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District Amravati

DISTRICT AMRAVATI

Abstract of applications received on tour of Amravati

 
Names (if legible) and number of signatories, place, etc.
Nature of complaint and request
(1)
(2)
President, Bharativa Jansangh Nagar, Amravati. Missionaries take advantage of the poverty and miserable condition of the people.  The converts begin to hate Hinduism.  They put obstacles in the work of adivasis.  Miss Cluth refused to pay sales tax saying that it was not her Government.  This shows anti-national tendencies.  If they want to really help Indians, they should send money to India Government.  Christian prayers are offered by school boys in Holy Cross Convert.  Why should institutions receiving fees from students and grants from local bodies be allowed to preach religious prayers?
John Rodd, Achalpur Camp. Complaint against Rev. Major, Superintendent, Kothara Leprosy Home, because he had discharged me on the ground that I was not doing spiritual, evangelistic and proselytising work.  He has victimised others and intends to treat some more similarly as soon as the Comrrjittee leaves Berar.
Prabhudas (Manikrao) Januji Hanote, Kothara, Achalpur. I come from Nerpinglai, tahsil Morsi, district Amravati. 1 came to Kothara Leprosy Hospital in 1937, when I was 12.  Shri Widder was Superintendent then.  He used to preach and baptise those who desired.  They are never forced by anybody to become Christian.  When I was on death bed, I took baptism in 1947. The result was that I began to recover gradually. Now I am one of the panchas. In the panchas there is one pastor, one secretary and one preacher and about 100 patient members. Those who are willing are given baptisma after the panchas satisfy themselves. Children are not baptised without the consent of their parents. Funds required for religious purposes are raised by contribution and donations from foreigners.
Shri T. H. Major, Superintendent, Kothara Leprosy Home. Kothara is the property of the Mission to Lepers and the administration is by a Superintendent lent from the local mission (Central India Baptist Mission), financed by M. P. Government grant and annual graiit from the Mission to Lepers. There are 299 patients at present, whose records are properly maintained. Out of 300 about 35 patients attend the meeting. Preaching, conversions and baptisms have been all done by national christians chosen from among the patients and the healthy staff.  186 conversions of patients since 1947 to date at the leper home. Out of 299, 100 are Christians. There is agricultural programme at Kothara Leprosy hospital, occupational training programme for patients, and future plans costing Rs. 2,20,892.
Gyani Tarasingha, Pashim Wibhag, (Western Madhya Pradesh) Vidarbha Adiwasi Mukhya Karyalaya, Parat wada. Though grant is received by the mission, there is no good arrangement of patients regarding food. They are given heavy work if they do not agree to be converted willingly. One instance of Bhikaji Sakharam of Ghule is quoted. Those who were not willing to be converted, were discharged from the hospital.  Most of the 30 boys in the boarding have been converted. Strong and stout patients are kept even for 15 years and given work. There is no good arrangement regarding food, etc.  With the result that there was strike by the patients in this leprosy home. Unqualified persons give medicines and injections.  Holidays are not given on important Hindu and national festivals in this home.

Shri Khaparde, ex-Minister, Amravati: My main argument is that if a man becomes Christian he feels that his, both blood and skin, are outside the boundaries of this country.  It is in Europe, it is in America, it is in Africa, but it is not in India. His brothers and relations are all over the world outside India.  Therefore, his sympathy goes outside the boundaries of India and if some day a war breaks out between India and, any other western country he is likely to help those foreigners rather than us.

My next argument is that by spreading Christianity he thinks that he will be able to divide India on the basis of religion just like Mohamedans divided India and secured Pakistan.  They have not secured Pakistan on any other basis except religion.  It is division of India on the basis of religion and they have got Pakistan not because that the Mohamedans were in majority in particular provinces and that they wanted this. They have done it and they are trying their best to oust from these provinces all those who are not Muslims. This is history, which has, to be borne in. mind.  Thus on the same lines our Christian brothers are now thinking having Christian land of their own in India itself.  They have not made a secret of it.  They have spoken it out in a public meeting recently. I do not know the name of the village.  Probably it may be at Gondia where the President of the Christian Society declared that some day he hopes to have a Christiansthan in India, just as there is Pakistan there is to be Christiansthan, Budhistnan, Jainisthan and how many more sthans I do not know.  It is all open thing and open challenge to Hindus and Hinduism.  This has appeared in most of the papers, which you will be able to find out within no time through the Government machinery, which is at your disposal.  This is a matter of alarm.  We think that if the Christians conceive the idea of Christiansthan, then there is a great danger to the land being split and divided into small pieces and, thus, we are going to lose our integrity, independence, self respect, religion, culture and all our past history.

Then the third point is that it is argued that the Christian missionaries have been doing good work in India.  They have started schools, hospitals, etc., in our country.  But if that good work is going to keep power here, we are going to endanger the freedom and integrity of our country.  I am, therefore not prepared to have all this good work for me.  If there are no such good workers in us for the present to come forward for the work, they will come forward later.  It does not mean that it would he difficult for us to prosper without these foreign missionaries.

Shri V. D. Brahma, Advocate: As a citizen of a Secular State, I believe in freedom of religious worship and religious preaching and as saviour of human sufferings I make no distinction in the teachings of great prophets whether they be Hindus, Muslims or Christians.  Each has shown a way of life, which all or any should be free to adopt.

2. If the activities of Christian Nations and Missionaries had been confined to the teachings of their own prophets, there could be no objection.  But their activities are not so confined. In the pre-freedom they followed the British flag as soldiers of cultural invasion. Similarly, the British merchant and factory owners followed the flag for the economic exploitation of the country under subjection.  The economic exploitation of our country by foreign capital still continues and so also the cultural invasion by the foreign Christian Missionary.

3. Instead of appealing to intellect or educated sentiments, they take undue advantage of the poverty, ignorance, suffering and need of the poor, specially the Aboriginals and almost always force these people to become Christians.  It is interesting to see the competition between the various Missions. Catholics and Protestants, and how they succeed in converting the converts to become Protestants or Catholics.

4. In their method of propaganda and preaching, specially by the foreign missionary, there can be seen a definite barred and bitterness against everything, i.e., Asian, Colour, or East Oriental. It is their attempt to bring everything Indian into contempt and disrepute and try to impress the coloured people that they are sub-human, low and inferior and also convince Indians that they have no escape unless they follow and obey the white races. They seem to be keen on propagating the American way of life and the American lead to save the world. They do not even ail to suggest that Indian freedom is a short-lived affair and the Christians should await their resurrection.  Then again the whites will come into their own.  The whole idea of the foreign missionaries, who almost always receive their funds from interested foreign nations, is to carry out the propaganda in favour of the foreign pay-master in the name of and under the cloak of Christianity and medical relief.

5. It is my own experience that the White Missionaries of Chikalda did not want black Indians, like myself, to come and build houses at or near or even in the towns where they have Christian missions.  Some of the Missionary women even visited our women folk and abused Hindu Gods and Hindu way of life under my very roof.  My father-in-law had to explain to them politely that it is a sign of bad culture, that they should abuse anyone under his very roof.

6. The Missionaries do considerable humanitarian work but, more often than not, this work is tinted by a desire to compel people to become Christian.  Though it is difficult to prove political motive, the political effects that the cultural invaders tried to bring about are evident and it can be seen that the converted Christians specially the mass of people are not allowed, or are not so willing, to join the general movements of the people in the people's struggle for better life.  These converted Christians are tried and trained to work and remain as a separate group with allegiance to something that is not Indian.

7. In the Community Project.  American influence, due to the aid they have given, is obvious.  These foreign missionaries are often allowed to make use of these activities to preach politics of American type, which amounts to interference in Indian political affairs.  In these community projects they try to tell you that American way of life and American he alone can save you and that China and Russia are your enemies.  Such propaganda is also undertaken in the schools.

8. If Indian and Asian freedom is to be consolidated and reconstructed to its full economic and cultural stature, it is necessary to keep a careful watch on the activities and the resources of these foreign missionaries or their Indian hirelings so that the possible danger of the Christians as a class becoming anti-national, indifferent or even hostile pockets could be avoided.

9. To those missionaries who are doing good and honest humanitarian work, it should be definitely told that their good work and their sincerity is admirable and that they should render the humanitarian service to all.  They should be told that even Christ would not like the idea that his followers should take mean and undue advantage of other people�s poverty to convert them to Christianity.

Shri Amritkarl, Pleader: The main reason for the entry of missionaries in our country is that there is caste system, social inequality, lack of education, ignorance of the people and disease. People took to Christianity because of the obligations felt by them for the services rendered by missionaries.  The missionaries had not the object of converting them. The missionary problem will be solved only if institutions are started to fight out inequality, ignorance, untouchability, etc., and Government should encourage people to start such institutions by rendering necessary help.

Shri Gokhale, Hindu Mahasabha: In one village in Pusad taluq, it was said by missionaries at one dinner time that Pandit Nehru is misleading the people and in any case there will be missionary raj here.  Advantage, is taken by missionaries of the ignorance of people and the number of conversions has increased after independence.  Government does not pay as much attention towards this as it deserves.  Therefore, necessary action should be taken immediately.

Shri B. V. Marathe: Missionaries interfere with political affairs, e. g., they have opened three centres where there are Government community projects and development scheme centres.  They take leading part in explaining Government schemes to visitors and create the impression that all the development is being made simply because of the help received from America.  I had this experience in Morsi taluq.  They say �Russia and China are enemies of democracy and even though America is helping a lot to India, Nehru is influenced by those countries.� Such sort of language is used by the missionaries in their prachar.

Dr. S. G. Patwardhan: There are no workers in our society who have the same enthusiasm and zeal as the missionaries.  People are likely to be converted because of the zeal and treatment meted out to them by missionaries.  Unless there are such workers in our society, it is difficult to check missionary prachar.

Shri Jaiswal: He quoted an instance in which a small girl of a poor Hindu family was taken to a hospital.  On recovery of the girl, she was not made over to her parents. He gave another instance of anti-national tendency of missionaries.  A missionary refused to pay sales tax on a radio, which lie wanted to purchase.  He told the shop-keeper that the sales tax recovered by him now would go to the Indian Government and, therefore, he would not pay it. He will gladly pay the tax when his Christian Raj comes.

Shri Khedkar: Missionaries take advantage of the poverty, miserable condition and ignorance, particularly of the backward and untouchable people. They run schools, hospitals, religious institutions and spread their religion through them.  They hate Hindu religion and their Gods and explain the importance of Christian religion.  An example of Kholapur was quoted, where Krishna was called bad names in a prachar meeting in bazar. A check should be put to the activities of missionaries immediately. Otherwise, we may have to face a great danger.

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Visit to institutions at Amravati

R. C. CONVENT SCHOOL

There is no trouble from non-Christians or Government officers.  Out of 500 students in the girls� school at Amravati, 350 or 400 are Hindus.  Recently, I heard that the quota of cloth for the nuns has been reduced.  They do not get any pay.  There are no complaints for the last 42 years of compulsion, etc., against the school authorities. There is a special prayer every Sunday for the Republic of India.  We offered prayers for the British when they were in power.  We obey the law of the land and the rulers.  From 1880, there is a free hospital, which gives medicine to everybody.  They have got a primary school.  There is not a single conversion since 1880 till now.  There was a Parsee girl who was determined to become Christian (Catholic).  She was advised to take the consent of her parents.  She has not converted.  The teachers are mostly sisters.  The annual expenditure of this institution must be between 50 to 60 thousand.  We get grant from Government.  The Archbishop has nothing to do with this institution.  We get a portion from the Holy Childhood (contributions made all over the world for children).  We received Rs. 2,000 once from America. There are contribution and Government grants.  There is religious teaching only for Christians.  There is a lesson on moral and manners. That is outside school hours.  Only general instructions are given.  Mother Superior is in India for over 53 years.  She left France and come to India when she was 19 years of age.  She did not go to her land because she wants to save money for the poor.  Majority of the sisters are Indians. In diocese Archbishop is the head so far as spiritual matters are concerned, but in ordinary matters he has not to do anything.

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ACHALPUR

The 11th August 1954.

Catholics are operating here.  There are 399 patients in leper asylum.  There are no Indian doctors.  It is a very old institution started in 1904.  Agriculture schemes are also undertaken by the mission.

Dr. Major: I have baptised one person in seven years.  Conversions are done by national Christians. I have done no preaching, no conversions, etc. Leper patients have been disowned by their own family members.  Leper asylum helps them as a humanitarian work, regardless of what a man�s religion is. I help a man because I love him. We tell them about the Christian religion.  Jesus Christ is a historical figure. Belief in Jesus Christ is a matter of faith and there are evidences, which support it. I have been harassed by certain people, though not by Hindus in general.  I have discharged certain members of the staff (Christian) because they were incompetent. They have published the news in Marathi papers of Nagpur and they have also brought a C.I.D. to my doors. I have no Complaint against Government officers. They are helpful. Since 1947, over 157 leper patients have been converted.  They belong to all communities-Brahmins, Harijans, etc. There have been some cases where baptism has been refused.  We give training to persons in the leper home so that they should be able to get their bare living after discharge.  Grant received from Government to the leper home in Rs. 36,000 a year. We get money from America through our missions. Patients in leper home are given free meals, cloth, etc. Everybody is required to work. We have religious worship in the hospital every morning at 7 in the Church. About 35 out of 300 patients attend the prayers. There are 100 Christians and 199 non-Christians. Total budget expenditure is Rs. 33,000 from the Mission and Rs. 39,000 from Indian Government and also from agriculture. No contribution from Government.

Tarasing: The main object of these people in running the mission hospital is to convert people (reads out a written statements).

Dr. Major: Bhikaji did not work well with the tractor.  He was warned three to four times.  Therefore, his services were dispensed with. Six Christians out of 39.  These boys are baptised.  According to my denomination, we give baptisma when a man is in a position to understand things for himself.

Roman Catholic Father: There is no trouble from Government officers and from non-Christians.  We have a boarding school and a primary school for girls. Non-Christians also come there. There is not a single conversion. We do not even speak to them about God and religion. We celebrate Independence Day and sing National anthem. Every Sunday we pray expressly for the Republic.

Gunwantrao Tayade: Roman Catholic, Protestant and C.M.S. Missions are working here. They have converted mostly Mahars, Gonds and Korkus. Small centres created in 1905. I have a case of Roman Catholic Mission in Naigaon Bordi. His name was Chip. Rev. Fr. Guyer was here. Persons not attending the Church were also beaten by this Father.  Even now there are several small centres where they abuse Hindu Gods.  All the missions are of particular nations.  They have affiliations for particular nations and not for religion. Roman Catholics live in poor people and call themselves bachelors (Kapustalani and Achalpur). I have got very bad Experience of these bachelors. This is my experience from 1914. All these missions are Roman Catholics.  In American mission also, there is a majority of Mahars. Somwanshis are preferred from a among Mahars because they are in majority. Roman Catholics work in Mangs.

President, Municipal Committee: Mahars are converted to Christianity, bait on their certificates they keep the word Mahar, because they get free education.  When we passed a resolution about this, 19 Christian boys left the school.  The boys were not willing to give out their true religion.

Father: We give fees irrespective of religion.  Have the people got any right to control Government expenditure on religious grounds? We shifted these students to Catholic school in Kapustalani.

Mamraj Khande: I have not seen any compulsory conversion. On the other hand, they render useful service. No prachar R. C. Mission. During the famine time of 1756 or 1856 missionaries helped the villagers and they became Christians. They might sell their religion at the time of distress. Several boys and girls who were destitute, might have taken to conversion.  In Chikalda one non-Christian doctor took fees for going to a patient, but later refused to go even though he had received the fees.

Father: We do not make Christians at all.  We allow people to become Christians by telling them our doctrines and only when they come to us with their express consent, we convert them. If the other members of the family do not agree, we do not convert those members.

Dr. Sonar, M.L.A.: Inducements are offered for conversion.  Prachar of American goods from their own hospitals takes place.  Injections are given and at the same time religious prachar is made by means of gramophones.  This is not desirable.

Barve, Pleader: My request to Christian brothers is that they should not convert hospital and school into a church. We have no objection to their leading a Christian life.  But our main apprehension is of a Christian Raj like Pakistan. Why should foreigners be inclined to come to this country to preach their religion?  If the Indian Christians do this, we would have no objection. Non-British Christian missions supplied all information to their own nations.  This was revealed during the enquiry made at the time of 1942 war.  It is difficult to give evidence in such matters. Censorship of correspondence, control over incoming finances and expenditure and also registration of conversions with Government should be necessary to check missionary activities.

At the time of visit to Kothara Leper Home it was observed that posters giving teachings of Jesus were put on walls.  The doctor showed a tin of medicine to say that all medicines were not American as alleged in the Circuit House Meeting held earlier.

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CHIKHALDA

The 11th August 1954.

Head Mistress in charge of Baptist Mission: [There are three missions--

(1) Central India Baptist Mission;- (2) Christian Missionary Alliance; and (3) Evangelical Mission.  Roman Catholics representative came later.] Six years have passed since the establishment of my school.  My money comes from orphanage fund in America.  There is no grant from Government.  We do not have much contact with the Indian people.  Most of the students are children of Christian parents.  Some of them are orphans.  No donations from Indian friends except in terms of fees.

Roman Catholic Father: Our headquarter is in Daryapur.  We run two institutions and all members are nearly Christians, except 10 to 12.  Total is 70. There is one Pracharak under me. Two or three converts have been made by me last year.  It is not possible to say exactly what made them become Christian. In Melghat there are about 300 Christians. I was sent from Nagpur to Ranchi, Ranchi was the centre of Roman Catholics also. We are running only primary and middle school, to which both boys and girls are admitted.  We teach Bible in the school.  Those who are willing, come and others do not.  The school is recognised and receives grant from Government.  There is a four year course of Theology and prior to that three years of Philosophy for us.  We have got coffee plantations, but our income from the plantations is just sufficient to meet the expenditure.

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DHARNI

The 12th August 1954.

Shri Upadhyaya: There are two missions here-(1) Korku and (2) Roman Catholic.  Indian Christians begin to hate us as a result of the Christian teachings.  We, therefore, feel sorry that our brothers are separated from us.  I used to teach my foreign friends and I have no personal grudge against them.  A song was sung at the time, of reception of Shri Grubbs ""ohÝXwñWmZ OrV|J{ Bgm _grh H{$ ob`{'' Khansama Yunatan had arranged the party.  All Government officers were present. We understood the meaning of the function and the song as �though the Britishers have gone, Americans want to rule the country�. Allurements are shown for conversion.

Batu, a Korku: I was a chaukidar at mission�s bungalow.  I was paid Rs. 30 per month. I was told that I would be given Rs. 40 per month if I became a Christian. I gave up the job.  I was not converted.

Yunatan: Batu was converted-; and his name changed after baptism, to Anand Masih.  He left Christianity.  One man only was converted during the last 50 years at this place.

Mr. Grubbs: Yunatan is a Christian Pracharak here.  He is also a khansama in Government service.

A convert from Patna: I come from district Darbhanga, Fulbaras and am son of Pandit Ramnarayan Dube (or Mishra).  I became Christian because I found that there was difference among man and man in the Hindu religion and among different castes.  I came here last year.  I came to Koylari. I was doing Ramayana katha there.  There was quarrel with me and some other sadhu regarding bhog. I am a Preacher, but not on anybody�s behalf.  It is a year now.  My gotra is Kashyap (when he was asked about his Prawara lie admitted, �I am a bairagi�).  I do not get any pay, but my railway fares are paid by church.

Rev. Grubbs: When I preach, I preach against idolatry because Bible condemns idolatry.  This is a basic fundamental teaching in the Bible.  It does not condemn any particular religion.  By idolatry I mean any idol made for worship.  We do social service because it is the teaching of Jesus Christ to love people.  We regulate our activities.  We come here with the message of Christ.  We may be right or wrong.  You may regulate our activities.  If we are wrong, and you think that our activities should not come in anybody�s way, you can tell us accordingly.  We would appreciate suggestions or recommendations from you about the work we should do.  It is difficult to he careful in preaching as not to offend the feelings of other religions.  More missionaries came to India since 1945.  Every five years we return to our country on furlough.  Those people who contribute to the Home Board do expect some returns from us in numbers of converts.

   

VINDICATED BY TIME - The Niyogi Committee Report On Christian Missionary Activities

Sita Ram Goel
Chapters
Preface
The Sunshine of �Secularism�
Rift in the Lute
Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee, Madhya Pradesh
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Appendices
Tour Programmes of the Committee
District Raigarh
District Surguja
District Raipur
District Bilaspur
District Amravati
District Nimar
District Yeotmal
District Akola
District Buldana
District Mandla
District Jabalpur
District Chhindwara
Questionnaire
Replies submitted by Shri J. Lakra
Replies to Questionnaire concerning the area covered by Jashpur, Khuria and Udaipur of the Raigarh district
Replies submitted by the Catholic Sabha of the Raigarh district Replies
Replies submitted by Shri Gurubachan Sing, Raipur
Replies submitted by Chairman and Secretary of the General Conference, Mennonite Mission in India, Saraipali, Raipur district
Replies submitted by Rev. Canon, R. A. Kurian, Nagpur
Replies submitted by Rev. E. Raman, President, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh, Gopalganj, Sagar
Replies submitted by Miss M. L. Merry, Khirkia R. S., Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh
Replies submitted by Shri L. E. Hartman, Amravati Camp, Berar, Mission Bungalow, Amravati Camp, Berar
Replies submitted by Umri Mission Hospital, Umri, via Yeotmal, Madhya Pradesh
Replies submitted by Shri F. B. Lucas, President, Independent Christian Association, Yeotmal
Replies submitted by Shri R. W. Scott, Secretary, National Christian Council
Replies submitted by Dr. E. Asirvatham, Nagpur
Replies submitted by Shri P. S. Shekdar, Khamgaon, district Buldana
Replies submitted by Shri Sohanlal Aggarwal, Secretary, Vedic Sanskriti Raksha Samiti.
Replies submitted by Shri T. Y. Dehankar, President, Bar Association, and six others of Bilaspur
Replies submitted by Shri M.N. Ghatate, Nagpur Sangh Chalak.
Replies submitted by Shri R. K. Deshpande, Pleader, Jashpurnagar
Correspondence of Roman Catholics with the Committee, the state government and the Central Government
Extracts from Catholic Dharma ka Pracharak and other pamphlets showing the methods of propaganda
Short History of Chhattisgarh Evangelical Mission
Camp: Raipur (22-7-1955)
Camp Bilaspur (25-7-1955)
Raigarh (28-7-1955)
Jashpur (22-11-1955)
Jabalpur (8-8-1955)
Sagar (11-8-1955)
Mandla (15-8-55)
Khandwa (17-8-55)
Yeotmal (10-8-55)
Camp Amravati (13-8-1955)
Washim (16-8-1955)
Buldana 18-8-1955
Malkapur (20-8-1955)
(22-8-1955)
Nagpur (20-9-1955)
Camp Ambikapur (19-11-1955)
Activities of Christian Missions in the Eastern States and proselytism in the Udaipur State by the Jesuit Mission