Am reţinut şi sunt de acord cu sugestia lui Vasile Tomoiagă potrivit căreia afişarea pe blog a unor texte fără o intervenţie personală poate fi dovadă de lene. Voi persevera însă în a vă pune la dispoziţie, din când în când, texte în limba englezaă la care n-aţi avea altfel acces.
De data aceasta afişez aici un alt text al lui Vishal Mangalwadi, un ucenic indian al lui Francis Schaeffer, care scrie despre situaţia daliţilor, cei mai dispreţuiţi oameni ai Indiei, şi despre responsabilitatea bisericii cu privire la ei. Sper că veţi găsi informativ acest text, ca şi celălalt document al lui Vishal, afişat anterior.
Trebuie să mă opresc acum, deoarece în câteva minute urc în avionul care mă va duce la Paris şi apoi la Chicago. Sper să rămânem în contact şi de acolo. Sănătate.
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Comments on Two Controversial Issues:
Reservations and Conversions
Christian leaders have issued simplistic political statements about Reservations for Dalit Christians, but now that the conflict over Reservations has become bloody, they need to engage with the issue seriously and mediate the conflict between Dalit Christians and Tribals.
Obviously, reclassifying the Dalits as Scheduled Tribes is one way to solve the problem. Even if this solution was to be accepted, the nation will need to find answers to the Tribals’ fears that Dalit-turned-Tribal Christian kids will take over the meager benefits Reservations give to the Tribal Children. These are the fears that Swami Laxamanda exploited to turn a socio-economic struggle into a religious conflict.
The Church should not start out blaming the Government for denying Scheduled Caste Christians the benefit of Reservations. In my assessment, historically, 50% of the blame for the present poverty of the Dalits rests upon the Hindus, 40% upon the Church (including the British Raj) and only 10% upon the Government of India. If the Church had not kept the Dalits out of its educational institutions for two centuries they would have been governing free India.
Just 10 years ago I asked the Indian Principal of an English Medium Christian High School, “How many dalit children do you have in your school?”
He replied, “One – the son of our gardener.”
“Why?” I asked him, “Surely there are at least 50 Dalit families in the city who can pay the tuition? Besides, American sponsors are giving you fees for at least 75 students.”
“My predecessor,” the Principal explained, “(an evangelical, American missionary) started the tradition of interviewing the parents in order to admit the children. Children’s IQ or parents’ ability to pay the fee are not sufficient for admissions. Parents have to display a certain, minimum standard of culture” . . . (i.e. the kind of Sari’s and jewellery the mother wears or if their child is sent to school on a scooter or a bicycle) Happily this is changing and the new Principal of St. Stephen’s College (Delhi) has to be commended for his courage in Reserving a percentage of seats for the lower castes – a step of great symbolic value.
The pioneer of Protestant missions in India, William Carey, began by making children of all castes sit together. Later, the upper caste parents told the missionaries that their children would not sit with the lower caste kids. The Church and the British East India Company stopped admitting lower caste kids. The Church could have said that our educational institutions will practice human equality, if the Brahmins do not want their children to learn this truth, then their children don’t need to attend Christian schools.
This is no place to look at the problem in depth, the point here is that the Church has played a major role in creating the present bloody problem and, therefore, the Church needs to engage with the issues seriously – not with cheap political statements demanding reservations or condemning violence.
Dalits want both conversions and Reservations. The Hindus want to concede neither. The Church has to engage the nation with both the issues but keep them separate since the right to conversion is non-negotiable while Reservation is negotiable.
It is not enough that the Constitution permits conversions. The Right to choose one’s beliefs needs to be enshrined in the court of public opinion; therefore it needs to be debated. Christian leaders should prepare for debates and stop saying “No debate on conversion.”
Obviously, many liberal Christians do not like conversions any more than Hindus do. But the Ambedkarites (Dalits, Tribals and a growing number of OBCs) see conversion as the only way to demolish a Brahminical social-system that accounts for India’s backwardness. Since, fifty thousand Dalit converts are staying in jungles and refugee camps for their right to choose their beliefs, even the liberals may respect the strong feelings of these poor people, oppressed by the Hindu social system for thousands of years. Why should they be forced to accept a religion that makes some people lower than others?
Many “Liberal” and fearful Christians that denounce conversions are not peace-makers. They are peace-lovers. They want peace for themselves and their institutions. They do not care for peace and justice for the oppressed. A Church controlled by such “Liberals” cannot possibly attract Maoists who are desperate for change. The caring Church must identify with them, not with the insensitive “anti-conversion” sentiment of the secular elite and the Sangh Parivar.