The Mascot of Religious Imperialism!

J P Rajkhowa

Abstract


This article by a former Chief Secretary of Assam appeared in the popular and second oldest circulating English Daily of the North-east, The Sentinel in its issue of 19th October, 2008 on its editorial page. It is very interesting and important. The author has reproduced a remark from the original article that had appeared in Tehelka published from Delhi. It says,
“A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s, but really came into its own....in 2001.” Needless to remind here about the belief of formal Christian Church that
no individual can gain salvation unless he follows the path shown by Christianity. It is further held that it is a sacred duty of every Christian to share this ‘truth’ with all those who have not yet come across this understanding. The more enthusiastic and militant groups of Christians further believe that it is also their sacred duty to spread the message in all possible ways. This belief is the driving force behind missionary activities all over the world and throughout history. There are other faiths in the world who profess that salvation is possible only through their faith. We in India, however, have believed that, ‘Truth is One, Sages call It by various names.’ We have dealt with this understanding in the July 15 issue
of Ishani. We have also quoted there the utterances by great world teachers of our times, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Mahatma Gandhi.
We, however, strongly believe that promotion of equal respect for all religions is the need of the hour. One of the important items of Gandhian agenda that he evolved during his lifetime was this. One of the 11 vows that are regularly recited at all Gandhian institutions is the vow of cultivating equal respect for all religions. Once we accept such a need and
position, militant evangelization becomes irrelevant and unnecessary.

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