Friday, November 08, 2002
The force of vitriol against Christianity (and the Church) from rightists surprises me no end. The latest in this series is Rajeev Srinivasan in his article Fear of NRIs, fear of numbers, fear of logic :
... NRI engineers have also come to realize that there is something precious in India that is under grave threat from the Sino-Islamic axis and Christian fundamentalists.
"Sino-Islamic axis"??!! Now why does that sound like something Mel Gibson would say in Conspiracy Theory? I'll leave the "Christian fundamentalists" for now ...
... the Hindu right wing is beginning to get its act together regarding vulnerable Dalits and Adivasis and about the leftist-missionary stranglehold on education. Note the signal Supreme Court ruling that has, finally after 50 years of Nehruvian Stalinist fascism, allowed the school curriculum to reflect some ground realities as well as the results of new research.
As a result of all this, it is getting to be a little more difficult for Christian cultists to prey on unsuspecting tribals or to brainwash children. Thus the increasing 'secular' 'progressive' paranoia and fear of NRIs. If said NRIs become more influential, with their wealth and their general savvy, the increasing irrelevance of the Nehruvian Stalinist dinosaurs will be accelerated. Their patrons in American- and Vatican-funded missionary circles would not approve at all.
And here we see the unadulterated hatred of Mr. Srinivasan for Christians. "Leftist-missionary stranglehold on education"?? What about the DAVs, the Bhavan's Vidya Mandirs and the Chinmaya Vidyalayas? And if Christian educational institutions are perceived to be the best, why call it a "stranglehold"? It's not as if these institutions have any more access to funds or (especially after the SC ruling) rights than "majority" educational institutions!
[Aside] Please note Mr. Srinivasan's use of the expression "Nehruvian Stalinist fascism". Kinda like the pot calling the kettle black ... [/Aside]
Now onto the "Christian cultists". To be sure, there are definitely certain elements in the Christian missionary world who do, in fact, prey on tribals and children. But to paint all missionaries with the same brush ... that is to completely reject the invaluable social service rendered by hundreds of dedicated religious (many of whom I have met personally).
What's worse - please note that Mr. Srinivasan accuses the Vatican of funding missionaries who are involved in such unscrupulous acts! Despite the fact that it is Catholic priests who are killed by Baptist-backed terrorists in Tripura!! Despite the fact that the Church (and I mean the Catholic Church) has advocated dialogue with other religions ever since the Vatican II and even (more recently) in Dominus Iesus (a document often mistakenly cited by anti-Christian writers).
Not only that - he actually accuses the Americans (no less!) of funding "Nehruvian Stalinists" (as well as the Vatican).
This isn't even journalism. This is rant.
any NRI Hindu money would be a mere pittance as compared to the absolute billions funneled into India for Wah'abi mosques by Saudi Arabia and the ISI, and on conversion/terrorism activities by the Vatican, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals and sundry Christian cults. (In Tripura, Christian terrorists have killed many Hindus; in Mizoram, they have ethnically cleansed Hindus.)
Incredible! Mr. Srinivasan equates "conversion" with "terrorism"! And then goes on to cite Tripura.
Well Mr. Srinivasan - could you please count for yourself how many Catholic priests have died in Tripura at the hands of the terrorists? They've not just targetted Hindus, you know ...
Later, while talking about Indian Express journalist Renuka Narayanan:
Similarly, Narayanan recently said she was ashamed of Hinduism because a Muslim Kashmiri acquaintance of hers had been abused and kicked by a ticket examiner in a train just because he was wearing Muslim Kashmiri clothing ... she is guilty of rapid generalization: even if Mr Kicker is a Hindu, it does not follow that all Hindus are like Mr Kicker ...
Oh yes. This from a guy who talks of "Vatican-funded missionaries" whose missionary activity is equated with terrorism - on the basis of Tripura (no less).
Another example of her lack of logic (or common sense) was her claim that when colonial and Christianity-crazed Portuguese sailors in distress off the Chennai coast were guided to safety by a mysterious light emanating from the Kapaleeshwar temple, 'they built a church right next to it.' I have news for Narayanan, although in fact I am sure she knows this already. The Portuguese did not build a church 'next' to the temple, they built it 'over' the temple. That's right, they demolished the ancient temple that had stood there for at least a thousand years, and built their San Thome Cathedral right on top of it! For full details, see Ishwar Sharan's book, The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple, (Voice of India, 1991), excerpts on the Web at http://hamsa.org
Now that is one book I am just dying to read.
Mr. Srinivasan then goes on to talk about engineers being bastions of logic and reason as compared to people in the humanities:
Those who demean science and technology would be well advised to wonder why they call one of their specialties 'Political Science.' Is this like 'Palmistry Science'? Or 'Creation Science'? What is scientific about it? ... My belief is that humanities types secretly admire the precision and reproducibility of scientific disciplines. And naturally they trash that which they are in awe of and cannot understand.
Just look at the new-fangled humanities curricula in the market. Unbelievable that people actually pay good money to take these courses. 'Post-Modern Studies.' 'Cultural Studies.' 'Post-Colonial Studies.' 'Cultural Anthropology.' 'Gender Studies.' 'Deconstruction.' Yeah, 'Advanced Basket-Weaving,' too. A lot of turgid, meaningless texts, which remind me of the Marxist vocabulary that I just love: bourgeois, revanchist, dialectical, revisionist, imperialist running dog, class struggle, etc, and equally arcane stuff. I strongly recommend Foucault and Derrida if you suffer from insomnia.
Coming from the same venerable "scientific" institution that Mr. Srinivasan comes from (yes, I am talking about the Indian Institutes of Technology - the IITs), I can say just one word to all this - junk.
Engineers should be better at logic than people in the humanities - but if there's one thing I've learnt after 4 years at IIT, it's this - engineers do better math than others. That's it. Nothing else. Not better logic. Not better sense. Not better morals.
posted by Kensy |