Mental shift

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Was the carnage in Orissa necessary?

Posted by jytmkh on September 18, 2008

From Merinews (http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?title=Was%20the%20carnage%20in%20Orissa%20necessary?&articleID=141445)

By rhapsodysinger

JEWISH HISTORY is a history of Holocausts. The final destruction of the Temple marked just the beginning of the trials of the ordinary Jew. No wonder then, that the greatest Jew of all time is just a Marginal Jew. It is this idea of marginality or, in the Indian context — subalternity that distinguishes the path of this Marginal Jew. And the Lord of History has to repeatedly allow persecutions to beset those whom He loves to draw them closer to him once again. The real Panopticon is that of God’s who did not hesitate to crucify His own Son for the sake of defeating structures of sin. The ultimate woof of history belongs to God. It is keeping these aspects of the godhead and Jewish history that we should search for reasons for the carnage that is even now happening in Orissa. I write as a staunch Hindu, who nonetheless, believes in Jesus as my ’Ishta Devta’ and the Church as the rock on which the Kingdom of God is established. In other words, I witness as a Hindu Brahmin the wonders and the mysteries of Christ.

There are two angles to this simmering hatred that is boiling over in my nation: One is highly academic and thus, of only scholarly value; the other one is more plebian and thus, much more important for our discussion here.

 
After Vatican II the Church in India actively seeks to establish cultural roots here. There exists a large corpus of Christian theological exegesis which bolsters what is now known in seminary-circles as ’inculturation’. There is an ever increasing demand for dialogue and condemnation of what is termed as Hindutva. In other words, the Church desires to contextualise Hindu praxis within Her own matrix, namely, the liturgical practices of the Catholic Church in India. Putting it a bit more academically, the Roman Church in India wants to create a new grand narrative in contextualisation which deliberately wants to erase the old nakedly Eurocentric thrusts. At least, this is how the Church sees itself.

Even a cursory glance at the available Catholic apologetics of our times reveal this much instantly. How does it go about executing this erasure of the old ways and the construction of new paradigms sensitive to the Indian ethos? This has been done with great visual and aural effects in three ways: through the changing of the age-old habits of the religious from European soutanes to saris and ochre robes of the Hindu sannyasis; adding Sanskrit songs and chants within the liturgy in the Latin rite and lastly, by creating Hindu temple like structures where the Virgin and the Lord are made too look like Hindu deities. And often on Sundays, one finds the religious at the Church doors, speaking in Hindu terms to their parishioners: Jai Yesu, for example. Then there is the endless discussion of Hinduism in seminaries and courses galore on comparative religions in Papal Seminaries throughout India. These are what the Church in India thinks as legitimate endeavours of a free people.

Let us now in all fairness see how these efforts are construed at the grass root level. Why should the Church do this and not simply condemn the barbaric and heinous nature of the assaults in Orissa? Why should she concede that fundamentalists are not the only ones to blame? The answer lies in Church history, suffering often has a message. May be there is too much counter-witnessing within the Church. When demoniac men burn alive other women and men, then the former need not be discussed in conciliatory terms but rather delegated to penal systems to see them punished suitably. What is this message? Is it possible that inculturation is simply not working in India?

The much touted dialogue in the Church is in reality only monologue. Hinduism is fundamentally a non-celibate religion. The Church being top-heavy in India naturally draws Hindu monks in its efforts to reach out to Hindus. While certainly the Church runs much coveted educational institutions all over India; they simply serve to weaken the Church here. It is true that most students in such institutions are Hindus but notice how often their parents are offended by seemingly powerful headmasters and principals. Notice how often these same women and men of the cloth are seen posing in photographs with business-scions and politicians. Also notice the unavailability of these same education-religious within the local social structures of the places where they live. And these are the most numerous amongst Indian Catholic religious.

The Catholic Church in India is certainly perceived as an educational behemoth which is elitist and exclusive in Her choice of pupils. The Church in India is firmly entrenched within a vicious circle of paradoxes and thus, runs the risk of being termed a chameleon which preaches sacrifices but serves hedonism. Walk into any of the urban schools and colleges run by the religious in India and all the efforts of the rural religious in inculturation will immediately seem hypocritical to even the least conscientious of men. How is it possible that those who profess Sanyasa, those who vow renunciation of the world and its pomps, live like feudal lords in the fiefdoms that are their institutions? So the average man on the streets lusts after the coveted seats provided by these established places of learning while at the same time cringing at the tortures and humiliations that the process of entry to these places often entails. It never helps that the Church in India keeps on boasting about the service it so kindly renders to the Hindu populace. This Janus-nature of the Indian Church, this deplorable polarisation between the much more honest rural Church and the Pharisaical urban Indian Church is its undoing here. The whiff of double-standards defeats any efforts at inculturation.

This is not to condone the violence that rocks my fellowmen. Yet my response is one of faith in both the truths of Hinduism and Catholicism. Everything that happens, happens only because God allows it and God speaks to us through daily occurrances. More than the hierarchy who suffer, it is the ordinary Christian who is persecuted. Let the Church note this.

The academic explanation for this violence should not only be located in the idea of anti-conversion laws in India or the rise of the so-called Hindutva. By being seminary limited and imitative of Western, South American theology movements, Indian theologians have created a morass of dead theologies which subtly bypass the more lived elements of both Catholicism and Hinduism. By blindly accepting Indian society’s structural injustices as given, Catholic theology in India seems always resistant to understanding Hindu sentiments which see this discourse merely as another western diatribe. Indian Catholic theology is merely a rehash of western movements and draws its inspiration from Patristic sources rather than any genuine appreciation of Anekattavadas.

Thus, the whole idea of studying Hinduism is defeated in Indian clerical circles. There are no Hindus really involved in this experiment. Everything is reduced to changes of names from erstwhile European ones to new Sanskrit ones. This nominalist effort as claiming everything Christian in India as ontologically native just remains polemical and superficial.

May be God wants to send a message across to the Indian Church to be more loyal to the Gospels first and then inculturate. And as a Church of praying people in pilgrimage across this vale of tears, I request your prayers for my Hindu brothers who are persecuting you. Father, they do not know what they do.

Om Shanti.
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7 Responses to “Was the carnage in Orissa necessary?”

  1. jytmkh said

    Dear Catholic readers,
    Do visit the original site of the article and comment there on the issue raised by the author. The article is superficial and it is an opportunity to create mass awareness on what inculturation and catholicity is all about.

  2. mukesh jain dara sena said

    SWAMI LAXMANAND KO MARNE WALI ISAIYAT ATANKWADI ADARM HAI ISKA NASH KARNA HAR HINDU KA PAHALA DHARM HAI.

    DAYAN BTA KAR JINDA JALANE WALI INSANIYAT KI DUSMAN ISAIYAT KA NASH KARNE WALE DARA SINGH BANNA HAR HINDU KA PAHALA DHARM HAI

    POPE KI BIBLE KE VAYVASTHA VIVRAN ADHYAY KI AYAT 12(2-5) OUR17(2-5) MEIN CHIRISTIANO KE KHUDA KA ADESH HAI KI ISAIYO! JITI DARTI KE MOOL NIVISIYON OUR DEVI DEVTAON KO SADA SADA KE LIYE NAST KAR DO TAKI US DESH SE UNKA NAMO NASHAN TAK MIT JAYE. JITI DHARTI KE SURYA CHANDRMA VA DEVI DEVTA PUJAK STRI – PURUSHO KO PATTHRON SE MAR DO. NISCHAYA HI YAH EK ADHARM HAI. IN ADHARMIYO OUR DHARM NIRPEKSHTA KE SHATRUON KO DHARM PRCHARAK KAHANE VA MANNE WALE SHAITANIYAT KE UPASAK HAIN. ADHARM KA NASH KARNA HAR HINDU KA HI NAHI BHARAT SARKAR KA BHI PAHALA DHARM HAI..
    BIBLE MEIN KAHI BHI HINDU YA ANYA NSLO KE LOGON KO ISAI BANA KAR APNE MEIN MILA LENE KO NAHI LIKHA HAI . BALKI INKO KATL KARNE KA ADESH DIYA HAI..ISAIYAT KE JHANDE KE NICHE HINDU NASL KA ISAI BHI POPE DWARA MARA JAYEGA.MAINE APNI PUSTAK WA CD ‘YEESHU MEIN SATAN HAI’ MIEN ISE SABOOTO KE SATH PARSTUT KIYA GAYA HAI.
    SURYA EK AKELA DHARTI KO PARKASHMAN KARTA HAI . CHANDRMA AKELA APNI CHHATA BIKHERTA HAI.TUM BHI AKELE APNE SATIYON KO JODO. ATANKWADI ISAIYAT KA KHULEAM YA CHHUPKARNASH KARO. KALIMATA TUMHARE SHATH HAI.
    MUKESH JAIN,
    PRESIDENT -DHARM RAKSHAK SHREE DARA SENA

  3. rhapsodysinger said

    Dear JYTMKH,
    You call this superficial. Fine then please read my article in the Jesuit in-house magazine Jeevan, Sept, 2006 and for your information I am completing my Biblical studies from Dharmaram. Do you expect me to go into the works of Dupuis etal to satiate your youthful zest t transform every lived experience into an academic discourse. The Church is failing here and like Ezekiel who rolled on the earth, God is speaking. But your sanctified ears ears shut. The Christian Brothers destroyed themselves by neglecting pedophiles amongst them and now the Church in India has abandoned Lady Poverty.
    Bye

  4. jytmkh said

    Dear Rhapsodysinger,
    Since the context is Indian and I said from my context that the issues you have raised are superficial. I am talking Christianity or catholicity in particular in Asian context differ in many instances from that is being practised in European context. I do not know much about how Catholicity is practised in western context so may not be in aright position to deal with but from my own spirituality and the spirituality that is witnessed in many catholic circles the point you have referred is superficial. You could be a theologian but I am a mere lay person and see my religion from this basic stand only. You have talked about inculturation which is being propagated in Africa and in Asia too but have you ever tried to study Inculturation in Asia in depth? Your point shows that you have not.
    If you are a westerner opr influened by western thought then you have not done justice to the catholic Church in India.
    But we can still debate.
    Will you kindly send me the link on jeevan?

  5. iamfeste said

    The Catholic Herald, Kolkata, Sept 26 – Oct, 2 carries my article in their print edition. This paper is the mouthpiece of the Catholic Church in the Eastern region. If I wrote so many wrong things how come it has been published and found doctrinally error free ( vide my conversations with Lawrence Abello sj). The publication of this article in this paper destroys the pretensions of the Catholic Church as being nly good and undeserving of any bias. I shall not further carry on this talk. I stand vindicated.

  6. iamfeste said

    jeevan 2006, september, ask may be frs Kingley or Barik both jeuits for a copy

  7. K.B.Jena, Orissa said

    The reputed religious leader, swami Laxamananda Saraswati, whose ghastly killing has sparked off the violent situation in Kandhamal, was a person who was steadfast in his opposition to religious conversations of the innocent tribals.There were seven attempts on his life earlier.He succumbed in the eighth attempt.The anger against him was so deep that the assilants pushed 25 bullets into the old body of the octogenerian activist who was 87 years old when killed.
    Why are the christians of Kandhamal so determined to eliminate all those who oppose conversions in that place?If doing good to the backward people of the area is the motto of the missionaries then why kill Hindu leaders?

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