Why the Narendra Modi Government must Establish a Body to Investigate US Religious Interference in India

The Indian Government needs to realise that Christian Evangelism and conversions of Hindus is part of the US foreign policy and must proactively monitor and counter it.

The death of the missionary and soul-predator John Allen Chau, a US citizen should be viewed for what it is: the latest in a long line of religious interference by the US on Indian territory. And the Sentinelese tribe has best demonstrated Colonel Jessup’s memorable dialogue in A Few Good Men: “Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives.”

In this case, Chau’s death saved the very existence of the entire Sentinelese tribe. Make no mistake. Had they been beguiled by this Jesus-love-bringing fanatical ghost-worshipper, in barely a matter of years, the harmonious tribe would’ve first been split into hostile Christian Sentinelese and the “natives.” What’s your estimate as to how soon this hostility would erupt into wholesale, internecine war?

The Sentinelese in their “uncontacted” and “primitive” ways have done what a nation of nearly a billion Hindus have been unable to do after centuries and despite demonstrated and massive losses they have suffered at the hands of this deadly cult of love. For that, Hindus must revere the Sentinelese.

Evangelism as US Foreign Policy

In an extremely rare—and perhaps one-off—display of patriotism, the now-disgraced rag, Tehelka in 2004, commissioned and pulled off a spectacular feat of investigative reporting on how the George W Bush White House made Christian evangelism part of its state policy. But true to form, Tehelka has since pulled down that piece, which can now be accessed here among other places. An excerpt from that piece will chill your bones [Emphases added].

A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well-funded, superbly networked, backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy…This could be the plot of a fevered thriller. A jingoistic president, multi-million dollar corporations, high technology, a grand if furtive mission, networks spanning the globe, and biblical invocations.

Only it’s real. And it’s got India in its crosshair…

In a major policy decision taken very early into his presidency, Bush, on January 29, 2001, unveiled a “faith based” social service initiative that included a new White House office to promote government aid to churches and Christian faith-based organisations. This, in effect, threw the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in the White House in the first week of February 2002 and a man called Jim Towey was appointed director. (A snap introduction to Towey: he was the legal counsel to Mother Teresa in the late 1980s.)

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But there is another, perhaps more important, reason why Bush is keen on supporting his evangelist friends who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs). In the decade 1990-2000 they ran a global intelligence operation so complex and sophisticated that its scale and implications are…staggering. This operation has put in place a system which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country.

Do read, reread, re-reread, memorize and widely disseminate that piece. If you really care to retain the still, essentially Hindu character of Bharatavarsha.

In light of this, is it a mere coincidence that especially UPA 2.0 saw a near-explosion of all manner of Evangelist groups, and the weed-like growth of NGOs most of which had connections with these groups? Or, more crucially, the fact that the toxic NAC was the mothership of all of these breaking India NGOs?

And one of the major arms of this US-sponsored evangelical foreign policy is the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which keeps “publishing” an annual report of “religious freedom” in various countries in the world. Given its poisonous agenda as we shall see, India unsurprisingly is one of its prime targets. And more so after Narendra Modi became PM, it has suddenly escalated its phony claims and claptrap about how religious intolerance has increased in India. The Narendra Modi-led government has correctly trashed such “reports” as appearing “to be based on limited understanding of India, its Constitution and its society” and “we take no cognisance of the report.”

What the USCIRF Really is

The USCIRF is bureaucratese for “The United Church Lobby of the United States shall meddle in the internal religious and social affairs of other nations with an aim to bring non-Christian people closer to Jesus.” Conversion of Hindus to Christianity, in other words.

While we don’t need to take the USCIRF or its reports or other forms of bullying and skullduggery seriously, India as an independent, sovereign Hindu nation must keep a close watch on it. Its record of and its embryonic potential to create damage within the societies of foreign nations is as long as it is sordid. Indeed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi must know and be on guard always because he is the most high-profile and the greatest, victim of USCIRF and its affiliates both in the US and in India.

USCIRF

The USCIRF is the lovechild of the 1988 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) passed by the sex maniac President Bill Clinton when he bowed down to the combined lobby of about 42,000 evangelical churches within the US. In an analysis (available in my book, 70 Years of Secularism: Unpopular Essays on the Unofficial Political Religion of India) where I have traced the origins, aims, and activities of the USCIRF, I noted how the

“IRFA and the USCIRF’s lofty concern for religious freedom was a mere garb. What was left unstated was the right to convert non-Christians across the world. Evangelism was officially made one of the tools of US foreign policy.”

Writing in the New York Times, Zahir Janmohamed narrates how India was initially not on the USCIRF radar until Felice D Gaer, the director of the American Jewish Committee’s human rights programme, was selected as a (USCIRF) commissioner in 2001.

Felice D Gaer, the director of the American Jewish Committee’s human rights programme, was selected as a (USCIRF) commissioner in 2001, she decided to widen the panel’s scope to other religions. “I wanted to turn this around, to make our focus broader,” Gaer said in an interview. This chance came in February 2002 when she learned about the riots in Gujarat, India. “We learned about the riots in real time. We had people on staff who kept telling us we need to do something,” Gaer said… Gaer tried to arrange an official commission trip to India to survey the damage caused by the 2002 riots but was denied permission to enter India.

That was just the opportunity the USCIRF needed. From then on, for a record fourteen years – even as late as the USCIRF 2016 report – the USCIRF hunted Narendra Modi with single-minded determination. No tactic was considered unfair or undignified. Its 2009 report dedicated an entire page to chastise Narendra Modi based on inputs received by the now-discredited and the highly-criminal Gujarat riots cottage industry with the selfsame Tehelka being one of the foremost leaders of the charge. This, when the then-UPA Government was yet to take a position on Tehelka’s serial lies against Narendra Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister.

The USCIRF 2009 report is also noteworthy for another important reason: it claims as authentic the motivated fiction that the Sabarmati Express bogie miraculously lit itself up resulting in the charring alive of 58 innocent Hindu pilgrims. Needless to say, the USCIRF conveniently relied on the sham “investigation” by the Lalu Prasad-appointed Banerjee report. This then is the evidence for how credible the USCIRF reports are.

But let’s rewind some more.

Coopting Indians to Break India

Furious at being denied entry into India in 2002 in the wake of the Gujarat riots, the USCIRF identified a set of people in India who they could co-opt. And sure enough, there were more than enough willing Indians who were glad to be of service to this treacherous cause.

And so, the USCIRF, using American taxpayer money, flew down Teesta Setalvad, Father Cedric Prakash, Najid Hussain (son-in-law of Ahsan Jaffri, the Gujarat MP killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots), and Kamal Mitra Chenoy (then a Professor at JNU, and currently a member of the Aam Aadmi Party) for a “hearing.”

Particularly instructive is the “testimony” (recommend reading in full on the USCIRF website) given by Kamal Mitra Chenoy. Terms like “thousands of Muslims were killed,” “genocide,” “holocaust,” “Nazi,” “Hitler,” and “ethnic cleansing” were casually bandied about at that hearing. Of course, the verdict was already drawn but the charade had to be enacted to lend official respectability before the “report” was prepared and published. Is it mere coincidence that Teesta Setalvad received a $90,000 grant from Ford Foundation first in 2004, and a further $2,50,000 in 2009?

Teesta

This “hearing” among other cabals was how Gujarat became India’s own state-within-state Nazi Germany with Narendra Modi as its Hitler. We all know how that narrative proceeded thereafter.

The other important and direct outcome of the USCIRF “hearing” was the fact that the US denied visa to then chief minister Narendra Modi. This episode should go down for all eternity in the hall of infamy on several counts: the lack of spine of the UPA government to stand up for a constitutionally-elected chief minister of its own country, and worse, the open celebration of senior UPA ministers whose hatred for Modi is well-known, and the shameless gloating of the entire breaking-India brigade on achieving a spectacular victory. How is this dissimilar to the behaviour of our kings who sided with alien invaders against other Indian kings who were their enemies?

In the same timeframe, the USCIRF also heavily meddled in places as diverse as Kandhamal (Brannon Parker’s Orissa in Crossfire is an in-depth, factual and no-holds-barred book that exposes the evangelical US lobby and other church-sponsored conversions and activities resulting in the breakup of traditional tribal societies, societal disharmony, and violence) and Karnataka. This meddling is routinely presented in the USCIRF annual report as attacks against Christians. Of course, the USCIRF report was careful enough to not mention the church’s hand behind the 80-year old Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati’s brutal murder in Kandhamal.

The infinite duplicity of the USCIRF becomes clear when we observe the fact that none of its annual “reports” on “religious freedom” mentions the real ethnic cleansing and other forms of persecution of Hindus anywhere in the world: from Kashmir, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Indian North East, West Bengal, and Fiji.

What also gives its game away is the fact that in its grand wisdom, the USCIRF 2015 report (for example) doesn’t list Pakistan in its tier-2 of what it calls CPC (countries of particular concern) but India figures there. This when Pakistan has unleashed a fresh wave of systematic and barbaric brutalities against the Balochis, force-feeding human faeces to these unfortunate, persecuted minorities. Given all this, how the USCIRF defines “religious tolerance” is truly mind-boggling.

To an extent, it is quite futile to blame the USCIRF entirely given how many willing Indian collaborators gleefully threw mud at their own country. As the scholar Dr Anirban Ganguly notes, even as recently as in April 2014, John Dayal “deposed” before a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission pompously titled, “Plight of Religious Minorities in India.” To put it bluntly, if one of your own family offers your entire family up to a cunning enemy, what are the chances of the enemy refusing the offer?

The United States is Nobody’s Friend

This has been said before and it’s worth repeating and recalling this dictum: the United States is nobody’s friend. We’ve seen the kind of fate that has befallen nations that have cavorted too intimately with the US. Indeed, let’s not go too far. We have Pakistan right next door which allowed the US military to use its airspace during the stealthy raid to snuff out Osama bin Laden. It stretches the limits of reason that the Pakistani establishment wasn’t aware of an alien nation’s aircraft entering its airspace much less carry out a military operation on its soil. Does India want a similar fate?

The Narendra Modi-led government should do more than merely rubbishing the USCIRF “reports” with the contempt it deserves.

Starting now, the Indian government should form an Indian Commission on International Religious Freedom (ICIRF) or a similar body and begin publishing quarterly and annual reports on the racial, communal, gender-related and other social and religious crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the US both on its own soil and elsewhere in the world.

This body should also keep a close watch on various Christian groups in India in various disguises, and more importantly, on practicing Christian bureaucrats—before it’s too late. The Evangelical premise and modus operandi both in theory and practice throughout its sordid history across the globe shows that it is perfectly willing to build the kingdom of Christ in every nation using the blood of the natives, heathens, pagans, unreached or whatever creative terminology they use.

As the only surviving non-Abrahamic religion (in the sense of Darshana and Dharma) and the greatest civilization and culture that the world has produced so far, and surviving with an unbroken continuity, shouldn’t Hindus show that they have a stronger spine than the simple but extraordinary Sentinelese, a tribe merely 30,000-strong?

Or will Hindus continue to keep pushing the envelope and living in denial until they are reduced to just 30,000?

|| Om Tat Sat ||

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Sandeep Balakrishna
Writer, author, translator, and socio-political-cultural analyst. Author of "Tipu Sultan: The Tyrant of Mysore," "The Madurai Sultanate: A Concise History," and "Seventy Years of Secularism." He has translated Dr. S L Bhyrappa's magnum opus "Avarana" into English.
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