Catholic Church must apologise for falsely accusing NDA government of hate crimes – Jaideep Mazumdar

Cardinals Baselios Cleemis & Oswald Gracias

Jaideep MazumdarThe Nadia incident is not the first one in which the Church has been caught crying wolf. As this article proves, the spate of ‘attacks’ on churches in Delhi in late 2014 and early 2015 that created such a furore were simply acts of burglary or vandalism. But Christian missionaries made a huge hue and cry over it and even made it an issue at global fora, thus defaming the country. – Jaideep Mazumdar

The rape of a 72-year-old Catholic nun at Gangnapur in Ranaghat sub-division of Nadia district [WB] in mid-March, 2015, sparked outrage across the country. The immediate verdict by the Church, opposition political parties, commentators and the so-called Left-liberal cabal was that the alleged rape, and the looting and desecration of the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Gangnapur was a hate crime and yet another attack on minorities after the Narendra Modi government came to power.

The alleged rape and loot at the Catholic establishment was preceded by a series of alleged attacks on churches in some parts of the country. Thus, when the Nadia incident occurred, large sections of the media, the opposition parties and others were already conducting a high-decibel campaign against the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, accusing it of orchestrating and supporting attacks on minorities and minority institutions. The allegations—mostly fake, as they later turned out to be—were even given credence by minority organisations like the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

In the Nadia nun rape case, too, the CBCI alleged it was a hate crime. Dripping sarcasm, CBCI president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis told the media before visiting the nun and the convent in Bengal that “not only cows, but human beings too need to be protected”. The cardinal was alluding to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) proposed cow protection measures. He went on to indirectly blame Prime Minister Modi and the BJP-led NDA government for the alleged attacks on minorities. His colleague, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, one of the eight cardinals from across the world appointed by Pope Francis on his advisory board to help him govern the Catholic Church, repeated the false allegation of “frequent attacks on Christians in the country” and said he was worried about “the future of the country”!

Articles like this appeared in many publications severely criticising and condemning not only Modi, but also the BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and their leaders.

Less than two weeks after the incident at Nadia, the Bengal police arrested one of the accused from Mumbai. Far from being a Hindutva foot soldier, as the CBCI, the media, commentators and the opposition had alleged, the man was a Muslim and, that too, a Bangladeshi! His interrogation by the police in Bengal (ruled by the vehemently anti-BJP Mamata Banerjee) revealed that the perpetrators of the crime were all Bangladeshis and the motive was dacoity.

On Tuesday [Nov. 6], a Kolkata court held only the prime accused, Nazrul Islam (a Bangladeshi national), guilty of rape. Four other members of the gang—all of them Bangladeshis, three of them are Muslims—have been held guilty of only committing a dacoity. Hence, the gang-rape theory was discredited by the trial court, which held the four other accused guilty of dacoity and criminal conspiracy.

Thus, the court verdict is a resounding slap on the faces of those who gave a communal colour to what was a case of dacoity. Moreover, the nun was not gang-raped, as was alleged. And also, contrary to the false accusations of the CBCI, there was no deliberate desecration of the chapel inside the convent. The gang of dacoits had gone to the convent to get hold of valuables and, when the nun resisted their attempts, she was reportedly raped. What, incidentally, remains unanswered is how the small convent had Rs 12 lakh (the amount allegedly taken away by the gang) in its cash box. But that is another matter altogether.

Given this, the two cardinals—Baselios Cleemis and Oswald Gracias—should now apologise for communalising the Nadia incident and levelling false allegations against the BJP and the NDA government. It is only fair that they publicly retract their earlier statements about the Nadia incident being another in a series of attacks on minorities in India. They should apologise to Prime Minister Modi for criticising him.

Apologies and retractions are also due from those in the media, who created and publicised the false narrative about attacks on minorities increasing after the NDA came to power in mid-2014, the commentators and the opposition parties.

But the Nadia incident is not the first one in which the Church has been caught crying wolf. As this article proves, the spate of ‘attacks’ on churches in Delhi in late 2014 and early 2015 that created such a furore were simply acts of burglary or vandalism. But Christian missionaries made a huge hue and cry over it and even made it an issue at global fora, thus defaming the country.

The false attacks even became an issue in the Delhi elections in 2015 and after the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto told the media that the verdict was a vote for change. This was his highly political statement: “The people of Delhi voted against the BJP and its attempt to polarize the voters in the name of religion. The result of these elections is a message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi: he should think seriously about his behaviour”. So much for the Christian clergy keeping away from politics!

The point here is that the CBCI and its cardinals and archbishops should publicly apologise and retract their intemperate and hurried statements about attacks on minorities in the country. So should all the media persons, commentators and the political parties. Because such statements feed a false narrative about India having become unsafe for minorities post-May 2014. And that only serves to defame the country. The Catholic church, least of all, has no business defaming India. – Swarajya, 8 November 2017

› Jaideep Mazumdar is a senior journalist who lives in Kolkata and writes on politics, society and other subjects from North, East and North East India as well as Nepal and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Dacoits

6 Responses

  1. Here is what Maria Wirth says about the term “religion” in her article “Science and Religion”.

    Here, maybe we should finally define “religion”.

    Strangely, there is no clear-cut definition. The common denominator is usually that religion is about the belief in and worship of the Divine, God or whatever name one wants to give it. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism are the major religions. Minor ones are Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, etc. Yet why are all these different traditions put into one basket and called “religion”? Is this justified?

    “Religion” comes from Latin and means “to bind”. It was first used for the Catholic Church. Later, when the Turks were at the gates of Vienna, Islam was also called “religion”.

    Why was a new term introduced? Was the term Christianity not clear? It surely was as it referred to the followers of Christ. What else needed to be conveyed? To what had the follower of Christ to be bound?

    Since Christianity and Islam both have fixed doctrines contained in certain books and both claim that only their doctrine is true and whoever does not believe this will burn in hell, it can be safely assumed that the term religion indicated that the followers were bound to the exclusivist doctrine of Christianity or Islam respectively—over many centuries even at the threat of death if they tried to loosen the bond. They had to “religiously” stick to the tenets given by the clergy, like going to mass on Sunday or praying five times a day at specified times.

    In exchange for this loyalty to the doctrine, the believers were left in peace from blasphemy laws and promised heaven after death. Further they were assured that they are on the ‘right’ path when there are ‘wrong’ paths as well. In short, God loves them, but not the others.

    Where does Hinduism fit in in this scenario? Actually, it doesn’t fit in. It does not bind its followers to a fixed doctrine. It not only allows a free inquiry but encourages it. No blind belief in unverifiable dogmas is demanded. Yet in the 19th century, the term religion was now used for the ancient traditions from India, China and Japan, as well. And intriguingly, all those traditions got an ‘ism’ added: Hindu-ism, Buddh-ism, Tao-ism, Jain-ism….

    Usually an –ism is associated with a narrow doctrine, developed by one person like Marxism, Stalinism, Maoism or has otherwise a negative image like Nazi-ism or “Islam-ism”, which is meant to be seen as different and worse than Islam. That Juda-ism, which always was at the receiving end of Christianity and Islam, also got an –ism just would confirm that the –ism is not as “noble” as the ending of the two “only true” religions.

    Did the West try to obfuscate the fact that the Eastern traditions, foremost of all the Indian, had profound philosophies at their core and portray them also as “belief systems” with unverifiable dogmas at their core? For millennia these Eastern traditions have lived harmoniously together without fighting each other but rather debating each other, in stark contrast to Christianity and Islam.

    One thing is clear: Christianity/Islam on one side and India’s traditions on the other are two very different categories.

    To continue with English-language definitions, the term “secular” was originally a Catholic administrative category. It meant a simple Christian priest who did not belong to a religious order. The term “free will” is a Christian theological concept. It was developed to excuse an all-knowing, all-powerful god for the “sin” and suffering in his creation and shift the blame to man whom he had so generously given “free will”.

    Unfortunately for the Hindu, English is a completely christianised language and all its terms convey Christian concepts including the term “God” (which does not mean “Ishwara” or “Bhagawan”). The popular media even prefers Victorian English and insists on using Christian terms like “idol” (very derogatory, it does not mean “murti” or “vigraha”), “Samaritan” (do they know who he was and where he appears in the Bible?) and “christened” (which means to be given a Christian name at baptism). No American newspaper would dare to use the term “christening” for a naming ceremony for fear of offending their Jewish readers. But in our magical mystical Indian media, other rules apply!


  2. None of the condemnatory words that we tend to use actually serve the purpose of clearly nailing the actual nature and purpose of Christianity.

    I have come to believe that Christianity is the most advanced science and practice of ethnocide ever devised in human history.

    Its ultimate purpose is to undermine all human cultures found in Earth through its ever more developed ethnocidal weapons, such as inculturation.

    This undermining works to gradually supplant the autonomy and inherent syncretism of the targeted culture with the heteronomy and unnatural homogenization that the church administration represents.

    Christianity was the original instigator — the gene and the meme — of European colonialism and imperialism that continues to destroy cultural diversity and syncretism across the world at such a rapid pace that human survival has become threatened.

    So ethnocide, heteronomy (or undermining of cultural autonomy) and homogenization make up the quintessence of Christianity.

    Ethnocide, heteronomy (or undermining of cultural autonomy) and homogenization are also the defining characteristics of what European (or Western) colonialism has done to the world in the last 500 years.
    I like to connect these dots in order to get at the whole picture.

    In my view, Christianity (indeed the whole Judeo-Christian-Islamic imperialism) needs to be seen without the red herrings of fraudulent concepts/categories like religion, secular domain, political domain, economic domain, etc.

    Behind these fraudulent concepts/categories lies unvarnished colonialism/imperialism.

    So whether it’s Judeo-Christianity, or the West, or Islam — it’s all colonialism/imperialism which seeks continuously to expand its domain by enslaving ever larger chunks of humanity.

    So please try to see through a conceptual fraud like ‘religion’ and understand that this fraudulent category is applicable only and only to Judeo-Christianity and Islam — and not to other human cultures, Indic or non-Indic.
    In other words, please stop mislabelling human ‘cultures’ as ‘religions’.

    India, for instance, never produced anything that remotely resembles ‘religion’.

    Why do we denigrate our own autonomous and syncretistic cultures by labelling them as ‘religion’ — thus putting them in the same fraudulent category that consists of Judeo-Christianity and Islam?

    While the soul of Bharatiyata (indeed of all human cultures) is ‘syncretism’, the fraudulent concept of ‘religion’ rejects and execrates ‘syncretism’.

    Judeo-Christianity and Islam are dangerous and pernicious for all human cultures precisely because they reject — even anathematize — ‘syncretism’.

    Check the Vatican website, for instance, to understand how it views ‘syncretism’. Islam rejects ‘syncretism’ by branding it as ‘Shirk’, an Arabic word whose more specific meaning is ‘to include others in the unique status of Allah’.


  3. Oh yes, we agree wholeheartedly. We have closely studied the Church’s early history in Europe and India. It is far more violent and disgraceful than that of Islam. Muslim fundamentalists only kill the body; Christian missionaries kill the soul itself!

    Christianity is an asuric personality cult that believes it is above the law. Most saddening is the vice-like psychological grip it has on good, intelligent people—including Hindus—who otherwise would reject its peculiar theories and dead god out of hand.

    Mahatma Gandhi declared Christian missionary activity in India as Satan’s work!


  4. Of course most of that money belongs to India—or at least in India. It is black money stored in a foreign bank. Is Modi Sarkar going to ask the Vatican to return it? Or is Catholic black money collected from thieves and dictators and other dubious characters somehow different from ‘ordinary’ black money and beyond the reach of a secular administration?

    Wonder how she got the money out of the country? Hidden in her knickers perhaps, or in a hollowed-out Bible piously carried in her hands for all to see?


  5. Mother Teresa's Vatican Bank (Institute for the Works of Religion)

    Mother Teresa’s ‘huge savings’ kept Vatican Bank afloat – Swarajya – 10 Nov 2017

    Had Mother Teresa withdrawn her ‘huge’ savings in the Vatican Bank, the institution could have defaulted, an Italian journalist named Gianluigi Nuzzi’s has said in his newly-released book The Original Sin.

    When American archbishop Paul Marcinkus was appointed president of the Vatican Bank [Institute for the Works of Religion or IOR] by Pope Paul VI in 1970, Mother Teresa was believed to have “by far the most cashed-up account,” the book has revealed.

    “If only Mother Teresa had closed the accounts or transferred them, the institute would have risked default,” Nuzzi writes, according to a report in La Presse.

    In his book, the Italian author has explained how the discovery of Mother Teresa’s bank account is proof of Marcinkus’ meddling in Vatican affairs.

    “There is a power block in the Vatican that obstructs Pope Francis’ reforming action just as it did with Benedict XVI—it existed with Marcinkus and his parallel management of the IOR—and it still exists today,” Nuzzi said.

    “Her [Mother Teresa] account in the Vatican bank is proof that these gentlemen were and still are within the Curia and they trust them. They were also trusted by Mother Teresa, who, as is told, entered the IOR by a secondary door and was welcomed by Monsignor De Bonis, Marcinkus’s right arm,” the book reads.

    “From that moment their power strengthened day by day, the book reads, De Bonis knew the bank in all its ins and outs. He skilfully moved within the sacred buildings, appearing to be more acquainted with the cinema’s jet set than with the needy souls of the faithful—he was closer to the man of the Roman palaces than to the poor of Mother Teresa,” Nuzzi writes, according to Affaritaliani.

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  6. Having read a lot about the Catholic Church I have come to believe that it is the world’s oldest and most dangerous criminal syndicate.

    In 2013-14, I had done some probing of an incident of “theft” reported by the Catholic Church in Jharkhand and found that it was a staged theft.

    The Church reported in January 2008 that a statue of “Dhori Mata” (Mary) had been stolen from Dhori Mata Tirthalaya at Jarangdih in Bokaro district.

    The incident was well reported by the media and the church made a lot of song and dance about it. The statue was later found abandoned somewhere.

    I did a careful reading of these media reports and found that the theft had been faked with the help of a police officer (Assistant Superintendent of Police A.V. Minz).

    This discovery was part of a wider probe I was doing of this business of fabricating “Mata” cults (of Mary) across India that the Catholic Church has been engaged in for a long time, which I found to be another huge fraud and ethnocidal tactic aimed at conversions.


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