NO TRIBAL IS BY BIRTH CHRISTIAN

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has alleged before the Press that Juel Oram, member of Indian Parliament from tribal dominated district of Sundargarh, Orissa has been funding conversion of tribal people from Christianity to Hinduism. Nothing could be funnier than this.

When Christians, by treachery, had occupied India, the Census conducted by them in 1901 had established that Orissa was the most Hindu province under the British Empire, “where 94.7 percent of the total populations follow this faith”. (Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VI, page 686)

There were not even one hundred persons in the Christianity fold in Orissa.

So, if Christians have gathered any strength in number, then they have done so only through conversion. Therefore, they have no locus standi to allege that some one is converting Christians to Hinduism.

If any such thing is happening it is nothing but home coming on part of the Hindus. Juel Oram cannot be blamed for any Oriya leaving Christianity to come back to Hinduism, this being his home coming. If Oram is really funding any such return journey of the Hindus, it must be held that he has been doing a patriotic job.

I have watched Juel Oram ever since he has attracted attention in public field. Though misguided he is a patriot. Misguided, because, he is in a political party that uses Hinduism as a shield to protect the economic and social exploiters. Misguided, further because, he is in a political party that wants to perpetuate Brahminical caste superiority in democratic India! Orams, in ancient times, according to ERE, Vol-II at page 484 were followers of Dharmesh, along with other members of tribal community like the Mundas, Bhuiyans ans Hos. Dharmesh is Lord Dharma or Buddha who had revolted against Brahminism and established his own path know to the world as Buddhism. Like the Sun gives light to everyone without any discrimination, Buddha had given an Order of equal right to every one in society; earning the epithet ‘Dharma’. Hinduism being Brahminical, its political outfit BJP is not the natural platform for Oram. But he is a dedicated member of this party. This is because of misguided patriotism. Pakistan being formed on a religious nationalism and having pursuing the same form of nationalism, some in the rest part of ancient Bharat naturally find expression of their separate nationalism in Hinduism. Oram belongs to this segment.

So, if he really provides funds for return journey of tribal compatriots to the fold of Hinduism, he cannot be held to have done any wrong.

Christians have no locus standi to raise any allegation against Oram on this score.

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  1. In my view, both the Hindu as well as Christian preachers need to be kept out of any sphere of influence that may affect indigenous people.

    In Orissa, Christian missionaries should be banned and eventually evicted from the land. Likewise, the political party representing so-called Hindu interests such as BJP should be declared illegal. Political participation of citizens should be conducted through political consciousness-raising, not through religious or any other shady motives. As a matter of fact, no tribal is by birth Hindu either. Realistically speaking, belonging to either religion merely has caused complicated discriminations towards the dignity of indigenous peoples, and religion is not a tag they need to fancy.

    As regards the tribal population, most are indigenous peoples. They had nothing to do with Hinduism or Christianity at any stretch of imagination. The chief crisis of indigenous peoples in the world centers around land issues. The rest are pure trivia. Religion is the most dangerous trivia.

    Its quite unfortunate, although very carefully designed ploy at the same time, on the part of corporate media and communal politicians to deviate the focus from the land issues affecting tribal population (from nationalistic industrialization to corporate privatization) that can cause revolutionary movements (like among the Zapatas in Mexico), to utterly ridiculous non-issues such as religious commitments, which are still acting as the proverbial opium.

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