The avaricious Church – For land & soul

When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.

– Jomo Kenyatta

Vide the linked news item, one fails to understand why the Church in Hindusthan still retains such sway over prime land and properties both movable and immoveable, far in excess of the population of Christians it is meant to serve. In this case, Belgaum does not have a Christian population commensurate with land the Church seeks to control.

This effort is to place on record deliberate subversion that has been the hall-mark of the Church’s evolution in Hindusthan – aided and abetted first by the imperialist Europeans and subsequently by the Congress Party.

Historically, it is clear with what subterfuge this powerful institution came to possess such wealth in Hindusthan. European colonials who fed upon portions first and then the whole of this country brought this arm of theirs to help control native populace better by subverting their independent and traditional thought processes. The Church needed not merely influence but more tangible inputs such as land and money to achieve this aim. From all evidence these were granted freely and readily; overtly, prior to 1857 and more carefully post the revolt.

In the meanwhile in order to derive maximum benefit out of this exercise, the Church, like the empires it dealt with to mutual benefit, attempted to organize its disparate denominations in Hindusthan to be able to better “serve” heathen natives apart from of course ensuring greater leverage over British colonial over-lords stationed here. Out of this impulse was born the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon (CIBC)

In 1927 Parliament passed the Indian Church Act and Indian Church Measure, which created an autonomous Church of India, Burma and Ceylon (CIBC) out of the Church of England in India. Under the new law, trusteeship of properties held by the viceroy passed to the CIBC.

This was merely phase one of consolidation which was followed up later in 1947 with the formation of Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA) that ensured the consolidation of not only denominations but also of their individual looted properties. Thus from being “privately” owned, these were converted into properties under Trust of the Church of South India.

Let us recall here that the looted property initially held by the temporal authority of the British Viceroy passed on to the unified and sacral authority of the CSI.

With the formation of the Church of South India in 1947 the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and the Congregational churches in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, and the northeast of Sri Lanka were merged. Each of the denominations also agreed to turn over their properties to the newly formed CSITA.

The timing of such transfer and transformation is very interesting. Obviously the news of Hindusthan’s impending independence would have caused a flutter in the Church and any existing linkages with a defeated and retreating empire could be construed as insolence by the free Hindusthan government. Therefore the transfer to a locally organized Trust that would also consolidate all property to prevent fragmentation and forestall localized administrative decisions by free local governments. Clever, wasn’t it?

Perhaps the Church was unduly worried for the subsequent decision by the first government headed by the strange Jawaharlal Nehru ensured that this stratagem bore fruit without any exertion.

Upon Independence in 1948, the government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decreed that title to property held in trust for the Church of South India and the Anglican churches in the North would pass to the state. Local church trusts and associations would administer the properties.

Thus the loot was now the looters legally owned property of which the new caretaker was the former victim whose property was looted!

Quite certainly and considering appreciation of property value, the wealth at the disposal of the Church administered Trust would be immense. This is not counting new properties acquired since 1947 and perhaps outside of the purview of Trust jurisdiction.

The stated objectives of use of such property are variously described as educational, medical and service oriented. These well publicized goals also ensure a steady flow of overseas funds particularly from the West, into the Church’s coffers which in turn fuels the Church’s mission to further shock and awe the native Hindu Samaja.

What needs to be done?

• It is urgently required by native governments in Hindusthan to delegitimize this Trust that manages the loot legally. It would be great too, if our Brahmanas (intellectuals) follow suite and cease glorying in the “greatness” and “quality” that this loot has supposedly produced.

• The Church must be told in no uncertain terms that the land will be allocated to it in proportion to the local population of Christians it claims to serve. In fact, this is a good rule for all communities residing in Hindusthan.

• The Church’s claim of “serving” the educational needs of the nation should be tested against that much abused Article 30 of our constitution.

This Article states as follows –

30. (1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

• The Church, which has a lot at stake, whilst grasping at the letter deliberately misses the spirit of this article which is that such minorities as run their own educational institutions do so for the welfare of their own communities. This clearly means that for the Church to call its educational institutions “minority administered” and therefore ensure continued control by it; should also ensure that the majority of the students it educates belong to the Christian community. This is simply not the case.

• The undesired effect of such a perverse condition is that the Church which is based upon Christian precepts ends up quite by design, manipulating the minds of majority of Hindu students who are admitted in these institutions.

The following are good illustrations of the situation. Here & here.

Apart from subversive effects wrt the Rashtriya Hindu Samaja, this looted wealth has had a deleterious effect for the lay Christian community itself. There have been umpteen instances of sale and resale of lands and properties in Trust that have gone deliberately unnoticed by corrupt governments. The proceeds of sale have lined the pockets of the corrupt clergy who have wet their beaks in these deals. Such has been the scandal that not even the lay Christian is now ready to keep quite and pretend his shepherds mean well at least as far as the Christian community is concerned.

The linked sources are merely the tip of this iceberg. Here, here & here

All of this has to be expected when a rogue institution like the Church takes over and pretends to be God’s door keeper for His Son and His sheep. But there seems to be even less reason for the Rashtriya Hindu Samaja and the governments that rule Hindusthan, to close their eyes to such travesty.

I strongly suggest we use the information so eagerly provided by the Christian propagandist from Belgaum, to report against the Church itself and demand remedial action from a government that supposedly protects Hindu Samaja’s interests. Shri Abhay Patil, MLA, Belgaum needs all the support facing this global scourge. The Church and its supporters have not hesitated to divide Hindus by manufacturing false paradigms like the Aryan Invasion theory to further its interests. In Tamil Nadu they have created and nurtured the Aryan-Dravidian fault line; In Manipur, the Naga-Metei fault line. In Rwanda they caused the Tutsi-Hutu genocidal violence. In Belgaum, the Church may play to exacerbate existing Kannada/Marathi fault lines.

We need to write URGENTLY to the Governor, Shri HR Bharadwaj (080-22254101 / Fax 22258150) at rbblr@vsnl.com ,

Chief Minister, Mr. Yeddyurappa (080-22253414 / Fax 22281021 / 22253660) at cm@kar.nic.in ,

Chief Secretary, SV Ranganath (080-22252442 / 3716 / Fax 22258913) cs-skar@kar.nic.in and

Dr Ajai K.Singh DGP of Karnataka (080-22211803) ajaiksingh74@yahoo.com

I’m certain that while doing this we will be doing the lay Christian community also a huge favor.

I’m suggesting the following letter be sent to the Karnataka administration –
********************
Respected Sir

Namaste,

I am deeply distressed by the Methodist Church display of avarice towards native land in Belgaum town.

The Methodist Church has been a beneficiary of the magnanimity shown by local communities. The Church has unfortunately shown an intent to usurp native land for its own purposes. We all know how the Church has dealt with Hindu (in Hindusthan) and other native (in other countries) belief systems, their assets, property globally. The Church has not hesitated to divide natives by manufacturing false paradigms like Aryan Invasion theory to further its interests. In Tamil Nadu they have created and nurtured an Aryan-Dravidian fault line; In Manipur, Naga-Metei fault lines. In far away Rwanda they caused the Tutsi-Hutu genocidal violence.

In Belgaum itself, the Church may play to exacerbate existing Kannada/Marathi fault lines.

We don’t want to refer to the Church’s activities which have and continue to hurt native Hindu heritage in more ways than one. While we don’t want to elaborate we want to bring to your attention two aspects.

1. Let us remember that Church of South India of which Methodist Church is a component was formed by transferring assets (originally part of imperialist loot) to a locally organized Trust that would also consolidate all property to prevent fragmentation and forestall localized administrative decisions by free local governments.

2. The Church’s claim of “serving” the educational needs of the nation should be tested against that much abused Article 30 of our constitution.

This Article states as follows –

30. (1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

• The Church, which has a lot at stake, whilst grasping at the letter deliberately misses the spirit of this article which is that such minorities as run their own educational institutions do so for the welfare of their own communities. This clearly means that for the Church to call its educational institutions “minority administered” and therefore ensure continued control by it; should also ensure that the majority of the students it educates belong to the Christian community. This is simply not the case.

• The undesired effect of such a perverse condition is that the Church which is based upon Christian precepts ends up quite by design, manipulating the minds of majority of Hindu students who are admitted in these institutions.

The following are good illustrations of the situation. Here & here.

So please help make a decision that ensures past wrongs done by the Church are redressed for the future wellbeing of native Hindus.

Thank you
Xyz
******************
– Namaste

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12 Responses

  1. There is nothing in art.30(1) which requires that a majority of students in minority institutions belong to the (particular) minority community. Nor is there anything to that effect in successive court judgments either. I really do not see anything wrong with the view of the National Commission of Minorities upon the question.

  2. The specific reason for Art 30 is to ensure “minorities” of any hue; do not get overwhelmed by local majorities and are free to conduct their education in the manner and style that is condusive to their religious or relevant (to the cause of being minority) practices; for the members of their own communities.

    Without the above intent, there is no other justification for this Article.

    Consequently, any dilution in the relevant composition of such institutions poses two kinds of problems –

    1. Is it fair to the majority of, non-minority, students of such institutions if the said institution chooses to adhere to its religious/relevant to it, practices?

    2. Is it fair to the minority establishment and is it in the spirit of the Article, if such an establishment is forced to dilute its rights in light of the obvious non-minority character of its student composition?

    The only other caveat that can allow such a condition to prevail would be an implicit assumption that those of the non-minority who attend these institutions are willing to submit themselves to disciplines not in conformity with their own religious/other relevant practices.

    This deduction is true but unfortunately not admitted to by our courts or the minority commission beaurocrats.This abnormality gives rise to tension and anxiety. Causes either surrender or fightback which, is deemed, illegal by the law.

    What do you suggest as way out?

  3. What an Irony! Article 30 is to ensure Minorities dont get overwhelmed by Majorities and dont get deprived of constitutional rights. Yes, when it comes to Muslim dominated places, Kashmir for example, Article 30 does not apply. This glaring contradiction is being utilized by the Minorities against the Majorities whereas it becomes communal vice versa! Serious though needs to be allocated to how well Article 30 can be made applicable equally to both classes.

    The same should apply to the persistent procurement and ownership of property by any community per se. However, serious deliberations should be made to masses of land being ruthlessly procured by Minorities in majority dominated areas and consequently driving the majority community away with their own blatant religious practices. There are numerous such colonies mushrooming with a deliberation, a vengeance that majority community can not match.

    It is pity that CON led Government of India play vote bank politics where only minority community matters. So long as they remain in power, nothing is gonna change….unless of course the Majority community being unanimously procuring property just the way the Minorities do!

  4. Pardon my delayed response. As for (1), the simple answer is that the majority is under no obligation to enroll in a minority institution if they disagree with its mission or cultural atmosphere. With regard to (2), the majority character of the student population does not oblige the institution’s management to dilute its minority character in any way (though they may choose to do so in deference to its preferences). Distribution of the student population is thus legally irrelevant. State interference in the management of a minority institution has been permitted but mostly with respect to regulation of admissions, prevention of maladministration, maintenance of educational standards and promotion of the state language.

    As far as I know, any institution can acquire property and there is no specific privelege that minority institutions enjoy in this regard. The “tension and anxiety” possibly has a lot to do with the fact minority institutions (particularly professional ones) facing fewer state regulations have better ability to collect funds and consequently are able to expand more, offer better facilities and superior quality which is however then made available preferentially to members of their own community (or the financially well-off members of the majority community who can pay their way into it).

    The way to end this system of disparate treatment would be to end the ability of state governments to impose stifling regulations on majority run institutions. One way to do this is to amend art.30(1) to extend its protection to all communities. There was some talk of doing this during the NDA dispensation but nothing happened. Judgment in the Inamdar case imposed some restrictions on goverments which would have created a more (but not equal) level playing field but the idea was too unpopular which prompted UPA-I to bring in the 93rd amendment introducing art.15(5) reinforcing the discriminatory treatment (BJP did not oppose the idea of the amendment but did make a failed attempt to eliminate the minority exception rule).

  5. Thanks for your response.

    1. I agree with point (1)

    2. Your second point has worrying implications. Though the minority institution is under no obligation to dilute its minority character, why would it consider deferring to majority student demography? If it did, would it still retain its minority character? I don’t think the last point is a happy one nor a legal one in terms of maintaining that a minority institution is indeed a minority institution after it has changed its essentially minority character.

    Thoughts?

    Two references:

    Analysis of subject

    93rd Amendment

  6. Establishment and administration of educational institutions are not democratic exercises where the management is accountable to the wishes of the student population. That is a broader point that applies to educational institutions in general and holds true with equal force here. Minority character of the institution stems from its mission, vision, values and any particular cultural beliefs it aims to foster. Though one might argue that the student demography also informs the character of an institution, it is thus not relevant in the context of establishment and administration of an institution. They are free to utilize their right to propagate its beliefs primarily to members of other communities.

    I am aware of no court judgment that has suggested to the contrary which is why I think the view of the minorities commission is correct. In the St.Stephen judgment, the court imposed a ceiling on the maximum percentage of students of its own community that the institution might admit (i.e. that institutions cannot exclusively cater to its own community, a point upheld in TMA Pai foundation case on ground of stare decisis. That is wholly different from arguing that there is also a minimum number of minority students such an institution must admit which is the question here. So it is not of much relevance here.

  7. “They are free to utilize their right to propagate its beliefs primarily to members of other communities.”

    – I think you have captured the core of the issue here. All argument about control & autonomy, max/min %ages etc revolve around this classic issue.

    I don’t think there would be a problem at all if this “freedom to propagate its beliefs primarily to members of other communities” were to be modified.

  8. I do not see why this should be a problem. For example, if Hindus want to learn Arabic or about Arab culture and they join a school with a department specializing in Middle Eastern studies, why should anyone have a problem with it? Educational institutions are all about learning and if minority institutions have a niche, I do not see why it ought to be a problem for anyone unless majority institutions are prevented from competing with them on that score.

  9. Your analogy is wrong –

    If I wanted to learn Arabic, I must join an Arabic school. I can’t join a French school. But remember, it’s my intention to learn Arabic.My choice.

    However, non-Christian parents, when they admit their young children in Christian schools;don’t usually intend for their children to become Christians or even imbibe the Christian practices of faith. That’s not their intention.

    I haven’t yet come across Hindu schools insisting that all girl children even from minority communities wear a bindi. However, I have known of the reverse where Christian schools forbid this Hindu tradition precisely because they find it out of place – cause for tension & anxiety.

  10. With regard to your point on Arabic, I agree. With respect to the point about wearing bindi, if it is the school’s policy that no student should wear bindi (even if this is motivated by prejudice against a Hindu practice), Hindu parents always have the choice to not enroll their daughters in such a school. If there are not enough Christians in the area to fill up all the seats or if Hindu parents are willing are better off and able to afford the fees better, the management may be willing to relax its restrictions to attract them, a matter that will depend on the power of each party in the marketplace.

    With regard to conversion, you are confusing art.30(1) with art.25. Art.28 shields students from religious teaching in any school recognized by the state or supported out of state funds. Hence, even if the school conducts prayers of the Christian faith, Hindu students are free to not partake in them.

  11. I think if Hindu parents arm-twist minority managements enough, such schools may even start propagating Hindu tenets.

    However, the purpose of minority institutions would be lost; both in terms of ownership as well as who it is actually meant for.

    Art 30(1)

    Art 25

    Art 28

    Of the three, I find Art 28(3) most unusual. Here is a provision that incubates conflict by (1)Placing religiously diverse children in one basket (2) Then giving some of them the option to stand apart since they are different.

    I don’t know if Christian educational institutions make enrolling parents sign a statement that allows or disallows their wards wrt attending Christian services, abide by Christian traditional practices etc etc.

  12. […] of church’s nefarious conversion activities and intolerance. That coupled with church’s humongous real estate avarice, control of academia resulting in academic apartheid & health care, both paradoxically funded […]

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