Take, for instance, the forced conversions in the north-east. Christian missionaries, with active monetary and political support from the West, have been converting poor and innocent tribals in the north-east of India without any hindrance for the past 300 years. As a result, Nagaland is today 90 per cent Christian, Mizoram 86 per cent and Meghalaya 64.6 per cent.
This process is going on full speed at this very moment: There are now 1,20,000 Christians in Tripura, a 90 per cent increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1,710 Christians in 1961, but 1,15,000 today, as well as 700 churches. All this is often done by means of ‘economic conversions’. “Miracle boxes” are put in local churches: The gullible villager writes out a request – a loan, a pucca house, fees for the son’s schooling. A few weeks later, the miracle happens. And the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit.
Is this ethical? No country in the world would allow this. France, for instance, has a minister in charge of keeping a tab on “sects”. And sects means anything which does not belong to the great Christian family. Recently, two French schoolteachers were imprisoned by the police for a few days because they were Brahmakumaris and had used some Brahmakumari precepts in their teaching.
What conversions do to the psyche of India is catastrophic. They threaten a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs, wisdom, teaching people to despise their own religion and look westwards to a culture which is alien to them. Look how the biggest drug problems in India are found in the north-east, or how Third World countries, which have been totally Christianised, are drifting away without nationalism and self-pride. “I was told after conversion that I should not wear a bindi on my forehead, as it is a heathen custom”, says Shanta (not her real name) of Agartala, whose family converted recently to Christianity. Her friend Sushma, who has come back to her original religion, says that one of the Indian missionaries from Kerala told her “that I would go to hell if I ever entered a temple again. But I don’t understand, she continues, when I was a Hindu, I found nothing wrong in going to a church, or to a mosque for that matter”.