is fucked up:
GHUMUSAR UDAYAGIRI, India — Babita Nayak was cooking lunch for her pregnant sister when a mob of Hindu extremists wielding swords, hammers and long sticks rampaged through their village, chanting “India is for Hindus! Convert or leave!”
The gist of this depressing article is that Hindu fundies are killing
Christians, burning their homes, destroying their churches, and
driving them into refugee camps.
What’s happening, apparently, is that Christianity is making inroads
in India, and Hindu extremists are feeling threatened by this, and
persecuting the converts.
The article also sounds oddly familiar: it repeats the same tribal and
jingoistic themes that we’ve been hearing from the religious right in
this country for years, e.g.:
The killings come at a time when many Indians feel that
Hindu fundamentalism appears to be on the rise. Adherents often
espouse the goal of promoting India as a Hindu nation, rather than a
There’s also a bit of purely Hindu fuckwaddery:
Some people who convert often get better access to
schools and health clinics run by Western Christian groups. But they
lose their official status with the government as members of a
disadvantaged caste and with it jobs and university seats reserved
under the affirmative action program.
Christians among one such ethnic group, the Panos, have recently
been agitating to continue to collect those benefits anyway. Some
Hindu activists see this request as ridiculous. They say that
Christians have rejected the Hindu-sanctioned caste system and should
not get the benefits.
The caste system is a barbaric relic of the past, one that exalts a
small minority at the expense of the majority. And hey, guess what’s
still propping it up in the 21st century: religion. There’s a shocker.
I have no love for the missionaries going over to prey on the poor and
desperate, promising them pie in the sky when they die. But dammit,
you don’t kill people because they have a different invisible
BFF from you.
I’d also like Christians to keep this ferocious inhumanity in mind the
next time they complain that the Hitchenses and PZs of the world are
persecuting them by writing books and articles.