THE OUTCOME OF HINDU-CHRISTIAN NEGOTIATION IN MANGALORE
Christian leaders and Hindu leaders held a meeting to thrash out the differences at The Circuit House in Mangalore.
The Hindu delegation consisted of Prof M B Puranik, Vibhag Sanghachallak and VHP district President, Dr. Prabhakar Bhat, Prant Karyavaya, Dr. Madhav Bhandary, Vibhaga Karyakarini Sadasya, Monappa Bhandary, district BJP President, Shrikar Prabhu, Jagadish Shenava, Rajagopala Rai. The Christian delegation was led by Fr. J B Crasta, Louis Pinto,Felix Alberque, M P Noronha, William D’Souza, Stany Alvares.
The negotiation was held under the supervision of district in-charge Minister Shri Krishna Palemar. The persons who mediated towards bringing both sides together were Dharmaraj, Mangalore-based-builder and S Ramesh, Social worker.
The Hindu delegation put forth its view stating that
- Hindu society was never aggressive and in fact encouraged and promoted plurality in society.
- Christianity grew because of Hindu patronage
- Christians were denigrating Hindu faith through distribution of pamphlets denigrating Hindu God. (Satya Darshini pamphlet distributed by New Life says that Hindu gods were promiscuous and wallowing in darkness of hell).
- Christians were objecting to Hindu articles of faith like Rakhi, bindi, flowers et al
- Christians used the children of Hindu parents when the institutions were protesting against Kandmal violence
- The Christians in Mangalore had even protested when Jayalalitha Government had banned conversion in Tamil Nadu
- They had even pelted stones and had injured policemen who were trying to protect law and order.
- Though the Christian delegation was distancing itself from New Life, they were in fact supporting it by protesting in a big way as if to condone the New Life activities.
- The Schools run by Christians were psychologically dominating Hindu school children as if to give a bad impression about the Hindu faith.
- Harmony can be established only when the Christians observe their religion in private without encroaching on the domain of Hindu faith.
- Conversions were affecting the family life as several families had broken up due to conversion activities.
- Conversions due to inducement and allurements are not in the interest of the society. There is nothing wrong in voluntary conversions.
- The Resurgent Hindu society would not tolerate such proselytisation activities which aim at division rather than integration.
- The Service activities of the Church were more directed towards the ulterior motives of proselytisation.
- The Hindus won’t harm the Christian faith in any way if they do it without forcing it on others. And there would not be any cause for conflict.
- There is no question of social boycott against Christians. In fact, the Hindus are for cordial relations with Christians.
- In case of any further problems, the problems would be solved through bilateral talks involving leaders of both sides.
- The Hindu leaders made it clear that they did not support the attack on the building that housed the Cloistered Nuns. They said that it was inadvertent and it would not be repeated.
The Church leaders put forth its view in the following manner
- Christians are feeling insecure due to the recent spate of violence in New Life prayer halls
- Is it wrong on our part to serve the society?
- We don’t have anything to do with New Life activities except that both of us respect Jesus and Bible.
- Hindu leaders may stop the Hindus from attending New Life congregational meetings.
- Educate the Hindus in such a manner that they refrain from New Life activities.
- In the case of Kandmal incidents, the Hindus had provoked the Christians through banners depicting the Christians in poor light
- Any case of provocation from any side is improper.
- It should not happen. Steps should be taken to improve relations.
- Christians will not resort to conversions in South Kanara and Udupi district.
- The Christian institutions will not prevent the school children from wearing Rakhi, Bindi, flowers et al that depict the Hindu faith.
- The Christian educational institutions will not take the Hindu children to Church
- Since the Catholic Christians do not have any connection with New Life missionaries, it would not object to any action against New Life in connection with proselytisation activities.
- Since Bible and Cross are very holy in Christianity, the Hindus should not damage it any way.
- The Christians would rein in their youths from violent activities henceforth.
- The Christians are distressed with the attack on the cloistered Nuns inside the premises.