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Camp Ambikapur (19-11-1955)

Oral Statement made before the Missionary Activities Enquiry Commission

CAMP AMBIKAPUR

(19-11-1955)

No. 1

Name-Ramchandra Purohit.
Father�s name-Pandit Ramjilal.
Address-Arya Hindu Dharma Seva Sangh, Delhi.

I work on behalf of the Arya Hindu Dharma Seva Sangh.  For the last two years I work in the- Ambikapur-Jashpur area and pay visits for this purpose.  Some persons of Bilaspur and Ambikapur had sent letters to our head office at Delhi complaining that Christian Missionaries were converting the local aboriginals by fraud, temptation and other means and I was deputed by the head office to make enquiries on the spot and to report what the facts were. I first came to Ambikapur and was informed that about 400 workers were engaged in conversion activities in Ambikapur-Surguja district and about 600 in Jashpur area.  I visited some of the important places in the Surguja-Jashpur area and contacted people. I was informed that three Missions were functioning in this area-a Protestant Mission, a Lutheran Mission and the name of third I have forgotten. I had contacted one pracharak at Sitapur and enquired from him about the allegation which was made to me that monetary and other temptations are given and people converted.  He replied saying that he did not know anything about money or loans being given and that his only work was to do preaching and make them good men. I met one Jagdeo Uraon of Sitapur in the village and on asking him why he had become a Christian he said that he had gone to a Missionary Doctor to receive treatment and was told by the Doctor that if he got his choti cut and converted to Christianity he would be cured.  He was converted but was not cured of his illness and he told me that he wanted to be reconverted. I asked him to come the next day when I would perform the Shuddhi ceremony.  But he did not come and I was subsequently informed that he had been given too much liquor on behalf of the Missionaries and subsequently also was given Rs. 32 so that he might not be reconverted.

About 6 or 7 months back I had visited village Pathalgaon and there I was invited by a foreign Christian Missionary to visit their primary school.  Accordingly, I went there and saw school children wearing cross round their necks. I asked the Reverend Fathers� names from some of them and when they gave out Hindu names I asked the Father the names of the children and was told that he remembered only their Christian names and not the Hindu names. I objected to his giving a Christian name to minor children.  The foreign Missionary had informed me that he belonged to the Belgium Mission and that his name was Gopalswami.  I, therefore, asked him why he had given the children Christian names when he himself had adopted a Hindu name, and to this he did not give a reply. I had myself no occasion to meet the parents of any of the children whom I saw at the school at Pathalgaon.  Three pracharaks have been engaged on behalf of my institution.  They do Shuddhi (reconversion) work.  The pracharak at Surguja has recently reconverted 8 persons in a village name Sur and the pracharak at Pathalgaon has sent a list of 600 persons whom he said to have reconverted.  We do not reconvert minors but only adults.  We do not offer any inducements for reconversion but only tell them that they should go back to their own religion and not commit the mistake of following another religion.  This Shuddhi activity has not resulted in any unpleasantness amongst the people.  There has been no ill will or resentment from either party including the Christians.  We do not run any schools.

To Shri Shinde-

My pracharaks do preaching for Hindu Dharma which is the same as Arya Samaj Dharma.  They tell the people the good points of their old religion and tell them not to become Christians.  There is idol worship in Hindu Dharma.  Arya Samajists do not believe in idol worship.  The three pracharaks have been engaged for propagating the Hindu.  They, therefore, do propaganda in favour of idol worship religion and not the Arya Samaj. The Uraons of this area are Hindus.  They worship Ram, Krishna and numerous other Hindu Gods and Goddesses.  Wasudeo Uraon, Hiralal Uraon, and Haribhajanlal Panka are our pracharaks.  Hiralal gets Rs. 40 per month and the other two, Rs. 30 each as salary.  This institution has not been sponsored by Arya Samajist.  The President is Goswami Gandeshdattaji Sanatan Mahamandal and the Secretary is Pandit Janardan Bhat both of whom are Sanatani Hindus. Including my present visit I have come to Ambikapur thrice.  Before I was sent to this area I was given a complaint received in the Head.  Office from Dr. Murarka of Bilaspur and. accordingly I first went to Bilaspur and contacted Dr. Murarka and others there.  They arranged for my visit to the Ambikapur-Jashpur area.  The complaints related to not only this area but some other areas of Madhya Pradesh. We do not object to conversions to Christianity brought about by legitimate means.  We only object to unfair means being adopted by Missionaries. I did not make a written report to my Head Office but gave a verbal report of my impressions.  In course of my enquiry I had taken down some notes including extracts of complaints made by people to local officials and reports made to the police. I have not brought the diary in which. I took down notes of my enquires.  The diary is, however, available with me and the correspondence which I had with the Head Office is also there.  I was informed that besides temptations of monetary gain and loans, the Missionaries gave the following allurements also :-

(1) Giving education.
(2) Getting married.
(3) Giving service.
(4) Making doctors.
(5) Sending to America.

My own view is that these temptations were falsely given with a view of mere conversion and were not intended to be carried out.  These reports made by people were heard in the public.  One is Lutheren Mission and another Dubki and the third as a Protestant Mission.  No Christian pracharak came to me in Surguja State to object to the prachar done by my man.  I do not know the name of Maharaja of Gwalior.  I do not know whether the name of Maharaja of Gwalior is George.
 

No. 2

Name-Reverend Joel Lakra.
Occupation-Principal, Theological College, Ranchi.
Address-Ranchi.

I am a born Christian.  I belong to the Uraon Tribe.  My grandfather became a Christian.  Uraons are not Hindus and they are called Sarna Pujaris.  They worship many Gods called Bhutas and they have an idea of one God.  The Adivasis in Surguja district include mainly Uraons.  We consider that when converted to Christianity, these Uraons become better persons.  We have engaged pracharaks in our Mission.  It is not our principle to vilify other religions while doing propaganda for Christianity.  I came across some Arya Samajist pamphlets decrying Christianity. I have brought a few pamphlets with me which I am handing over to the Committee.  I have marked some passages in these pamphlets which are objectionable to.  Christians.

To the Chairman-

In the year 1948 I attended the conference of the world Council of Churches held at Amsterdam, as a delegate of the Gossner Lutheren Church.  In 1914, all the German Missionaries connected with the Mission were turned out.  Since 1919, Gossner Church has entirely become Indianised.  I was paid my expenses to go to Amsterdam by the Lutheren World Council.  Lutheren World Federation represents all the Lutheren Churches.  In India there is a Lutheren Federation of Churches.  This is not connected with National Missionary Society.  There is a Lutheren N. M. S. which is different from Indian Federation of Lutheren Churches.  Mr. Dulles was present at the Session at Amsterdam.  He is not a Lutheren Christian.  He had read a paper on some subject which I do not remember, Lutheren World Federation had provided for funds being paid to orphaned Mission one of which was Lutheren Mission.  At Geneva, the offices of the Lutheren World Federation and the World Council of Churches are in the same compound.  For carrying on the work of evangelism in Surguja district there was constituted a Surguja Board.  I and Reverend Tirkey and Reverend Kripadanam were the members of the Surguja Board.  Once we had received Rs. 90,000 from the United Lutheren Church Mission in America.  We had made an appeal first for funds for the purpose of building churches and also evangelistic work.  Before that we had received 8,000 dollars (i.e., Rs. 4-8-0 for one dollar).  Reverend Kripadanam was in charge of the work which was started in Surguja district in 1952.  I have come across the writing �Churches expression rooted in the soil but supranational in their witness find obedience�.  Obedience means carrying out the Commandments of Lord.  Partnership in obedience means that there should be no distinction in caste, colour or race when they come to Jesus.  I know Dr. Oberdoffer who was the president of the Indian Lutheren Churches.  In 1947-48, our Indian Church also helped Germany while they were in difficulty.  As I understand the �expression supranational� it is that before Jesus there should be no consideration of nationality.  It means that the Christians alt the world over form an unity so far as obedience to Jesus is concerned.  We consider that we are Indian by our nationality but when it concerns obedience to Lord Jesus we do not recognise the barriers of nationality.  In England, it would be difficult for the church to be supranational.  In America, the church can go against the policy of the State as it is supranational.

There is an executive of the W. C. C. and I. M. C. which may declare the policy of work.

It was decided in the World Conference at Bangkok and in Lucknow that the Christian Church has an obligation to participate in a political, social and economic movements of the world.  In case of conflict between the policy of the Church and the State, I cannot say definitely that there will be a difference of opinion in Church too.

As I said in my article in �Ways bf Evangelism� there are Churches in India which are still dependent on support from foreigners.  My church is absolutely independent nevertheless we appeal for funds to the Lutheren World Federation whenever there is deficit in our funds.  And they send their donations in form of Christian charity without any strings attached to it, that means they do not impose any conditions.

The Jharkhand movement which has been in some form or other holding on has been put on its death-bed by the States Reorganization Committee Report.  Jharkhand movement was not a Christian movement.  This passage at page 60 of �Ways of Evangelism� was brought to my notice and I still support my views written therein.

I have not come across any attack on Ram or Krishna having been made by a Christian preacher nor in any pamphlet.  In the manner of preaching, there should be some understanding between the two preachers so that there should be no bitterness.  Our pracharaks are specially instructed not to hurt the feelings of the followers of other religion.

To Mr. Chopda-

I was President of the G. E. L. C. since 1942.  On my initiative a society called Unnati Samaj was formed in the year 1920 with the goodwill of Government as well as public.  The late Shri Bandiram Uraon was a member of the Bihar Assembly was my colleague.  I went away to Guntur as Professor and I was not connected with Adivasi Mahasabha.  Adivasi Mahasabha took the name of Unnati Samaj.  Adivasi Mahasabha originally was not a political body but it assumed political form when it began to espouse the cause of Jharkhand.  The personnel is not the same.  The constitution was also changed.

What I mean by the expression �took the place� is that the Adivasi Mahasabha came into existence subsequently.  �Abua Jharkhand� used to be published by the Lutheren Mission and at my instance that was stopped.  There was only one press which was being run by the Lutheren Mission.  There is a periodical entitled �Gharbandhu� is issued by the G. E. L. C. Occasionally, the meetings of the Adivasi Mahasabha used to be held in the Mission and Mission school compounds.  I do not remember that the meetings of any political parties were being held in the compound.

Soon after the merger was announced in 1948, I had come to Ambikapur and was guest of the Maharaja.  At that time I had a talk with Pandit Rudra Narayan Mishra about the merger of Surguja State with Bihar.  There is some understanding among the various Protestant Missions operating in this area as regards the area of work.  This is called comity of missions.  But the Roman Catholic Mission does not conform to it.  We have got 80 pracharaks working in this area.  Referring to page 2 of �Gharbandhu� of December 1951, he draws attention of Rev. Lakra to the writing in the above page and questions him �Will you be able to tell us the unknown way to Berlin?�

Shri Lakra replied even now I am unable to say.  As Germany was in military occupation no one could enter it without the passport.  But I was allowed without passport.  Through the British Zone I could go into the American Zone.  At the Amsterdam Conference of 1948, only the representatives of churches were present.  His attention is again drawn to page 25 of the �Elements of Ecumenism� where there is some reference to some interested individuals.  Rev. Lakra says that he is unable to say anything about it as he is not the writer of it.  I was representing India and the whole of Asia in the Lutheren World Federation from 1947 to 1952.

To Mr. Shinde-

I will not call Jharkhand a Christian movement.  There are more non-Christian members in the Jharkhand movement.  As Christians are more enlightened the leadership is mostly Christians and therefore 12 tickets to Christians and 2 to non-Christians were given.  But that was done with the consent of non-Christians.

NOTE.-Rev. Lakra said that he had not attended the Conference o Bangkok and Lucknow and that he could not say anything about what took place there.
 

No. 3

Name-Sanichara.
Father�s name-Mangla Uraon.
Address-Salba, Baikunthpur tahsil.

Three years ago there was an Indian preacher who came to me.  He was accompanied by Patras, Anant Masi, a teacher in Baikunthpur School, and a Survey Ranger of Baikunthpur.  This Ranger was a Christian.  They pressed me to become a Christian but I refused.  I am a Hindu.  Then after 2 or 3 days on Thursday market, the same number of people plus 2 additional persons again met me and took me to the priest�s house who was an Indian.  He offered me Rs. 10. I refused to accept it and after great deal of hesitation I took the money as it was put into my pocket.  The same night three Christian ladies who were converts from Uraon Caste came to me and again pressed me to embrace Christianity.  They said that the Government is going to be that of the Christians and that I should become a Christian.  Then Anant Masi, Patras and Ramsahai and Dular followed by many persons came to my house with sticks and threatened me saying that I had accepted Rs. 10 and would not be proper for me not to become a Christian.  And then they thrust some boiled rice into my mouth after touching it.  Then I reported the matter to the police and these persons were prosecuted and they were convicted. (Copy of judgment in Cr. Case No. 3 of 1953 before C. S. Shukla, Magistrate First Class, Baikunthpur, shown).

To Mr. Shinde of Jabalpur.- When I went to the bazar I had only two annas with me for purchase of tobacco.  Later on I spent Rs. 10 for my private use.  I can�t say exactly what Raj means but what they said was that you would be great man.  Now it is a British rule.  I took the money because although I was reluctant to take it they forced me to take it.  And I then accepted it.  My caste is Uraon but my religion is Hindu.  I worship Ram and other Gods and Goddesses.  I do not know Arya Samajists.  I heard from the elders of my village that the Committee was to hold sittings here to record evidence and therefore, I came.  I came here from Baikunthpur in bus. Badka Babu paid the bus fare Rs. 2 to me.
 

No. 4

Name-Budhram.
Father�s name-Sanni.
Address-Batwahi.

Three days ago, i.e., on Tuesday (last Tuesday) Nansai and three others asked me to be a Christian. I refused.  Then Nansai struck me with an axe in the village Batwahi. I was assaulted on the road.  They were all Christians of my own village.  The injury to my left leg is still there.  About a year ago the same Nansai had asked me to become a Christian and I had refused.  At that time he had not offered any inducements of money nor did he threaten me with assault.  I reported the matter of recent assault yesterday to the police at Ambikapur. I was got medically examined.

To Mr. Shinde.- During the year since Nansai told me to become a Christian he did not ask me or threaten me at any other time.  Then he assaulted me.  There was no dispute on any other ground.  Four people caught hold of me and one, Nansai injured me.  My age is about 20. On Tuesday, Nansai and his party assaulted me on the road.  Nansai asked me whether I would become a Christian or not, and on my refusal he assaulted me with an axe.  I was alone at the time.
 

No. 5

Name-Tilaso, daughter of Sukhna.
Age-18 years.
Address-Narkeli village in Baikunthpur tahsil.

About 4 years ago I was married to one Dulla.  About a year ago he became a Christian.  Patras and other Christians of the village made my husband a convert.  Soon after this, Patras and others made me eat cooked rice prepared by him and asked me to become a Christian.  I was thus become converted.  Thereafter my husband married another Hindu girl, converted her to Christianity and has given me up.
 

No. 6

Name-Shiodhan.
Father�s name-Iuthra.
Caste-Uraon.
Address-Amgaon (Baikunthpur).

Formerly, I was a peon in the service of the Survey Ranger of my Ilakha; he is a Christian.  My master used to tell me that I should explain to my parents as well as other villagers to embrace Christianity.  William Minz is the name of the Survey Ranger.  He asked me several times to become a Christian but I did not agree.  He said that if I became a Christian he would give me another job.  About a year back on one Sunday the Survey Ranger asked me to accompany to the Church but I refused.  The next day my services were terminated.  I had reported the matter to the Divisional Forest Officer.

To Mr. Shinde.- I was doing peon�s work. The Ranger used to scold me every day for bad work.  While terminating my services he said that as I was not becoming a Christian I was being turned out.  On the morning after refusal to attend Church the Rangersab had asked me why I had come late and further that the work would suffer by my late attendance.  I was removed from service two months after my refusal to go to the Church.  During these two months he did not tell me anything about becoming a Christian.
 

No. 7

Name-Jituram.
Father�s name-Manaram.
Caste-Uraon.
Address-Salba in Baikunthpur.

About three years back Patras and Anant Masi and two other Christian pracharaks had come to my house and asked me to become Christian.  They to Id me that if I did not become a Christian I would have to repent.  They offered me money and said I should become a Christian.  They threatened that in case I refused to become a Christian they would forcibly make me so by hurling a shoe at me, by putting touched food in my mouth, by touching my cooked food and by such ways. I narrated the incident to Babulal Sarpanch who asked me to report the matter to the police.  Accordingly, I reported the matter to Baikunthpur police.  Enquiry was made by the Station-House Officer.

To Mr. Shinde- I did not ask Patras how I would have to repent by not becoming Christian.  He was offering me Rs. 10 but I refused to accept.  He threw the money upon me and I threw the same at him.
 

(20-11-55)

No. 8

Name-Shri Bhimsen Chopda.
Father�s name.-Lala Keshoram Chopda.
Occupation-Journalist and R. S. S. Worker.
Address-Ambikapur.

I came to Ambikapur in April 1951. I was informed that Christian Missionaries have started their activities in Samri tahsil and Sitapur tahsil of this district and that they were converting people in large numbers by giving them inducements and by adopting other unfair methods.  As a journalist and a social worker I decided to make enquiries and accordingly in November 1951 I went to Karondha village, in Samri tahsil.  This village is situated on the border of Bihar.  Some villagers told me that P. Karketta, a Padri, had visited the village and had recorded their names in a register saying that they had become Christians.  The villagers told me that they had not been converted and that their names had been recorded without their consent.  P. Karketta belongs to the Roman Catholic Mission.  On that occasion I visited about 12 or 13 villages.  Villagers enquired from me about Jharkhand and asked if by becoming Christians they will not be required to pay land revenue and other dues.  On asking the reason for such enquiries I was told by them that Padri Karketta had been telling them that they should become Christians and asked for Jharkhand where they will not be required to pay land revenue or other dues.  The name of that Padri is Patras Karketta who had his headquarters at Kanjiya in the adjoining district of Palamaoha Bihar.

At Jawaharnagar village, P. Karketta met me; apparently he had been informed of my visit to the villages and he was in search of me. I discussed with him the purpose of starting conversion activities so vigorously in the interior villages of this district and he told me that the uplift of Adivasis could only be achieved by their embracing Christianity and that the Adivasis cannot hope for their welfare at the hands of the Congress Government.  I toured several other villages of Madwa area and I was informed by villagers that P. Karketta carried on propaganda saying that as Muslims got Pakistan, Adivasis should get Jharkhand or Issaisthan, that their rule would soon be established in Jharkhand where they would not be required to pay any land revenue and would be permitted to cut jungles free. I was also informed that at Chando village, Karketta had baptised two small children of six months and one and half years, respectively, without their parents consent.  I made enquiry from the father of these children and he told me that in his absence the Padri had come and cut the chundi of the children who were at that time ill and said that by becoming Christians they would become alright.  At that time the children�s grandmother was in the house.  I was informed by the villagers that reports of the activities of P. Karketta had been made by villagers to the Sub-Divisional Officer, Ramanujganj.  The Patel of Chando informed me that some time back a foreign Missionary by name Burdett had visited the village and had taken a procession out shouting slogans as follows:-

�Ram should not be regarded as God and that idols in temples being of stones, should not be worshipped etc.�

Burdett belongs to the Church of Christ Mission.  The incident had been reported to the police and was enquired into by the authority.  The local people of Chando had not indulged in any clash or mar-pit when this procession was taken out.  This was because of continued fear in the minds of the people of the English foreigners.

When I returned from tour I discussed the question with local social workers of Ambikapur and in course of these discussions Pandit Rudra Narayan Misra informed me that some time back Rev. Lakra of Ranchi had approached him with a request to create an atmosphere in Surguja for its merger with Bihar.  Rudra Narayan Misra originally came from Bihar and Rev. Lakra asked for merger as he was himself a Bihari.  Rev. Lakra further told Shri Misra that he would send some pracharaks for this purpose.

Once in the open season of 1952, I was going to Kharsia when at Pathalgaon I noticed a large number of villagers going in batches.  I made enquiries to find out if a fair was being held and was informed that a Missionary had come and people were going to him to receive loans.  As I was in hurry to go to Kharsia I did not make detailed enquiries then but later on my return I enquired into the matter further and was told that Pracharak Biswas Uraon of Ranchi had given out that money, had been received from America for being given on loan to people and whosoever wanted loans should get his name registered before agents appointed by Biswas.  The large number of villagers whom I had seen going were thus going to the agent for asking for loans.  The villagers were of all castes including christians.  I was informed that Biswas was acting under the directions of C. J. Tirkey.  Tirkey belongs to the Lutheren Mission. I myself did not see any one registering names of villagers for giving loans.  I do not know whether loans were given to any one. I met several persons who told me that they had got their names registered.  The list was given to me and I gave it to Shri Deshpande of Jashpur for being filed before the Committee. I did not meet any villager who told me that he had received any loan.  In course of my tours of the interior villages I was informed that mass conversions in each village used to take place and a general atmosphere had been created that by becoming Christians people will improve their economic conditions.  Conversions to Christianity were not allowed in the former State of Surguja where an Act had been passed banning conversions without permission.  After the merger of the State these mass conversions started and, therefore, I considered the situation abnormal. I went to Jabalpur and intimated some of my, co-workers and friends about the situation prevailing in this district.

The situation prevailing in Surguja became the subject of discussion amongst local leaders of the town including the former Ruler.  The vigorous manner in which seven or eight missions had suddenly started their work in this district, the enormous propaganda carried on in favour of Jharkhand and the mass conversion described above created alarm in the minds of the people who suspected some political gain behind this movement.  The local leaders including the former Ruler issued a printed appeal to the people.  These pamphlets were distributed in the villages.

I became further interested in the movement and started making enquiries.  I came across a book entitled �Catholic Dharma ka Pracharak�. Instructions to the Catholic preachers are given in this book (p. 32-33).  This book was used by pracharaks in this area.  I got a copy thereof from the Catholic Book Stall of Ranchi.  It is intended for use of the Pracharak.

The activities of the G. E. Lutheren Mission in Surguja were occasionally reported in their official organ Gharbandhu.  I have obtained some copies thereof and got them filed before the Committee.  For more information regarding G. E. L. C. please refer pages 1292-293 of the Directory, 1951.

When the President of India visited Ambikapur about two years back about seven to eight thousand persons had gone before him and informed him of the mass conversion activities of the Missionaries and the dangers thereof to the people.  A deputation of leading citizens had also waited on him to request him to take action to prevent such activities.

To Shri Shinde, Advocate.- At Pathalgaon I saw two batches of 75 and 25 each of villagers going to receive loans.  I was at the motor stand where the bus halts for about half an hour. I talked to some of the villagers as to where they were going.  I went three months after my return from Kharsia to make detailed enquiries about the offer of loans.  I might have visited two or three villages for this enquiry.  I do not know the root meaning of the word Jharkhand.  I am of opinion that the Jharkhand movement is a Christian movement. I originally belong to Dera- Ismailkhan and came to India after the partition having witnessed the tragedy of partition.  I, therefore, felt alarmed when a similar situation was being created here in the name of Jharkhand.  As the proposed reorganization of the States is being done by the national Government, I am  not alarmed about it.  About Jharkhand I was alarmed because it was being converted into Issaisthan and be ultimately merged with Pakistan.  I have not come across any booklet or pamphlets in circulation in Surguja against Christian religion. Pamphlets entitled �Issai Mat Pol Prakash and Kya Issa Khuda the�. These books shown to the witness. I have not seen these in circulation in Surguja.

I have visited Chando on several occasions and have not heard any song against Christians being sung.
 

No. 9

Name-Prabhudas Kashyap.
Father�s name-Benjamin Kashyap.
Occupation-Teacher.
Address-Kharcha village in Samri tahsil.

I belong to the Church of Christ. I am a born Christian.  My ancestors were Uraons.  Uraons belong to Sarana Dharma.  Uraons cannot be called Hindus because in their marriages they do not invite Hindus, ceremonies are not performed by Brahmins and killing of cow is permissible in their religion.  There is no caste system in Uraons.  About four months back a Middle School has been started at village Chando by the Tribal Welfare Department.  The village market is held on Mondays.  Jhagru Singh Patel, the Assistant Teacher, and others hold meetings in the market every Monday, use abusive and intemperate language towards Christians and it appears that if on listening their speeches some Christians get provoked and ask questions, rioting might take place.  They abuse Christians and say that Christians will be turned out of the village, that the Government is with them and not with the Christians and they sing a song the last two or three lines of which state �that foreigners of white skin will be turned out, that they will not become converts nor will allow conversion to Christianity and that Christians will be turned out of the country�.  I have heard this song being sung and taken down the words which I am filing before the Committee.

The Headmaster of Chando and his assistant teachers perform Shuddhi ceremony.  They recently reconverted five persons four of them became Hindus voluntarily and one of them again became a Christian and stated that he was threatened to become a Hindu.  No complaint of this has been made to the authorities.  I came to Kharcha village about four years ago.  Prior to that I was at Palamau (Bihar).

At present there are about 32 Christians including females.  They became converts in the last four years after I came to Kharcha.  Village Chando is about three miles from my village and has a population of about 65 Christians.  They have become Christians together about four years ago.  There are two other villages where Christians belonging to my Mission live.

To Mr. S. C. Rai.- Our expenses are met partly by local subscriptions and partly by outside aid.  Our central office is at Bhandaria, in Palamur district in Bihar.  There are two teachers and seven Pracharaks engaged by our Mission.  I get Rs. 60 a month and the pay of others vary from Rs. 45 to Rs. 60 per month.  In my opinion the Uraons are not Hindus.  After Shuddhi those persons were converted as Hindus.  I do not know whether Adivasis other than Uraons worship Sarana.  Although I know that cow-killing is allowed according to Uraon religion I have not seen any Uraon killing, a cow.

I have not composed the song.  The people of Chando and other villages have started harassing Christians since people became converts.
 

No. 10

Name-Safi.
Father�s name-Bodhu.
Caste-Manji (Baiga).
Age-25 years.
Address-Salainagar.

(Examined in camera)
 

No. 11

Name-Tuswa.
Father�s name-Pardeshi.
Caste-Uraon Christian.
Occupation-Cultivator.
Address-Bataikela.

About 4 or 5 months back I became a Christian.  When I became a Christian the villagers assembled and asked me why I became a Christian.  And they said that they will drive away Pracharak Manohar.  I became a Christian voluntarily.  They came to my house where Manohar Pracharak lived, assaulted him and asked him to leave the village.  After about 2 weeks the pracharak came back to the village, and he is still there in my house.

The same day the school master and the Patel Birsingh assaulted me and forcibly took my thumb impression on the paper saying that I should renounce Christianity.  But I did not agree. I still have top-knot.  When any one becomes a Christian his top-knot is cut.  I have become a full Christian.  I belong to the Lutheren Church.  Along with me four other persons including their families of the village became Christians.

To Shri S. C. Rai-

I am not in the employ of Mission and do not get any money or salary from them.  The schoolmaster Birsingh had asked me to give up Christianity and not that I should become a Hindu.  I told him that I had become a Christian voluntarily and therefore will not give it up.  In my old religion I was required to incur huge expenditure on providing goat, etc., for sacrifice but in the new religion this is not necessary.
 

No. 12

Name-Hiralal.
Father�s name-Bimlaram.
Caste-Uraon.
Occupation-Cultivator.
Address-Beljora in Sitapur tahsil.

From 1947 to 1950 I studied in a Government school in Assam and on return from there joined the Muskutri Mission school in Jashpur.  I had produced my school leaving certificate.  My parents are Hindu Sansari Uraons.  At the Muskutri Mission my name was changed by the school teacher to John Minz and formerly I objected.  The teacher said there was no harm and hence used to answer to the name of John Minz.  When I left the school a certificate was given in which I am shown as John Minz.  My father�s name was also changed to Mangra Minz.  I later joined the Loyola High School and when I left it last year I applied to the Inspector of Schools for correcting my name in the certificate.

When I was in the Loyola High School the headmaster asked me to work as a Pracharak on Rs. 25 per month salary but as I wanted to continue my studies I refused. I was given free education.  The date of birth is 25th January 1936. (Certificate produced and seen).

To Mr. Shinde-

During the school I was required to attend Bible classes although I did not want to attend.  No Padri or anybody told me in the school to become a Christian.  When I left the Loyola High School in the middle of the session they did not give me the school-leaving certificate although demanded.  In the certificate the caste is shown as Uraon. I was not given the school leaving certificate because I left in the middle of the term and teachers said that I did not listen to their advice. I did not complain to the education authorities that I was not given the school certificate.  It is not true that I was rusticated from the Loyola High School.
 

No. 13

Name-Eliajar.
Father�s name-Jagati.
Caste-Uraon Christian.
Address-Kharcha village, tahsil Samri.

I do not know to what Church I belong but I am a Christian.  I am a born Christian.  Last year my father was assaulted by Deonath and as a result of the injuries my father died.  A case concerning that incident is going on.  About a month back the Police Sub-Inspector of Samri visited my village to attach my standing crops.  He told me to become a Hindu and said that I was being put to this trouble because I was a Christian.  He told me that if I became a Hindu I would be allowed to cut the crop because it was known to every one that for the last 10 years my father had been sowing the crops in that field.  The Sub-Inspector further said that if I wanted money, he would give Rs. 10.  I refused to accept the money.

To Shri Dube, Pleader-

There was a dispute between Deonath and my deceased father over the possession of a field.  In that quarrel I gave a stick blow first to Deonath.  The re were about 10 to 15 persons present when the Sub-Inspector offered me Rs. 10 to become a Hindu. I did not report the matter to any one.
 

No. 14

Name-Sukna.
Father�s name-Sardar.
Caste-Uraon.
Occupation-Cultivator.
Address-Karmi in Kusmi tahsil.

I am a panch amongst Uraons. I know the customs and manners followed by the Uraon community.  They are Hindus, and follow the Hindu religion, its customs and manners.  In respect of birth, death and marriages they follow Hindu customs. Hindu festivals like Diwali, holi, etc., are observed by us.  We worship the cows also.  Cow-killing is not allowed in our religion.  The Uraons worship Shio and Mahadeo in Sarana.  Amongst Uraons there are Gotras.  The people of the same gotra cannot marry.

To Mr. Shinde-

I am illiterate.  Uraon is a caste of Hindus.  We are Uraon Kshatriya All Uraorts are Kshatriyas.  Ramayan contains eight Khands.  My son reads Ramayan to me. I am a Hindu Uraon.  We are Hindus from time immemorial.  All Uraons know Ramayan.  I do not know what is meant by �Balidan.� There is no inter-marriage between Uraons and non-Uraons.  We do not have sacrifice of cows amongst Uraons.
 

No. 15

Name-Kanduram.
Father�s name-Silva.
Caste-Uraon.
Occupation-Cultivator.
Address-Karada.

Agnu Gaothia�s son has become a Christian and is a Pracharak.  He once asked me to become a Christian but I declined.  Gaothia and his son said that if I did not become a Christian according to his direction, he would turn me out of the village.

To Mr. Shinde-

There are about seven families of Christians and about 12 of Uraons.  I have never heard the name of Jharkhand.
 

No. 16

Name-Mst. Ledhi w/o Sukha.
Caste-Uraon.
Address-Deogadh, P. S. Sitapur.

One Rupsahai came to my village about a year ago along with other persons and asked me to become a Christian.  When I refused they beat me.  My husband was not present in the house at the time.  Rupsahai is the Pracharak.  There are about six families of Christians and five families of Uraons in my village.

To Mr. Lakra-

As there was no one else nearabout, no one came to rescue me when I was assaulted.  I reported the matter to the Police.  No enquiry has yet been made.

   

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

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