Christian evangelists are in an unholy alliance with the Communists to obliterate the religious and cultural symbols of Hindus and Hinduism in Bharat. And the Pattanam Excavations exposes their nexus in all its naked agression and duplicity
In an interview to Malayalam weekly Madhyamam on October 15, 2018, Prof. Vasanth Shinde, a veteran archaeologist with formidable reputation and Vice Chancellor of Deccan College, Pune, premier institution of archaeological research in India, has termed the excavations carried out by Kerala Council of Historical Research at Pattanam in Kerala as “dubious”. He completely rejected the claims made by the excavators as some of them seemingly lacked professional or academic expertise to carry out such an excavation. He was not alone. Eminent historians and archeologists such as Prof Dilip Chakrabarti, A. Sundara, MGS Narayanan, R Nagaswamy and T Satyamurti have also severely criticized the excavation sponsored and launched by the Left political parties and supported by dubious Christian organizations based abroad.
Experts pointed out that the methodology used was dubious and reported as being false. Its links with questionable Church organizations in India and abroad and funding thereof had raised many eyebrows in the academic circles. Istvan Perczel from Hungary, one of the patrons of Pattanam, lauded it as the site where Apostle Thomas landed in India and ushered in Christianity in Bharat. The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia based in New York supported PJ Cherian, an excavator of Pattanam, in his historical studies. The Liturgical Research Centre of the Syro Malabar Church organized national seminars in 2005 at Kochi, and in 2011 at Kalyan in Mumbai, for corroborating Pattanam, and Christianity. Federico de Romanis, Biblical scholar from University of Rome was invited in 2009 by KCHR to conduct classes in Latin and Greece. Dr NM Mathew, member of KCHR, is also a historian of the Malankara Marthoma Church.
The Ministry of Home Affairs identified the foreign funds received by KCHR and cancelled its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010. KCHR was accused of forging fake government documents, illegal appointments and financial irregularities running into several crores. It is also alleged that the KCHR obtained the licence for the Pattanam excavation after submitting fake documents to the Archaeological Survey of India.
Prof K Rajan enters the scene
Of late, one of the foremost propagandists of Pattanam is Prof K Rajan of Pondicherry University who is currently a member of the KCHR administration. Prof Rajan and Cherian jointly promote Pattanam. They link Pattanam with Kodumanal, Thandikudi, Porunthal Keezhadi and other archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu. When Rajan ignores serious allegations on duplicity on Pattanam and its Biblical agenda by eminent scholarship, it also raises serious doubts on sites in Tamil Nadu which he excavated and constantly associates Pattanam. R. Sivanantham, deputy director, Tamil Nadu state Department of Archaeology, officially arranged a lecture on Pattanam by Cherian on October 30, 2018. The programme was chaired by T Udhayachandran, Commissioner, Department of Archaeology, Tamil Nadu. The programme has been severely criticized by archaeologists.
Archaeological Survey of India conducted an inquiry into the dubious methodologies adopted by the KCHR at Pattanam which was taken up by Amarnath Ramakrishna, the then superintendent archaeologist of the ASI, Bengaluru centre. His investigation has been suppressed but later Amarnath Ramakrishna also took up the Keezhadi excavation. The CPI(M) which launched Pattanam has openly supported Amarnath Ramakrishna who supervised Keezhadi which shows how the notorious nexus between Church and Left historians. It is alleged that Amarnath submitted a favourable report for Pattanam excavations.
Carbon dating conducted at Pattanam, Keezhadi and Palani by Cherian, K Rajan and Amarnath Ramakrishna has been done by Beta Analytic Inc., Florida, USA, which has raised eyebrows. These sites have been presently interlinked by these excavators. Archeologists say that the interlinking of Keezhadi and Pattanam sites has “strong undercurrents of secessionism”.
There are serious allegations that the linking of these Tamil Nadu sites with Pattanam is designed to project a Dravidian Christian identity to Southern India and help the Church stake political claims. The Left historians have always been aggressive instigators of the Aryan-Dravidian divide. They propagated the theory of British linguists Francis Ellis and Alexander Campbell that Dravidian languages fell into a different category far removed from the Aryan languages.
“Brian Houghton Hodgson promoted the term “Tamulian” as a racial construct, describing the so-called aborigines of India as ‘primitive and uncivilized’ compared to the invading Aryans. Bishop Robert Caldwell launched the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, carried forward by Bishop GU Pope.” (http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4857)
A few years ago, a prominent western evangelical portal carried an article which said how archeology can be an effective tool in evangelization. When the British set up the Archaeological Survey of India, they too had similar motives. Author and archaeologist Michel Danino, in an article Digging into the human mind writes that the motives of Alexander Cunningham, the first director-general of ASI, “were not wholly disinterested”. Cunningham hoped to “show that Brahminism …was of comparatively modern origin, and had been constantly receiving additions and alterations; facts which prove that the establishment of the Christian religion in India must ultimately succeed.” (Muziris: Attimariyude Reethisasthram)
The Next Vatican
The motive behind the whole exercise is to establish that today’s Hinduism in South India is a byproduct of Gnosticism (brought in to India by Romans and St Thomas) and its interactions with the “inferior local culture and religions”. In this project, the Church sees, in the Communists, a partner who shares many commonalities. Both the Church and the Communists want a total destruction of the Indian culture and traditions for achieving their ends. Systematic destruction of local traditions and culture by Communists in China paved the way for proliferation of Christianity in that country. Today, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in China.
“Old cultural traditions have been obliterated by communism; Christianity provides a compelling and compassionate alternative to the hollowness of the regime’s materialism; and unlike Europe, which has largely rejected its Christian heritage in a decades-long spasm of anti-clericalism, “Christianity” in China rings up “modern” and “humane,” rather than “pre-modern” and “inhumane.”
An effort to replicate the Liberation Theology, successfully experimented in the Latin American countries, is underway and the script for this was written way back in 1970s. In the Frontline Years, an anthology of his columns published in the Frontline magazine, EMS Namboodiripad writes: “Such a movement (Liberation Theology) created by devout Christians is yet to develop in India. There are, however, clear signs that it is taking shape in this country as well. An example of this is provided by the doctoral thesis submitted by KA Paulson who later became Bishop Poulose Mar Poulose of a denomination of non-Catholic Christians in Kerala. He was a student in the University of Berkeley, California, working for a doctorate in Theology and submitted his thesis in October 1975…. A study of the thesis makes it clear that Liberation Theology is coming into India – to Kerala, to be specific.
EMS further writes: “While the Marxist should respect the sincerely-held faith of the Christians in God and Jesus Christ, devout Christians should respect the philosophical convictions of the Marxists; with this as basis, they both can proceed to get into dialogue on the practical questions of how to serve man(sic).” (pages 47 & 51)
Crusade against Sabarimala
Like evangelicals, EMS, too, believes that the Ayyappa cult that preaches universal humanism poses a great threat to the Communist ideology. “In reality, to believe that the belief systems represented by Ayyappa can be defeated without rallying the public against the physical circumstances that create thousands of Ayyappa devotees is a sort of utopianism,” writes EMS Namboodiripad in Atmav, Daivam, Matham (page 47: published in 1983 Chinta Publishers).
The Communist onslaught on Sabarimala shrine should also be viewed in this backdrop. It is a known fact that the Sabarimala temple has been a target of the Church. Destruction of Sabarimala and the Ayyappa cult which holds sway across all South Indian states is crucial to all evangelists. There are about 100 churches surrounding Sabarimala or on key points on the way to the shrine.
The temple was burnt down in 1952 by some Christians, according to a commission report which is yet to see the light of the day. In the 1980s, a temple in Nilakkal, a key point in the Sabarimala pilgrimage, was destroyed and a cross was planted inside the temple. The cross was removed after public outrage. The concerted effort to rake up volatile Mullapperiyar dam issue religiously during every Sabarimala Mandala season by parties close to the Church is feared to be an attempt to disrupt the pilgrimage and scare the Tamils who form a major chunk of devotees to the shrine. Inculturation through newly ‘minted’ myths and widening faultlines in Hinduism, holding one community against the other through false narratives of victimhood are some of the strategies adopted by the Leftists and anti-Hindu forces to destroy Sabarimala. These fabricated myths are then given legitimacy and publicity through the Left-liberal media.
Pinarayi Vijayan’s aggressive push for young women’s entry into Sabarimala by destroying the age-old traditions is aimed at converting the pilgrimage centre to a tourist destination. The move will also serve the business interests of the certain Christian groups. A proposed airport at Erumeli, likely to come up on land owned by an evangelical group, is part of this grand plan. Certain traditions in Sabarimala stand in the way of developing this region as a tourist spot and making the proposed airport a viable project. The temple, which now opens only in the Mandala season, should remain open 365 days if it should see regular inflow of pilgrims thereby making the airport a profitable proposition.
Although it may seem that Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Front government has burnt its fingers while dealing with the Sabarimala issue given the public outrage, the adverse impact on the party may be temporary, as the Left had succeeded in sowing the seeds of disintegration of Hindu society, which is fast becoming a minority in the state.
An analyst — who predicted bleak future for Hinduism in Kerala in the face of diminishing political and economic clout — said the Hindus are in the grip of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. The CPI(M) will aggressively pursue its ‘divide Hindu’ strategy, as it will start giving them political dividends in the near future. In the wake of surge in BJP’s vote share in a previous election, a Left intellectual said the only way to keep the Left afloat is “to divide Hindus and attract a section of minorities”.
The CPI(M) believes that its stand on Sabarimala has struck a chord with a section of minorities. “The Party is confident that the ideological battle on this issue (Sabarimala) will provide new opportunities for the Party and the Left to reach newer sections. The present challenges will provide new opportunities for the Left to advance,” writes S Ramachandran Pillai of CPI(M) in its mouthpiece Peoples Democracy.
(The writer is Editor in Chief of Indus Scrolls)