Abstract of Applications Received on Tour of Nimar District
|Chaporkar, Pleader, and eight others of Burhanpur.||Sufficient notice has not been given of the Committee�s visit. There are two missionary centres in the rural areas of the tahsil, one in Kanapur and the other in Ramakheda. Melas are held in villages. They abuse and preach hating Hindu religion in their prachars. Allurement of motor ride, cinema show, money, medicine and wine are given. In some of their songs they say that the present rule is foreign and they have to bring their own raj. Prachar also held in bazars. They create feelings of enmity and hatred among different castes. Hindu idols made of stone and Cross made of wood are put in water to show that Hindu God himself drowns in the sea of sins. Then how can he save Hindus from drowning in that sea? Instances quoted of a teacher from Paretha. Budha, son of Tingu converted by fear of jail, Bhurya, son of Zole Korku converted by force. On his reconversion, he was threatened very much, so, he left the place. They not only convert but also create a change of national outlook. Their activities in our country should be stopped immediately. So also the missonary workers should be asked to quit our country.|
|Story of �The Little Dutch Girl�.||In this story the importance of going to church by a little Dutch girl is shown and when she neglected to go, the church bell followed her and made her go to church. The story teaches that small children should attend church regularly and punctually.|
|Story of �Thumbelina�.||Thumbelina is an interesting story of a tiny girl of the same name. She passes through several difficulties until at last she marries Prince of the Flower Elves. She helps a poor swallow, who returns her obligations by rendering her help when she is in difficulty.|
|Vishwanath Shastri and three others.||Complaint against Headmistress of Burhanpur Government Girls High School. She introduced �The Little Dutch Girl� and �Thumbelina.� The former tells the story of a church bell following a little girl, who does not go to church and the latter tells how a tiny girl was fled away by several people. The Headmistress had also started a Dancing Mandal in the school, in which anti-national and filthy songs were taught. Since the last 30 years there was no public lecture by a missionary pracharak. This was arranged by the Headmistress. A resolution was passed by the citizens of Burhanpur in a public meeting against the Headmistress. The result was that the teaching of the book, �The Little Dutch Girl� was discontinued and its cost was repaid to students. We request that the said headmistress should be transferred from the Education Department to some other department.|
|Shankarlal Gautam, Post Dharni, district Amravati.||Requests a copy of the questionnaire when issued.|
|Samson Peddy, Motor driver, Development office, Amravati.||Complaint against American missionaries of Alliance Mission that they harassed him in the Rent Control Court and by other means because the rent of the land occupied by him in the alliance church compound is not much, as he is an old tenant. These missionaries create quarrels among the Indian Christians, convert villagers by allurement of service, etc., but when they are later driven out of employment, they do not get any employment in the villages. The applicant and his wife are Government servants and their request is that the false reports made by Hartman missionary, Kokane church pastor, Salve Secretary, Davidson preacher and Massih compounder, should not prejudice the minds of the officers against them.|
|Babulal Desai, Pandhana||Burning ghat of Hindus has
been given to mission. This should be restored to Hindus. Aolia mission
gives allurement of free cloth, food, education, etc., for Balahi boys
and get the boys in their fold since their childhood. The impressions of
Hindu culture in their minds gradually disappear and their name are converted.
Balahis are given cloth and other necessities and are asked to attend church
prayers, which they do under the burden of obligation received. Later they
are given employments.
A Balahi couple is informed that the Father will give them inam for the marriage. They are taken to church and the Father perfoms their marriage once again according to Christian rites. One Budhya is asked to become a Christian before taking away his wife, who was married according to Balahi rites. Punya, son of Chitu, Balahi was asked by the Father not to take his son for Matapuja. But Punya did not obey the Father saying that it was his religion. Similarly Father prohibited Punya purchasing land from a Christian.
Hanuman Murti near Mission Compound is broken by missionaries. Father prohibits ringing of the bell. Bible is taught and Christian Bhajans are sung by students in the schools, even though the school receives Government grant.
We do not hate Christian religion. We suspect the activities of foreigners are harmful to the interests of the country. Therefore these missionaries should be boycotted in our country.
|Budban, son of Burja, Balahi, Nihalwadi.||I was married according to Hindu religion. But my father-in-law has become a Christian. He has changed the name of my wife and has admitted her in Khandwa mission centre. The father says that the marriage should be performed according to Christian rites and I should become a Christian. Then only I will get back my wife. My wife is willing to stay with me. There is one other case like this in my village.|
|Seetaram and three others.||Missionaries agree to help us, if we are prepared to be converted; otherwise they do not render any help. A marriage of Seetaram was once settled, but the Father asked Seetaram to become a Christian, otherwise he would not allow the marriage to be performed.|
|Swami Atmanand Bharati, c/o Postmaster, Khargaon, M. B.||There are 30 missions in Madhya Pradesh, working under the Nagpur diocese. There are not less than two to three lakhs of Christians in the State. In the State there are 1,127 Sunday schools, where 2,492 teachers teach Bible to 46,535 students. Besides, 155 institutions of different types are run by missionaries in the State. All the funds received by the missionaries should be directed to be deposited with Government in the first instance, from where they may be given to the institutions for welfare activities. Balahis are treated like untouchables and do not receive any help for their betterment from Government. They should be given social status and all facilities for their betterment. This will check activities of missionaries to some extent.|
|Alphons and fifteen other Christians.||Foreign missionaries are
being blamed unnecessarily, but they have done and are doing a lot to help
the Balahis in improving their conditions.
Waltar has made a false statement that missionaries teach only up to the 7th class. Mission taught him up to Inter, but he failed due to his carelessness.
Mishra, Tiwari and Mrs. Prasad speak against the missionaries, because Mishra�s help of Rs. 50 per mensem has been stopped, Tiwari did not get votes from mission compound, and Mrs. Prasad has been removed from service. Many people say that they will do several things for the Harijans, but actually they do not do anything, whereas missionaries do not talk but, act for the Harijans.
|Ten Harijans of mouza Bhandaria.||Roman Catholic church Fathers come to our village and distribute free milk, etc. Next time they come they say that our names have been entered as Christians in their registers. But we are Hindus. We accept the articles distributed by missionaries, because we are poor and we get them free of cost.|
|Twenty Harijans of Borgaon Khurd.||Do do.|
|Sixteen Christians of Khandwa.||Missionaries have been working selflessly in this district by way of help to others, free education, sympathetic treatment, good medical treatment, uplift of Harijans, foster national spirit in the minds of the people, help the poor with money, offer prayers for Indian India, and teach obedience and love towards the present Government. The allegations made against the missionaries are all false and baseless.|
|Fulchand, son of Bopare and three others.||An instance of how advantage is taken of leprosy is given. Names of boys are changed in schools without their knowledge. A cross is imprinted on the hands of small boys and in their young age they are informed that they are Christians because they are borne with cross. False prachar against Hindu Gods. America and its affairs are praised so that we may feel that they are our real brothers. One Balahi girl of 21 was married. When she came to her parents, the parents of the girl were shown allurement by missionaries and she was taken to some other place. The husband of the girl was asked to perform the marriage again in church after conversion, which he refused. The whereabouts of the girl are not known.|
|J. B. Sadhu||Complaint against Rev. Nath and request to check his pay registers, as the did not do justice to one Mr. Moon.|
|Babu Kesheo and three others.||A meeting was held under the auspices of Hindu Mahasabha on the 12th August 1954 in the house of one Nathu Keshao, wherein Krishna Pooja was performed and slogans raised against Christian missionaries and also speeches delivered by Premchand Virsing against them.|
|Roman Catholic Mission School, Khandwa.||The school is about 40 years� old and there were no complaints against it in the past. But since 1954 April there were complaints that students are converted to Christianity. It is submitted that these complaints are made by those people whose services were terminated because of their unsatisfactory work. There are two Muslims and two Hindus teachers in the school.|
|Narsingh Anthony and two others.||A meeting was held under the auspices of Hindu Mahasabha on the 12th August 1954 in the house of one Nathu Kesheo, wherein Krishna Pooja was performed and slogans raised against Christians. A speech was also delivered by Premehand Virsingh against Christians.|
The 13th August 1954.
Attendance-About 100. Villages represented-About 5.
Dara Patel Korku: A Korku does not like to become a Christian because he has to spend about Rs. 75 for going back to his Korku religion.
Patel of Lohari: One Buda Korku, a young man of 25, was converted. He his wife, mother and two children. He was converted two years ago. Americans come to villages and preach their religion. American ladies also come. This is going on since the last two years. Formerly they came but not so often and in such large numbers. Buda�s house caught fire after about 4 months of his conversion. It was Falgun month, at about 8 p. m. Two more houses adjoining his also caught fire. Buda did riot ask for any help. We tried to help and could save the adjoining houses. Had Buda asked for any help, we would have rendered it. Buda does not say that his house was burnt by Hindus. He said in the presence of all that it caught fire by accident of a chimney. He has reconstructed it. Besides prachar, there is also distribution of medicine, which is sometimes one by a lady from Dawali.
Pannu, son of Benjamin, Pracharak: I am a Christian by birth. I get Rs. 87 as my total emoluments. I have a circle of about 80 villages. I have got a harmonium. I gather crowd by singing on it. Several times people do not crowd and I go away. This is about 50 per cent times. We do not say anything about dress, food, etc. I prescribe a certain period before giving baptisma and find out whether he is a fit person for baptisma. One person from Dawali village was given baptisma by me in Sajani because there is water in Sajani and he had his relations in that village. We ask them to give up idolatry. I was formerly working in Korku Central India Mission. I am educated up to 6th class in mission school at Achalpur. I was taken up as teacher in Mission school thereafter. That was my training period. I was not give any pay there, but only food and cloth. I got training in Bible school at Raipur on Rs. 8. I was there for one year. The promotions depend upon education and work. This is decided by committee. I will do the work even if I do not get pay.
Buda was baptised in January 1954. In April 1954 dirty water (gobar-cowdung) was thrown on me when after my public meeting I was having a private meeting. In that meeting there was Mr. Grubb and one American lady. We did not protest against that. The villagers wanted our magic lanten. Since we did not give that, they threw cowdung on us. Buda was not baptised when his house was set on fire. Had it been done after his baptism, the Christian Mandali would have given him funds for reconstruction of his house. He expected some help from the Mandali, but we refused to give it. Because in that case people would have inferred that he was given money to become Christian. I had asked him to apply to the Mandali, but he did not. Fifteen conversions at Paratwada side and one this side have been made by me. I receive my pay from Achalpur mission. I am not satisfied with the progress made by me in my work of conversion. People do not hear me now properly, but I hope they will do so in course of time. I have never given any money to anybody.
There are no complaints against Government officers either by Christians or non-Christians.
The 13th August 1954.
Dashrath Patel: Converted in 1902 when he was 12. He narrated his story of conversion: �I was originally a Pawar (Kunbi). I had my cultivation in Khandesh. Police constables harassed my brother when the bullocks he had purchased out of taccavi loan were eaten away by a tiger. We approached Jagannath, E. A. C., through Dr. Benjamin. My elder brother was outcasted by my relatives. After some days my uncle and his wife came to take us away. My elder brother asked them to take the eldest brother in their fold, otherwise he would not go back to them. My uncle and his wife did not agree to this. I was in a mission orphanage and being brought up there, became a Christian in the circumstances mentioned above. Whenever there was nobody available for any work, I was sent by the mission. In 1918 there was influenza epidemic, and nobody was prepared to bury or burn the dead bodies. I helped a lot at that time. I left mission work in 1921 when my relations with S. L. Mathews were not satisfactory. Here there is Methodist Mission. I am Pastor here. We do not do anything else outside the Church. There are 16 houses and 140 persons belonging to Christianity here. Formerly there were about 400. The Christians are mostly from Korkus and Harijans. A Korku has to spend about Rs. 400 to go back to his religion. No missionary objected to my becoming a member of the Congress�.
A janpad member said that there was no Prachar and no conversion in Kanapur.
The 13th August 1954.
(MEETING WITII OFFICIALS)
There is no complaint either against missionaries or by missionaries. In reply to the chairman, the Headmistress, Government Girls� School, said that prayers have more effect than medicine in illnesses. This was her own experience. Government doctors expressed that it was impossible to advise patients or run such services in public institutions, as they would create conflicts among different religions.
The Headmistress (Christian) went on to say that there was very little Christian population in Burhanpur. She was asked explanation by Government and public meetings were held in protest against her for her introducing a book in which simply the name of �church� was mentioned. She produced an anonymous letter written to threaten her life. Her father was converted during the famine when he was at Narsinghpur station. When he went to Seoni and saw some missionaries, he was offered a Brahmin convert girl in marriage. She belongs to the Original Sectional Church of Scotland, the only one of its kind in India, at Seoni.
The 14th August 1954.
(TOWN HALL MEETING).
Chairman introduced the members to the audience
Dashrath Patil: So far as I know, there is no case if religious Prachar in Khaknar market after 1935. Christianity does not allow use of liquor.
Shri Prafullachandra: When a man wants to give up Christian religion, he is not allowed to do so by D. Patel. He is an influential man and, therefore, helps Christian institutions out of Janapada funds. He has his fingers on the next election and, therefore he wants that Christians and Muslims should be increased in number. Officers co-operate with D. Patel and suppress evidence against Christian activities. The Committee�s visit was not given wide publicity, particularly those persons, who were mostly concerned with the activities of Christians, were not informed.
Shri Dikshit, M. P.: The complaints of conversion against Dashrath Patel are all false. (This statement is supported by another Congressman).
(A difficulty was expressed in giving evidence of those persons, who were given money attraction, etc. So far history shows that it is not possible to record any evidence of change of religion from the people who are converted.)
Shri Prafullachandra: If Government proposes to render help to R. S. S. and such other Hindu organisations, they are prepared to volunteer their services. Are there no villages and poor people in foreign countries to serve? Why should the foreigners turn their attention to India for such service? Obviously they want to foster anti-national spirit in this country.
The 14th August 1954.
Shri Tiwari: The number of foreign missionaries, their schools and hospitals has increased since 1947. There are two Churches in Khandwa.- (1) Methodists, and (2) R. C. Mission. I am speaking only about the R. C. Mission. They spend about Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000 per day in this district. People are surprised that they are spending so much amount in this district. Naturally, therefore, they think that there must be some object. There was a complaint from Balahi boys that their names are written as Christians in schools. Activities of missionaries are creating ill-feelings among the people. We feel that they are creating a political organisation on a large scale in this district. Some statistics collected by me show that conversions after 1947 are on a large scale. When a boy goes to school, he is given attraction for the school and after that his parents are asked to take away the child. When the child refuses to leave the school, he is kept in the school, but he is given a Christian name. I had made a complaint in this regard and an enquiry was held by the Deputy Commissioner. I was not allowed to be present in the enquiry for political reasons. Government call themselves secular, but they help some communal organisations and condemn others. There are about 19 names of boys (list given attached)-(1) who have been brought up, fed and taken to school and afterwards their parents asked to take away or become Christians, (2) who were converted by changing of schools, and (3) against whose name the word �Balahi� was removed though the boys are Balahis. An entry is generally made as �Balahi Christian�. Parents of these boys are Hindus. These children are all minors. The list prepared by the A. D. I. S. of such cases is very long. We are afraid that there may be some trouble as a result of the missionary activities and law and order may be in danger. The reason for this is that paid servants are employed by missionaries as Pracharaks. These Pracharaks are not sufficiently educated, and naturally in their Prachar they create ill-feelings among the different castes and religions. They emphasise that our Government cannot remove poverty unless we take help from foreigners. This attracts the illiterate, but those who are educated, feel sad for it and are annoyed.
There is a hospital in Dawali with one doctor and two nurses. They compel a patient to pray Jesus Christ and on recovery, ask him to tank him. They stress the point that Christ has improved him, America has sent money and medicine and that is why he could improve. I do not understand why doctors, who believe in science, should attach so much importance to religion. (A pamphlet read out showing how portion of it can be utilised by foreigners for propaganda against India attached). There will be no law and order if this state of affairs continues. The pamphlet is issued by head of Nimar District S. V. D. Catholic Church. The pamphlet is meant for foreign countries to collect money, create hatred against India, and show them the importance of Church in India. In the pamphlet it is stated �Dirty, because his masters took delight in, his filth�. �Wife is regarded by a Balahi as his property and sold like that�. Who are the masters? I should like to know. The missionaries take the oath of celibacy, poverty and austerity, but they do not follow any of it. Babulal Balahi is a 4th year student of B.A. and the method quoted above for conversion of students has been observed in his case..
Babulal: Age 22, student of Nilkanth College, in B.A. I was sent from Mission School to Mission. My name was changed in matriculation form. I protested against it. They made it Babulal Waltar. When I went to college, I changed it to Hindu name. When the local missionaries found that I had given up my religion, they gave me some allurements of service. They also tried to trouble me by lodging a report to local police under section 448 though a local pleader. But they could not prove it. When there is personal jealousy, how can a missionary be called a saint and that he is doing good things for his religion? The Missions do not want that Balahis should prosper, because they have made it a rule that Balahi boys should be educated only up to the 7th class. When I was in mission school, my parents used to pay in kind (grain) to the mission. Now my parents are financing my education. The pamphlets read out by Tiwari are published to make propaganda in foreign countries and you can well imagine what their treatment towards us may be. One man, Bansilal Balahi from Sirpur, was harassed by missions. Father Leon kicked one Balahi in my presence.
Indramani Mishra, Secretary, Nimar Jilha Sewa Samiti: Christian institutions are meant for charity. Therefore, there should be no discrimination in that. Why only Christian boys are given freeships? From my personal knowledge I can say that there is debauchery in missions. I was freely mixing with them, but when they found that their secrets were coming to my knowledge, an order was issued by the mission against Christians that they should not freely mix with me and a penalty of Rs. 101 was meant for defaulter. Anokhilal�s three-year son was taken by me to mission. I was told that the father of the child should give an agreement that he would become Christian. There is a commission per convert and pay for pracharaks. These commission agents create quarrels and try to settle them where they exist. They also create quarrels in Balahis houses among women, they separate the girls from their families and bring them to mission and show them allurements of teachership, etc. Then the girls refuse to go to their husbands. The husband is given about Rs. 200 by the mission in settlement. Teju Balahi refused to take even gold equal in weight of the wife. The girls are sent to distant places deliberately. In one case where a girl�s mother had come to take her away, the missionaries did not like that and they did not allow her even to cook food in the verandah because she was a Balahi. They take only young girls and boys and show them allurements. I am from Kanpur, U. P. Order prohibiting Christian to freely mix with me is issued by Father Jungblut. There are several cases, which I can report in writing if I get time. Balahis keep on changing their religion frequently for money. A Balahi had settled the marriage of his daughter with a boy who was not a Christian. The Father threatened him. When the Balahi did not agree to break the negotiations, Fr. Yangblood went to his place with camera and other things and asked him for Rs. 51, otherwise he threatened him that the matter would be reported to the police. Teachers in mission schools are not sufficiently educated and they get promotion on the results of conversions made by them. I request an enquiry into the general complaints and also in my complaint about the orders issued to Christians prohibiting them to freely mix with me. There are several Balahis who have given me in writing that though their names are recorded as Christians in Christian registers they are Hindus and if they are not required to spend anything they are prepared to come to the court and say that they are Hindus. It is not possible to give an exact number of Balahi conversions, but church registers and municipal registers, when compared, will throw light on the number of such cases. I have stated all these things against R.C. Mission.
Rev. R. V. Nath: I am a priest here. Mangilal Seth of Tabhi was informed by me in my conversation once that our religion says that those who are down-trodden should be rendered assistance and facilities for their betterment. I have a sympathy for the Balahi, because he is treated even worse than a dog, by the Hindus. The Balahis are oppressed people and therefore the statement made in the pamphlet read out by Tiwari is correct. I want to raise the standard of Balahis and to bring it to my level. No money is received by the Methodists Church here for local work from foreign countries. Babulal�s father was and is a Christian of my mission. Swami Dharmatirtha Maharaj has recently become a Christian. Even public wells are not open to Balahis. In Jaswadi one old Christian informed people that the Hindus had compelled him to give up Christianity. We do not have castes in our mission. It is a habit with Balahis to change their religion. My grandfather was converted. I do not think by change of religion, we lose our culture also. I am here since the last three years and I preach to all castes. The condition regarding wells is just the same as it was before 10 years. When I tell the Balahis that they are treated worse than dogs by Hindus, they want to be equal to others and this may cause hatred in their minds against non-Balahis. Population of Methodists in Nimar is about 5000. About 300 were converted, out of whom 150 are outsiders. Converted Balahis remain in their Hindu families. All Balahi marriages are performed in non-Christian manner. In many cases a Balahi girl, who marries a Christian boy, remains a Balahi. We want them to have a Christian marriage, but they don�t, we recognise a Balahis and Christian marriage. From 1897 Balahis began getting converted. Many of the Balahis have started calling themselves Christians. (Agrees to give a list of villages where public wells are not open to Balahis.)
Mrs. Prasad: I am a Protestant Christian. My husband is A.D.I.S. I was a teacher in Balahis School. Before taking up the appointment, I had informed them that being Protestant, I would not take part in mission activities. I have not seen a single Balahi using nala water for drinking purposes� in times of water scarcity, I had written to the municipal authorities and they used to send water trucks. There is no untouchability in the Balahis School. Many caste boys are there and they mix freely with Balahi boys. I could not understand why there were two names of Balahis in the school register, because there is no caste in us. I taught social songs. Father used to do preaching in the school outside school hours. I objected to their doing so in school ours and reported the matter to Bishop. Thus we were not on good terms. I know of an Indian Father who felt shy of saying that he was an Indian. No flag was hoisted on the 26th January on the school building and I had to ask for it. Father did not cooperate in the 26th January function. I left the school on 19th April. I understand that the song �Jay Jagdish Hare� which I had taught, has been ordered to be stopped since I left the school. One Gangaram was sent for training. He had shaved his head clean. He was asked not to attend the school for two months till there was hair on his head. Mukund Nicholas was in primary school from Ganeshtalai. He said that when he was admitted to the hostel, he was given the name of Nicholas. There were 38 Balahis out of 131 total in the hostel. The no of Balahi and non-Balahi students in primary division was half and half.
Shri C. D. Meghshyam, President, Nimar Harijan Sewak Sangh: Missionaries spread rivalry and jealousy against the Sangh for the work they are doing. Though there is a church in the Civil Lines, missionaries have constructed another church within the last two or three years in about half a mile distance from their former church. They have a special school, special hostel and a special well to which all Balahis have contributed. But they say it is their well. I am speaking only of Roman Catholics. We accept the position regarding wells as suggested by Shri Nath. He should have been glad to see our work, but they are not doing so. In Sirpur names of several Balahis were taken as Christians. They resented against it. I agreed to send their representation, but as you were to come here, some under round current went on and they refused to sign the application. They exploit in the name of religion. Education and hospital are their main channels and therefore these institutions have exploited the Hindus. After 1947 missionary activities have developed. One Mr. Rathod has come here from Surat very recently to establish another mission. There are two centres in the Harsud tasil, which, but for the weather, would have given an idea of the exploiting work going on there. During our work we have found that the nuns generally visit backward localities and render help, register the name of a child as a Christian, and after some days they say that the child is a Christian. It has no significance, but due to ignorance the child is treated as a Christian.
Shri R. K. Mandloi: Roman Catholic missionaries and other foreign missionaries have money, vehicles, etc. A man is called Peter, son of Dagdu and this leads to conversion after some years. I have seen Christians worshipping Matapuja. So far they were using power for conversion, and now they are using money for the purpose. I have, discussed with the R. C. missionaries and know that they use false names and create anti-national feelings among the persons who are obliged by them. Even police and other Government, officers help missionaries because missionaries have money for this. In Sirpur in Harsud tahsil, one Hanuman temple of Balahis was not allowed to be constructed by missionaries by the use of power and money. There are very few conversions of Brahmins and Banias. But hundreds have been converted in Balahis, Gonds and Korkus. Efforts are made by foreign missionaries to raise a general anti-national trend in the country.
Rev. Nath: We have no foreign missionaries now in our mission. We receive help from abroad for evangelistic and educational activities.
Fulchand Balahi: I am a shahar (city) kotwar of Khandwa. My son used to go to R. C. Church School along with other boys though I did not send him. He passed his primary examination. I was not asked for any fees till then by anybody. He was enrolled by Father Jungblut in Fisher School without my knowledge or consent. After one month I was asked for fees. The Father comes when a child is born, and he sprinkles water on the child and calls it blessings of Jesus Christ. They have constructed a temple of Mary Amma in Khandwa.
Shri R. K. Mandloi: The anti-national activities of missionaries may be said to be (1) they do not teach social songs, (2) do not like to see the national flag hoisted and other indirect means. How can poor Indian Christians run institutions, which spend lakhs of rupees? I feel that they are working with a view to create an aggressive anti-national minority and for this purpose they receive funds from foreign Government. The money may be private, but it does not come without the consent or knowledge of the Government concerned
R. C. MISSION SCHOOL
In some classes there are pictures and idols of Jesus Christ on Cross. The register was said to be not in the prescribed form.
Babulal was educated in this school and he was sent to Ranchi. When he failed there, he came and fell at the feet of Father. Babulal says �I do not know when my parents were baptised. They were not Christians�. (His grandfather�s and grandmother�s names have been shown as Christian in the sheet shown in the school).
(There was a scuffle and exchange of hot words between Shri Tiwari and one Mission servant.)
Botanlal: The missionaries say �you are not getting anything in Hindu religion. We give you free food, cloth, etc.�. They also give allurement of money. They visit my village sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month, and so on. I am a labourer in Nihalwadi. I get 12 annas to Re. 1 per day.
Amarsingh Darbar of Nihalwadi: There is a Roman Catholic Mission at Aolia. I am brother of patel. Nihalwadi is three miles from Aolia. Fathers come there for Prachar. Allurement is shown to poor people. Harijans are told that Hindus hate them. In schools, jerseys and sweets are distributed. Children leave other schools and go to mission schools because they have got better allurement. One Fatya had become a Christian because his wife compelled him to do so. Balahis (Harijans) change their religion for monetary help. But they observe all festivals of Hindu religion. When the wife of a Balahi leaves him, he requires Rs. 400 to get another wife. Therefore, he prefers to become a Christian and have another wife than to spend Rs. 400, which he generally does not possess. They are very backward. They do not get food and cloth. Therefore, they become Christian when they get allurement. There are two churches in Pandhana.
Narangilal Jain: There is a church of Catholics here. There is no discrimination between Balahis and other caste Hindus. Allurement of sweets is given to children. One Madrasi Father used to abuse Mahadeo, a Hindu God. I had a discussion on this point with one Christian. Missionaries also hold a camp in one of the Kumar�s fields. Ladies also come here. I understand no camp has been held here this year. They give allurement of money and service. Some are appointed teachers. But they do not do any teaching. They do preaching. Magic lantern slides were shown in Pandhana in which (Harijans) were present. A dying man was shown, who was not rendered any help, and Hindus and other non-Christians hated him. Then one Christian missionary with a cross came and he embraced that dying man. Mission motor also comes to Bilhar. They love children though the children don�t want them. Names are changed in schools, such as Ramcharan is changed to Nicholas, etc. Nobody comes to examine the names in detail. So also in medicine. When any forms are to be filled or elections to be held, these people put up those Christian names. The result is that a man is compelled to become a Christian. In Sirpur one Sunday, a Father collected all people for prayers and gave them bread. In the prayer the boys have to kneel down and they are given bread saying that Jesus Christ has given them bread. One boy, who could not kneel down properly, because of pain in his knees, was kicked by the Father. I have read this in Nagpur Times. If they continue to create dissatisfaction in the minds of the people, this is likely to result in unrest. We should ask the doctors to practise here, but not make propaganda of their religion. In January, they have done like this.
Thomas Charles of Guradia: An agriculturist. Poverty has compelled Balahis to become Christian. It is about 50 to 60 years since the Roman Catholics have come. Fathers have given money and loved children. This has resulted in conversions. Before five to six years a chamar and bhil was allowed to enter the temples in Onkarmandhata. Christians are supposed to be (Nich) now caste here. Christianity is a religion of Issamasih. I have studies up to 5th I am the only Christian in Guradia.
Sukhlal: The committee�s visit has not been widely publicised in this place. If we get time, we will send in writing to the committee. The information given about Onkarmandhata temple is false. (One Nana supports it).
Batilal (Marcus) of Indore: Now I live in Khandwa and I am a Pracharak since about two to three years. I was appointed Pracharak by the Indore Bishop (R. C. Church). I was a sinner at one time and Government was not successful in making me give up my habits. But I was impressed by the advice of missionaries. They have opened hospitals and schools. I was sentenced to imprisonment three or four times for theft. I met Dr. Grant, Father Bokaro. I was 17 when I was converted. Balahis are not treated well by the Hindus. R. S. S. people say that Christians will be driven out and their properties will be confiscated. This is likely to lead to quarrels and unrest. Deokaran, M. L. A. and Rajaram said in a meeting that, Christians will be driven out and all Balahi Christians will be reconverted to Hinduism. Christians will not be helped by Government. Mr. Tiwari and Chhatrasingh say this. Foreign missionaries have done a lot of service for this country and have taught many leaders. When the times have changed, why they should be driven out? I am working as Pracharak since last three years. I have converted only one man, one Premsingh of Nainital (Pahadi). He was baptised in U. P. When a man willingly says that he wants to become a Christian, he is told the teaching of religion by the Pracharak and then Father baptises him after satisfying that he really wants to be converted by conviction, and that he knows that Christian religion is better than Hindu religion. He is given baptism and made a member of the mandli. Then he has to go to church and has to obey the rules of society. If he disobeys the rules of society, then he is boycotted. He is considered to be dharmadrohi. I get Rs. 50 per mensem. My wife is a teacher.
Babulal: Singh is attached to Chatri names. That is not present in his name. When Arya Samaj started shuddhi movement, he becomes a member of the Arya Samaj.
Sukharam, Secretary, Arya Samaj: Narsingh, Pracharak of the Mission, gives out some ins and outs of the mission and, therefore, he was chased by this man. When the services of the Pracharak could not be terminated, bribe was given to one Mayaram to speak against Narsingh. Mayaram told this to the Father, but later he repented and went to Narsingh arid told him that he was prepared to confess to the Father with Narsing. This man has given bribe to the signatories of the letter in which charges have been made against M. L. As. In Chhota Sirpur this teacher distributed milk and milk powder and created a sort of rebellion in the different castes of Hindus. I am afraid that in future there will be some discontent and unrest among the different castes at a result of the Prachar of missions.
One gentleman: A man is first converted and then given money. There are several cases of Balahis, who have not been given money, because they were not agreeable to be converted. No threat has been given to him. Can these Pracharaks preach if the foreign missionaries go away. There should be no help and activities by foreign missionaries.
Kunia, son of Jetu Balahi: There is a church, schools, boarding and a hospital in Aolia. The institutions are for all. Preachers live in Aolia. Some five to six months back I gave �Mannat� of my son to Mata. My son is about 16 years of age and is learning in the school in third class. When the Christians learnt of the �mannat� they approached me at the temple. Christians said �why did you bring our boarding boy to the devil?� I said �It is my religion and I will act according to it�. He was learning in the school. �Books were given by the Father. No fees were charged. There is no Government school there. My son went to the school along with other neighbouring boys. I go to Mandhata and there is no restriction of any sort in temples and also wells.
Bhairam Kunbi of Aolia: I used to pray Hanuman and Shankar in front of the church, where their idols are. While I was ringing the bell after puja the father, who is a Patel, said that I should not ring the bell, because it makes noise in his bungalow. The temple is very old. The church is only about 40 to 50 years old. The church bell rings thrice a day. We have not taken any objection.
Father Jungblutt: Love can be understood by all. Missionaries work by love. I love for Snehsanskar. I am working for many years. I have used no force on anybody. There is no complaint against me so far. In regard to complaints of the girl not marrying willingly the reason is that the girl herself does not wish to marry because she is 12 and the boy is 13. Now the girl says that she was a minor when she was married, but now she is major and, therefore, she says whatever may be the case, she shall not marry the boy, whether a Christian or a non-Christian. Now it is about 2 months that arrangement was made that Fatiya should give up the girl and he should pay Rs 240 by way of compensation. I tried to do my best to give the rupees, but no fine was imposed. Love attracts the minds of men. When they ask our religion, we tell them our religion. Those who do not work well, have been terminated. One of my compounders was caught in theft. We could not catch him in stealing, but I could detect his stealing. At Sirso I had gone to Madhu Patel. One man came to me saying that my medicine had not given him any good result. I had not given him medicine. He informed me that my compounder had given the medicine and had charged Rs. 4. whereas the price was only Rs. 2. I asked him to come to the hospital to give evidence. I went away from the hospital just to see the reaction. When I returned after some time, I found there was a quarrel. I paid the excess recovered to the man. I warned the compounder that if he was found again he would be punished. Thereupon he threw the keys at me, but I gave him about a fortnight's time to think over. I gave him his pay. He turned out a propagandist against me and wanted to bum me once by using petrol. All the persons turned out of service from the Mission do not necessarily go against us. Three to four out of 10 are doing this. Infant baptism takes place among Catholics. In giving Ashish (blessings) we keep our hands on the forehead of the child and give blessings. �May Jesus bless you�. We baptise the children if parents ask for it. We visit all houses. If the husband and the wife are of different religion, we are generally called and baptism takes place. We issue certificates in Christian names if they like it. My area is Khandwa proper and surrounding villages. We run three hospitals and about 20 village schools round about Khandwa. There are two Pracharaks for Khandwa proper and about 19 for outside, and one teacher for every school. A teacher generally does preaching work also. When I found that in surrounding village schools there were no proper books, no teachers working, I gave them books, and teachers were trained, but boys did not turn up. I had printed a pamphlet giving the course. I approached the villagers, I was told that they were poor and could not afford. The boys also used to look after cattle and children in the house. I found that they were reluctant and negligent. I agreed to keep the school at times when the boys were free. One Karia, Harijan master, did not get service because he was Harijan. He could get another appointment through the good offices of local officers. He went on from place to place. This story is of Janapada school. He is given bad treatment because he is a Harijan. I do not think that a boy or girl becomes Christian merely by being given that name. In all cases parents are told about baptism and giving of Christian names. Usually it is either one party or both the parties want Christian names to be given. The mission is self-sufficient financially. We get a certain amount from the mission and we supplement the amount by writing to friends abroad. It is about one-third of what we need. For the teachers� salaries only, we get about Rs. 1,200. My friends are in Holland, but I have friends also in England, France, Germany, etc. Usually we write private letters and also news letters. Once a year I write to all. I write to them what I am doing here and what we need. I write the truth as far as I know and as far as am sure of it, and write as much good about this country as I can. Last year I gave the bright side. I appreciated the Constitution very much. Next point was India is driving the Communist out. Vinoba Bhave�s name has been taken and his opinion is given. The great project (Kosi Dam) is also given. India is fighting against untouchability. We should join hands without distinction of caste and creed. I am still watching for the moment when a rich and a high caste man goes to jail and I think such time will come. In Khandwa, there are no signs of untouchability to my knowledge. But the real untouchability is in villages. Our object of going, to villages is to bring love to those people who have never experienced what love is. We want more help from abroad. Our primary object is to make people happy. I think we have special mission of Christ. The object of conversion is to make it easier to give His grace. This is our faith. Conversion of caste-people has been tried and there was much talk of it. But it is extremely hard. The higher class people do not want that because they are quite well off. I agree, Sir, that baptism is not the only test of man�s getting grace from God. We try to make, through generation, a better man or Balahis. We do not say that ours is the only path for going to salvation.
Sings a song �Hamara Pyara Hindustan�. Mahatmaji had great regard for Jesus Christ.
The 16th August 1954.
Chairman explained the object of the Committee and introduced the members:
Raichand Nagda: I am President of the Nimar District Congress Committee. Since 1929, I have been a municipal member from this mohalla and for the last two years I have been the Vice-President of the municipal committee, Khandwa. My experience is that Balahis are approached by the Mission, because they are poor. All Balahis, being labourers are in economic distress. Missionaries take advantages of this and convert them. In this mohalla, a major portion of the land has been acquired by the missionaries from the British Government. Since they were not getting any land to live, the Balahis took the land from missionaries on the condition that they would become Christians. And they got the land only on this condition. If a person gives up his Christian religion on getting land, efforts are made by missionaries to take away the land from him. Secondly; in reply to Shri Nath�s speech of yesterday, that moneylenders take advantage of the economic conditions of Balahis, I want to say that Government have passed laws and regulations restricting the activities of moneylenders and the debt conciliation boards have helped the poor people a lot. Government also had the Usurious Loans Act to relieve the poor man from the burden of loan. The rights of minor boy are protected by Government. In the case of Balahis, why should the parents of a converted boy be also told to get converted. A min should be given full freedom to follow a religio