Lethargic IITian
Musings of a 20-something lethargic IITian on India and Catholicism.

Monday, December 09, 2002  

I was supposed to talk about Varsha's latest offering (on the impending extinction of Hinduism) on Thursday, but various stuff came up at work; and I got busy. In fact, I wanted to talk about this much earlier.

Let's get right to the point. In the article, Varsha says:

... World Vision, Southern Baptist, Seventh Day Adventists, and hundreds of other Christian missionary groups which seek to obliterate Hinduism from India can keep funding their nefarious activities here ...

Who's missing from this list? The Church, of course! No points for guessing why.

At the risk of missing the forest for the trees, I'd like to zero in on the Catholic element (or lack thereof) in Varsha's article (which is really about the need for introspection and review in Hinduism).

First, a lookback. In Varsha's own words:

From August 12 to September 9, I did a 5-part series on Towards Balkanisation, listing the various fronts on which Hinduism is under attack, and the various dramatis personae in that war -- including ... the anti-Hindu cabal. However, compared to what I typically receive, the mail for all five parts was ... scant ... And what mail I got was mainly the abusive sort from pinkos and, especially, Catholics.

Note: It was in Towards Balkanisation III: Missionaries that she spoke of "the Church's nefarious activity" and of "fundamentalists in the US and Europe, including the Vatican" who fund Christian evangelists. I wrote to her right after the article asking her to either provide proof of Vatican funding for "nefarious" evangelisation, or stop making baseless allegations. I don't know if she considered my mail "abusive". In any case, in Towards Balkanisation IV: Catholics, she says:

In truth, I'd have tackled a different subject this week -- but for the abusive messages from Catholic readers, who wanted it known that the Adventists, or Protestants, or Baptists, or Mormons, or whatever, are the bad guys. Which is quite hilarious. For, why would it matter to a Hindu which sect of Christianity was implicated in the latest act of poaching when ALL of them do it on a regular basis -- and Catholics, since before the others arrived?? In fact, John Dayal (national secretary of the All India Catholic Union and national convener of the United Christian Forum for Human Rights) and his Catholic cohorts are the worst act I've ever seen!

First of all, there's no excuse for Catholics sending abusive messages to anybody, even if she is Varsha making the kind of accusations she does. As part of the Mystical Body of Christ, we ought to know better.

However, the issue at hand is one of factual error. Of defamation. Of accusing the Church of promoting activities that it doesn't. And that was something that Varsha had to own up to. She didn't - she went on the war path with Catholics instead.

Coming back to her current article, there is only one other reference to the Church or associated bodies:

According to "Cisco Systems Foundation Awards Grants to Hometown Charities," the company has given grants to, amongst others, Catholic Charities Euclid Girls' Home, Jewish Vocational Services, and St Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County. Then, "Who Serves Sunday Dinner" at the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Santa Rosa? "Hewlett Packard Employees, Of Course!" So what's with the bar on funding a charity of and for Hindus...?

What I'd like to draw the reader's attention to is the complete volte face in Varsha Bhosle's representation of the Church. From a "nefarious" organisation swarming with "fundamentalists", she now puts it on the same level as "a charity of and for Hindus" (Note: She continues to tag evangelical Protestant denominations "nefarious"; but I do, in fact, agree with her that fanatical evangelism is undesirable and that some denominations have exhibited segregationist tendencies).

Coming back to the Church, why do you think she's not attacking it hammer and tongs any more? Is it because she's finally got her facts right and realised that, in the interest of journalistic integrity, she cannot continue her allegations without proof? Or is it because some Catholic decided to press charges against her? Or is it some other reason? Only Varsha can tell.

As a general comment, I must say that Varsha seems a changed woman post-Jhajjar.

posted by Kensy | 9:17 PM
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past blogs of interest
Hinduism as a religion
Pederasty and the American Church
Caste in Indian Christianity
Syro-Malabar engagements
Syro-Malabar weddings
Divine Retreat Centre
Varsha Bhosle and Ideological Relativism
Anti-Conversion Ordinance and the Church stance
Self-Righteous Rightism
The Hindutva Attack on St. Francis Xavier
Varsha Bhosle and the Church (U-turn)
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