Friday, December 30, 2011

Questions pro Aryan Invasion Theorist never answer!

For long scholars have only looked at retrofitting all available evidence and some fictional ones to prove an Aryan invasion of India. The AIT is a very unidimensional approach which has been disproved on all counts. This article is to question AIT proponents what proof have they found elsewhere especially in Central Asia the supposed original homeland of the Aryans or in Western Europe where some of the Aryan tribes supposed to have migrated and settled.
In a very positive development last week respected and acknowledged historians and scientists from numerous fields like astronomy, archaeology and anthropology gathered for a seminar to confirm India’s rich past. Led by Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas ( and Indian Archeological Society they together reaffirmed the now widely held theory that there was no Aryan race or Aryan Invasion of India and the history books of India and the world have to be re-written to correct a gargantuan blunder.

The purpose of this post is not to go into what is already known and acknowledged world over about the non-existent Aryan invasion theory and a mountain of evidence has been provided as proof. The purpose of this post is to put the ball on the other side of the court starting with a few comments and questions.

1. If the Aryan invasion happened around 1500 BC starting from central Asia, one group moved West i.e. towards Europe and the other group south finally into India then what evidence is there of the group which went West and populated Europe?

2. If for a moment we believe that there was a migration of a body of people from central Asia, looking at human evolution and early migration patterns most communities settled around perennial sources of water in tropical or sub tropical areas where the sunshine and water is abundant and weather moderate. One would wonder why would anyone travel west into heavily wooded areas affording less pastures for their grazing animals and extreme cold weather for majority of the year allowing very small window for growing crops. If we look at recent history, Mongols the masters of the steppes only went where their horses could get grazing pastures and avoided heavily wooded areas. If nomadic horse riding Aryan herdsmen were anything like the nomadic Mongol herdsmen then they would probably do the same more so if they were chariot drivers. So my point being that even if there was a migration which is highly unlikely there was no migration west thus Europe never received any people from central Asian at that point in time. So Europeans should stop associating themselves with Aryans or any such race.

3. Has there been any archeological evidence of chariots from Bronze Age or from the period corresponding to Aryan invasion unearthed in Europe?

4. With the last Ice Age in the northern hemisphere early human population would naturally gravitate towards warmer climes, i.e. the Middle East and India. At the end of the Ice Age approximately 10,000 years BC with more lands available for occupation in the north precipitated by population pressure on existing land people would have been pushed northwards which probably explains why a lot of European languages have similar words or sounds to Sanskrit and not because of migration the other way around.

5. If the Vedas were created by the Aryans decidedly in an oral tradition then where are the traces howsoever faint of the Vedas in western civilisation. Has this proof been provided by the other side?

6. In Bronze Age or later age settlements unearthed in Europe has there been any discovery of the fire altar as per the Vedic tradition. Please bear in mind that the Vedic fire altar is a mathematically precise construction with each brick shaped on precise mathematical calculations?

7. If the primary Gods of the Aryans were Indra, Varuna and others, coincidence of similar Gods in Norse or Germanic mythology notwithstanding has there been any direct references to these Gods by same name in Europe?

8. What would inspire continental dwellers to have a name for the God of Sea, Varuna as they live thousands of miles away from the sea?

9. The word OM is a oft mentioned in the the
Vedas, has there been any evidence of the word OM or its symbolism in Europe ? 

10. Lack of horse in Indian sites seems to have been a major point for the invasion theorist, which was proved to be patently false as horse remain have been found all over India since the Pleistocene, approximately 2.5 million years from the current era. Has the other side provided presence of horse in Europe for the period we are discussing? How come Roman and Greek records written starting 8th century BC i.e. 800 years before Christ and Roman war records written starting 5th century BC i.e. 500 years before Christ record battle engagements with northern barbarians i.e. present day Switzerland and Germany etc on foot. Even much after towards the day of the Roman Empire the northern tribes always fought on foot. Popular movies based on accurate historical research depict northern barbarians to be dressed in animal fur fighting on foot. So where is the evidence of horse in Europe during this period. 

This brings us to recorded history of travellers of antiquity. One such travelogue which has survived the ravages of time is the Indika by Megasthenes which became a reference guide even to later day travellers such as Arrian and Strabo. Megasthenes was the ambassador of Seleucus Nikator, Satrap (Governor) of Alexander the Great for middle east and Asia minor (Turkey) to the court of Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and travelled extensively around India from 250 BC to 298 BC. In his book Indika Megasthenes minutely describes the people, customs, traditions, attire, food religion, laws, geography, fauna, flora and all other possible details that he ecounters while travelling around India from Pentapotamia (Greek for land of the five rivers present day Punjab) to Patalibotra (Patliputra, present day Patna) to Kanyakumari in the south to Serendib (Lanka).

In his description of the people of India he clearly states that they are tall but lightly built (lean) dark skinned with black long hair which they tie in a bun on top of their head and wear turbans with twisted cloth. All men have beards and shaving is not known among the Indians. Nowhere in his entire narration has he alluded to fair skinned Indians either in the North west, North or in the South lording over dark skinned people.

In fact in Megasthenes description of Chandragupta Maurya he notes the Emperors dark skin, medium build and pock marked face. He also goes into great detail about the Brahmanae caste (Brahmins) and their customs and traditions but does not make a remark on their skin colour as being lighter than the others and they lording over the others. In fact he mentions various instances where the Brahmins have been out casted for having broken a vow, law or tradition.

This description of India goes counter to the AIT theory of large, blue eyed, blonde haired white skinned Aryans lording over dark skinned natives. The description of the people of India by Megasthenes is around 1250 years after the supposed arrival of the Aryans i.e. 1500 BC and given that in the intervening period there may have been some intermingling of the people causing some of these racial attributes to be diluted but at any rate fair skinned people should have been present in some numbers and complete absence of any such mention in the text is a clear indicator that no such fair skinned invasion or migration of Aryans occurred. 

Thus we should allow the pro Aryan invasion theorist to prove the Aryan invasion of Europe conclusively first rather than prove the invasion of India through retrofitting evidence and sometimes concocted ones.

US Government nexus with Christian missions in India

The US government has had a deliberate strategy to allow development funding to be increasingly controlled by evangelical organisations. One such organisation used as a tool of foreign policy is USAID, to counter Marxist around the world including South East Asia. Under President Bush sr. and jr.  a CIA+USAID+Evangelical partnership evolved particularly in the Indian context.

In 1999 President Clinton appointed Brady Anderson board member of World Vision as administrator of USAID who openly stated that US government has long used Christian organisations as delivery mechanism of foreign aid. In 2001 George Bush jr. appointed Andrew Natsios vice president of World Vision as head of USAID. USAID clearly states that by 'faith' they only mean Abrahamic faiths. Such criss crossing of Church multinationals and the US government is not a coincidence and what does it tell us about the US administration. 

Besides a few secular NGO's USAID shows preference for Christian faith based NGO's in India. USAID director in India, George Deikun has stated on many occasions that Christian evangelical organisations are USAID's most visible working partners in India. What does this mean, are there other invisible parters somewhere who are burrowing in and hollowing out India and its civilisation. USAID support many Christian NGO's such as  Catholic Relief Services, SHARAN, YWCA, Salvation Army and St. Mary's Hospital to name a few. USAID and World Vision formed predatory partnership during the tsunami relief in India and other calamities such as flood, earthquakes, accidents using the vulnerability of the people to harvest souls for their faith. 

Since 2007 US government has dramatically slashed 35% of development aid to India but is channeling the same money to Christian faith based NGO's in India. 

Source: Breaking India

Inventing the Dravidian Race Part - 3, Appropriation of Shiva, excerpts from the book 'Breaking India'

Protestant missionaries in the beginning attacked Saiva Siddhanta vehemently, the American Missionary Seminary in Sri Lanka used a Tamil English journal called the Morning Star (1841) to launch an attack on Saivites, calling Tamils barbarians living in darkness.  This attack proved counterproductive, caused much angst among the people for the Christian disrespect towards a cherished tradition. The attack was also effectively countered by a Sri Lankan Saivite Arumuga Navalar. Therefore the strategy changed from denigration to appropriation. 

G.U. Pope used this strategy very often, whenever he found something suitable and in line with his Christian belief he attributed it to Christian influence on Tamils and whenever he found something not fitting into his Christian belief and dogma, he blamed it on Hinduism. He states:

It will be seen how very near in some not unimportant respects the Saiva system approximates to Christianity; and yet some of the corruption to which it has been led by what almost seems a necessity are months the most deplorable superstitions anywhere to be found.

Later Christian missionaries started using this strategy to start portraying Saiva Siddhantha closer to Christianity. This missionary success in selectively appropriating and spreading confusion has permeated academic Tamil studies ever since.

Breaking India by Rajiv Malhotra and Arvindan Neelakandan

Inventing the Dravidian Race Part - 2, De-Hinduising Tamil Traditions excerpts from the book 'Breaking India'

Since colonial times to this day there has been attempts to construct an ethnic-religious identity separate from the rest of India, and to find christian roots for this so-called 'Tamil religion'. This entailed manipulating  the interpretations of the literary core of Tamil tradition, which consists of three main elements: 

i) Thirukural, a classical Tamil text containing ethical literature that is very much a part of the Indian Smriti tradition; 
ii) Saiva Siddhantha, a Vedanta branch of Saiva philosophy; and
iii) A huge body of classical Tamil devotional literature.



As per recorded statements of Robert Caldwell, the so called saviour of the Tamil people noted on number of occasions that nothing ethical or civilised could come out of the Dravidian mind, either by itself or under the influence of the Vedic religion. But at the same time he did not want to credit Vedic tradition, so he chose another source. He attributed Thirukural to Jainism. Even if for a moment this is believed to be true, Caldwell in his attempt to create fake origins and sources forgot that Jainism is also part of the Vedic religious system which in effect puts the Thirukural within the Hindu tradition. At any rate Caldwell's claims have been demolished. G.U Pope another missionary maintained that Thiruvalluvar was under Christian influence (St. Thomas) that produced this literary work. This claim for decades has been rejected even from within the christian missionary community. However, it is being revived today by evangelical movements in Tamil Nadu.

Saiva Siddhantha

Dravidian scholars labour to position Saiva Siddhantha as something unique to Tamil spirituality and not linked to Hinduism although the traditional works of Saiva Siddhantha refers to Vedas as their authority. G.U Pope and other missionaries positioned it as a monotheistic approximation of Christianity but not exactly pure Christianity. They then attempted to hoodwink people into believing that they were following a polluted form of Christianity and they could help people in upgrading to pure Christianity via conversion.

Tamil Devotional Literature

All hymns written in Tamil speak of Siva as living in the Himalayas and even address him as 'Arya'. Evangelist and pro Dravidian scholars fabricated the origins and distorted the interpretations of their contents to suite their agendas.

Chrisitian historian Stephen Neill rejects Pope and Caldwell's fraudulent claim with a tone of empathy: 'Their brilliant imagination has produced a beautiful romance. The sober verdict of historical judgment must be that any Christian influence on Tamil literature is unlikely...what we see is devout minds working on similar problems and arriving independently at comparable results'.

Breaking India by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan  

Inventing the Dravidian Race Part - 1, Breaking India

Colonial administrators and evangelists were able to divide and rule the peoples of the Indian subcontinent, based on imaginary histories and racial myths - to the extent of inventing an entire race called 'Dravidians'. Evangelical and colonial interest worked in tandem with ethno-linguistic scholars to fabricate the Dravidian identity. British administrator Brian Hodgson* invented the term 'Tamulian' to refer to what he considered to be non-Aryan indigenous population of India.

The catalyst who is credited with the construction of the 'Dravidian race' was a British missionary named Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814-91) from the Anglican church. He used linguistic theories to create a racial theory. In his papers and books presented to his peers he proposed that Dravidians were in India before the arrival of the Aryans, were cheated and kept in shackles by the Brahmin's through exploitation of religion. He demanded a complete removal of Sanskrit from Tamil, and once the Dravidian mind was free of the Brahmin Aryan influence, Christian evangelisation would reap the souls of the Dravidians.

Contrary to claims by other missionary scholars like William Carey, who supported the thesis that all Indian languages are derived from Sanskrit, a critical role was played by Alexander Campbell and Francis Ellis, collectors of Madras who broke rank and claimed that south Indian languages were not derived from Sanskrit which laid the foundation for later intervention. No Indian scholar or Pandit has made such a claim before.

A lie took to the absurd when Ellis claimed that Tamil and Dravidians are connected to Hebrew and also with Arabic. Their logic was based on some convoluted biblical theory of skin colour, all dark skinned people were children of Ham - the cursed one.

Caldwell transformed Linguistics into Ethnology which had far reaching consequences. He established the theological foundation for Dravidian separatism from Hinduism backed by the church. What this means simply is separating south India from north India by raising false boogies of Aryanism and Brahmanism supported by 'Atrocity Literature'**, disassociating Tamil from Hindu spirituality and giving it a independent origin which instills temporary pride before church usurps the classical art-forms of South India***. For all the degradation and insults heaped on Tamil culture and Hinduism a statue of Robert Caldwell and G.U. Pope another missionary has been erected on Marina beach in Chennai by the local state government. It is a major landmark in that city today.

Missionary strategy was two pronged. First, intensely study the devotional and spiritual literature and praise it in glowing terms to Tamil scholars. Second, they projected Tamil culture as being very different and totally independent from the rest of India. To support their argument they would provide spurious works created by the church to support this view. This body of work then went on to provide ideological underpinnings of later racist politics. Chandra Mallampalli, a christian scholar, explains:

South Indian political culture of non-Brahmanism drew its inspiration from the Dravidian ideology: this ideology posited a distinct linguistic and racial identity for south Indians. Non Brahmin agitators pitted Dravidian culture, which most often championed the Tamil language, against Hindu, Aryan or Sanskritic cultures from the North. Champions of Dravidianism and non-Brahmanism drew upon the cultural and linguistic resources provided by missionaries such as Robert Caldwell and G.U. Pope.

Missionary scholarship created a false local ethnic identity and Tamils were instructed to reject its Hindu nature. It became strategic to show that Tamil religion had strong ethical underpinnings on par with civilised world and this meant monotheistic Christianity. What these theorist failed to say and the people who fell for the Dravidian race theory and religion failed to ask was what is Tamil religion they talk of? But what was provided were quasi Christian traits retrofitted into Tamil devotional works to prove its similarity with Christianity. In fact the propaganda went to the extent of claiming that the Thirukural was influenced by St. Thomas and Thiruvalluvar the great Tamil Hindu saint was his disciple.

The second part of the strategy kicked in now. To show the proximity of Christianity with the spuriously created Tamil race-religion identity the missionaries chose the Kural - a non sectarian humanistic body of work and Saiva Siddhanta - corpus of scriptures seen as representing a native monotheistic counterpart to Christianity. Brook and Schmid identify two steps in the way these Tamil clsssics were used: first, separating Brahmins and non-Brahmins using the Kural; and second, linking Dravidian ideology with Saiva Siddhanta as an interim step towards further linking it with Christianity.

Robert Caldwell characterised the Brahmins as the racial others of the Dravidians, the Aryan colonisers^ who speak and read Sanskrit. Through this manipulation the Brahmins were made out to be colonisers and the actual colonisers the British and their Christian mission were projected as saviors of the Tamils.

Blogger Notes:
* Civil administrators and arm chair historians created race theories and similar such farcical concepts with absolutely no scientific rigour.
** Atrocity literature is a technical term referring to literature generated by a Western interest, with the explicit goal to show that the target non-Western culture is committing atrocities in its own people and hence need of Western intervention.
*** Recently attempts are being made to absorb Bharatnatyam, lamp lighting and many other Hindu art-form and traditions into Christianity. 
^ Missionaries dub Sanskrit speaking Aryan Brahmins as colonisers and oppressors of the Dravidians in the south but elsewhere in the north missionaries claim common ancestry with Aryans and attempt to usurping of Sanskrit and the Vedas.

Breaking India by Rajiv Malhotra and Arvindan Neelakandan

How can we expect unbiased news from media. This only the tip of the iceberg!!

How can we expect unbiased reporting when you share such
bonhomie. No wonder media never reported Sheila Dixit 
corruption in CWG even after being named in report.
Sachin Pilot of Congress & Barkha Dutt of NDTV.
Are they celebrating media-politics nexus.
Paid Media is not unfounded after all!

December 6th : Ayodhya Liberation Day , Hindus Cleberate it as Shourya Diwas / Vijay Diwas

Proposed Sri Ram Mandir @ Ram Janma Bhoomi , Ayodhya 
by Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

As per historians, since 1528 there have been at least 76 armed conflict in which over 300,000 Hindus sacrificed their lives to restore the Ram Janma Bhoomi temple.

Summary of these conflicts is as follows:
1. Babar's reign (1528-1530) - Hindus launched 4 attacks in which 100,000 people were killed.
2. Humayun's reign (1530-1556) - Hindus launched 10 separate initiatives to regain control.
3. Akbar's reign (1556-1605) - Hindus fought 20 battles.
4. Aurangzeb's reign (1658-1707)- Hindus fought 30 battles. One such battle was led by Guru Gobind Singh in which Aurangzeb?s army was defeated.
5. Four years later, Aurangzeb?s again attacked Ayodhya and regained control after killing 10,000 Hindus.
6. Sahdat Ali (1798-1814) - Hindus fought 5 battles.
7. Nasir-uddin Haidar (1814-1837) - Hindus fought 3 battles.
8. Wajid Ali Shah (1847-1857) - Hindus fought 2 battles.
9. British Rule (1912-1934) - Hindus fought 2 armed conflicts.

Hindus never gave up on one of their holiest places. Hence the only conflict free periods were when they were allowed to worship inside the disputed structure. For example, in order to avoid further conflict, during the latter part of his reign Akbar allowed Hindus to build a platform known as 'Ram Chabutra', and to install and worship images of Ram Parivar in the so called Babri compound. This practice was later opposed by Aurungzeb which resulted in most battles for the control of the shrine during his reign.

In 1751 A.D. Maratha Sardar Malhar Rao Holkar after defeating the Pathans in the plains of Ganga and Yamuna, asked Nawab Safderjang to hand over Ayodhya, Kashi and Prayag to the Peshwas. In a letter dated February 23, 1756, Nanasaheb Peshwa asked Sardar Scindia to annex Ayodhya and Kashi as the handover of these holy places was already promised to Raghoba Dada by Suja-uddoula.
Later in 1789 A.D. Sardar MahadJi Scindia did annex Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi, but due to his untimely demise was not able to restore the temples of Ram Janma Bhoomi, Krishna Janma Bhoomi and Kashi Vishweshwar back to Hindus.

Joseph Tieffenthaler (1710 - 1785), an Austrian Jesuit priest toured Oudh (Ayodhya) region between 1766 and 1771 A.D. His account of Indian History and geography was translated and published in French in 1786 A.D.

Tieffenthaler states 'The Emperor Aurungzeb destroyed the fortress called Ramkot and built at the same place a Mohammedan temple with 3 domes. Others say that it has been built by Babar. One can see 14 columns made of black stone .. which bear carvings ... Subsequently Aurungzeb, and some say Babar destroyed the (heathen) place in order to prevent heathens from practicing their ceremonies.
However they have continued to practice their religious ceremonies in both the places(inside the 3 domed Babri structure and the compound), knowing this to have been birth place of Rama, by going around it 3 times and prostrating on ground".

According to the British records by Thornton (1854 A.D.) and Carnegie (1870 A.D.) till 1855 A.D. Hindus continued to worship Ram in the 3 domed structure. During the First War of Independence of 1857 the local Muslim leader Amir Ali persuaded the Muslims to finally hand over the disputed place to Hindus and jointly fight with the British.

However the British won the War of 1857 and Amir Ali and Hindu leader Baba Ram Charan Das were publicly hanged from a tree near the Ram Janma Bhoomi.

The British subsequently put a railing wall between Babri structure and the courtyard and separated the Muslim worshipers who got the Babri structure and Hindus had no choice but to do puja outside in the courtyard. Hindus continued to worship at the disputed structure and never gave up struggle to regain control of Ram Janma Bhoomi since 1528.

Recent History - 1934 thru 1992 :
In 1934, during the armed conflict between Hindus and Muslims the Babri structure was damaged. Since 1936, the Babri structure was an abandoned building and did not function as a community mosque for local muslims. There is no evidence of any Mutawalli or Imam or Muazzin or Khatib or Khadim having functioned as the mosque management as such for the up keep and maintenance of the 'mosque'.

A Waqf report dated September 16, 1938 showed 'Syed Mohammad Zaki' as a Mutawalli. But later the District Waqf Commissioner found that Mutawalli Zaki was a Shia, an opium addict and most unsuited for the duties of a Mutawalli. Meanwhile the Sunni Waqf Board claimed that Babri mosque was under its control.

A report dated December 10, 1949 by the Waqf inspector Mohammad Ibrahim, to the U.P. Sunni Central Board of Waqf, states that 'due to the fear of Hindus and Sikhs? NO ONE OFFERED NAMAZ IN THE SAID 'MOSQUE'.

On December 23, 1949 the image of 'Ramalalla' appeared in the disputed structure and Hindus resumed prayers and worship inside. On December 29, 1949 Additional Magistrate Markandey Singh confiscated the building and handed over the posession to Priya Dutta Ram as Receiver, who assumed charge of the same on January 5, 1950.

After almost 12 years, on December 18, 1961 the Sunni Waqf Board filed the law suit seeking the possession of the disputed structure. This law suit was liable to be dismissed since the then prevalent statute of limitation for property takeover of 6 years had already passed.
Since December 23, 1949 there have been daily Hindu prayers and worship at the Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple. Yet, Babri was not a functional Mosque, and it has been a functional temple for atleast 42 years.

"Mosques built after destroying temples are the sign of slavery and Muslims should hand over the same to Hindu Society" -Mahatma Gandhi in 'Navjeevan' dated July 17, 1937. "Hindus profess secularism because they are cowards and are afraid of Muslim countries." - Syed Shahabuddin - Convenor of Babri Masjid Coordination Committee (BMCC) in 'Sunday' dated March 20, 1983.
On April 7-8, 1984 the Dharma Sansad (religious congregation) took decision to launch a movement for replacement of the existing mosque-turned temple with a proper temple structure.

Options offered by Hindu Leadership:
Prior to December 6, 1992 Hindus had offered following options: Muslims should hand over the Babri structure as a goodwill gesture to Hindus. The unused Babri mosque has no religious significance to Muslims what so ever, (since as per the administrative officials in Faizabad, Of the 26 Mosques in Ayodhya region just half are in use for offering namaz and the rest are in a bad shape), hence this is not an unreasonable request. If that is not acceptable, then this nonfunctional mosque should be relocated.

Hundreds of mosques in other Islamic countries have been relocated for minor reasons such as road expansion. So there is ample precedent for it. Since the location of Ram Janma cannot be changed the temple cannot be moved. If the superstructure is important to the Muslims then it can be relocated to another site, the way Abu Simbel temple in Egypt was moved out of the way of the Aswan Dam. Hindus will bear all the relocation expenses.

India has demonstrated technology for this operation since recently 800 year old Kudavelli Sangameshwara temple in Andhra Pradesh was taken apart and rebuilt 600 meters from the original site. Some Shia leaders had agreed to the latter plan. However to the prominent Muslim leadership (BMCC and BMAC) all such proposals were futile. The biggest concession they were willing to make was to allow a Ram temple next to the Babri structure (meaning the sign of Muslim conquest will continue to look down upon the temple, as an insult to Hindus).

The events of December 6, 1992 should be viewed in light of these facts. 

The above article was taken from

Is media paying Digvijay Singh to make silly comments!!

Another case of Media-Political bonhomie. Is Digvijay Singh comments and press statements basically sound bytes to increase media TRP's? Is this a case where media is paying politicians to make silly controversial statements to increase TRP's and provide pointless debating points? What ever it maybe, this exchange again is a tip of the iceberg on Media-Political nexus. Media in India has become completely unreliable to say the least.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mullaperiyar Dam and Sabarimala: The religious roots of the Controversy

By Bharat Nair


Mullaperiyar Dam is located in the state of Kerala in India. It derives its name from the portmanteau of two rivers, namely, Mullai Ar (Mullaiyar) and Periya Ar (Periyar). The dam was the result of a treaty (lease indenture) signed in 1886 for 999 years between the ruler of Travancore and the Secretary of State, Government of India, (then under British colonialist rule) representing Madras Presidency.

This masonry dam, built with lime and Surkhi by the British Army Engineering Corps, was commissioned in 1895. After Independence, Indian states were reorganised and their boundaries rationalised. The areas surrounding the Mullaperiyar Dam ( originally part of the State of Travancore) were merged with Kerala, while the state of Tamil Nadu received full rights to own and operate the dam as per the lease treaty. Tamil Nadu continued to use water from the dam. In 1970, both the governments decided to renew the treaty.

According to the website of Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, the controversy about the dam began in 1979 when several news reports began appearing in Kerala press regarding its safety.  From then onwards, the Government of Kerala began to see this primarily as a safety issue while the Tamil Nadu government saw it as an attempt to violate the water-sharing treaty.

It is not the intent of this article to argue for or against a party in this dispute. In fact this is not about either the historical aspects of water sharing treaty between the states or the safety aspects of the dam.

It is a painful historic fact that in India, many a times, local issues and disputes have worsened due to its being hijacked by various disruptive forces, national or international. Whether this holds true in the case of Mullaperiyar dam needs to be checked thoroughly.

This article is an attempt to investigate the forces that lie behind this controversy.

Mullaperiyar Dam Controversy in the Media

It is interesting to note that in the news media, Mullaperiyar issues get highlighted only during certain months of the year. This trend looks more or less the same for the last one decade (2000-2009).

[Figures 1 & 2 give the ‘Google news search’ for the individual years from 2000-2009].

A quick look at these figures suggests that the number of news items appearing in the media on this controversy starts in October, peaks around December and then continues on until April.

The significance of this trend will look surprisingly familiar to a Malayali or a person from South India.  It is obvious that news items about the dam controversy appear only in the months that are significant for the Sabarimala pilgrimage of the Hindus. Is this a mere conincidence? Let’s see.

Sabarimala Pilgrimage:

The Sabarimala pilgrimage is one of the most ancient pilgrimages of India. The presiding deity of Sabarimala, Lord Ayyappan, is one of the most popular deities in South India. The temple is open for worship only during the days of Mandalapooja (around November 15 to December 26), Makaravilakku (January 15), Vishu (April 14), and the first five days of each Malayalam month.

Sabarimala pilgrimage finds mention in many historical records of foreign travellers as well as colonial administrators (though this fact is studiously avoided by both Western and Indian scholars).

‘Memoirs of Travancore’  written by William Henry Horsley in 1839 describes Sabarimala as “Chowrymully”:
“Among the other pagodas of celebrity that of Ayapen at Chowrymully attracts particular attention, vast numbers (and many even from the eastern coast) flocking to it at the period of festival in January, to present their vows and offerings, notwithstanding that it is situated in the wildest country possible.”

It is possible that some readers of this article will feel that this article is going to be just another conspiracy story with out any real substance. It may also be argued that this similarity in “news-trend” is most probably a result of either a natural or an accidental cause with no connection to Sabarimala issue.

But when one observes the recent over-earnestness of certain anti-Indian publications regarding the reporting of Mullaperiyar issues and  also the same yearly ritual of ‘hit pieces’ regarding Sabarimala coming around the same time of year, it would become clear to a sensible observer  that this cannot be a result of accidental or natural causes.  There is a hidden sense of purpose and deliberateness in these ‘hit pieces’ that most of the time these ‘news-stories’ come with highly misleading titles  and repetitive news  .

The first step in unravelling this mystery would be to develop some idea about the published ‘literature’ regarding Sabarimala by the modern scholars, esp. the Western Scholars. A few of the important such papers/ books will be discussed here in this context.

Only a few books have been published regarding Sabarimala so far in English by Indian / Western authors. Of the Indian authors, books written by K.R. Vaidyanathan “Pilgrimage to Sabari” Published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1978 and Radhika Sekar’s “The Sabarimalai pilgrimage and Ayyappan cultus” Published by Motilal Banarsidass, 1992 are the prominent ones. (Note: Radhika Sekar’s work was originally written for her Master’s thesis to University of Carleton and later published by MBD).

In the recent years quite a few foreign scholars have published research papers on Sabarimala. Amongst these, Remy Delage’s (a French geographer who have published a few papers in connection with “spatial dimensions” of Sabarimala Pilgrimage) and Filippo Ossello and Caroline Ossello‘s paper (‘Ayyappan Saranam’: Masculinity and Sabarimala Pilgrimage in Kerala) which deals with “gender aspects” of the pilgrimage are significant.

These works deserve greater attentions in this context as they are a pointer towards the western psyche regarding Sabarimala pilgrimage. As normal practice with Western scholarship, all these papers have irreverent comments/ descriptions of Lord Ayyappan such as “ambivalent diety” , “hyper-male diety”  and in a few places half-truths or plain lies . There are various remarkable things about these papers that can raise a few questions or doubts in the mind of a discerning reader.

“Mapping Out Social Change in South India” – A Geographic Information System and Its Applications (Chrtisophe Z Guilmoto, Remy Delage et al.)  is the result of a bigger project  “South Indian Fertility Project” (SIFP) funded by Institut Français de Pondichéry ( research centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Wellcome trust ( leading NGO of U.K)   etc. The objective  of this SIFP project is to “is to analyse the social and economic dimensions of demographic change through the study of spatial heterogeneity of fertility in South India”.

This paper  deserves to be read in full as its introduction to the subject, findings and the conclusion are relevant here. One also has to know why “mapping a religious pilgrimage” is a serious topic to be ‘researched’. Firstly Remy Delage in “Mapping Out Social Change in South India” asserts that “While in 1950s – 1960s, Sabarimala only attracted groups originating from Malabar Coast and the Tamil Districts neighbouring Kerala(Madurai, Virudhanagar etc), the pilgrimage today draws several million devotees coming mostly from the four corners of South India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh).”

Author/Authors do not cite any source for this nor is it clear as to how he reached his conclusion regarding the numbers and the geographical distribution of pilgrims of 50 – 60 period. However Remy Delage in a published paper titled “From Fieldwork to Research Theory on an Indian Pilgrimage”  (another paper on Sabarimala Pilgrimage) gives a number of “ten to fifty thousand persons”. Again, it is not clear as to how he has arrived at this figure. This particular paper can be considered as an important one for our purpose in another respect also as he gives out the “complete list” of primary and secondary references perused for his research. (Please note that the omission of one important primary source is very significant of which more, will be explained later).

“Mapping out Social Change in South India” primarily is an attempt at mapping the pilgrimage of Sabarimala. In this study, a definite interest is taken with respect to movement of pilgrims from the State of Tamil Nadu. A district wise break-up of Tamil Nadu pilgrims was done using a questionnaire survey during the pilgrimage. Using this limited data, GIS maps were created for visualising geographic origin of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu, for representing routes and major destination (holy places) liable to be visited by the Pilgrims en-route to Sabarimala.

Though throughout the paper, an attempt has been made to study the routes or visiting places of the pilgrims from Tamil Nadu, the conclusion that the author arrives at is totally ambiguous and unrelated. It would appear as if such a conclusion is given just to hide the real intentions. This is because, the maps, (even though data is taken from a non-representative sample) clearly indicate that, the neighbouring districts of Madurai, Coimbatore, Theni etc ‘produces’ the major portion of the Tamil Nadu Pilgrims to Sabarimala. This fact is a matter of common knowledge and does not require any Geographic Information System (GIS) to prove this. But the use of GIS, to map out the routes and the other holy places/temples frequented by pilgrims of Sabarimala is a novelty, the use of which would be highly beneficial for its intended readership.

Here, the second connection between Mullaperiyar & Sabarimala emerges.

As per Wikipedia, “The dam’s purpose was to divert the waters of the west-flowing Periyar River eastwards, …………….taking the water from the reservoir through a tunnel cut across the watershed and Western Ghats to the arid rain shadow regions of Theni, Madurai District, Sivaganga District and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu”

This would mean that the areas served by Mullaperiyar dam are exactly the same areas from where, originates the ‘major portion’ of Tamil Sabarimala pilgrims.

Now it’s the time to ask ourselves some what if scenario questions and its effect on Sabarimala Pilgrimage:

a) What would happen if State of Kerala tries to forcefully ‘take over’ Mullaperiyar dam citing ‘safety’ reasons or tries unilaterally to build another dam in the place of Mullaperiyar?

b) What would happen if Mullaperiyar dam ‘breaks’ or is ‘made to break’?
The answer to the first question would be extreme resentment from State of Tamil Nadu which will lead to immediate economic blockade of the two passes which will lead to a state of mutual hostility. The result would be highly disastrous for Sabarimala Pilgrimage as well as for the unity of the nation. The answer to the second question would also be extreme hostile reaction from the State of Kerala towards the Tamils which would certainly affect Sabarimala Pilgrimage as well as the cultural unity amongst them. Thus it can be seen that in both cases, it’s a win-win scenario for those who want to disrupt the Pilgrimage.

The scarier part in this Issue is that, the same effects can happen even if there is a feeling that two mentioned scenarios are going to happen. i.e. Even a misunderstanding that the State of Kerala is attempting to change the treaty unilaterally or the feeling that the dam is extremely unsafe can produce the same result of disrupting the Sabarimala Pilgrimage. This has been happening for the last ten years. It can be seen that to till this day, this issue has been ‘kept alive’ (thanks to our ‘liberal political & Judicial system) by various means. The latest one in this regard is a ‘Hollywood movie” named “DAM 999”  which is going to get released soon.

The producer as well as the director of this movie, Sohan Roy is a Malayali Entrepreneur who owns a marine company based in UAE. The very name of the movie suggests that it is related to the Mullaperiyar Issue. It is still unknown how this subject is going to get treated in the movie or even how the movie is going to fare in the box office. But surely it looks like another attempt to take this issue to a ‘higher level’. The news that it is going to be released in 4 languages with the possible involvement of Celebrities like Aishwarya Rai, Celine Dione and other top level artists from Malayalam film Industry gives some hints about this.

But now a genuine question can be raised as to how and why Sabarimala is so important that such great efforts are being made to destroy it. Who are its enemies? What are their intentions? Have they attempted to destroy it previously? If so, why there are no historical records for it?

Sabarimala Temple Arson

In order to answer this, we need to historically revisit the 1950’s. It would be seen that in all currently available books/ websites/ periodicals there would be a single line mention of temple fire in Sabarimala, which forced the then administration to rebuild the temple.  Some very few websites mentions this as a handiwork of some ‘miscreants’. The entire matter has been so described in those books that even perceptive ‘hindutvavaadins’  began to assume this incident as ‘a forest fire’ intentionally / unintentionally initiated by members of a ‘rival’ community primarily for financial / land grab attempts.

It should also be noted that even our foreign scholars of this subject maintain their silence on this. Remy Delage in his paper titled “From Fieldwork to Research Theory on an Indian Pilgrimage” gives a full mention of the efforts of two devotees who tried to ‘promote’ Ayyapa in India, particularly after the ‘Temple fire’.  Yet he also ‘forgets’ or ‘choose not’ to mention this very important source. This is when he includes all government publications as well as record from 1906 to 2000’s.

What could be ‘so interesting’ in this report that all “our scholars” are conveniently forgetting it?? Why is it so difficult for researchers to locate this report??

It should not be so. As a matter of fact, there was an enquiry report titled “Sabarimala Temple Arson Case” which was later published by Government of Kerala in 1957.  This report (35 pages) is now available from a government owned website (Information & Public relations Department) (

Sabarimala Temple Arson Case: Enquiry Report was the report of the investigation of the same case conducted by Shri. K. Kesava Menon, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, C.I.D. (On Special Duty). This report is significant for multiple reasons. Firstly, this report completely unravels the players who are actually involved in this issue.

Secondly this report extensively covers the “sentiments” of a certain community and proves that the most important reason for this temple arson was religious fanaticism. Thirdly had this report been studied and lessons learnt, Hindus could have avoided the ignominy of the “Nilakkal Agitation episode”  This is because this enquiry report categorically narrates this strange episode in detail –

“There is another back ground, which if viewed with the facts and the incidents mentioned above, will lend support to the possibility of an organised plan to destroy the Sabarimala shrine. In the month of Makaram, according to Ouseph, he followed a party of muthalalies consisting of Karimbanal Kochukunhu muthalali, Jnellamitthath  Kuttiachan, Podimittom Verghese, Karipparambil Devassya, Vadakkepparambil thomman and Pottamkulam Thomas, who left Erumeli in a Jeep and went to Kalaketti from where they went to Kollamuzhi by walk and halted. They directed the coolies to go into the forests and hunt. Then the muthalalies and himself went to Nilakkal in search of a church which they believed to be existing at Nilakkal. Though a search was made, they did not find any remnants of a church, but they saw only remnants of two or three temples.

It is surprising that at this period of the history of Travancore these muthalalies are searching for a church on the route to Sabarimala. It may be that either they want to establish by some evidence the existence of a church there or to renovate it or they are in search of a suitable place for building a church. Anyway the desire for a church near the Sabarimala orthodox route seems to have been deeply rooted in their mind as otherwise there was no necessity for all these muthalalies to join on this business. This it can be seen that since some time, the Christians have begun to deel the increasing number of low caste Hindus visiting the Sabarimala temple in ecstasy and devotion, which in all probability they would have thought if not checked would inevitably result in a check to the growing process of conversion of low caste Hindus to Christianity.

Further, the existence of a church at Nilakkal and Pampakadavu would in the long run attract Christians to colonise the area and thereby they could exploit these fertile regions and improve their financial conditions.”

That these exact things happened after a period of 30 years during Nilakkal agitation which led to their success in building their church at Nilakkal proves the extreme short sightedness of the Hindus.

Some other Excerpts from the Enquiry report:

1) ……………… the marks of violence on the brass-plate door of the Sreekovil together with the marks on the idol, raise the irresistible conclusion that the forcible entry into the Sreekovil was for the purpose of breaking the idol and that the weapon that was used to cut the Sreekovil door was the same used to break the idol. At the scene of occurrence, there was an axe and it is definite that that axe was used to cut the Sreekovil door, as traces of brass were found on the sharp edge of the axe and hence it has to be said that the fire was not accidental. ( Page 2 of the report)

2) The temple and its surrounding buildings were built up of wood, copper, brass, which were not easily inflammable, but they have been completely burnt. This is evidence enough to show that great effort has been made to set fire to the temple and speaks a deliberate action. ( Page 2 of the report)

3) The possibility of fire around the forest area enveloping the temple and thus bringing about the destruction of the temple is also out of the question, as there were no signs of any such forest fire around the area, and there were ample indications of a deliberate setting fire of the temple at the scene. ( Page 2 of the report)

4) The temple and surrounding building as already mentioned having been built of mostly non-inflammable materials, could not be easily set fire to and on a modest calculation, the perpetrators could have worked at this at least for four to five hours continuously, as evidenced from the emptying of the ghee tins and utilising cloth and other materials to set fire to the temple. Further, there were signs of occupation of the temple premises by a party. They have made use of the provisions that were stored in the temple including coriander. These clearly show that great labour has been undertaken in committing this act. ( Page 3 of the report)

5) After having explained that theft was not the motive of the offenders, the next point for consideration is to find out what else is the motive and who could possible have that motive. From the examination of the scene of occurrence and attendant circumstances, it was possible to come to a conclusion that the offence was a deliberate one well conceived and executed. There was a touch of open vandalism and desecration was the only purpose. The breaking of the idol after forcibly entering into the Sreekovil by cutting open the door with an axe indicates ferocity. With this background, the whole point has to be viewed ( Page 3 of the report)

6) Offenders have to reach the temple through such routes and familiarity and knowledge of the surrounding forest area and routes are essential requisites for such an expedition. Though it will not be correct to state that there are no Hindus who are not acquainted with the place and route, it is reasonable to consider that Christians have got more familiarity and knowledge than the Hindus in this direction, as they and they alone occupy the places at the base of these hills and they are the only persons who hunt and poach in the vicinity of the temple day in and day out. In short, they have more facilities to commit this crime than any other community; and it is in evidence that they have hunted and poached in the vicinity during the relevant period.

The forest lands and the areas either at the beginning of these routes or lying along these routes are all cultivated not by the Hindus but by the Christians. The Hindus have not and cannot have so much of opportunities as the Christians. A Christian has absolutely no regard for a Hindu temple or idol. To him a Hindu idol is either a piece of stone or a block of metal. In short, he attached no sacredness for any Hindu idol or temple except that he may admire as a work of art. It is otherwise for a Hindu. ( Page 4 of the report)

7) This offence is not at all the work of a mad man as evidenced from the method or manner in which the temple was set fire to and idol broken. The Hindus have no influence over the area and any party of Hindus cannot get into forests without being noticed by Christians. ( Page 4 of the report)

8) A party of Hindu coolies who had gone to collect minor produce had satisfactorily explained their movements and a thorough verification was made. They had no hand in this. The Hindus have no purpose whatsoever by destroying this ancient sacred temple. It is from this temple that Hindus get a large income. It is this temple that brings unity among all classes of Hindus.  ( Page 4 of the report)

9) Further, if the Hindu Mandal wanted to dot it, they would have as well done this before the Kaviyur  reconversion or even before the Hindu Mandal Convention at Quilon. Finally, if the Hindus have done this, certainly information would have come out by this time regarding the perpetrators, because, psychologically at least one of the Hindus would have become terror-stricken and blurted out the details to somebody. It was because the offence has been committed other than by the Hindus, no information has so far come forth. This is borne by the fact that a Christian or a Muslim has absolutely no feeling for the destruction of Hindu idol or temple. This again is a point of Psychology.(  Page 5 of the report)

10) History has repeatedly shown that such sacrilegious acts in spite of the devotion of the Hindus towards such ancient temples and idols have been committed with a view to challenge the basic existence of the Hindu temples. This is not only due to the fanaticism in the wake of hatred but also due to a desire to put a stop to the influx of a large section of humanity into the folds of this ancient religion. This is one of the sacred temples which draw due to its sanctity thousands and thousands of devotees of all castes and creeds to offer their prayers to GOD AYYAPPA.

Long before the Father of the Nation preached temple entry for all untouchables, this ancient temple stood as a beacon light and guidance to the whole of India. For example, the low caste Pulaya and the high caste Brahmin rubbed shoulder to shoulder and offered prayers in this ancient temple. In the present day, in the wake of partition and communal tension among different communities, exhibiting the ugly signs of enmity against one another, this Makaravilakku stood in all its solidarity voicing forth the union of all Hindus into one fold and the fact stood as the foundation stone on which caste, creed and colour had to be shed away in the worship of the all-pervading God. (  Page 6 of the report)

11) Investigation having pointed out the hand of Christians on circumstantial evidence, the details of which I have given below, it is natural to believe that the above facts related to the motive are not inconsistent with the evidence gathered. I am emphasising this point to show that the case was investigated as an ordinary Arson case on other important circumstantial findings with a view to trace the offenders, in which the motive point was not taken into consideration to begin with, and after investigating this on the lines mentioned above, and having arrived at conclusions, the motive point came in naturally in the wake of investigation. (  Page 8 of the report)


1) Presently, Sabarimala temple reportedly gets better security coverage. Serious studies need to be made about Government’s view of threat perceptions to Sabarimala.

2) There were reports in the press regarding certain explosions on 27-12-2009 near Sabarimala which caused panic.  On 5th Jan 2010 PTI reported arrest of a LTTE  man at cumbum. This is a serious development to be considered. It is a widely known fact that a certain “Universal” religion was one of the sponsors for this terrorist organisation. The fact that most of these types are out of jobs now and sitting idle in T.N camps should be taken into consideration. Any attempts of LTTE to infiltrate to the either forests or the shelter camps for refugees near Kerala / T.N border needs to be monitored.

3) The protection of Mullaperiyar Dam needs to be strengthened. The fact that the adversaries can go to any length for their nefarious deeds is to be acknowledged.

4) Let us remember what H.G Wells says in his book ‘Crux Ansata’   “I think that it stands for everything most hostile to the mental emancipation and stimulation of mankind. It is the completest, most highly organized system of prejudices and antagonisms in existence. Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the[ XXX]. It presents many faces towards the world, but everywhere it is systematic in its fight against freedom.”


1. Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India

2. Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India

3. JOURNAL OF KERALA STUDIES, PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY OF KERALA, Vol. XXXI, March-Dec 2004, pp. 1-66 (William Henry Horsley’s Memoir of Travancore (1839): Earliest English Treatise on the History of Travancore
Achuthsankar S. Nair,  University of Kerala)

4. “Stop Pilgrimage promotion in Sabarimala: Study” (P.Venugopal) : The Hindu, Dec 26, 2001

5. From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 24, Dated June 21, 2008 publishing repetitive news regarding Sabarimala on 2nd January 2010

6. Remy Delage-  Pilgrimage and Environment in South India — A Research of Compatibility Between Conflicting Ideologies ; Mapping Out Social Change in South India — A Geographic Information System and Its Applications

7. Filippo Ossello and Caroline Ossello — ‘Ayyappan Saranam’: Masculinity and the Sabrimala Pilgrimage in Kerala,2003

8. Filippo Ossello and Caroline Ossello — Ayyappan Saranam’ – [“The resultant child,Ayyappan, product of two males, was born from Vishnu’s thigh. Shiva and Vishnu were ashamed” – This story of ‘shame’ is un heard of and most probably  a wilful lie]



11. See

12. See-

13. Mullaperiyar Dam. (2010, January 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:27, January 10, 2010, from

14. Film Review,Oct 2009 –The Hindu

15. Malayala Manorama Website (20-Dec-2009)

16. Rajeev Srinivasan, Rediff -“The settlers are almost entirely Christian. In their enthusiasm, some Christians actually set fire to the Sabarimala temple in the 1950s: it was a nuisance to them in their attempts to grab the surrounding forest”

17.  Menon, K Kesava Sabarimala Temple Arson Case: Enquiry Report. Kerala — Trivandrum: The Govt.Press, 1957

18. Report can be downloaded from

19. For more details see

20. Malayala Manorama

21. PTI

Source :

Christian-Jehadi plot targeting Sabarimala pilgrimage


By S Chandrasekhar in Organiser

Sabarimala temple

The controversy surrounding Mullaperiyar Dam in the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and the demand for building a new dam in place of the century old British built dam, especially during the Sabarimala season, is seen as a conspiracy by Christian/Jehadi groups to torpedo Sabarimala pilgrimage.

Right from the fifties, the church has been against the Sabarimala Temple and pilgrimage. They saw the ‘Ayyappa Cult’ as a threat to its conversion activities, as Hindus forgetting caste and creed flocked to Sabarimala in thousands. In the later fifties, Christians burnt the Sabarimala Temple. Later, as lakhs began flocking to the Temple, they raked the ‘Nilakkel issue’ by planting a cross at ‘Ayyappa’s  Poonkavanam (Garden).’ Thanks to the RSS-VHP massive agitation, the cross was removed and the Nilakkel Shiva Temple renovated.

As crores from all over the world forgetting religion, colour, race, creed heaped into Sabarimala, Christian-inspired false propaganda that a Kannada film actress (Christian convert) entered the Sanctum Sanctorum and that the ‘Makaravilakku’ is man-made, went the rounds.
Unmindful of this and facing all hardships crores from all over the world have started coming to Sabarimala, this season also.

An average of 3 to 3.5 crore of pilgrims visit Sabarimala, during the November-January season. 40 per cent of these come from Tamil Nadu. The Ayyappa cult has arrested the Christian conversion activities in Tamil Nadu. Forgetting caste differences, Hindus have become one. Much before the season, Christian leaflets denouncing Ayyappa and Makaravilakku were distributed. At many places, the leaflet distributers were physically attacked by Ayyappas.

Almost 50 per cent of Tamil Nadu pilgrims come to Sabarimala via Kumily route, the entry point on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and in the midst of the Mullaperiyar Dam controversy.

The anti-new Dam groups in Tamil Nadu and pro-new Dam groups in Kerala consist of atheists like Vaiko (TN) and Christian groups (Kerala). For almost a week now, Sabarimala pilgrims and their vehicles are being attacked on both sides of the border. Their tyres are torn, glasses broken and young, old and women attacked. There has been steady decline of pilgrims through Kumily and at Sabarimala, Fearing attacks Tamil Nadu Ayyappas are completing pilgrimage at Ayyappa Temples there.

There are strong indications to believe that just like the church-inspired agitation against Kudamkulam Nuclear Power plant, Mullaperiyar agitation during Sabarimala season is also a Christian plot to torpedo the Ayyppa Cult in Tamil Nadu and accelerate its conversion activities. As everyone knows, Vaiko was financed by LTTE, who got their finances from church-controlled drug cartels. Also Prabhakaran during his last years embraced Christianity and there are strong reasons to believe that Vaiko’s godfathers are the church.

Sabarimala is also under Jehadi scanner. For several years now pilgrims coming from other states are stoned and attacked at Muslim pockets. Several wanted Jehadis are being regularly arrested from Sabarimala by national security agencies. Sabarimala is under RAF and NSG cover.

When this Dam controversy is pending for long, raking it up during Sabarimala season, is nothing but a Christian ploy to torpedo Sabarimala and accelerate conversion!

Friday, December 23, 2011


ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE IN PARTS OF INDIA                                            In perspective               

Christians form about 2.5 per cent of India’s presently-estimated population of around 950 million. The largest concentrations of them are in the State of Kerala in the South and in the States of  Nagaland, Mizoram and Megalaya in the North-East. They are in a majority in these three  States of the North-East . Sizeable numbers of Christians (Catholics) also live in Goa and Pondicherry.  A much smaller number live scattered amongst the majority Hindu population in the rest of India.  

         The Syrian Orthodox church is the oldest in India. The other denominations came  later. The Orthodox Christians constitute the largest single group in the Christian community of  Kerala, with the Catholics following behind.  Presbyterians / Baptists are in a negligible number in Kerala, but in a majority in the North-Eastern States.  

         The contribution of the Church and the various Christian organisations in India to the spread of education has been immense. Thanks to these organisations,  Kerala has the highest percentage of literacy amongst all Indian States.  In the other States, some of the best educational institutions are run by   Christian organisations.  

         The majority of their students have always been Hindus. Colleges like the Loyola (Catholic) of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the Christian (Protestant) and St.Joseph’s (Catholic) of Tamil Nadu, the St.Xavier’s (Catholic) of Mumbai and the St.Stephen’s  (Protestant) of New Delhi  have had a legendary reputation in India for the high quality of their educational standards and discipline.  

         Any Hindu student, who had the privilege of passing through the portals of these institutions (like this writer himself), would vouch for the fact that never once during their stay in these institutions was an approach made to them to embrace Christianity or even to read the Bible.  

         During the first two decades after India’s independence, the majority of the top 20 successful candidates in any Civil Service examination for recruitment to higher Governmental responsibilities were Hindus who had been educated in Christian institutions. The number has since declined due to the coming into being of other good institutions run by non-Christian organisations.  

         However, many of the higher educational institutions run by Christian organisations still maintain high standards and, in recognition of their objective evaluation of the students’ performance without being influenced by considerations of religion, caste, money, social status etc of the students, State Governments such as that of Tamil Nadu have given them the deemed university status, that is, autonomy in decision-making and evaluation.  

         In relation to their much larger number, the percentage of educational institutions  run by Hindu organisations  which have established a similar reputation for objectivity of evaluation without being influenced by extraneous considerations of religion, caste, language, money, social status etc is much smaller.  

         There is no discrimination against Christians in India in the matter of education, recruitment to the armed forces and civilian Government services and appointments to the highest and the most sensitive Government posts. The present Defence Minister of India is a Christian, who started his career as a priest, but later gave up priesthood and entered politics.  Some of the pilots of the Air Force, who distinguished themselves for bravery during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, were Christians.  Christians have held  many senior and highly sensitive posts such as the Chiefs of  Staff of the Air Force and the Navy , the head of the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s equivalent of the FBI of the US, head of the division responsible for the Prime Minister’s security, member of the Election Commission etc.  

       The Indian Constitution and laws do not bar any citizen from aspiring to any office in India, however high or sensitive, because of his or her religion, caste or language. What is more, Indian public opinion has never exhibited prejudice against the aspirations of any minority group to occupy any post.  

         During 50 years of India’s independence, one Sikh and two Muslims have held the high office of the President of  India. During India’s war with Pakistan in 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh, the officer who headed the Indian army was a Parsi, the smallest amongst the minority religious groups, the officer who led the assault on the then East Pakistan was a Sikh, and his No.2 was Jewish.  

         At the height of the Pakistan-sponsored insurgency in Kashmir in the early 1990s, the army and the Indian Administrative Service officers who, as Advisers to the Governor, co-ordinated the counter-insurgency operations were Muslims—one from the South and the other from the North.  

         The Indian Constitution and laws grant unrestricted freedom of religion and the laws except in Madhya Pradesh and perhaps Orissa do not prohibit conversion.  

         India has recognised the Vatican and allowed the Holy See to set up its diplomatic mission in New Delhi. The Indian Ambassador in Rome is concurrently accredited to the Holy See. India recognises the papal appointments of the high functionaries of the Catholic church in India.  

         Compare this with the US, Germany, France and the UK. Even though their laws too do not prohibit any citizen by birth  from aspiring to the highest office, US public opinion could not accept till 1960, almost two hundred years after its independence, a Catholic as the President; no Catholic or Jewish person would stand a chance of becoming the head of  State of Germany; no Protestant  or Jewish person would similarly stand a chance of becoming the French President; and if Prince Charles marries a Catholic, he will have to give up his right of succession.  

         No member of a minority group—and particularly no Afro-American—has ever been appointed to head the CIA, the FBI and the Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security. 

         Compare India with the Islamic world (other than Malaysia and Indonesia). Religious conversion from  Islam to other religions is banned in all Islamic countries, but not the other way round. No non-Muslim can be chosen under the law as the Head of State and can aspire to senior or sensitive posts. Pakistan has about 2 per cent Hindus, almost the same percentage as the Christians in India. Have you ever heard of a Hindu or a Christian holding even middle level posts in the Government, not to talk of  senior posts? In the entire 50- year history of Pakistan, one Hindu rose to the rank of a Brigadier in the Army. That is all. He too was kept out of non-administrative, sensitive responsibilities.  

         Compare India with China. Beijing has refused to recognise the Vatican and its right to nominate the high functionaries of the Catholic church in China. The reason is partly political—the Vatican’s relations with Taiwan—and partly religious—the perceived need to maintain the independence of the Catholic church in China.  

         Can President Jiang Zemin  name a single Muslim of Xinjiang or a single Buddhist of Tibet or Mongolia or, for that matter, a single non-Han from any part of China who has ever held any important or sensitive post either during the 50 years of communist rule or even during the pre-1949 KMT regime?  

         Beijing has imposed on the Tibetan Buddhists a State-sponsored Panchen Lama after arresting the legitimate Panchen Lama chosen by the Tibetan Buddhists in accordance with their religious traditions. And it is waiting for the Dalai Lama to die so that it could similarly impose a State-sponsored successor on the Tibetans.  

         In the Muslim majority Kashmir and in the Christian majority North-Eastern States, no person from outside the province from any other part of India can acquire land. This restriction has been imposed to protect the rights of the sons of the soil. Can anyone anywhere in the world cite a similar legislation under which a majority community, at its own volition, has imposed on itself restrictions on the right to acquire property anywhere in the territory of the country in order to protect the minorities?  

         Thus, nowhere else in the world have the Constitution, the laws, the political leadership and the public opinion  been as generous to the minorities as in India.   

         Why then the alleged Hindu-Christian tension and periodic incidents of violence  in some pockets of India inhabited by Christians? In some instances, the violence has been by some sections of the Christian population which took to insurgency against the administration as in Nagaland and Mizoram while in other instances the violence has been by some sections of the Hindus against the Christians as seen recently in some pockets of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.  

         In analysing this, one can straightaway exclude Kerala , which has had no history of Hindu-Christian violence.  

         Nagaland has been affected by intermittent insurgency since the 1950s and Mizoram was affected by a similar insurgency for 20 years since 1966, but peace has been restored during the last 10 years through a negotiated settlement between the Government of India and the Mizo insurgent leaders.  

         Recent incidents of violence in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa have been projected and over-dramatised  by the media, Christian organisations and sections of liberal intellectuals in such a way as to create a wrong impression as if anti-Christian violence was sweeping across India. Only the demonstrations by these groups are sweeping across India and not violence against  Christians.  

         The violence against the Christians has been confined to some very small pockets in these three states and the violence has taken place not because Gujarat is ruled by the BJP or Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are ruled by the Congress (I), as the political parties in their urge for partisan advantage, are trying to make out. The violence has taken place because these provinces have a large number of tribals living in compact areas just as  the majority of the population of Nagaland and Mizoram are tribals.  

         In analysing this, one has to keep in mind the nature of the tribal society ,the distrust evoked in the minds of  sections of the Indian population by their perception, right or wrong, of the alleged role of foreign Christian missionaries in  the large-scale conversion of the tribals of the North-East under British rule and in encouraging the insurgency against the administration and fears, real or imaginary, of a similar situation developing in the tribal belt of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, if one was not careful.  

        Till Christianity came to the North-East, the tribals did not belong to any organised religion. They were animists or nature worshippers. The tribals of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are similarly  animists.  

         The tribal culture, whether of the North-East or of these three states or even of North Myanmar and Northern Thailand, is marked by four common features—a love of pork and alcohol, equality of gender relationship and a relaxed, permissive (the word permissive is not used in a pejorative sense) attitude to sexual relations.  

         Thus, Islam with its strict prohibition of all these features could never make any headway in the tribal societies of India, Northern Myanmar and Northern Thailand. In India, this left  the field open for the advance of Christianity and Hinduism. Since Hinduism itself did not encourage conversion drives, the Western –mainly American--Christian missionaries, under British rule, undertook a systematic conversion of the tribals of the North-East, with official encouragement.  

         This conversion drive was not confined to the North-East. It was also extended to the Kachin State and the then Chin Hills Special Division of Northern Myanmar and the Karen-inhabited areas of Southern Myanmar. Between the two world wars, these areas underwent a total transformation from a belt of largely animists to one of Christians.  

         An interesting point to be noted is that though these conversions took place with British encouragement, most of the missionaries and funds came from the US. Even today, an objective analysis might indicate that most of the funds for Christian missionary and humanitarian work come from the US and, to a limited extent, from Germany. Contributions from other Western countries would, in comparison, be small.  

         Despite the long spell of British rule in India and the conversion drive in the North-East, the British Anglican church has little  presence in the North-East.   

         One should resist the temptation to compulsively look for sinister explanations for this. A plausible and benign explanation is that the Americans as a people are more God-fearing than the West Europeans and give more generously for religious and humanitarian causes, whether they be in the US or outside. Possibly, their income-tax laws also play a role in this.  

         After the outbreak of the Second World War, this conversion of vast tracts of the animist belt into a Christian belt acquired, in the eyes of the West, a strategic importance as an effective way of stopping the advance of the Japanese towards India through the Karen,  Kachin and Chin areas.  

         For this purpose, large sections of the tribals of  our North-East, of Northern Myanmar and the Karen areas of Southern Myanmar were trained by the British in arms and ammunition and it is these trained Christian tribals who took to insurgency after the departure of the British from the area in 1947 (from India) and 1948 (from Myanmar).  

         Despite her charisma and determination, Aung San Suu Kyi has not been able to make any headway in her pro-democracy movement in the rural areas of Myanmar because the rural Buddhist population of  lower Myanmar suspects  that she has been propped up by Western elements and the Christian organisations which created  the original  divide between the Christians and the Buddhists. Even though she is a devout Buddhist herself, this perception of her dependence on these elements has denied her the expected support in the rural areas.  

         To understand further the distrust in the minds of sections of the Indian population about the role of foreign missionaries, one has to study the use of the missionaries by Western intelligence agencies before, during and after the Second World War.  

         After its creation in 1947, the CIA made extensive use of the American missionaries working amongst the tribals in the Yunnan province of China for intelligence collection and for organising a resistance movement against Communist rule. These missionaries used to co-operate not only with the CIA, but also with the KMT intelligence.  

         After the capture of Yunnan by the Communists in 1950, the KMT troops in Yunnan crossed over into the Shan State of Myanmar. By taking advantage of  the absence of Myanmarese army control over Northern Myanmar,  these troops, supplied by air by the CIA from bases in Thailand, continued to organise raids on Chinese army posts in Yunnan.  

         In this, they received valuable help from the Lisu tribes , who are found in Yunnan and in the Kachin State of Myanmar. American missionaries, who had been active converting these tribes to Christianity since the 1930s, played an active role in rallying these tribes in support of the KMT troops.  

         The PLA managed to defeat these KMT troops in 1967-68, after which these missionaries moved over to the Kachin State of Northern Myanmar. When the Myanmarese army, worried over their activities in its territory, tried to arrest them, they crossed over into the Vijaynagar area in the Tirap District of Arunachal Pradesh in India and then went to the Chiangmai area of Northern Thailand.  

         While these missionaries, who were already in their 70s at that time, are now dead, many of their children, who had married Lisu boys/girls and grand-children, who have also taken to missionary work, have since then been working amongst the tribals of Northern Thailand.  

         Amongst the reasons why  insurgent groups of our North-East prefer to use Thailand and the Philippines as a base for their activities are the easy availability of arms and ammunition in the smugglers’ market in Thailand and Cambodia and their ability to remain in touch with the American missionaries in Northern Thailand and the Philippines.  

         Some of these missionaries help the insurgent leaders by getting them foreign travel documents and hospitality, meeting the expenses on their travels to Geneva, New York and other places to draw international attention to their grievances and arranging meetings with officials of international organisations.  

          The use of sections of US journalists and missionaries in many countries by the CIA came to notice during the post-Watergate enquiries into the functioning of the agency. Non-Governmental opinion in the US strongly criticised this and called for a ban on such use.  

         President Carter, thereupon, banned the use by the CIA of US journalists and missionaries for its operations. While the ban in the case of the missionaries was absolute with no exceptions, in the case of the journalists, the CIA Director was empowered to use them on a case by case basis, if there was no other way of protecting vital US national interests. The CIA has been using this relaxation in Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea and Cuba. Even in the case of the missionaries, the ban is only on the use of US and not non-US missionaries.  

         Of the other intelligence agencies, the French agencies were extensively using Catholic missionaries in Indo-China and Francophone Africa. The MI-6, the British external intelligence agency, was allegedly in touch with Rev.Michael Scott, who was active amongst the Nagas, and with the late Phizo, the Naga insurgent leader, during his stay in exile in the UK. There have been allegations of the involvement of  Anglican missionaries from the UK in supporting the Christian militant groups in southern Sudan and of the Portuguese missionaries in backing the insurgents of East Timor.  

         India’s experience with the undesirable activities of foreign missionaries in the North-East and their suspected contacts with Western intelligence agencies, fears of a similar transformation of the animist tribal belt of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa into a Christian belt and of the exploitation of this belt to encourage feelings of alienation against the administration  impelled the then Governments of the Congress headed successively by Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi to take notice of these dangers and formulate a policy response which, while preventing any dangers of a repetition of the North-East in the tribal belt of these three States, would at the same time maintain communal and inter-religious harmony.  

         The policy response consisted of the appointment in Madhya Pradesh of a commission with one of its members chosen from the Christian community to enquire into the undesirable activities of foreign missionaries in the State’s tribal belt, the enactment of a law in M.P. banning conversions under certain circumstances such as paying money in return for conversion, a close monitoring by the security agencies of the activities of the foreign missionaries and of the way they spent the funds received by them from abroad.  

         While there have been foreign missionaries who have done excellent humanitarian work amongst the tribals, there were also others who had an axe to grind against the Government of India and encouraged feelings of  a separate identity amongst the tribals. Whenever such negative instances came to notice, the Government used to call the missionary and politely ask him to leave the country, without publicising the action.  

         Thus, concerns over any undesirable activities of foreign missionaries, particularly in the tribal belts, have always been there and are not a figment of  the imagination of the present Government in New Delhi. What was new was the way the present leadership  and its  party cadres articulated the concerns in unwise and even provocative language and, instead of continuing to discuss and handle this sensitive issue professionally at the highest levels of the administration, took the issue to the streets and let it be articulated and exploited for partisan purposes in a deplorably crude manner.  

         This has created a public hysteria in certain pockets of the country, particularly in the tribal belts, and led to cruel acts of violence against innocent Christians and their places of worship and to the horrendous murder of the Australian missionary who had been doing excellent work amongst tribals  afflicted by leprosy and two of his three teen-aged children.  

         Instead of further poisoning the atmosphere through allegations of international conspiracy against India etc, it is high time we take this issue out of the streets and resume dealing with it as in the past—professionally at the highest levels of the administration in a discreet and low-profile manner. Undesirable temptations to exploit such issues for partisan political purposes could further damage communal harmony in the society.      
B.RAMAN.                                                         31-1-99      
 (The writer is Additional Secretary (Retd) of the Cabinet Secretariat, Government  of India, and presently Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.   
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