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

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.

NewsBharati    08-Nov-2022 10:22:30 AM   
Total Views |
The author observed some points which we should essentially contemplate upon. All the people who spoke their mind on the issue of conversion so openly, knew that they had the political power on their side. There was absolutely no fear of someone taking offence. And all these things about the objective and stratagy of conversion were stated repeatedly and openly, but they are somehow not the part of our collective awareness. ( Is it wiped consciously? )

All these points related to the duty of spreading Christianity were shared widely and openly. Missionaries were viewed to be playing a pivotal role. The spread of Empire was believed to be for the cause of enlightenment of the people ruled.
INSIGHT ix Gandhi and Swami's views on Christian missionaries 

Knowledge of science was supposed to be impossible without the aid of Christianity.Hinduism was described to be the religion of uneducated million. All were confident that India would fall to Christianity soon.

Swami Ji attracted attention in US , he presented the real picture of Hinduism emphatically, this angered the British rulers they tried to defame him and denounce him in every possible way.

The ' soldiers of Cross ' could not get the success that was expected.
Also Read: INSIGHT XVI: Reality of Christian missionaries through the lens of Arun Shourie's book

To be able to help the objective of conversion, the original structure ( structure of various social institutions which prevailed in our country ) was totally replaced by the institutions created by British rulers. This almost sabotaged the sense of oneness among our people, and tarnished the respect for our own traditions.

A lawyer who spent several years in Madras portrayed our society differently, he stated that converting people of our country was to disturb and deform the institutions that were making all virtuous and happy. ( He presented a real picture of the society, it's institutions and people.)

Initially, the author writes, East India Company was not in favor of giving space to missionaries, but missionaries ultimately won the argument.

They painted a different picture of the society and country, the Indian society was portrayed as a society that had no system to educate, it was described to be the era of darkness. Swami Ji, Gandhi Ji, and other prominent leaders drew attention to what the real condition was.

The vacuum was created in our country by ruining the economic activity and missionaries stepped in. Pandit Sunder Lal ( the editor of the weekly Karmayogi, wrote 50 books ) in his book ' Bharat Mein Angrezi Raj ' ( 1920 )refers to Max Muller who stated that for every 400 of the population, one native school existed. Children were able to read and write but this system was totally destroyed by the British rulers.( Ludlow in History of British India )
' The means of manufacturing classes ' were destroyed and replaced by English manufacturers, transferring capital of our country to Europeans. As a result, the middle and lower class were left with no money to pay for the education of children, the children were in a way compelled to work to help the parents run the family.

He presented some numbers to support his conclusion. He was the collector of Bellary, he stated that out of the population of a million not even seen thousand were studying in the schools. He observed that there used to be big schools teaching in the vernacular dialect in the area. Because of the policies of the British government, only opulent classes could send their children to schools. The support from the government for education was withheld. He made it clear that Hindoo ( the spelling used by old writers ) Governments gave considerable support and grants in the form of Money and Land to educational institutions.

The policy of the British government was, he described ' the means of supporting ignorance '. The educational institutions were in a way compelled to beg the government or seek assistance from philanthropists, a situation which never was in India.

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,