What is Christianity’s Legacy in India?

I’ll start with more lax critiques before going into major ones regarding history:

Are contemporary Christian conversions working in India? It seems to be decreasing everywhere except China and South Africa, but perhaps all isn’t what it seems? Christianity’s only claim to power is in privileged resources; do people not recognize how self-refuting that is? Christianity’s entire theology is framed as anti-materialist and includes warning people of being part of it, but then gives people material wealth to convert. When Christianity isn’t being materialistic, it’s being insane. Look at the horrors fostered by the so-called “saint” Mother Teresa. When Christianity isn’t doing any of that, it’s seeking to teach contempt over “heathen” Hindus and spread the psychotic Islamic-Christian violence of the West and the Middle East into India.

Christian missionaries first encounter with India and mission to spread the faith of Jesus Christ began with burning Jewish synagogues and hunting down and slaughtering Indian Jews throughout India.

The first Catholic organization that took hold from Portugal spent 250 years forcibly amputating Hindu men in front of their families, burning alive Hindu men in their churches for sport, and destroying Hindu temples as idol worship as they literally took Hindu men in front of their wives and children and forced them to watch the father of the household have their skin removed, their bodily appendages physically lobbed off, and their bodies burned until the families converted entirely to Catholicism.

Rape crimes by Catholic men upon nuns and poor Catholic women are becoming widespread in India. The exposure of these crimes was met with the Catholic nuns being told to shut up about revealing any future rape crimes in India by the Catholic Church.

To top it all off, the Christian British committed 4 mass genocides, called “famines”, that resulted in approximately 30 million dead in India over 4 separate occasions and allowed a massive disease in World War 1 to kill another 40 million culminating in a death toll of 70 million as a result of Anglican Christianity.

Oh, and also, Christianity has no basis in reality and will only lead you to be unhappy and unfulfilled with self-loathing in life: Why Christianity Will Always Fail You

Don’t pretend Child Rape cases don’t have lifelong impacts. After the Catholic Church was exposed having rape rings where thousands of young boys were repeatedly raped by pedophile priests protected by the Catholic Church decades ago, the devastation is still felt to this day. Men committing suicide at high rates, men suffering from drug abuse to keep their night terrors at bay 20 – 40 years onward (imagine living with nightmares for all your life based on trusted adults raping you), and all the while your money is being given to Churches that don’t care about keeping your children safe from pedophiles they’re purposefully bringing into your communities, hiding the fact they’re raping your kids, and then sending them away so they don’t face any trials or jail time for raping kids. Only after your country pressuring the Church are they brought back to face jail time after a trial for their crimes. And after all that’s done, they refuse to make amends and don’t help as the men around you are killing themselves unable to deal with the trauma of being raped as children.

Is that what Indian communities want for either their men or women? Do you think this stuff doesn’t spread around in India too? Do you think people aren’t going to warn their families in alarm at what these Christian Churches do to children?

Don’t take my word for it, here’s a wife of one of the victims in Australia crying as she recounts seeing family members and friends kill themselves, become drug users, and are unable to sleep with horrible night terrors they suffer for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile the Catholic Church refuses to expend any money to help them; money they got from these people’s lifelong faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what the teachings of Jesus Christ really amount to; children being sent to be taught fairy tales that aren’t real and the ramifications are child rape victims.

Emotional video by wife of child sexual abuse survivor goes viral

Finally, the history of the British’s Anglican Christianity in India:

“Famine mortality crested in March 1897. The next month Elgin himself conceded that 4.5 million poor people had perished. Behramji Malabari, the nationalist editor of the Indian Spectator, countered that the real number, plague victims included, was probably closer to 18 million.  At the same time, the Missionary Review of the World, which ordinarily praised British philanthropy, denounced the doublespeak by which the government had downplayed the severity of the crisis and sabotaged missionary efforts to organize prompt international relief. “When the pangs of hunger drive people in silent procession, living skeletons, to find food, dying by the way; the stronger getting a few grains, the feebler perishing, and children, an intolerable burden, are sold at from ten to thirty cents a piece, and when at best a heritage of orphaned children of tens of thousands must remain to the country – this is not ‘impending’ famine – it is grim, gaunt, awful famine itself.” Meanwhile, the agrarian economy of northern India continued to unravel, and the famous jurist and national leader Mahdev Govinda Ranade complained that the “seven plagues which afflicted the land of the Pharaohs in old time were let loose upon us.” In the Punjab, where cattle powered wells and irrigation wheels, the decimation of animals was so great that the standing crops in the fields died because villagers could not lift water from their wells. The most extreme distress, however, was still in the Central Provinces where, as the Indian National Congress charged and Lord Hamilton later conceded, revenue exactions had long threatened the subsistence of the poor. Prophetically, eight years earlier after a severe tax hike, 15,000 protesting peasants had confronted the chief commissioner in front of the Bilaspur railroad station. “Their cry was, ‘bandobast se mar gaya’ – ‘the settlement has killed us!’ ”

The protestors’ words came grimly true in the winter of 1896– 97, when mortality soared in at least one district (Gantur) to an incredible 40 percent (200,000 out of 500,000 residents). In his zeal to maintain fiscal pressure on the peasantry, the Central Provinces’ governor-general took little account of the remarkable siege of natural disaster – three consecutive years of devastating rains, plant rust, caterpillar plagues and black blight – that preceded the drought. Despite the terrible velocity with which famine spread through an already prostrate countryside, Sir Charles Lyall followed Elgin’s lead and downplayed the acuity of the famine. While allowing grain merchants to export the province’s scarce reserves, he refused frenzied pleas to suspend revenue collections or provide village-centered relief as authorized in the famine code. Destitute famine victims were instead herded into hastily improvised poorhouses that set new standards for administrative incompetence and corruption.

Reuter’s “special famine commissioner,” F. Merewether, shocked the British reading public with his exposé of suffering and neglect inside the poorhouses of Bilaspur and Jubbulpur. Although an ardent imperialist whose reports usually depicted heroic British district officers battling natural cataclysm and Hindu superstition, Merewether did not mince words about the atrocities that passed for relief in the Central Provinces:

‘[T] he actual inhabitants of Bilaspur were dying of starvation, while under the supposed aegis of the Government and within their very gates. I mentioned previously that my opinion was that the famine in the Central Provinces was grossly mismanaged. I collected tangible proofs of this daily, till I had to hand a mass of reliable and irrefutable evidence, which showed only too clearly that the officials and those responsible had not, and did not, fully recognized the gravity of the situation. With reference to the poor-house, there can be no doubt that in addition to supineness and mismanagement, there was decided fraud going on, and the poor hopeless and helpless inmates were being condemned by a paternal Government to a slow, horrible, and lingering death by starvation. I here came across the first specimens of “Famine Down,” which is produced by long-continued starvation. At certain stages of want a fine down of smooth hair appears all over the bodies of the afflicted. It has a most curious look, and gives the wearer a more simian look than ever.… There were more than a score of souls who had reached this stage, and their bodies were covered from head to foot with the soft-looking black fur.’

When Julian Hawthorne, son of the famous New England writer and Cosmopolitan’s special correspondent in India, reached Jubbulpur in April 1897, three months after Merewether, conditions in the Central Provinces had grown even more nightmarish. On the long, hot train ride up the Narmada Valley (“ the great graveyard of India” according to American missionaries), Hawthorne was horrified by the families of corpses seated in the shade of the occasional desert trees. “There they squatted, all dead now, their flimsy garments fluttering around them, except when jackals had pulled the skeletons apart, in the hopeless search for marrow.” In Jubbulpur, he was escorted by the resident American missionary who took him first to the town market, where he was disgusted by the radical existential contrast between “bony remnants of human beings” begging for kernels of grain and the plump, nonchalant prosperity of the local merchant castes.

The poorhouses, meanwhile, were converted cattle-pens terrorized by overseers who, as Merewether had accurately reported, systematically cheated their doomed charges of their pathetic rations. “Emaciation” hardly described the condition of the “human skeletons” Hawthorne encountered: They showed us their bellies – a mere wrinkle of empty skin. Twenty per cent of them were blind; their very eyeballs were gone. The joints of their knees stood out between the thighs and shinbones as in any other skeleton; so did their elbows; their fleshless jaws and skulls were supported on necks like those of plucked chickens. Their bodies – they had none; only the framework was left.

Hawthorne’s most haunting experience, however, was his visit to the children in the provincial orphanage in Jubbulpur. In imperial mythology, as enshrined in Kipling’s famous short story “William the Conquerer” (published on the eve of the famine in 1896), British officials struggled heroically against all odds to save the smallest famine victims. The Ladies Home Journal (January 1896) version of Kipling’s story had featured a famous woodcut by the American artist W. L. Taylor of a tall British officer walking slowly at the head of a flock of grateful, saved children. “Taylor accentuated the god-like bearing of Scott, as seen through the eyes of William [his love interest], standing at the entrance to her tent. The black cupids are there and a few capering goats …” But as W. Aykroyd, a former Indian civil servant who in his youth had talked to the veterans of the 1896– 97 famine, emphasizes, this idyllic scene was utterly fictional. “No particular attention was … given to children in the famine relief operations.” Far more realistic than Scott’s motherly compassion was the repugnance that Kipling’s heroine William feels when, after dreaming “for the twentieth time of the god in the golden dust,” she awakes to face “loathsome black children, scores of them wastrels picked up by the wayside, their bones almost breaking their skin, terrible and covered with sores.”

Hawthorne indeed discovered that “rescue” more often than not meant slow death in squalid, corruptly managed children’s camps. After reminding American readers that “Indian children are normally active, intelligent and comely, with brilliant eyes, like jewels,” he opens the door to the orphanage:

‘One of the first objects I noticed on entering was a child of five, standing by itself near the middle of the enclosure. Its arms were not so large round as my thumb; its legs were scarcely larger; the pelvic bones were plainly shown; the ribs, back and front, started through the skin, like a wire cage. The eyes were fixed and unobservant; the expression of the little skull-face solemn, dreary and old. Will, impulse, and almost sensation, were destroyed in this tiny skeleton, which might have been a plump and happy baby. It seemed not to hear when addressed. I lifted it between my thumbs and forefingers; it did not weigh more than seven or eight pounds.’

Beyond, in the orphanage yard, neglected children agonized in the last stages of starvation and disease. Hawthorne thought it obvious that the overseers, as in the adult poorhouses, were stealing grain for sale with little fear of punishment from their superiors:

‘We went towards the sheds, where were those who were too enfeebled to stand or walk. A boy was squatting over an earthen saucer, into which he spate continually; he had the mouth disease; he could not articulate, but an exhausted moan came from him ever and anon. There was a great abscess on the back of his head. Another, in the final stage of dysentery, lay nearly dead in his own filth; he breathed, but had not strength to moan. There was one baby which seemed much better than the rest; it was tended by its own mother.… Now, this child was in no better condition than the rest of them when it came, but its mother’s care had revived it. That meant, simply, that it had received its full allowance of the food which is supposed to be given to all alike. Why had the others – the full orphans – not received theirs?’

Cosmopolitan pointedly published photographs of famine victims from the Central Provinces next to an illustration of a great monument erected to Queen Victoria. Hawthorne, “on his way home from India,” it editorialized, “heard it conservatively estimated in London that a total of more than one hundred millions of dollars would be expended, directly and indirectly, upon the Queen’s Jubilee ceremonies.” But dying children in remote taluks were no more allowed to interrupt the gaiety of the Empress of India’s Diamond Jubilee in June 1897 than they had her Great Durbar of twenty years before. Critics of Elgin were uncertain which was more scandalous: how much he had expended on the Diamond Jubilee extravaganza, or how little he had spent to combat the famine that affected 100 million Indians. When the government’s actual relief expenditures were published a year later, they fell far below the per capita recommendations of the 1880 Famine Commission. As a new Famine Commission reported in 1898: “Our general conclusion is that, as compared with the past, a considerable degree of success as regards economy had been attained in the relief famine.”

The relief works were quickly shut down with the return of the rains in 1898. Hundreds of thousands of destitute, landless people, without any means to take advantage of the monsoon, were pushed out of the camps and poorhouses. As a consequence, the momentum of famine and disease continued to generate a staggering 6.5 million excess deaths in 1898, making total mortality closer to 11 million than the 4.5 million earlier admitted by Elgin. Twelve to 16 million was the death toll commonly reported in the world press, which promptly nominated this the “famine of the century.” This dismal title, however, was almost immediately usurped by the even greater drought and deadlier famine of 1899– 1902.”

Davis, Mike (2002-06-17). Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (p. 151-158). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.

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