What has happened in Dakshina Kannada is a shame.
The Christians in the past had made contribution to the development of modern Kannada. Rev Kittel who composed the first Kannada dictionary was one of our revered ancestors. The Christians continue to run hospital and schools. Most of the gentle and caring nurses in hospitals are Christians.
What is happening now is a cynical move on the part of the government in power. Our Chief Minister had said that he would make Karnataka another Gujarat. His ideal seems to be Narendra Modi, for B.S. Yediyurappa, once a leader of poor peasants in my home district Shimoga, now speaks of Modi-style development.
The BJP knows that they can’t get the Christian minority votes in Mangalore and Udupi, as they are traditional supporters of the Congress. By attacking Christians now they can make a solid Hindu vote bank. This is most cynical.
Raising the question of ‘forced conversions’ for justifying the attacks on Christians is irresponsible on the part of a government which should protect law and order.
Who converts to Christianity?
Mostly those who come from low castes and feel ashamed to reveal who they are and what caste they belong to. Christianity gives them a respectable identity and they may be tempted also with jobs and money.
If we had a great saint like Narayana Guru of Kerala born into a low caste who took to reforming the decadent Hindu society, there would have been no room for Christians to convert low-born Hindus. Narayana Guru was an advaitin, perhaps the greatest advaitin after Adi Shankaracharya.
Attacking people who are praying to whatever God is the most irreligious act on the part of Hindus.
The Sangh Parivar is destroying Hindu civilization.
The way out now is for civilian society to raise its voice. The police are under the BJP government which seems to have turned a blind eye. It may not be openly supporting the attacks of the Sangh Parivar but there seems to be a tacit understanding between the two.
The Gujarat drama of violence is being reenacted here.
As a Kannada writer I feel ashamed and angry and feel helpless too.
Photograph: courtesy Outlook
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