I think the following letter to editor of Organizer newspaper deserves a round of applause. Similarly, my gratitude for Organizer for publishing it. I would expect such treatment from only a ‘right-wing’ newspaper.

Alluring to convert (Organiser, 15-4-2007); After reading my friend Shri Lokpal Sethi’s report on the Sriganganagar incident, I was left wondering whether Hinduism has become so weak that India should adopt the Saudi Arabian model to protect the majority Hindus from a minuscule, four per cent Christian population. According to Shri Sethi, two evangelists were caught in the act in Sriganganagar—a border district. He says their crime was to “lure” sections of people to Christianity. The evidence includes the fact that they travelled from Punjab to Sriganganagar, that they carried Christian literature and that they were promising better life for the innocent people and jobs if they adopted Christianity. They also had a lot of money. But when has it become anti-national for an Indian citizen alone or in groups to travel from one part of the country to another? Shri Sethi speaks as if carrying one or two mobiles and a laptop is a crime. What was there in the laptop? Caste-wise data. Is this any secret when newspapers are daily giving caste-wise data in every constituency in poll-bound UP? Shri Sethi seems to depend too much on unspecified “intelligence agencies”. However he should be aware of how unreliable these “agencies” are and in how many cases have innocent people been harassed by them. For instance, in the well-known case against Ram Startup, “intelligence agencies” found “incriminating material” against him but in the court it turned out to be nothing more than PIB press releases. The court strongly censured these “agencies”. It is also news to me that setting up educational institutions, as the EMI has done, is a crime and that the state has unrestricted powers to take over such institutions. Rajasthan High Court has rightly invalidated the government takeover. As for offering jobs for conversion, not even a stupid pastor would do that when millions are waiting for jobs because no one can have such resources to fool them. As far as I know about the Constitution, propagating Christian or any other religious literature or even preaching of atheism is not a crime—in fact carrying on any propagation of any religion is a basic right guaranteed to every citizen. So how do the EMI pastors become criminals if their laptop has or if they carry a lot of material on Christianity? Has Government declared Christianity a dangerous movement and proscribed all Christian literature?

—RAJENDRA PRABHU,
New Delhi

I see the danger of Christian Conversion all around us. As I have stated previously, Christians are well organized, motivated, and have the necessary political and financial power. The need of hour is to better communicate the dangers of Christian conversion. The above letter to editor is perfect example of how our reports on Christian conversion are interpreted by general public.

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Krishna leading ArjunaThere are lot of people who have misunderstood RSS, mostly because of media representations and also because RSS rarely bothers to explain itself clearly to outsiders. Most basic mis-understanding is what does RSS want to be?I have experienced RSS from closely based on my interaction with the senior leaders. I believe RSS wants to be only a chariator like Krishna and not a warrior like Arjuna. RSS wishes Hindu Society to be the Arjuna of the Mahabharat. It feels that Hindu Society has the necessary abilities to counter anything that stands in its path, but it has been floundered and confused just like Arjuna. Another metaphor is of Hanumna, who has forgotten his strengths and needs to be reminded of it again.

I think RSS can be best described metaphorically through the Krishna and Arjuna idea. Just like Krishna had the power to fight itself, similar to RSS, but Krishna only chose to guide Arjuna. Similarly, RSS wishes to guide the Hindu Society rather than fight its battle. It believes that whole society has to stand on its feet and be strong like Pandavas to fight the necessary evils prevailing all around us. This evil has manifested in society in different forms, whether it is casteism, pseudo-secularism or Christian conversion.

What do you think? Any other metaphors that might describe RSS better?

A nine member team from ABVP, West Bengal, visited the scene of the 14th March 2007 carnage at Nandigram on Saturday 17th March along with a NDA parliamentary delegation. The ABVP team comprised of State President Rabi Ranjan Sen, Vice President Arindam Mukherjee, Organizing Secretary Amitabha Chakraborty, Assistant Secretary Parul Mandal, Mahanagar Bibhag Pramukh Sanjay Das, Kolkata Mahanagar District Sanyojak Abhijit Biswas, Hugly Bibhag Pramukh Pratyush Mandal, Howrah Zilla Pramukh Atanu Ganguly, Kolkata unit treasurer Shyam Jaiswal. The delegation left Kolkata at 8am and reached Nandigram around 11am. On the way they were joined by ABVP Midnapore Bibhag Pramukh Shubhajit Roy and Midnapore District samiti member Bishwanath Das. After leaving Tamluk town, lines of flags of the CPI(M) in some areas signified areas which are under the control of the red party while places which were not under their control flew TMC and BJP flags. The tension was evident on the road after Tamluk as on both sides of the road people had lined up and were waving at and shouting slogans welcoming the NDA delegation, only at one place which was under CPI(M) control, the red party activists had gathered to boo the delegation.
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