India: Serious Threat of Hindutva


Date:  August 9, 2017

The Church is persecuted; tribals free only to be Hindu

by Elizabeth Kendal

The ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) was formulated in the early 
1900s as a means to counter British colonialism. VD Savarkar, the man 
recognised as the Father of Hindutva, was an Indian pro-independence activist 
and revolutionary. Savarkar sought to unify India's numerous and diverse 
peoples under the banner of Hindutva to strengthen the Indian resistance. An 
avowed atheist, Savarkar objected to Hindu beliefs and sought to redefine 
Hinduness as race. He wrote his defining work 'Hindutva' while in prison in 
the early 1900s. Whilst he might have despised the Muslims of the 'Khilafat' 
(Caliphate) Movement with whom he shared a prison cell, his ideology appears 
to borrow much from their fundamentalist Islam.  

The essence of Savarkar's Hindutva is: 'Hindustan' (the entire Indian 
subcontinent) is their homeland and holy-land. As the homeland of the Hindu 
race/nation it should therefore be declared a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu state). 
All sons and daughters of Hindustan are Hindu and the only reason Muslims and 
Christians exist in Hindustan is because they or their ancestors were 
converted by foreign missionaries, usually through fraud, force or 
allurement. All non-Hindus are thus called to 'return home' to Hinduism for 
the sake of Mother India. Refusal to do so is seen as an act of betrayal 
against the Hindu nation, akin to subversion or separatism. In theory, 
Hindutva rejects caste, mandating there should be equality within the Hindu 
race. Non-Hindus however, are to be marginalised as second-class citizens and 
essentially be punished for their betrayal. The result is religious apartheid 
with violent persecution.  

It has been a Long (100-year) March, but Savarkar's Hindutva disciples now 
control the levers of power throughout all India. Formulated to stir up 
revolution against the British, Hindutva is now used as a political tool to 
fan majority Hindu pride and dragnet the majority Hindu vote to consolidate 
the power and privilege of the Hindu elites. The situation facing India's 
ancient and growing missionary-focused Christian Church is exceedingly 
serious. Slandered as anti-social elements who instigate strife, threaten 
social cohesion and risk national security, Christians are increasingly 
finding themselves without rights or security against a rising tide of 
politically-orchestrated religious hatred.  

As animists who traditionally vote Congress, the tribals have long been the 
prime targets of Hindutva activists seeking religious conversions for 
political gain. To their fury, they find themselves competing with Christian 
missionaries who are almost exclusively Indian nationals working locally or 
cross-culturally. Along with literacy, education, vocational training and 
healthcare, these Indian missionaries also introduce peace, love, dignity, 
grace and abundant life in Jesus Christ to peoples historically disregarded 
by the Hindu caste system as little more than rubbish. Like the high caste 
(who recoil at the notion of equity) the Hindutva activists regard Christian 
missionaries as their number one enemy on earth.  


Five northern tribal-belt states have enacted anti-conversion laws 
(ironically known as 'Freedom of Religion' bills): Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, 
Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odhisa. A similar law also exists in 
Arunachal Pradesh, which as yet has not been implemented. On Tuesday 1 August 
the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill 2017 was approved by the cabinet of 
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das. The law will be enacted later this 
year when it is approved by the Hinduvta-dominated State Legislative 
Assembly. As in the other states, Jharkhand's Freedom of Religion Bill will 
criminalise religious conversion, mandating prison terms and a fine for 
anyone found guilty of attempting to convert another person by fraud, force 
or allurement - all undefined. The penalty is increased if the convert is a 
minor or a member of a scheduled caste or tribe. As human rights advocate 
Tehmina Arora notes, 'This law, like the ones in the other States, will only 
further incite violence against religious minorities.' Similarly, Church 
leaders warn that such laws merely foster hatred against minority communities 
and lead to persecution of Christians.  


* intervene in power and grace to thoroughly subvert the Hindutva project 
[which is essentially just another Tower of Babel - a vain and rebellious 
project aimed at forging social cohesion without reference to God (Genesis 
11)].  'The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.' 
(Jesus, Luke 18:27 ESV)  

* rise up in defence of his persecuted and threatened Church and in defence 
of India's harassed and helpless masses.  

[DAY OF PRAYER FOR INDIA: the Evangelical Fellowship of India is inviting 
intercessors worldwide to join with the Indian Church on Sunday 13 August as 
they observe a 'Day of Prayer for the Nation'. Further resources can be found 
at  and ] 

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