BJP, RSS plan protest on January 13 against construction of Christ statue in Kanakapura

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BJP, RSS plan protest on January 13 against construction of Christ statue in Kanakapura

BENGALURU: The BJP and RSS are planning a massive protest on Monday against the construction of a 114-ft tall statue of Jesus Christ at Kapalibetta in Kanakapura. Terming it the ‘Kanakapura Chalo’ protest, the BJP is expecting hundreds to converge at Kapalibetta.

The statue is the pet project of Congress strongman DK Shivakumar. Shivakumar cautioned his supporters, saying, “I urge everyone not to be instigated or provoked.’’

The local jurisdictional police have pressed into service over 1,000 policemen, including armed police units, to ensure peace. Harobele, where the statue is to come up, is a village dominated by Christians in Shivakumar’s constituency. The community has been living for about 400 years.

Shivakumar told TNIE that these villagers had approached him, requesting that they be allowed to erect the statue, and the previous government had sanctioned 10 acres to them for the project. Shivakumar had paid Rs 10,000 to the society that is seeking to erect the statue, which the BJP termed “minority appeasement”.

When the local administration and government raised objections, Christian leaders had petitioned CM BS Yediyurappa to remove impediments to the construction of the statue.

Shivakumar said the BJP’s move was politically motivated, and that when he had supported the construction of more than 100 temples, no one had objected.

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  1. I am glad that you have chosen to respond to my remarks. First things first – When I write my rebuttal here, please do not take it personally. My questions are generally aimed at those who think they are the custodians of Christianity, not you in particular. I have immense respect towards those who have dedicated their life for others. So it is going to be issue-based criticism on some of the things that I believe are hypocritical in Christianity, as opposed to blanket opposition to anything and everything that is related to priests in general. Hope you will make that distinction as you read through my response.

    Before I begin, I would like to clarify that I can only speak from my own experiences. I am not the kind that reads things from some books written centuries ago and regurgitates it here just to prove a point. Secondly, I do not care about this statue that is the bone of contention – frankly I could not care any less, be it about Jesus’ statue or lord Rama’s. Nor do I care about the RSS hooligans because nature has a balancing force so in the end everyone gives account for their actions. There is no escape. If there was no balancing force, we would have destroyed ourselves long time ago.

    Now, let me answer your various points using my own life experiences -I hope I won’t digress too much in the process but only when I paint a broader picture the point becomes clearer as to why I appear to be so radical when I express my views.

    The problem with the church today is that it has become too arrogant. It has been conveniently hiding all the shameful episodes of its past, be it the inquisition or forceful conversions right through the middle ages in Europe all the way into Portuguese rule in Goa but an average Christian in India is blissfully unware of these things because the church has gone the extra mile in keeping the people ignorant. You intentionally do not want people to learn the truth and know their history, while at the same time you claim that my assertion that religion and god being one of the biggest reasons of countless deaths in this world as my “opinion”. All I can say is reading 100 books helps more than reading just one book.

    While the indoctrination and the conditioning in Muslim community for example happens blatantly under the threat of throat-slitting, the Christian style is much more clandestine, subtle and happens in disguise. There is an air of suaveness to it. They use guilt, morality and punishment of eternal hell, brimstone etc. as their weapon to fool the gullible public. This indoctrination starts right in the childhood. You guilt the parents into sending their innocent children to Sunday school, catechism at the age of 6 because you truly know that the age of 6 to 10 is the only age to condition the mind of a human being. Once the child becomes a teenager he/she starts to ask questions and that age is not suitable for your grand plans. Sub-conscious mind is dominant up to the age of 10 and it acts like a sponge to absorb any junk that is fed into it, such as heaven, hell, eternal damnation etc. And that is your cunning business plan. Have you seen after life, eternal hell or experienced it before you teach it to others? If you have not, what right do you have to preach it to others especially when that indoctrination plays a dominant role in becoming a part of someone’s character/personality formation later on?

    It took me several years of my adult life to conclude that what I was taught in the Church through those Sunday schools and catechism was pure garbage. Like I said anything that’s imprinted in the subconscious is hard to get rid of. In fact this is what I say to my sister when she makes my nephews attend those Sunday schools – Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Raghuram Rajan, Aravind Subramniam did not attend Sunday school nor catechism yet they turned out to be alright in the end. Do tell me what’s lacking in their lives that is brimming with abundance in those who have gone through these Sunday schools? Not only did those catechisms not help me, instead I wasted so much of my crucial time, which I could have spent on better things to do, to help me turn into a better human being.

    I remember very well from my childhood about all these coordinated programs/seminars in my church to fill my mind with junk as if I was the church’s property. I was told our god was the only true god while others worship idols. We are “believers” while others are “non-believers”. Just look at the terminology being employed. Every attempt was made to an extent that I was subconsciously forced to hate people from other religions. That said, what I underwent in the church and what I was experiencing in my daily life outside with other communities was the polar opposite. My Hindu neighbours were showing me (and my family) nothing but love and affection. “Bale parbule, kulle parbule, unas malpuvare, soukyana”. And that is where you witness god-phenomenon, not in those Sunday schools. Most of my years were happily spent in Shivalli Brahmins and GSB households. I did my primary schooling in a Hindu school and they were treating me like some sort of a royalty. I blissfully assimilated with everyone and there were people from Brahmin caste, GSB, Muslims, scheduled castes etc. and not once did I get a feeling that I was treated badly just because I was not a Hindu. I have eaten at Krishna Mata, Laxmi Venkatesh temple, Venkataramana temple, Dharmastala, Shringeri, various Hindu car festivals and those experiences have made my life richer.

    The point is, when I was part of the church against my wish (children do not have a say on anything in India, do they?), an indirect attempt was made (in a subtle manner) to make me hate people from other communities. To give an anecdotal evidence, once I, along with my Hindu friends, had attended a local Hindu festival (Jaathra) and the nun head mistress of my high school got wind of it and she made my life miserable for having attended that event as if this nun was the custodian of my life. At that time I was helpless because all these religious people were psychologically controlling me. And now I see this as nothing but a pogrom in a clandestine way so I remained an obedient sheep for the rest of my life. Fast forward it to today – today I can see the same priests and nuns visit and attend religious events from other religions (this is a good development by the way) but my question is why did they not have that foresight a few decades ago when I was way ahead of the times?

    Don’t get me wrong, Christian missionaries have contributed immensely to the Indian society without looking at caste or creed, especially in the field of health and education but what I would like to question is the real motive behind it all. Is it to propagate faith? On one hand you are asking how many conversions are taking place but on the other you started this topic using the text “Indian Christians have the fundamental right to preach and propagate their faith.” Are you not contradicting yourself? Can’t one do good work without having any intention behind it?

    Let me say a few words about the church in general – Despite finding itself in a cornered position from time to time when they are check-mated about various scandals in the church or when their tall claims are conclusively disproven by Science, what I have found is that the key people in Catholicism have an ingenious gift to cover those up and pretend as if nothing has happened (“there is nothing to see here folks. Just move one..”). History has clearly documented the scandals in the church right from the beginning through the middle ages (especially the role it was playing in meddling in political affairs, the wars instigated, the innocents burnt at the stake) but how many Christians in India today are aware of those? If they really come to know what was taking place they would shun their faith overnight. Has any of the clergy ever attempted to talk about such scandals in their Sunday sermons? If you do not acknowledge your past then do not be surprised when one day you find your house becomes empty.

    Bible mentions about resurrection, ascension into heaven etc. Every priest today says those were the historically accurate facts. There is even mention of ascension of body with the soul. Church hasn’t yet got the decency to admit that those were only metaphorical events. The conventional knowledge when the bible was written was that earth was flat, hence they had thought heavens are above (up in the sky) why hell is below hence the biblical writers got carried away with the “ascension of the body with the soul” and the sheep today truly believe that to be the case. Today I do not care about the accuracy of that event but when I was force-fed that when I was a child, it created a conflict in my mind when science was teaching me earth was round. And took me well into my adulthood to realise that biblical story was totally wrong. The problem was when the mind of a child is fed with 2 contradictory ideas, the one that’s forced down under the threat of hell and eternal damnation is the one which the child accepts. And that child remains confused forever because subconscious mind is sealed.

    Now let me come to the cover-ups in the church. There have been so many cases of child abuse, paedophilia in the Church in the last few decades and the Popes were conveniently looking the other way whenever those incidents were reported because the church had so much of clout back then. It’s unsurprising that most of the people in the West (whose ancestors were devout Christians for centuries) have shunned their faith today because the problem is Church does one thing best and that’s the cover ups. It’s just that you people have kept your sheep in India ignorant. And with your periodic dosage of guilt inducement every Sunday, along with the promise of eternal hell and gnashing of teeth you have turned them into schizophrenics. The whole catholic community has become mental patients. And with this new trend of charismatic retreat centers in Potta, Mulki, and big cities this paranoia is now on steroids. Catholics today are too afraid to think or to ask questions because post-death fires of hell keeps them in check and that serves your purpose well. When a person dies, the body decays no doubt. What we know as pain is a physical phenomenon. So Just curious, what exactly suffers in those fires of hell you keep repeating every Sunday when the body has disappeared?

    Here is what I have to say over the whole matter of religion and god – I do not say there is no god. My intellect says there is no god but my experience says there is likely to be. When there is a conflict between mind and heart I settle with the latter but that is not to say I just believe in all this stupid belief and faith to convince me of the things that I do not understand. Instead I would like to explore it through my own experiences in life. For that I do not need a middle man called religion or a priest. Life is self-exploratory. Religions and priests should not assume that only they have the divine right to guide people in their spiritual journey. Neither of us are superior, or inferior. That said we are not equal either because we are all unique individuals who have to pursue our own destiny. Religion may have played a role in the past but it has become too much of a corrupt and divisive force for me to use it as a tool to help me purse my destiny today. It has become too political.

    Having said all that I am not here to say we should banish religion outright. But what I want to see is radical reforms. Instead of indoctrination I want to see an atmosphere under the umbrella called religion where people can freely express and explore themselves without the fear of any dogma, faith or belief system. They should be allowed to ask questions instead of silly beliefs being rammed deep down their throats. I want the celibacy for priests to end so we can avoid all the scandals in the church whether it is paedophilia or sexual crimes. And I also want the church to come out clean about its crooked past, all its historic crimes. But we both know that’s not going to happen, is it? But nothing wrong in expressing my views, is there?

    Religion should be something that blossoms in people’s hearts the grace of which should ooze out and be visible to others. Instead what we are seeing is exactly the opposite. All we see is pointless exhibitionism in the outside world while people’s hearts are empty. Churches have turned into places that wield a lot of material wealth which is clearly visible. We see so many financial scandals and the priests are in the middle of it but they want to be infallible. I am not making these things up instead I am writing what I am seeing happening in our churches these days.

    At this ending stage of my rather long response, I would like to digress a bit and would like to bring up this unnatural death of this young priest in a church in the Diocese of Udupi only a few months ago. You appear to be a priest, so do tell me, what has happened to that case? Has it been covered up? If you are a fellow-priest have you raised your voice to demand justice? Instead of repeating myself, do read my observations which I had posted as a comment in another new article on this site. Please do let me know what you think of it. Using that as an episode, I would like to see how exactly what you believe in as a priest fits into the overall scaffolding called the Christianity. If there is one thing I still cling on to when it comes to my “faith”, it’s love and concern towards my fellow human being, so I believe I am not being unjust when I bring up this matter of the suspicious death of the priest. The link to that article is:

    You will find my comments at the bottom of that article.

  2. “Indian Christians have the fundamental right to preach and propagate their faith. And no RSS/BJP hooligan can take that away.” – Joe Coelho SJ

    If the product is really good, then you don’t need the marketing department.

    It’s people like you who have sown the seeds of enmity in the society by trying to “propagate the faith”. People can live happily without religion or faith. Religion is for mob control and people like you who have turned these “believers” into mental patients because of your promise of biriyani after death.

    Read a bit of history if you find time – Besides mosquitoes, Religion and god are the biggest reasons for countless deaths on this planet. So, see if you have something better to do rather than poisoning people’s minds.

    • “fundamental right to preach and propagate their faith” is guaranteed in the Constitution. I was just highlighting that. If you have had a bad experience with religion or with God, I am sorry. I am not here to convert you! For me, the value of religion is seen in the fruit it produces. If it produces good fruit, it is a good enterprise. If the fruit is rotten, that surely is a sign of organizational decay or irrelevance.
      How many Christians that you know of go about converting others? The problem is the false “conversion” narrative (or lie) that is being peddled to incite people. The only reason I used the word “hooligan” is because these folks have been acting that way in the recent years — destroying church property, beating people, and even killing. If they are law-abiding citizens and they see a problem, they should go through the proper channel to seek redress. Note take law into their own hands!
      And your comment about “religion and god” being the biggest reason for countless deaths….well, that’s your opinion. And you may keep it.

  3. Even though I am a Christian, I am not for constructing statues of anyone! But if the people of a place feel that a statue of Jesus Christ would inspire them to lead better lives, then they should be allowed to do it as long as they have the land and the money for it.
    Why should the BJP/RSS have any problem? Christian institutions have played an important role in providing education, health-care, and social services to Indians irrespective of caste or creed. Christian Clergy, Religious and Laity serve in remote corners of India bringing relief to the poor and voiceless — and many a time they do so even risking their lives.
    What is the BJP/RSS afraid of? The 2% Indian Christians? Why? The population of Christians in India has remained under 3% for the past 70 years — even with the so called “conversions” that are said to be taking place!! The BJP/RSS is scared that their hollow faith will be exposed and are therefore working to instill fear and incite passions.
    Indian Christians have the fundamental right to preach and propagate their faith. And no RSS/BJP hooligan can take that away.

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