Home > History, Indian Economy, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized, World Economy > No relief for Kandhamal churches on disputed land

No relief for Kandhamal churches on disputed land


The district administration, after a recent survey, has found that the Divyajyoti pastoral centre at K Nuagaon, where a nun was raped, and 134 other Christian institutions that were destroyed by rioters had been built up on disputed land. The pastoral centre, therefore, might not get the state’s financial aid for reconstruction.

“On the government order, the administration held a survey and found that of the 195 institutions, which were partly or fully desecrated, as many as 135 are on disputed land,” an official disclosed. “Disputed plot means land that belongs to forest or tribals,” he added. (via No relief for Kandhamal churches on disputed land).

In Kandhamal, from 70,000 Christians in 1991, the number increased to 117,950 (by 66%), by 2001. Of these 47950 conversions, only two were done after notifying the district collector, as required by the law.

These conversions went unreported – as these conversions would then disqualify the Panos converts to gain benefits meant for Hindu Scheduled Caste benefits and lose their allotment of reservations in government jobs. The Kandhas, who make up 52% of the population, own less than 10% of the district land. This figure is disputed and rival estimates go to as high as 60% – but exact figures are not available.

Blatant Proselytism

A web dictionary defines proselytism as “To induce someone to convert to one’s own religious faith.” This above quoted article details three interesting aspects of the Kandhamal uproar.

  1. There has been a large scale demographic change in this area. Today, Christians in this area exceed 100,000 – and up from 60,000 to more than 100,000 in the last few years.
  2. The bigger issue – is the misrepresentation of caste and religious denomination for obtaining undue benefits. Benefits for backward Hindus were being claimed by the Christians while declaring themselves as Backward Hindus.
  3. The 3rd is land. Traditional landowners have been dispossessed of their land – and the new converts have become the new ‘rentier’ land owners.

Thus what is being given a communal and religious colour is more a case of dispensing and cornering of benefits. The fourth element that is now coming out is that these Church activities are being carried out on illegally occupied land.

Behind this …

But, who is funding this proselytizing activity? Recent data from the Government reveals that India receives about US$3 billion of charity to NGOs. The biggest donors are US, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and France.

This US$3 billion is a huge amount of money. Pakistan went to the IMF for less than US$4 billion.

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  1. April 20, 2009 at 1:15 pm

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