21 March, 2013

Encounter on the Euphrates

by Sita Ram Goel

Christian historians will have us believe that Hinduism first came in contact with Christianity in AD 52 when St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus Christ, landed in Malabar. He is supposed to have travelled in South India and founded seven churches before he was. 'murdered' by the 'malicious' Brahmanas. The old Christians in Kerala, who knew as well as introduced themselves as Syrian Christians till the other day, now take pride in calling themselves St. Thomas Christians. We have examined this story elsewhere1 as also the motives for floating it. Here it should suffice to say that the more scrupulous Christian historians have foundthe story too fanciful to be taken seriously.

Coming to facts of history, the first encounter between Hinduism and Christianity took place not in India but in those parts of West Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe which comprised the Roman Empire at the dawn of the Christian era. There is evidence, archaeological as well as literary, that Hinduism had made its presence felt in Graeco-Roman religions and philosophies long before Jesus was born. The imprint of Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta on Eleatic, Elusinian, Orphic, Pythagorean, Platonist, Stoic, Gnostic and Neo-Platonist philosophies is too manifest to be missed easily. It was widely believed in the ancient Western world that the Greeks had learnt their wisdom from the Brahmanas of India. Evidence of Hindu colonies in some leading cities of the Roman Empire is also available. Hindu temples had come up wherever Hindu merchants and traders had established their colonies. Hindu saints, sages and savants could not have lagged behind.

Christianity did not fail to notice this Hindu presence as soon as it became a force in the Roman Empire. It was, from its very birth, wide awake towards all currents and crosscurrents of thought and culture. We find St. Hippolytus attacking the Brahmanas as a source of heresy as early as the first quarter of the third country.2 It was not long after that Hinduism faced a determined assault from Christianity as did other ancient religions of the Roman Empire.

Hindu temples were the most visible symbols of the Brahmana religion. They became targets of Christian attack like all other Pagan temples. 'According to the Syrian writer Zenob,' writes Dr. R. C. Majumdar, 'there was an Indian colony in the canton of Taron on the upper Euphrates, to the west of Lake Van, as early as the second century B.C. The Indians had built there two temples containing images of gods about 18 and 22 feet high. When, about AD 304, St. Gregory came to destroy these images, he was strongly opposed by the Hindus. But he defeated them and smashed the images, thus anticipating the iconoclastic zeal of Mahmud of Ghazni.3

Historians of the Roman Empire have documented the large-scale destruction of Pagan temples by Christianity from the fourth century onwards.4 It is more than likely that some of these were places of Hindu worship. The word 'pagan' is a comprehensive term in Christian parlance and covers a large variety of religious and cultural expressions. Hindu historians will have to examine all archives, Pagan as well as Christian. Meanwhile, let Christian theologians tell us of the Christian virtues for which Gregory was canonised as a saint.

1 Sita Ram Goel, Papacy. Its Doctrine and History, Voice of India, 1986, pp. 55-58. The St. Thomas story has since been examined in great detail in The myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple by Ishwar Sharan, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1991, reprinted in a revised and enlarged second edition in 1995.

2 D. P. Singhal, India and World Civilization, Calcutta, 1972, Volume I, p. 85.

3 The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume II, The Age of Imperial Unity, Fourth Edition, Bombay, 1968, pp. 633-634. It would have been more appropriate to mention Francis Xavier in this context. Islamic iconoclasm is not the only iconoclasm which Hinduism has known. Christian iconoclasm pioneered by Xavier was no less ferocious and predatory. It is true that due to geographical and historical factors, Christian iconoclasm came to this country much later, was confined to a much smaller area and spread over a much shorter time-span as compared to the large-scale and prolonged iconoclasm practised by Islam. But, it was no less criminal in its inspiration. Moreover, Islam did not invent iconoclasm. It had learnt it from the Bible and the Christian practice down the ages.

4 The evidence of Christian iconoclasm in many countries for many centuries lies scattered in many Christian and non-Christian accounts. During my travels in 1989, I searched several leading libraries in Switzerland, Germany, France, England and the USA for a consolidated study of the subject but failed to find any. A glimpse of what Christianity did to Pagan temples in the Roman Empire can, however, be had from Pierre Chuvin, A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA, 1990.

Did the Ancient Vedas get written in 1200 BC? Says Who?

The ancient Indian history as taught today to our youth is mostly based on a number of distortions and mis-dated chronology that Kosla Vepa, director of the prestigious Indic Studies Foundation based in US, says “were deliberately engineered to create confusion and inferiority complex among Indians” by the  British Raj’s pseudo-historians of 19th century.
It is time for us Indians to reclaim our history from the clutches of people of another race — who have no stake in our civilisation — and set right these malicious distortions. Prof. B.B. Lal (former DG, ASI) in his paper at the International Conference on Indian History, Civilisation and Geopolitics to be held from January 9 at New Delhi, has given several examples of these distortions in Indian history. 
I quote from his paper and bring to you the Deliberate Distortion Number One engineered by that infamous rogue Max Mueller that is still haunting us Indians today:
Way back in the 19th century, the renowned German scholar Max Muller dated the Vedas to circa 1200 BCE. This he did on a very ad-hoc basis. Having accepted that the Sµutra literature could be as old as the sixth century BCE, he assigned a duration of two hundred years to each of the preceding periods, namely those of the Araynakas, Brahmanas and Vedas. Thus, 600+200+200+200= 1200 BCE was his ready-made date for the Vedas.
However, when his contemporary scholars, such as Goldstucker, Whitney and Wilson raised objections to this kind of ad-hocism, he relented and came out with the following statement:
“I have repeatedly dwelt on the merely hypothetical character of the dates, which I have ventured to assign to the first periods of Vedic literature. All I have claimed for them has been that they are minimum dates, and that the literary productions of each period which either still exist or which formerly existed could hardly be accounted for within shorter limits of time than those suggested.”
But when even this explanation-cum-apology did not satisfy the scholars, Max Muller threw up his hands in sheer desperation. His confession, as follows, is worth noting (Max Muller 1890, reprint 1979):
“If now we ask how we can fix the dates of these periods, it is quite clear that we cannot hope to fix a terminum a qua [sic]. Whether the Vedic hymns were composed [in] 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 BC, no power on earth will ever determine.”
In so far as Max Muller was concerned, the matter was closed from his side. But the greatest irony is that his original fatawa of 1200 BCE, given in the 19th century, is sill ruling the roost in certain quarters even in the 21st century!
The disastrous effect of this fatawa was seen in the 1920s when the Harappan Civilization was discovered and attempts were made to identify its authors. On the basis of the occurrence of several objects of this civilization in deposits of certain already-dated West Asian cultures, it was assigned to the 3rd millennium BCE.
The net result was that the Vedic people were never even considered to have been the authors of the Harappan Civilization, since according to Max Muller.s fatawa the Vedas were only as old 1200 BCE.  Simultaneously, without any sustainable reason the authorship was thrust on the Dravidian-speaking people. And this is how the first major distortion took place in interpreting ancient Indian history!
What kind of a “historian” was Max Muller? How can a historian make wild guesses without any basis and circulate his day-dreaming into public discourse, fully knowing that regardless of how absurd they are, his words will carry the weight of his name behind them and be taken seriously by people who don’t know any better? This is exactly what happened.
Was it necessary for Muller to circulate these dates about the Vedas and other literature to others when he himself admitted that no power on earth could determine when these holy books actually got written, “whether in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 BC”? It is a crying shame that this date of 1200 BC as origin of the Vedas pulled by Mueller out of his hat is still being taught to Indian school children as a “fact.”
Does anyone in India even know how Muller arrived at this date? He decided that Sutras may not have been written any later than 600 BC (even this date has no basis in fact) and then on a whim he gave a nice packet of 200 years to each sacred literature — namely, Aranyakas, Brahmanas and Vedas — to develop and grow, totalled up the figures and, low and behold, he had 1200 BC as the date of origin of Vedas! Is this some kind of a joke? On top of that, he was fundamentalist in his Biblical belief that nothing in this world could be older than 4000 BC because that is when God created the universe! He wanted to give about 2000 years for the world and human race to evolve since the Creation and thus 2000 BC was his cut-off limit for antiquity of anything.
This is nothing but a criminal act of robbing Indian civilisation of its antiquity. Today, any historian who plays tricks like Mueller did with his dating of the Vedas will be declared a clown and get laughed out of the town by his peers. From dating of the Vedas to his equally absurd theory of Aryan race and Aryan invasion, there is no other “historian” who has spread more rumours about Indian history than this lout.

Beware of those shameless Indians

Beware of those shameless Indians
By RSN Singh
The Maoists, who have unequivocally declared their resolve to capture power through violence, and the Kashmiri separatists came together on one platform in India’s capital ‘New Delhi’.
Some of the faces that represented them were Geelani and Arundhati Roy respectively. Such open acts of sedition can only happen in India.
The forging of alliance between pro-Pak elements in Kashmir, the Maoists, insurgent groups in the Northeast, Chinese agencies, and some Church organisations is well established by the intelligence agencies. But what is most intriguing is the support they receive from a segment of the mainstream media.
This is evident from the posturing of some of the media personalities and so-called intellectuals during debates on television. Such is the backing, infiltration and leverage of some international organisation that the government can do nothing against these elements and is in fact beholden to them.
Therefore, I can only appeal to the people of this country to save themselves from the evil designs of these shameless Indians.
How do these these shameless Indians operate?
A patient suffering from painful disease goes to a doctor. The doctor correctly diagnoses the ailment and chalks out an effective treatment plan. But even as the patient embarks on his way to recovery, another person, who has stakes in property after the death of the patient, comes in the garb of a well-wisher and convinces the patient that the doctor cannot be trusted. The patient discontinues the treatment and ultimately fades away into the trap of death.
One hopes that ‘Operation Green Hunt’ does not meet the same fate.
A constituency without responsibility
There is a constituency in India which does not allow any line of treatment to ‘security ailments’ that afflict the country after they are correctly diagnosed. As a result, some of these ailments have acquired cancerous proportions.
This is the constituency of some shameless activists and protagonists of criminals and terrorists, who thrive on the psychological reality that in India, the lifespan of shock and outrage that follows a terrorist incident is short.
This is the constituency without any responsibility. Their contribution to the nation is zilch. They have never found solutions to problems, but are adept at creating them. Their business is to derail and dissuade the state and its apparatus from taking any decision that may contribute the progress and well-being of India.
Let’s look at another analogy to illustrate the attitude of this constituency of professional activists towards their ‘accidental’ country, India.
A couple, whose child was not performing well in school began to harbor doubt about the teacher. After much analysis, they realised that the teacher was not to be blamed. Even after working on the child, the results were the same. They again found a scapegoat in the teacher.
The other successful students, however, sang paeans to the teacher. This rattled the parents and they vowed to demolish the teacher’s sincerity and reputation.
This exactly is the make, motive and modus operandi of these shameless activists. For those who have made activism the means of their bread and butter, particularly the latter, it is the larger good that disconcerts them.
When a terrorist strike takes place, these activists and commentators talk about the ‘resilience of the people’, and very grudgingly appreciate the sacrifices of the security forces.
Remember Kargil? The overwhelming sense of concern for wounded and dead soldiers was mainly motivated by TRP rather than any genuine feeling. Otherwise, how can the same set of commentators and activists accuse the Indian Army of rape and unbridled violence in insurgency areas, and support the cause of removing the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).
Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, this shameless variety of activists and protagonists go into hibernation. Some of whom, who still get intercepted, avoid discussion on television by saying “I condemn violence” by any side — as if they are doing a favour by condemning it, and as if the force applied by legitimate forces is the same as violence by illegitimate outfits.
Some members of this ilk are compelled to speak words of sympathy about the victims of terror. They bide their time and resurface when the dust has settled. They then begin to question the veracity of the very act of terror. Some suggested that Karkare was not killed by terrorists! Other suggested that SIMI was a charitable organisation! Some of them also suggest that the Maoists are ‘Gandhians with Guns’, whatever that means.
Remember the protagonists of militancy in Punjab and Sri Lanka – some of them have gone into oblivion and some have reinvented themselves.
26/11 and the rich
There are some apologists, who defend the position that the attack on Hotel Taj, attracted so much attention because the rich were targeted – as if the attack was pointedly and carefully made on rich India by a thoughtful and benevolent bunch of terrorists from Pakistan. As if there are only rich guests in a five star hotel and no employees. Had they expressed similar views during or in immediate aftermath of the attack, they would have met devastating response from then angry Indians.
If Azmal Kasab had not been caught alive, these shameless activists would have surely raised doubts about the fact that the attacks originated from Pakistan. Pakistan has read and understood this constituency of the shameless activists and commentators, and their disproportionate influence in India. Some of them have surreptitiously worked their way into the highest policy making circles. Accordingly, a fidgety Pakistan has now been emboldened to adopt an aggressive posture with regard to 26/11 attack.
Take the case of the attack on Indian parliament in December 2001. An individual who was absolved by the courts on technical ground was portrayed, as victim of state conspiracy by the same shameless bunch of activists. Most of them knew pretty well about his key role in the attack. They are more than aware that the constraints of judiciary in absolving a person of any criminal charge due to lack of legally appropriate evidence does not actually mean that the person is innocent.
There are any number of judgements, wherein the judges have categorically stated that much against their personal conviction about the involvement or complicity of the accused in a crime, they have to absolve the individual due to imperatives and constraints of law.
After the passage of a suitably-considered gap between two terrorist attacks, some platforms, in their desperate bid to dilute the resolve of the nation, stage-manage debates on terrorist incidents – Making such issues “debatable” requires some genius.
It is here that the shameless variety of activists come handy, and they emerge out of hibernation. The subjects of debate can be as preposterous as: Is China a threat to India?, Did China attack India in 1962?, Is terrorism exported from Pakistan? Is the Kashmir insurgency a proxy-war by Pakistan?, Do Maoists indulge in terrorism?, Should security forces continue to be deployed in Kashmir?
The shameless activists will come up with theories that Pakistan and China have no hand in fomenting trouble in India! There is no proof that China has supplied missile and nuclear arsenal to Pakistan! The strategic encirclement of India by Pakistan is a myth! Karkare was not killed by terrorists! There was no element of local facilitation in the 26/11 attacks!
So what if Musharraf scripted Kargil, his intention with regard to India was benign! So what if the Maoists behead ‘informers’ and security personnel, they are basically peace loving people!
These shameless Indians have vested interest in poverty. That they are funded by inimical powers to India is well-known. They laud the progressive policies of their benefactors like China, but find all the time to agitate and block the same policies and programmes in India.
Is it a ploy by the adversaries of India, particularly China, to derail India’s economic development?
With the proliferation of the media, and increased role and influence of these shameless activists and commentators, the level of development in China started weighing overwhelmingly in favour of the latter, and is contributing much to its aggressive posture. Therefore, patriotic Indians need to be beware of these shameless Indians.

RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review.

What Bharat was like in 1835

Macaulay’s note on what kind of country was India when he visited it, and what should be done to break its backbone. The “modern” generation of Indians (the likes of Nehru and Arvind Adiga, and today’s pub-going cool dudes) grovelling in front of the white man is a result of this strategy put in motion by the British 150 years ago.
Our education system was subverted to teach the glory of Western civilisation while study of Hindu civilisation was banned. Sanskrit was banned. Traditional village schools were de-recognised. The result was mass illiteracy. By 1905 (in merely 50 years), the British had managed to reduce the literacy rate of India to only 6 percent! 
The steep fall of Indian economy and education was staggering. Entire industries were run to the ground. Captal and bullion were transferred to Britain by shiploads, which financed its industrial revolution. But millions began to die in famines in India. Remember, in 1750, India accounted for 25 percent of the world’s GDP. It was the richest country in the world. By the time the British left in 1947, it had come down to less than one percent. And our first Prime Minister Nehru has the cheek to go to Oxford and thank the British for ruling us and civilising us!
The curriculum that British introduced to brainwash our Hindu and Sikh children and fill them with low self-esteem about Hindu civilisation was left unchanged even after independence. The study of Hindu culture, literature and scriptures still remains banned in our schools. The communists entered the education system under patronage of Nehru and Indira Gandhi and injected it with anti-Hindu poison.
The result of all this? The White Man shows to the whole world Indians swimming in shit and projects the forced blindings of young children as the “reality of the heathens of India.” The White director is awarded the White Man’s award for his services. The Indians become delirious with joy and call Slumdog Millionaire the “highest achievement of Indian film industry”! Anil Kapoor dances a jig and swoons on the stage in front of the Whites. The coolies celebrate. ”We are coolies no more!” they gush. “We have progressed. Now we are slumdogs!” The prime minister congratulates Indians. The ruling party Congress declares it as the major achievement of its term. And I hear the macabre laughter of the ghost of Macaulay.

How Norway funds Christian terror

Norway is a rabidly evangelical country which is acting as a poodle of the US and allying its international activities with it. It is working as the new Crusader of the Cross in South Asia. Its missionaries are majorly active in Maoist-affected tribal areas of India, especially on Orissa-Andhra border.
Norway is a country that has to be kept at an arms length from India and indeed the whole of the Indian Subcontinent. The liberalism and secularism of White Christian countries stop at their own borders. In their foreign policy and international activities, these are nothing but Christian crusaders rolling in the mud of Christian fundamentalism and religious hatred of the pagans. This is true for every country of White Christians, but the native English-speakers are the most dangerous .
The following report has been prepared by Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT), an NGO from Norway.  It shows that instead of acting as an honest mediator, Norway is engaged in funding and arming the LTTE. This is no surprise since the LTTE movement has been hijacked by the church through conversion of its top leadership. It is now being used as a cat’s paw against both Hindus and Buddhists of Sri Lanka. No wonder, White Christians are running amock all over the world in support of LTTE and dumping on the Sri Lankan government. They are trying to take over Sri Lanka through the LTTE, just like they have taken over Nepal through the Maoists (whose top leadership is Christian too). 
This two-bit country from Scandanavia has to be taught a lesson. It is trying its ”Christian terrorism” trick in India too through its missionaries. Can Indian government cure these crusaders of their evangelical medievalism and stop them from spreading their “love” in India?

Sikhs and the British: The Charter Act and the beginnings of the missionary movement.

Sikh Historian Gurinder Singh Mann, discusses the relatively unknown Charter Act which introduced the Christian missionary movement into India.

In my recent TV interview regarding the British and the Sikhs, I referred to the British Act of Parliament called the Charter Act of 1813. This relatively unknown piece of legislation gave the green light for Christian Missionaries to start their preaching in India. Whilst the British had been in India for many years under the guise of the East India Company, their work was restricted. Interestingly the East India Company did not want missionaries interfering in their politics of Trade and Commerce and thus thwarted any attempts for Christian Ministers to bring religion to the masses.

There were several individuals who wanted to push through the reform allowing the ‘Gospel’ to be introduced in India. This included William Wilberforce (1759-1833) who was famous for helping to bring an end to the slave trade but paradoxically wanted a change in India so that Christian values could supersede those of the common man. He tried to change the Charter Act in 1793 and failed. In 1813 he created a mass movement to lobby Parliament by getting over 900 petitions sent to Parliament regarding the introduction of Missionary Centres in India. On 22nd June William Wilberforce gave a resolute speech lasting three hours which influenced the decision to change the Charter Act.

The Charter Act 1813    

This Act was an extension and renewal of the earlier Acts of 1772, 1784, 1793, which previously gave the East India Company a monopoly regarding terms of trade in India. The 1813 Act was different in several ways and was essentially a way to end the monopoly of the East India Company. What was to come would change India but would also significantly impact on Punjab and the religion of the Sikhs in a most profound way. At the time of implementation the Punjab was not under British rule. Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) was keeping the British at bay by signing the Treaty of Amritsar in 1809, but the incremental changes brought in would have a devastating effect on the Punjab. 

The Act can be defined as follows:

1. The Act affirmed that the Crown was sovereign over British India. This included the East India Company coming under the direct control of the Crown.

2. The promotion of education in India. The translation of texts into native languages and vice versa.
3. Christian missionaries allowed to proselytise their religion. They set up missionary centres known as missions.

The British used the above changes in their operations to increase the number of people coming over to India and eventually implement changes to the fabric of society. However the translations of the Bible into various languages and dialects had begun some years previously. William Carey (1761-1834) in 1792 had published ‘An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, to use means for the Conversion of the Heathens.’ In 1793 he was in India and after several years fighting the East India Company set up his mission and the translations of the Bible began.

In the biography of William Carey (Life Of William Carey: Shoemaker & Missionary, George Smith 1909) the author states the following:
The Punjabi Bible, nearly complete, issued first in 1815, had become so popular by 1820 as to lead Carey to report of the Sikhs that no one of the nations of India had discovered a stronger desire for the Scriptures than this hardy race [Sikhs]. At Amritsar and Lahore "the book of Jesus is spoken of, is read, and has caused a considerable stir in the minds of the people." 
A Thug, asked how he could have committed so many murders, pointed to it and said, “If I had had this book I could not have done it."
The seeds of destruction for the Sikhs had been sown.
Gurinder Singh Mann is author and Sikh Historian. His project with the PCA showcased the first English translations of the Sikhs. He is working on a book looking at the British and the Sikhs. 

The Treacherous Kerala Christians & Aggressive Evangelism in Punjab

To understand the true nature of Christians around the world, we should take a better look at Kerala. In the 4th Century A.D. Christianity became the dominant religion and later become the established religion of the Roman Empire. The Sassanian rulers of Iran who followed a philosophy which was a part of Hinduism, wisely foresaw that the Syrian Christians within their borders would develop into a fifth column of their powerful neighbours. Their aim was to persecute the Syrian Christians. Some of these Christians fled Iran in groups. In 345 A.D. around 400 odd persons from 72 families comprising men, women and children, reached Cragananore (Kodungalloore) Kerala, under the leadership of a merchant known as Thomas Cananeus. The Hindu kings out of their generosity, gave them refuge. What these treacherous Christians did in return was to invite Vasco da Gama to invade India. This information has recently came to light from Portugese documents.
Sanjay Subrahmaniam in Lisbon went through the Portuguese documents Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama and found that these Kerala Christians, known as Syrian Christians, were indeed a fifth column who were engaged in spying and were brought by Vasco da Gama to Kerala shores that began the colonisation of India. They had promised the Portugese, French and British their support to defeat and evict the local kings, the Zamorins, who gave them refuge. Vasco da Gama had bombarded Calicut in Kerala when the Zamorin ruler refused to be dictated by him. He plundered the Kerala ships bringing in rice to the city and cut off the ears, nose and hands of the crews. The Zamorin sent to him an envoy after getting safe passage from the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama chopped off the nose, ears and hands of the envoy and strung them around his neck together with a palm-leaf on which a message was conveyed to the Hindu king that he could cook and eat 'food' made from his envoy’s limbs.”
These facts came to light from the Dutch history of Travancore, and also through the French records. That the Syrian Christian refugees of Kerala wanted the Europeans to help them to finish the Hindu kings who gave them refuge is now the most shocking piece of information received that no Keralite can digest.
Now readers may wonder what has Kerala got to do with Punjab & Sikhism? Well, for several years under the British occupation of Punjab, Christian Missions were allowed to spring up in every corner of Punjab to convert the so called 'Heathens' ( Hindus & Sikhs ). Amritsar had at one point become the centre of such treacherous activities and Shri HariMandir Ji too had been closed off by the British to convert the temple into a centre of Christian propagation.
In a alarming trend, evangelism has begun to tread on the Sikh faith as well. I have for the past 3 years been keeping a close eye on the Church that has suddenly sprung up right next to Shri HariMandir temple at Amritsar. If any of you have noticed it, it never was there some 6 years back, but now with Easter around the corner, these Christian evangelists are busy with their agendas of brainwashing Sikh youth into accepting Jesus as their 'SatGuru'.

Every aspect of Punjabi society is being overwhelmed with this new wave of assertive Christianity. Besides nationwide programs in Hindi, Punjabi television channels have been deluged by Christian programs even though the Christian population of Punjab is less than 1%. Taking aim at Sikh youth, animated films and children’s books on Christianity are freely distributed by missionaries.
Because of the strong adherence to tradition by Sikhs, missionaries have attempted to repackage Christianity. Jesus is called 'Satguru', church is referred to as 'Satsang' and choir singing is called 'Kirtan'. Choir boys in Punjabi churches wear turbans to attempt to minimize the variation between Sikhism and Christianity. However, despite these attempts to disguise Christianity as a version of Sikhism, missionaries still cannot hide their intent: to destroy the Sikh as well as the Hindu faith.

While there have been some cases of genuine conversions, economically disadvantaged and illiterate Sikhs often complain that missionaries are using extortive practices such as bribing them with material possessions to change their religion.

A young boy whose friends had converted to Christianity explained, 'When I asked the boys as to why they have converted to Christianity, they said they had been given cash and free education. In our village alone, 5 to 6 people have converted and, of course, their generations to come would also be Christians.'

Gurbachan Singh Bachan, former Secretary of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee and a proud Sikh, says 'People who are converting from Hinduism and Sikhism to Christianity are those who have lost understanding of their own religion… Khalsa [Sikh] institutions and the Government need to educate the people about the values of a religion, and tell them that all religions are equal and no religion teaches us to fight with each other.'

Such provocative evangelism in Punjab does not always go unnoticed by the local community. The Open Door Church run by Pastor Harbhajan Singh, a landlord who converted to Christianity from Sikhism, has aggressively converted over 2,800 members of the Khojewala village community. In February of 2004, Singh made derogatory remarks against several Sikh gurus including Guru Granth Sahib. This led to several protests by Sikh youths in front Singh’s church. The conflict was ultimately resolved by police intervention and an unconditional apology by Harbhajan Singh. Meanwhile, Christian media painted this incident as an example of 'Christian persecution.'

A recent study showed that at least 800,000 are converted to Christianity every year throughout India. In the coming years, this number can significantly increase with attacks on the Sikh faith.

Below is a translation of a book published, by the missionary organization, Operation Mobilization (disguised as a Hindu group with the acronym OM). The passages below are a story of a man who is portrayed as a hero for rejecting his Sikh faith, cutting his hair and ultimately converting to Christianity.

Chapter 3: Having long hair on head was the most important sign out of five signs for Sikhs in Punjab. He knotted his hair in a bun on his head. He was nothing without steel bangle, half pant, comb, and a small sword that provided his identity. His holy book ‘Granth’ had an instruction for him to never cut his hair, and like a devoted Sikh he never cut his hair. Though, his beautiful beard was very uncomfortable in summer and dusty environment. Without being cut, his long hair on head dignified him. A Sikh who had cut his hair was then not called a Sikh. He was boycotted from his religion, society, and family.
Whatever Sundar did was seen as resistance of shock by his father, Sher Singh, and after that Sundar had seen such anger from him that he had never seen before. His father became very angry and kick him out of the house without hesitation, saying that he was now not a member of this family. He brought bad name to the family. He was removed from his Caste; he had no right to live in the courtyard of the Singh family. He had to go out immediately.
Page 30: Sadhu Sundar Singh: …….ended that made his relative clearly angrier. The pressure coming from various sources undoubtedly could not mislead the internal determination of this 15 years old boy. But they could be sufficient to make the boy quite.

But as far as Sundar was concerned, it had opposite effect. As he studied the work of good news and Christian converts, and read about that extraordinary messiah whom he had seen from his own eyes. How he endured pain with insult and how his pupils were really happy to be found qualified to bear insult for the sake of his name. Then, a desire also arose in Sundar to endure pain for messiah. One day, by a program that would separate him, he would not only show that he has attained youth but also fulfill the primary requirement of being Sikh. He could not participate in this program and he did not want to. He did not want to do this to deny his Caste or Clan. He wanted to deny Sikh religion. Even after his infatuation was broken when he was studying at a school in Ludhiana, he faced threatening calls, anger, and bad behaviour from his father and elders of the family. He knew that no one could erase the memory of that living God. It was that messiah that vouched for his sincerity and he also needed to do that. To make it clear to his family and to make them understand, he left Sikh religion for good; and that he has seen Jesus Christ and was determined to follow him.