Camp Bilaspur (25-7-1955)
Name-Shri C. M. Ottalwar.
I am practising here since 1930. I am residing at Bilaspur, since 1918. I was in Congress up to 1946, which I had given up because I was appointed as Public Prosecutor. Now from 1946 to 1952 I was Public Prosecutor. During the general elections of 1951, I had to tour extensively in the Takhatpur and Kota constituency. I came in direct contact with the Christian community at Pendra, during the said election. After 1952, I have been continuously touring in the villages and contacting people of various communities.
I have made special enquiries in Takhatpur area regarding the work of Christian organisation. When the Committee visited Takhatpur last, I had placed before it my impressions. On the basis of my enquiries I have drafted rough notes. The information placed before the Committee was based on this information. Thereafter, I elaborated the notes and have handed over the same to Shri J. P. Verma, Advocate.
I came across a number of persons who told me that they were converted because they were suffering from diseases and could not be treated unless they embraced Christianity. Some of the persons have appeared before the Committee also. The Mission runs a hospital at Takhatpur to which the conversion incident refers. Government had made a grant of Rs. 10,000 towards the construction pf the hospital on a site belonging to Muslim community and it was used as burial-ground.
I have come across four or five instances of young boys who came in contact with young Christian girls fell love with them and wanted to marry.
The Mission Authority would not agree to them without conversion to Christianity. These boys became Christians. Thereafter regular disputes in the village started and on many occasions 107, Cr. P. C., had to be passed by the authorities. Such orders were passed in Kewta Dabri and Notimpur, both of Mungeli tahsil. In these disputes and litigations, the Missionaries sided the Christian converts. This was the usual modus operandi of the Missionaries to convert people mainly to instigate the people specially Satnamis to start quarrels, disputes and litigations, then to help them ultimately to conversion.
There is a civil suit filed, involving a dispute between a Christian lady and a Muslim residing in Takhatpur. The allegation is said to be that this lady entered his house, did friendship and got some property from him and then at the time of marriage she insisted on being converted to Christianity. There are also police reports in connection with this incident. That Muslim gentleman told me that the woman was supported by the Christian Missionary.
Missionaries take advantage of famine conditions and other local calamities in particular villages. They render help and convert people. Many such converts are recently reconverted to their original faith but some continue to remain as converts,
At Takhatpur, Mission Authorities have recently started a programme similar to the Grow More Food and others of Government. I was told by some people yesterday that foreign aid had been received by the Missionaries for distribution of loans, etc., but it was only given to Christians although requests were made by non-Christians.
Mission Authorities carry on money-lending business. They give on simple receipts and take ornaments. There have been several instances where people became converts because they could not repay the loan. In the Takhatpur hospital, there is an underground cell in which pledged ornaments are kept in custody. I got this information from the goldsmiths of the locality.
Kewta Dabri is a small village in which there were disputes and litigations between Christian converts and Ratiram and Malguzar. After Ratiram�s death, Madhao became convert and the disputes were then settled. Some Years ago, American tourist had visited Bilaspur and were taken by the Mission Authorities to Kewta Dabri although it is a small village which could normally attract no tourists. I was informed that the tourist gave visit to the Takhatpur Mission. Ratiram was a leader of the community of Satnamis and because of his relationship to his Guru Adamdas was held in highest esteem among the Satnami area. I have seen the mode of dress and social behaviour of converts after embracing Christianity. They are trained to adopt Western methods and Indian methods and culture are being looked down upon. Ratiram�s son has published pamphlets and booklets stating that he became a convert voluntarily without any inducements from any one. The money that is spent here is alleged to be for propaganda against Communist but it is against Indianity. In the hospitals, Christian Prayers are offered and indoor patients are also asked to join. In their schools, non-Christians are not entertained as teachers. There is wide difference in the outlook of Indian Christians and Indian Missionaries who receive aid from foreign sources and are under the direct influence of foreign Missionaries. Therefore, I do not make any difference between Indian Missionary and foreign Missionary.
Mr. A. B. Shinde.- I do not know whether the entire area covered by
the Takhatpur hospital building was graveyard. The information which
I have given is on the basis of the enquiries made by me and believed to
be true. The hospital was firstly leper asylum. At the instance
of the Missionaries, the Deputy Commissioner used his influence in acquiring
the land. My impression is that in all these five cases the Mission
is concerned. I have no knowledge that Ratiram�s son has changed
his name after conversion. I know of a school known as Chhattisgarh Madhyamic
Shala. I do not know if there are Christian students or teachers
in that school. I know some instance where people did not accept
the temptation offered to them of sending them to America. I do not
know of any case where a Hindu was offered the temptation of being sent
to America on condition that he becomes a Christian and he was sent to
America. By compulsion I mean that merely they are asked to attend
the prayers. By compulsion means that the prayers are offered within
the four walls. There is discrimination that Christian patients are
treated free, whereas the non-Christian patients are charged. There
is no other hospital in Takhatpur, and hence patients are required to go
to the hospital. There is an ayurvedic hospital. From 1951
to 1954 my estimate is that above 500 people have been converted, out of
which about 100 people must have been converted in hospitals during they
were patients. Many of these were converted have now been reconverted.
I say that Indian Missionary is an agent of foreign Missionary because
he received his pay out of aid received from America. I give an instance
of a gentleman like Rev. Massih. I would call Dr. Sukhnandan as an
agent of foreign Missionary because he was educated at the cost of Mission.
If a Hindu is working in a Mission institution he is less dangerous and
he is less agent.
Name-Rev. Maqbul Massih of Church of India (Disciples of Christ), Takhatpur.
My Christian name is Samuel Maqbul Massih. My father�s name is Rev. Warris Maqbul Massih. Originally, I come from Rajasthan, but now I became resident of Madhya Pradesh. My grandfather embraced Christianity. I am the Co-ordinator of Adhik Jiwan Yojna. This programme was started in October 1953, though I started working towards since January 1954. I am a paid employee. Prior to this I was in the charge of Mission work at Fosterpur a village nine miles west of Mungeli, on the road. This programme, as well as the work in Takhatpur, is under the Church of India (Disciples of Christ). The Mission at Fosterpur had a farm, primary school, preaching work in villages. For preaching work I had under me on the average 10 workers per year.
I also used to take part in the preaching work. The educational qualifications of preachers varied from the primary to matriculation. But every preacher was given a course of training in Bible School for three years� duration. We used to start our preaching, in a village by singing hymns; people gathered and then we narrated a Bible story and explained the implications. In the course of our preaching, we never criticised other religions, and our preachings were very well received by the people. In many villages, the local villagers were no Christians and in others where there were Christians our gatherings used to be Christians as well as non-Christians. Occasionally, we used to stage dramas based on Christian stories and recite Yessu Bhajan. Hundreds of villagers of all communities used to attend our dramas and bhajans. The Bible recital used to be for about three hours in the manner in which they recite Bhagwat in villages. No non-Christian ever objected to our preachings, dramas in the Bible and there was never any incident. During the 12 years of association with the work about 100 persons in all including children were converted. About half of them reverted to their own Satnami faith afterwards. The reconversion was not due to any movement but because of family and other circumstances. Before a person is baptised, he is put to teaching for nearly a month, and full enquiries are made, if he wishes to be a Christian voluntarily. Even at the time of baptism, he is asked question to that effect before a gathering which on almost all occasions includes Christians. Occasionally, many persons used to visit me expressing intention to become Christian asking for financial and other help. I would not accept such persons and say that I was interested only in those who wanted to become Christians willingly and as a result of having faith in the religion. I would generally warn them of the dangers of becoming the Christians and the family excommunication and other persecutions to which they may be put. Baptisms used to take place. It is not that people by becoming converts ordinarily gain materially. I have heard Mr. Ottalwar�s statement and say that the charges made by him are absolutely baseless. We offered no allurements and no promises for converting people. A recent case of excommunication from a Christian family was because she went and lived as a mistress of a Hindu boy. Even if she had gone and lived as a mistress of a Christian youth also the same punishment would have followed because our religion does not permit such illegitimate connection.
The Mission does not connive at a case in which a Christian girl tries to allure a non-Christian boy with a view to convert him.
When the Committee visited Takhatpur last, I gave a detailed statement regarding the Abundant Life Programme of which I am a worker. The statement made by Mr. Ottalwar that no portion of the Abundant Life Programme money being used to distribute to Christians or non-Christians is false. Last time when I stated before the Committee at Takhatpur. I did not say that the main interest of starting the programme was to build defence against Communist. What I meant to convey to the Committee was that poverty and ignorance were the means which gave rise to the Communism and to raise the conditions which favour Communism and that is why the Abundant Life Programme was to raise the standard of the people and thereby to remove poverty and ignorance. In the committee of management there is no non-Christian at present. But the village programmes undertaken by us are in association with non-Christians. In 1952, a World Convention of the Disciples of Life was held in Australia and on their return some of the delegates passed through India. They visited the centres in Madhya Pradesh, where their Mission was working and in pursuance of the programme some of the delegates went to Takhatpur also and visited several villages including Kewta Dabri. They visited about 10 villages near Takhatpur. Some of us, who were sent by the Mission to America, have not gone on account of any allurement. I was myself educated throughout in Government Colleges and went as a delegate to England. I was not sent to America by the Mission, secured a fellowship under which I was in America for two years. The next time I visited America on the invitation from an American University to act as a visiting Professor.
There is a World Organisation of Protestant Christians known as World Council which is also related to the International Council.
To Mr. Gurbachansingh.- A delegate from India from our Churches went to Australia, where the members of Disciples from America assembled. The delegate was Dr. M. Solomon of Bilaspur. The Christian fellowship transcends all creeds, caste or nationality.
To Mr. J. P. Verma.- Mr. Renald is the treasurer for the whole of the Bilaspur district. He is an American. All previous treasurers were Americans. We get all our finances from him, as are required from time to time. The bulk of money is received from America. There is an American lady working at Takhatpur and her name is E. Shreve. She works in the women section. She is a treasurer. The money is received by her and through her we get money. Mr. McGavaran was her predecessor in office. Miss Elliot is the manager of the Burgess High School. She is an American. Miss Elliot was also Principal before going to America. Before her, Miss Ennis, who was a Canadian, was a Principal. Dr. M. Solomon, who is the Medical Superintendent of Jackson Memorial Hospital, Dr. H. H. Nicholson, who had been the Superintendent before. She works under Dr. Solomon. I do not know what salary the American lady gets. Before she went on furlough, Dr. Solomon was working as her assistant. This arrangement was made in 1953-55. Reports of our work are sent to the Head Mission in America to the Mission Office in America. Audit of accounts of our income and expenditure is done. Our Auditor is an approved auditor. Our account in Fosterpur was not audited in Fosterpur. The Abundant Programme is confined to my area within the jurisdiction of our Mission. It is not spread all over the district mostly because of our Mission does not cover the entire district, and secondly, because this area was selected by the Mission in consultation with me. Takhatpur is the central village round which the programme is carried on.
We selected this area because some of our people who might receive the help who are living there and because it was known to us. By our people I mean to say Christians. In the paid staff there are no non-Christians. In the primary school of Fosterpur, there is non-Christian teacher. There is one American by name Salmonson who looks after the farm. He succeeded me there. The expense of the Bible School is done by the Church. I cannot say when the girl was excommunicated and for how long she has been associating with him. She was not excommunicated in my presence. Among the converts, the illiterate people are in great majority and from those classes which are known to be Satnamis and Chamars.
Ishucharan is one of the pracharaks and he has got sister by name Premibai. All audit is done at Jabalpur and every month all vouchers are sent for audit. The accounts were never audited in my presence.
The fellowship which I obtained for going to America is from Hardford Seminary Foundation which is a religious body. In America, I joined the School of Religion of the Butler University. There is no basement under the hospital but there is one under the office and it is quite open. There is a lessening of foreign control over the Churches here, and I welcome for it. But it does not mean if it implies the stopping of interchange of Christian people of other countries and if it implies mutual aid in resources and personnel, and experiences of Christian people from the world. I would welcome full control by Indian although I would have no objection to receive foreigners as guests. The Church is now entirely under control of the Indians who administer it through a committee known by the body. Out of 5,000 total membership, there are 25 Missionaries. It is possible that Missionaries are not elected. The money that comes from outside is spent in India and we administer it entirely. The foreign Missionaries are paid entirely by the Foreign Boards directly.
been a member of the Congress party and I was a member of the Bilaspur
Father�s name-Janaklal Gopal.
Occupation-Medical Practitioner of Champa.
Address-Resident of Janjgir.
I am practising medicine at Champa. Janjgir is four miles from Champa. That place is of Dr. Bowman. His wife also is employed in hospital. She is an American. The head sister is by name Hislop. She is also American. Whenever Dr. Bowman goes on furlough to America he hands over his charge to an American sister but not to Dr. Mathai who is Indian. There is a leper asylum at Champa. The Medical Officer-in-Charge of it is American by name Dr. Thesson. Before, the Superintendent of the hospital was Mr. Jenson, also an American. There is an American Missionary at Janjgir. I don�t know his name. There is a lady Missionary by name Miss Birthhalter. Non-Christian patients have to pay the cost of medicines and no receipts are passed but Christian patients are treated free. The concessions which are accorded to the poor Christians is denied to the poor Hindus.
They have intimated the authorities that there is a charitable hospital and that there they can take imported medicines free of duties but they charge from patients. I have come across five or six cases in the last three or four years. I know that non-Christian patients have to pay, whereas Christians are treated free in the hospital.
my statement on the information received from the patients. I mean some
of them and not all. That I often meet Dr. Mathai. I do not
know that Dr. Bowman went two years ago. I know that he went on leave in
1942-46. Spirituous medicines, and tinctures are received duty free.
I do riot know the source from where it comes. I do not know whether they
pay the price of the medicine. To the best of my knowledge, no receipts
are issued. I protested to Dr. Bowman once but he replied that there
was no system of issuing receipts. The permit exempting the duties
is countersigned by the Civil Surgeon. I visited Dr. Mathai at his
house only once. Twice I met him at the hospital. I did not ask him
as to the behaviour of Missionaries nowadays. The dead body of a
Mohammedan was detained in the hospital, pending settlement of dues. But
the dead body was allowed to go.
on a Nursing Home at Champa. I am a member of Congress for the last 24
years. I was a member of she Congress Medical Mission from 1946.
I was the first President of the Municipal Committee in Champa on Congress
ticket. I am the senior Vice-President of Champa Municipal Committee on
Congress. I am a member of the District Congress Committee at present.
I have been living in Champa for the last 25 years and I know everything
about Champa. I know the working of the Champa hospital and whole
town. To the best of my personal knowledge, I can say that there
was no discrimination made between Christian and non-Christian patients
in Champa in any medical institution. At Champa hospital they issue
receipts for fees charged for in-patients and also for registration when
out-patient comes. It is 2 annas per head and that is charged both
the communities without any discrimination. They are charged with
for medicines (both). Medicines are very expensive, and the hospital
charges the Christians and non-Christians equally. I am a member of the
Christian Church at Champa. I was the President of the Church Conference
but not now. Irrespective of whether a person is Indian or foreigner,
he is elected by the conference. I was one of, the conveners of the constituent
body which framed the constitution. When last time Dr. Bowman went
on leave in 1952 I know that Dr. Mathai took charge of his office.
I cannot say about 1942 or 1946 as I was in Army. I have not passed any
medical examination but I am a registered medical practitioner. I am registered
medical practitioner in Homeopathy. The Nursing Home was opened by
my wife and I was the proprietor. Since 1935 my connection with the
Champa is not so close. To the best of my recollection, Dr. Bowman
was in charge of the hospital. I am not positive for Dr. Bowman.
In 1946, Mrs. Wristler was at Jagdishpur. I have no recollection of Mrs.
Wristler coming to Champa and attending the hospital in 1946. In
my presence, no receipt was given to any Christian but I know receipts
were issued. A Christian casually showed me his receipt. He
was an indoor patient. The outdoor patients do not get any receipt
for medicine for which they pay. Dr. Shantilal has business dealing
with medical hospital but I have not. There are two Presidents of
the Hospital Committee who act alternatively. In the constitution
it is not expressly stated but it is understood. Between the two
the senior man acts its President, There was no Committee when my wife
was working in the hospital. The constitution is written. There
are two conferences-one is Church Conference and the other is Missionary
Conference. In the Missionary Conference, there are all American
Missionaries and some Delegates from Indian Christians. In the Church
Conference, there may be foreign members who are elected by the body of
the members of the Church. It is my inference from the constitution
that Dr. Mathai worked in the office of Dr. Bowman in his absence on leave.
I did not see any specific order. I was never accused of any defalcation
by the Christian Mandali. At the last General Elections I fought
as independent candidate against all parties.
Father�s name-Keshao Chitale.
I started my practice in 1917, in Mungeli, and I shifted to Bilaspur in 1929. Since 1951, I am doing Chamber practice. I was Chairman of the District Council for two years and member for five years. I was for 12 years member of the Co-operative Bank and as such I had to go to village in the course of my work. The Missions in Bilaspur district run hospitals, churches and educational institutions. Besides, preaching work in village is also being done.
In course of their preaching they explain the implications of Christ and illiterate villagers slowly get an impression that Jesus Christ is the Saviour as they represent the Bible as Yissu Bhagwat, as stated by Rev. Maqbul Massih. In the month of April last I heard in the verandah of my house an Indian Christian preacher, who is an employee of the local Public Works Department, accompanied by few ladies giving a lecture in a public place near the Rest-house. He first started singing with the help of musical instrument and when people collected he started preaching in course of which he referred to the superiority of Christian religion over Hindu religion. He said that Hindus worship many Gods and that their Gods were only stones, that in Christianity if one asked forgiveness he would be released of sins, otherwise in other religion man has to suffer the consequences of his good and bad acts. There was a crowd of about 150 persons mostly consisting of non-Christians. As I felt that obstruction to public traffic was being brought and order was being affected, I complained of this fact to the Deputy Commissioner. He criticised the lives of Ram and Krishna, in a way offensive to Hindu sentiments.
On the 15th August 1948 or 1949 two girls, students of the Mission School, came to me and said that the national flag has not been hoisted in the school building. I sent a note to the Divisional Superintendent of Education and the District Inspectress of the Schools who presumably went and settled the matter. They informed me later that the American lady Missionary in charge of the Institute interpreted the Government circular in a particular manner and, therefore, the flag was not hoisted, but when the Divisional Superintendent of Education explained to her the correct implication, the flag was hoisted.
Some of the non-Christian teachers employed in the Mission School have met me and complained to me about their non-confirmation on some grounds or other. They told me that they were not being confirmed because it would facilitate removal of them from service. In their schools, attendance at Christian Prayer at the commencement of each day is compulsory for non-Christian employees and the students. No punishment is given for non-attendance but displeasure of the authorities is incurred. This refers to the Mission High School on the jail Road.
I am of opinion that the influx of foreign money and personnel for Missionary purposes should be stopped. I object to the foreign Missionaries being invited as guests, I have no objections to preaching by Indian Christians within limits.
To Shri J. P. Verma.- I am of opinion that preaching of religion should be within limit. I object to Christianity being preached in public places. No other religion is preached in such a way.
To Mr. A. B. Shinde.- The P. W. D. Clerk was preaching from a raised platform and, therefore, was visible to me from my verandah although several persons had surrounded him. I came to know subsequently that he was a P. W. D. employee. There was no quarrel or violence. I do not want to disclose the names of those non-Christian teachers who came and complained to me as they might be victimised by the Mission authorities. There are only three non-Christian teachers, out of whom two had come to me. Those teachers gave me information. The headmaster is an Indian Christian by name Mr. Scott. They came about a month back to complain. I did not consider it necessary to bring the complaint of non-Christian teachers to the notice of Government. I did not ask them why they were complaining.
As I do
not want foreign Missionaries to come to India and preach Christianity
so I would not like Indian Missionary going to foreign countries to preach
Hinduism. I do not object to foreign money coming to India for purposes
other than Missionary work. I had no occasion to hear preaching by the
adherent of any other religion in a public place in a provocative manner.
Address-Deoli, tahsil Mungeli.
I am a Mahant of Satnamis community. I am Member of the State Legislative Assembly. I am a member of the Congress party. I knew Mahant Ratiramji of Kewata-Dabri. He was my uncle, and I was frequently visiting him. There were about 15 or 20 families of Satnamis residing in the village.
About four or five years ago, I had been called by Ratiram to his village Kewta-Dabri to settle the dispute of a local Satnami who, at the instance of Christian Missionary had started eating meat and drinking liquor. This is not permissible according to the rules of our community. I do not now remember the name of that Satnami. But I along with Ratiram went to his house. The Padrisahab of Takhatpur who was a foreigner came there. In presence of all I asked him why he had taken to meat-eating and liquor to which he replied that he would continue to do so, that he would become a Christian and referring to us he said that we shall also have to become Christian. Along with that Satnami there were about ten other Satnamis who had taken to meat-eating and drinking. We threatened to ex-communicate them, on which they started abusing Ratiram and subsequently they became Christian. About four or five years after they had become Christian, Ratiram called me to the villa-e again saying that the new converts had been threatening to assault and kill the other Satnamis unless they became Christian. I reached the village in the morning and in the afternoon the foreign Missionary from Takhatpur reached the village along with ten other persons. When I asked the converts why they were threatening others they said they have now become Christians and were not afraid of even and so would like other Satnamis to become Christians also. The foreign Missionary also requested Ratiram to become a Christian saying that there was no harm in his being converted as such. Ratiram reported the matter to the police and subsequently sent applications to the Deputy Commissioner, District Superintendent of Police and the Chief Minister. Proceedings under section 107, Criminal Procedure Code, were started against the foreign Missionary and the local converts but about that time Ratiram died. Within a year of Ratiram�s death his son Madhao became a Christian. I do not know why he became a Christian. After the death of Ratiram the proceedings under section 107 were automatically terminated.
About two years ago, I had once heard Christian preaching being done under the leadership of one foreign Missionary accompanied by some Indian Christians. The preaching was started by foreign Missionary in Hindi and thus followed by the rest. In course of the entire preaching they generally used abusive language towards Hindu Gods, like Ram, Krishna, Mahadeo, etc., and spoke very little of their religion. Some references made to Hindu Gods were like these: �That Ram was not real son of Dashrath, that Krishna was a debauch having committed adultery with number of women, that Mahadeo was a naked person giving to smoking Ganja and Bhang and therefore such Gods were of no consequence.� They exhorted the audience to embrace Christianity and to achieve Salvation. They said that if they became Christian, their sons and daughters will receive education, will be appointed teachers and nurses and also get high posts, like Tahsildar and Deputy Commissioners.
The following type of reference was made in regard to the first Guru of Satnamis Guru Ghasidas.
That Guru Ghasidas on his way to Puri happened to meet a foreign Missionary at Kattak, who explained the implications of Christian religion to Ghasidas who became convict of it. That Ghasidas became a Christian and on return started his Panth, called �Satyanam Truth�. A book containing a similar description has been publisher and widely circulated amongst the Satnamis. On such type of preaching many Satnamis have become Christians. It is not true that Mahant Ghasidas had become a Christian. He was throughout an orthodox, a Satnami Hindu. Ghasidas was born in 1720. I have heard this type of preaching at several places including some fairs.
To Mr. Gurbachansingh.- Many Satnamis may be secretly drinking liquor and eating meat. At Kewta-Dabri, I saw the party of Satnamis taking liquor, etc., along with the foreign Missionary for about two to three hours. I tried to persuade them not to indulge in such vices. But they did not listen to us. Ratiram was also-with me. They were exhilarated but not intoxicated. In reply to my persuasions they would talk in a hoarse voice. Besides, myself and Ratiram there was no other Satnami who had gone to talk to them. Besides talking rudely, they did not use any violence towards us. Those Satnamis, after conversion to Christianity, continue to take liquor. I did not know that the foreign Missionary taking liquor but the pracharaks who accompanied him were drinking liquor. I never had any occasion to take meals with any Christian. It is not correct that during election times I had stayed for two days with Rev. Missih at Fosterpur or taken meals with him. At the party referred to above. I had myself seen liquor bottles being used.
I do not know how exactly the proceedings under section 107 terminated after the death of Ratiram. The preaching that he heard at Dadh took place four or five years ago. I had no occasion to hear such type of preaching. I have seen the pamphlet and read it. It is stated therein that Ghasidas became a follower of Christian religion. My eyesight is spoiled and therefore, I can�t point out the passage now.
no occasion to hear preaching done by any other religionist. To my
knowledge, about a thousand Satnamis became converts after the story was
circulated. I do not know how many Satnamis actually read the book
containing the story of Ghasidas. Many Satnamis who are in possession
of the book but have not read it. There are only about two per cent
literate Satnamis. I do not know whether the Christians do any good
act. When I go out on tour, Christians conceal themselves.
I know Dr. Sukhnandan of Mungeli who runs an eye hospital there.
He is a popular doctor but it is said that he treats only those patients
who pay him his charges. I know Dr. Hiralal of Majgaon. In
their preaching the Missionaries do not preach drinking. I have not
read any literature on Christian religion.
Name-Shri B. D. Sukhnandan.
Occupation-Medical Superintendent of the Mission Hospital at Mungeli.
I am Medical Superintendent of the Mission Hospital at Mungeli. It belongs to the Disciples of Christ. I am a Fellow of the College of Physician and Surgery, Bombay. I am a graduate of Miraj Medical School. I have got Postgraduate Diploma in American University of Pensilyania.
In the calendar year 1954, 5,192 general patients and 2,685 eye-patients received treatment from this hospital. More than 80 per cent of the patients who visited hospital were non-Christians. We run a special leprosy out-door clinics at the hospital which function twice a week. In 1954, about 65 patients received continuous treatment and on each visit each patient used to be supplied free one seer of rice. We supplied free of charges spectacles to 357 eye-patients. No glasses are supplied to poor patients without discrimination of castes as majority of them were non-Christians. Three hundred and fifty-seven glasses were supplied free, from January 1954-55. They come from America. These glasses are supplied to the hospitals from America and are intended for free distribution amongst the needy. Last year, we supplied free glasses to 12 Christians and 70 Hindus. We occasionally charge Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 per pair of glasses depending upon the type of frame used as service charge to cover part of the expenditure incurred by us on payment of duty at Bombay and classification, etc., of the glasses. During the last rainy season, we did free vision testing of about 8,000 students and 134 teachers of Janapada schools in Mungeli tahsil. Practically everyone was non-Christian. We incurred an expenditure of about Rs. 693 on the stiff engaged for the vision test. It was done at the instance of Janapada Sabha, Mungeli.
Last year, our Touring Eye-camps were responsible for 1,000 eye operations, in 11 Eye-camps. We incurred expenditure of about Rs. 4,500. The benefit of this service is received by the Hindus in the rural areas. Before our hospital work commences, we have a prayer, and similarly in the Eye-camps also before starting work we used to gather for prayers. We attended the prayers as well as the staff and the patients. Although we do not preach but we do explain the implications of our prayers to the effect that we are merely instruments in the hands of God and that real healing is done by God alone. Poor in-patients in the hospital are supplied free food. We do not get any grant from Government. Amongst the 120 in-patients in the hospital yesterdays only five were Christians. The staff is entirely Christian, except the menials. No pracharaks are employed by the hospital. It is not a fact that discrimination is shown to Christians in our work. In making payments we charge both from Christians as well as non-Christians according to rules. It is not correct that eligible Christians are treated free, whereas non-Christians are charged. Hardly 15 per cent are paying cases in our hospital. Out-patients, visiting our hospital, are required to pay annas two per visit, irrespective of whether they are Christians or non-Christians. I have brought with me a number of receipts which are issued to out-patients when they pay annas two. Bouting examination of the blood and urine, etc., and supplies of medicine to all patients is done free, the only charges being levied annas two. We get Rs. 4,800 per year from America from the Church of Disciples, America. These are by way of donation. The total expenditure last year was about Rs. 83,000 and the income from all sources was about Rs. 79,000. Thus, we ran into a deficit of about Rs. 7,000. The figure of income does not include the grant of about Rs. 4,000 from America. Church of India gave Rs. 3,000 for the care of poor Christians. We do not receive any grant from any Hindu religious or charitable organisation. Dr. Rambo is the only foreigner and he gets salary from home. We have six doctors. We hold Christian prayers in the wards generally in the morning. No objection has so far been raised to the holding of such prayers. There are no pracharaks in Mungeli, nor any conversion.
Shri J. P. Verma.- The final authority for accepting conditional gifts
from Hindus is the Executive Committee of the Church of India. About
two or three years ago the non-Christians of Mungeli and neighbouring tracts
had accused us of converting people through our hospital and, therefore,
we had collected figures of Christian and non-Christian patients served
by us. The religion of a patient is not mentioned in our receipts.
It is possible from our register to obtain information about the religion
of a particular patient and it was on the basis of these records that information
religionwise was collected by our staff about three years ago. My
parents were Christians when I was born. Prior to conversion my father
belonged to Kathia community. First time I went with private expense
and second time at the expense of the Mission to America. My wife
is a medical social worker in hospital. She receives her pay out
of the Hospital Fund. There is a Chapel in the compound of the hospital
and every member of the staff is required to conduct prayers on turn.
The notes which I have with me here are on the basis on which I have made
a statement are drawn from the records of the hospital. But it truly
represents substance. There are portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru
and religious people. Expenses on Eye-camps are incurred from separate
funds which consist of contribution made through our Church in America
and charitable institutions, like the Tata Church and Standard Oil Company.
Accounts are audited by Chartered Accountants. The prayer is in the
name of Jesus. Among the menials, there are no non-Christians except
sweepers. There is no Christian at Mungeli who works as a sweeper.
Neither poor Christians nor poor Hindus are charged the admission charges
of annas two. Within the Mission Compound, one foreign lady (American)
resides. She visits in-patients in the hospital. She visits
only Christian patients, specially women. She does not preach in
the ward. Dr. Rambo has opened the school and dispensary at Khuria.
If a non-Christian were to offer his own prayer according to his religion,
I have no objection. I visited some non-Missionary hospital in America
and there also prayers are offered by the staff as well. That is
the prayer for healing.
I was ex-Malguzar of Kewata-dabri. I became a Christian in November 1952. I read the Bible and voluntarily became a Christian. No inducement was offered to me to become a Christian nor was any allurement held out to me for coins, to America. I cannot desire of going to America as I do not know English. There are Christians in my village for the last 13 to 14 years. Before 14 years, there used to be disputes between my father Ratiram and the tenants who were not Christians then. There was a proceeding under section 107, Cr. P. C., after, there were Christians. In that proceeding were involved seven Christians and five Satnamis. My father was also included in it. The case was compounded. My father was alive, when the case was compounded. He was then an in-patient in Takhatpur hospital.
I know Mahant Anjordas. About 10 years before, he used to visit but he has not visited during the last 10 years. He had borrowed a loan of Rs. 130 from my father and when on demand he did not pay, my father filed a suit against him on account of which he did not visit. Before I became a Christian, I had on several occasions heard preaching of pracharaks. No such incident as narrated by Mahant Anjordas, about the party of Christian foreign Missionaries and Satnamis ever took place in my place. Christians forbid drinking liquor and smoking. After conversion, my name was not changed nor have I changed my dress. My living in home is exactly as it was before.
Shri J. P. Verma.- My father Ratiram, was a Member of Legislative Council
and wielding great influence. After his death, I became Christian.
Even during the life-time of my father, I had been thinking of becoming
a Christian, but due to respect for old man, I had to obey his instructions
not to become Christian. I was first drawn towards Christianity on hearing
the preaching of a blind preacher who used to visit our place about five
years ago. Thereafter too many preachers keep on visiting our village.
I had purchased a Hindi Bible for Rs. three, I have studied up to 4th Hindi
class. I do not know how many chapters Bible contains and from what story
it begins. I do not know with what story the Bible ends. I
cannot recite any verse from the Bible. I do not know Lord�s Prayer.
Rangiya became a Christian sometime after the termination of the Second
World War. When Rangiya had become Christian, the World War had not
commenced. I do not know when the World War began and when ended.
I was also made a party in the proceedings under section 107, Cr. P. C.,
which were filed before Thakur, Extra-Assistant Commissioner. Rangiya
and other Christians had complained that we were committing breach of the
peace. My father signed the compromise deed in the Takhatpur Hospital.
The document was sent to him by the Court for signature. Mr father did
not file a suit to recover Rs. 130 from Anjordas. It is not correct
that the Church which was constructed in village two and three years prior
to the death of my father was constructed on the land of Tungan.
It is close to his house. Tungan does not live in that village now.
The land was purchased by Rangiya from Dawang. I built a bungalow
after my father�s death. By bungalow, I mean a house. My second
wife had also become a Christian along with me.
About six or seven years ago my wife contacted leprosy and I took her to the Chapa Leper Asylum and admitted her there. After about three years when I went to take her back Shri Warner, a foreign Missionary in charge of the Asylum told that she had become a Christian and that I should take her back only if I embraced Christianity. He also said (Shri Warner), that he would purchase a sewing machine for me to enable me to work as a tailor and construct the house for me after which he would send my wife and perform another marriage if I became a Christian. On account of this I became a Christian but Shri Warner did not fulfil his promise. When I realised that the promises had not been kept I told my wife to get ourselves reconverted to Hinduism but she did not agree. In consequence we had a quarrel. Shri Theodore, of Chapa, having come to know of this quarrel came to my house one day and assaulted me. The case has been started. Dr. Theodore complained to the authorities that I gave beating to my wife and hence I was arrested. Originally my caste was Teli. My caste people are not admitting me to caste.
Rev. Gurbachansingh.- There were other persons present when Shri Warner
had asked me to become a Christian before he would allow my wife to the
discharge from asylum. I visited asylum twice in three years. There
may be 600 to 700 patients in the asylum. I do not know how many
were Christians amongst them. My baptism took place about a month
after Warner had promised that on becoming a Christian a house would be
built for me and a machine would be purchased. During the period
of one month I was given no house, working as a labourer and Padrisaheb
used to give me religious instructions. I was not at all convinced by the
religious instructions given to me. But in order to get my wife and
the house, etc., I agreed to become a Christian. I continued to remain
a Christian for six and seven months after baptism. When I decided
to give up Christianity and was removed from house I married another woman.
My Christian wife does not live with me. I was never informed by the Mandali
that I have been excommunicated. After assaulting me and causing
injuries, Theodore took me to station-house and got me arrested.
I had informed the Station-House Officer that Theodore had assaulted me
and I also pointed out my injuries to him. Pannalal, Sub-Inspector,
sent me to the hospital for medical examination. In the case ultimately
I was bound over.
I was an inmate of the Mission Leper Asylum at Chapa. On being admitted, the asylum authorities took away my Ramayan and gave me a Bible to read. The Foreign Missionary in-charge, the pastor and the Mukadam, etc., used to tell me often to become Christian.
Mr. Shinde.- I know reading Ramayan and Bhagwat though
I did not go to school. I can read Hindi. The Ramayan which
had contained nine Chapters including Lav-Kush. (He was asked to
read a newspaper �Sawadhan� and he could read it.) I was an inmate five
to six years. I was not discharged by the asylum actually but as
I could not follow the Christian wav of life of the asylum and hence could
not give up my religion so I left the asylum. I left it of my own
accord. I know Nanu and Thakur. I know Karibai. I came to know
her after discharge of Kari. Now that woman Kari is with me.
She is my wife. I married her about five years ago. I married
her after I left hospital after two months. After I was admitted
into the Leper Home, my first wife left me and married another person.
After two years staying in the asylum, I did not like their life.
Names-(1) Nanu Rajdan, Issai of Chapa Ghogranala. (2) Bartu Sukra, Issai, Chapa.
Both state as follows:
We both know Bhakla, the previous witness. Along with Bhakla, one Mst. Kari was also-an inmate. It had become known that Bhakla, was carrying illicit intimacy with Kari. Even when Bhakla was an inmate of the asylum, he had constructed a house at Ghogranala, which adjoins the asylum. The Foreign Missionary in-charge used o advice Bhakla, to behave in a proper manner, because he had his wife already living. Once, Bhakla went away on leave and did not return to asylum. According to the rules of the asylum, misbehaviour with women was not allowed. When we joined the asylum, we were not Christians; during our stay there, we became Christians. We became Christians of our own accord, and not because of any force or promise given to us by the asylum doctor. No such promises are given, or force used. When we contacted the disease, members of our family turned us out. We were received in the asylum, given proper treatment and we have been looked after by the foreign Missionaries and other Christians working there. I had purchased a Bible for one rupee (small Bible) and when we read the contents and saw the life of th