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

NewsBharati    29-Oct-2022 10:00:06 AM   
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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

Reverend Tucker's address to the queen had a reference to the number of conversions and how conversions offered a number of opportunities like education. He stated that Christians were enjoying innumerable blessings under 'christian government '. He stated that he was indebted to the queen and lord Christ for the benefits.

Reverend Tucker and Reverend Kennedy were of the opinion that Christianity need not be a part of the education,it would lose the vantage point it had, and education and Christianity should not be placed together. Of course this was only about the schools run by the government, but no such restrictions were applied for the schools run by missionaries.

Reverend Rice in the answer to a question related to the intent of the educational institutions,said that the aim definitely was conversion.

Reverend Kennedy who did not want government schools to work for conversion, knew that mission schools are at liberty to do so. That time about 23000 were receiving education at government schools and more than a lakh in mission schools.( This information is available in the ' minutes of the evidence taken before The Select Committee on Indian Territories-- 1853)

Missionaries also wanted to stop the Christian officials and soldiers from firing salutes at local Rajas on religious occasions as this was viewed as a form of idolatry. Even they wanted to stop allowing temples to continue the grant of land. This was described as a sin against man and God. The minutes of the committee had many memorandums submitted.
Also Read: INSIGHT XIII: Reality of Christian missionaries through the lens of Arun Shourie's book 
Jagannath temple at Puri was referred, and missionaries from Bengal and Odisha submitted the petition to the Court of Directors of the East India Company and to the Select Committee of Parliament. ( Protestant missionaries)
It obviously appealed that it is a barrier in their efforts of bringing all under the ' influence of the pure and holy religion of Christ. It doesn't help the Gospel of peace and love. They viewed it as evil, physical and moral as well. The pilgrims ' necessarily induce decease ', it is stated that 1/10 who gathered for the Ratha Yatra get perished. The petition thanked the government for the abolition of suttee but the Rath Yatra,it described as more harmful as the deceases were carried home by pilgrims.

The idolatry is condemned and was treated to be a 'grievous offence against the Majesty of Heaven '. ( The grant was to recognise that some assets of the temple were taken over by the British administration.) The argument put forward was that the government was not under the obligation to compensate, it had already paid more than the due.
Carey and Wilberforce gave the number who lost their lives, it was a hundred thousand, and missionaries believed that the number was twenty thousand. The commissioner of Cuttack wrote directly to the Court of Directors of the East India Company and reported the number as hardly ten fanatics who throw themselves in front of the holy chariot.

One of the crucial points to be focused on is that when it was a matter of strengthening the empire, all worked in coherence, ignoring their differences totally. They were united because the aim was to "finally storm," the strongest fortress of Hinduism.

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,