Friday, 25 November 2016

Bishnupriya Manipuris in target: Conversion to Christianity

RK Rishikesh Sinha
We as a Bishnupriya Manipuris feel proud keeping our social, cultural and religious pillars strong and intact. In the 21st century globalization period, it is surprising to find that there is continuity of our ethos since centuries despite being in the epicenter of many socio-political changes. The formation of India, East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) - on religion is one such. More than that we withstood religious conversion to Islam and Christianity in comparison to our neighbouring communities; we are Hindus. It is surprising that religious conversion is not highlighted and discussed. Take this: this is the first article in this blog raising the issue.

However, in the present time, we are not safe. The Bishnupriya Manipuri society has been intruded and it is being compromised. To my knowledge and information, 40-45 Bishnupriya Manipuri individuals have converted to Christianity in India. To make the matter worse, unknowingly BMDC-Pau website carries the image of Mother Teresa, whose job was to bring people into the fold of Christianity.

According to multi-billion-dollar- organization Josuha Project based in Denver, Colorado, 0.07 % of Indian Bishnupriya Manipuris have converted to Christianity (in Bangladesh it is 0.16%). It is a notorious organization converting people of other religious faith to Christianity. The evangelical organization has mapped us, the Bishnupriya Manipuries, and included it in their database. We are in their target.

In the Joshua Project website, our introduction has been given like this:

The Bishnupriya (Manipuri) are a 100% Hindu community living in the northeastern corner of Bangladesh mostly in the Moulvibazar district of Sylhet division. They point to Manipur state of India as their homeland, and they still have a majority of their people in various northeastern states of India. They are mostly farmers, though their younger generations are becoming increasingly more educated and looking for other opportunities. They are very proud of their culture/religion, and are well-known in Bangladesh for their dances; their identity is very much tied to their Hindu culture/religion. Largely because of this, there is still not a single known Christian among the Bishnupriya in Bangladesh. Missionary activity among them has been and is limited because of their belief that to be Bishnupriya is to be Hindu. Outsiders trying to spread the gospel are not tolerated, and individuals may resist the gospel for fear that they will lose their place in the Bishnupriya society if they become Christians. Still, because of the Bishnupriya community's desire for development and aid, missionaries can easily gain access to the community by engaging them in the social, economic, and health sectors. Going beyond merely providing aid may prove difficult, however.

Please read again:

because of the Bishnupriya community's desire for development and aid, missionaries can easily gain access to the community by engaging them in the social, economic, and health sectors. Going beyond merely providing aid may prove difficult, however

This is the fundamental approach of Christian missionaries: 1. saama (the process of pacifying); 2. Daana (the process of giving money in charity); 3. Bheda (the principle of dividing); 4. Danda (the principle of punishment).

What we see around us in north-east India, in just half a century period, the whole northeast got converted into Christianity. The terrorism infested in Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura are Christian terrorism.

In India, Rajiv Malhotra writes in his path breaking book ‘Being Different – An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism’, ”the Joshua Project points its fingers at Hindus who comprise the dominant faith and are clearly targeted as competitors to overcome. When incidents of violence have occurred, it is often the Christian missionaries who cast the first stone in the form of hate speech such as ‘pagan’, ‘idol-worshipper’, ‘heathen’ etc …and offering whole villages financial incentives to convert”.

What can we do? First, stop allowing Christian missionary schools/ hospitals at our villages. If our boys/ girls are attending Christian missionary schools (many schools have come up near to our villages), be cautious of their school content are they belittling our deities, symbols and dharmic traditions. Second, stop outsiders preaching gospels at our villages. Don’t give societal space to converters and those who got converted. Third, understand the modus-operandi of the Christian missionaries. Understand key difference between Hinduism and Judeo-Christian faiths. For this, read the books authored by Rajiv Malhotra. All the books published by him are first of its kind looking at the West from India’s dharmic standpoint. Before you buy all his books, watch his You Tube Channel. Fourth, we poeple have to decolonize ourselves. To be continued…
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