Friday, February 10, 2006

In the name of religion

Dilip has a post and an article on the Shabari Kumbh Mela, which is scheduled on Feb 11-13 in the Dangs district of Gujarat, organized by RSS, VHP and VKP (Vanavasi Kalyan Parishad).
    Reduction of Faith
    Prevent it, this time

A couple of must-read articles by Ram Puniyani on the same topic, based on visits to Dangs:
     Intimidating the Minority
     Communalism 2005

Following are from the ShabariKumbh Mela website:
It was in August 1997 that this saffron-clad sannyasi set foot in Dang. All that he carried with him in this unfamiliar and hostile terrain were around 500 lockets of Hanuman and an unshakeable resolve! He would knock at the door of each house and would ask the inmates one question, “Are you Hindu or christian?” At the house of one such Hindu, Swamiji asked him, “May I spend the night in your house?” The Hindu gladly welcomed Swamiji. Swamiji kept his luggage, distributed the Hanuman lockets to the children and asked them to bring their Hindu friends in the evening for a Ram katha. That night, Dang witnessed the first ever Dharma sabha. Sensing danger, Christian missionaries asked Swamiji, “What brings you here?” The Swami posed them the same question. We have come here to serve the people replied the Christian missionaries. “I have come here to drive away those who have come here to serve” retorted the Swami. That was the beginning of the Hindu awakening in the Dangs.

The submissive Hindu who had been hitherto terrorized by the Christian missionaries began to assert himself. “Hindu jaage, Christi bhaage” became a popular slogan of the vanavasis of Dang. From 1998-2004, a total of 55 Vishal Hindu Sammelans were organized. These were attended by a total of four lakh Hindus. As Hindus objected to conversion activities of Christian missionaries, clashes broke out.

and a comment on the same website:
i just scanned through the latest 2001 census report of the Indian government, there are just 8,000 tribals in Dangs and christians in Gujarat constitute just 0.2 per cent. In the country they constitute just 2.31 per cent. And if iam not mistaken there are officials records to show that Christians are decreasing in number in Gujarat (this imformation can be found on the GUjarat census website)
Besides i heard that more than 38,000 tribals in dangs would be reconverted as Hindus. When there are just 8,000 Christians in Dangs where would the Sangh get the rest 30,000 tribals from.

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