WHY DO MANY HINDUS-ESPECIALLY BRAHMINS AND KSHATRIYAS- FEAR CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA?
Updated: Mar 30
CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS CHALLENGE HINDU BELIEFS, PRACTICES, AND THE UPPER CASTE DOMINATION.
Toronto, Canada Jeffrey S. Ram, Editor March 23, 2023
Image: Courtesy Wiki Media Commons
Some Indian states, mostly ruled by Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, have passed Anti-Conversion Laws because many Hindus feel threatened by the Bible’s teachings that contradict Hindu religious beliefs and practices. Caste inequality is the backbone of Hindu society. Therefore, some Hindus, especially upper-caste Brahmins and Kshatriyas, do not want Christians to teach that there is only one God and that he created all men and women equal. Such Hindus think that Christian teachings will make Hindus, mainly Shudras, Dalits, and Tribals, revolt against their religion-based subordination.
THE UPPER AND THE MIDDLE CASTES
Hindus are born in castes and sub-castes, which determine their future and destiny by their caste and subcaste duties and power.
According to Rig Veda, when gods divided the Man, his mouth became the Brahmin, his arms were made into the Warrior (Kshatriya), his thighs the People (Vaishyas), and from his feet, the Servants (Shudras) were born. This caste order confirmed the superiority of dominant castes.
The Brahmins are at the top of the caste hierarchy. Next in the caste hierarchy are the Kshatriyas. Brahmins and Kshatriyas are the upper castes. Vaishyas are the middle caste. No social mobility is allowed within the castes and subcastes.
Both, Brahmin and Kshatriya groups have preserved, defended, and protected their dominant caste status since ancient times.
STATUS OF SHUDRAS IN THE HINDU SOCIETY
Hindu scriptures classified Shudras as a servant class. They have been tricked into believing for three thousand years that their birth in their lower caste was determined by actions undertaken by them in a past life.
Shudras are the lowest rank of the four Hindu castes. They have always faced a lot of discrimination from the higher castes. In the 16th century, Goswami Tulsi Das wrote an epic poem, Ramcharitmanas, based on Ramayana. It is also as known as Tulsi Ramayana. In it, Tulsi Das put Shudras in the same category as cattle. He wrote: “Dhol, Ganwar Shudra Pasu, Nari, sakal tadna ke Adhikari.” (A drum, an illiterate, a Shudra, a cattle, and a woman all these deserve to be beaten up.)
Ramcharit Manas is in the Awadhi language, not in Sanskrit. So, it is very popular and influential in central and north India.165
STATUS OF OUTCAST DALITS IN THE HINDU SOCIETY
Dalits were not included in the caste system. They were considered outcasts and lower than the Shudras. They were called untouchables because of their caste duties and are now known as Dalits. The word Dalit comes from a Hindi word meaning "oppressed, suppressed, downtrodden."
Hinduism’s caste engineering process and programming have dehumanized and degraded Dalits. They are not even allowed to enter temples. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a greatly respected Dalit leader, saw no betterment of Dalits in Hinduism. He used to advise Dalits to convert to another religion. Later he converted to Buddhism.
Laws have been made to improve Dalits’ condition, but their social and economic situation has not changed much.
STATUS OF ADIVASIS (TRIBALS) IN THE HINDU SOCIETY
In India, 705 ethnic groups are recognized as Scheduled Tribes. In central India, the Scheduled Tribes are usually referred to as Adivasis, which means Indigenous Peoples. They are nature worshippers and have no caste system, but still, they are counted as Hindus.
When the Aryans conquered the Indian subcontinent, they considered the Indigenous Peoples socially inferior and treated them as servants and slaves. Indigenous Peoples are the most exploited and the poorest group. They are mostly illiterate and unskilled. Consequently, they do the hard labor work for the lowest pay.
CHRISTIANITY’S TRUTH WILL MAKE SHUDRAS, DALITS, AND ADIVASIS EQUAL, FREE, PEACEFUL, PROSPEROUS, AND HAPPY
Some Christian Teachings are:
1. God created all men and women in his own image. They are all equal.
2. There is only one God.
3. Worshipping idols as gods is forbidden. God is spirit. No one has seen him. How can he be worshiped in different shapes - humans, animals, trees, and other forms?
4. Respecting parents is one of the Ten Commandments. Parents are also advised to love their children and not irritate them.
5. God will judge people on the day of the Last Judgment, not before. The souls of the people who do good will go to heaven, and the souls of the people who do evil will go to hell.
6. If people repent from their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, he forgives their sins and gives them everlasting life.
7. Jesus Christ’s followers should practice his teachings. They should give up vices like gambling, drinking, quarreling, adultery, and domestic abuse.
8. They should practice virtues, love one another, and help the poor and needy.
9. Christ’s followers should observe the Ten Commandments. (BIBLE, Exodus 20: 3-17)
10 They should treat others as they would like others to treat them.
11. Jesus Christ promised to give rest to all who labor and are heavy-laden. He assured them of the peace of God which passes all understanding.
12. Jesus Christ felt the pain of the poor people. He included, “Give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer.
13. Christian ethics emphasizes working hard, saving money, and investing it to increase wealth. This leads to prosperity and solves many money-related problems.
THE UPPER-CASTE HINDUS DO NOT WANT CHRISTIANS TO HELP THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE EXPLOITED GROUPS
The upper castes do not want to release the subjugated groups from their 3000 thousand years old low-paid hard and dirty job prisons. Most NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that worked to improve the quality of life of these marginalized communities and groups have been shut down by the Bhartiya Janata Party governments.
Many Christian institutions also help the development of these oppressed groups by providing quality education, healthcare, and social services. Anti-Conversion Laws have been enacted to harass Christians and stop the advancement of these subjugated groups. Many Hindus, especially Brahmins and Kshatriyas, are afraid that Christianity might motivate and inspire the Shudras, Dalits, and Tribals to claim a life of respect, dignity, freedom, and equality as Christians.
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