretations of missionaries.

He brazenly claimed that the people of our country had no scientific information,they were poor and rude. He said ,' one shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia'. He goes on ranting the unbelievable exaggeration. ( The claims are very disrespectful that one is surprised at such audacity. One may choose to read directly from the book)

Prof. Vidya Deshpande

Professor Vidya Deshpande has had a journey of more than four decades in the field of education. Her  main expertise is in the subject of Philosophy,  and she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and logic with Nowrosjee Wadia college for 36 years. She has been associated with the Janakalyan Blood bank for last for 38 years and has also carried out the responsibility as a management committee member of Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha for 10 years. Her special fields of interest are Philosophy of social sciences, school education, development of skills for self reliance,  and top up skills to make students profession ready,