BJP president Amit Shah on his maiden visit to Nagaland on Friday was welcomed with an open letter by a Dimapur-based Christian organisation. The Dimapur Christian Forum wrote an open letter to the BJP chief dismissing allegations made by various Sangh Parivar outfits about Christian missionaries wooing tribals, and said it was “deprivation” that had prompted tribal communities to embrace Christianity.
The Forum also wanted to know why no “Hindu missionary” came to tell the tribals of the Northeast about the Hindu gods. “One relevant question is, why no ‘Hindu missionary’ came to tell us about Lord Ram, although we were living as neighbours for three millennia or more?
“The Hindu missionaries went only to palaces of the kings, like those of the Ahoms and Meiteis. They did not come to us because we were considered as mlechchas (barbarians). The Christian missionaries came because Jesus taught them to call all human beings brothers and sisters,” the letter stated.
But the Forum made it clear that it was not BJP as such which have been complaining about the Christian missionaries. “We are aware that the there has been no official accusations from BJP on any aspects of our Christian faith. We thank you and the party for it. The accusations have been from your constituents, viz RSS, VHP etc, who made you what you are. We are not listing the accusations here. But they boil down to one thing, that Christianity is a foreign thing, Christian faith is suspect, traitorous, anti-national, and so to be destroyed,” it said.
With regards to repeated allegations about foreign funds flow to Christian missionaries, the Forum further asked to look into the foreign funding for both Hindu and Christian religious groups and publish the details. The group asserted that churches do not use funds for any anti-national activities.
“We like BJP to understand that our ancestors were not Hindus, because they did not worship Lord Ram, Shri Krishna, Hanuman or any other deities of the Hindu pantheon. They accepted Christianity. There was no inducement, but only deprivation, because our forefathers who became Christians were expelled from their villages,” the open letter signed by Dimapur Christian Forum secretary Father Chacko Karinthayil said.