Jerusalem: Church sheds its Secular Mask
by Sandhya Jain on 15 Jan 2012 13 Comments

On 21 December 2011, the Tamil Nadu chief minister gave a virtual carte blanche to Christian evangelism in the State by giving the community a massive freebie at taxpayer expense, viz., financial assistance for 500 Christians to take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, annually. Announcing this at a Christmas celebration hosted by the AIADMK at Laity Auditorium, Kilpauk, Ms Jayalalithaa said she was fulfilling a pledge made while celebrating the festival in Arumanai in Kanyakumari district last year; she promised to consider other demands of the Christian community favourably. One shudders to think what this could mean.

Doubtless the chief minister feels triumphant that Dr Subramanian Swamy’s foolish rejoinder has defanged and delegitimized Hindu hostility to this outrage. The fact that the so-called thekedars of Hindu society have maintained inexplicable – and unforgivable – silence in the face of such a major assault on the Hindu civilisational ethos indicates the extent to which the foundations of Hindu dharma have been eroded in the quest for political advantage.

By assuring Christians that the Jerusalem Picnic will encompass all denominations without bias, Ms Jayalalithaa has ensured the longevity of the non-traditional charismatic churches which are the most adept in securing en masse conversions of families and villages through various pressure tactics. These churches are essentially reconnaissance missions by enterprising religious entrepreneurs who raise funds in the West through their gift of gab, descend on a region and undertake wholesale conversions, return to the West for more funds after advertising their success rate, return to convert more, and so on ceaselessly…

When the individual or movement peters out, the traditional Catholic or Protestant churches in the vicinity, which have been watching from a distance, move in and absorb the flock. By including such brainwashed converts in the Jerusalem jamboree, the Tamil Nadu chief minister has helped ensure that these village simpletons do not lapse back into their natal traditions and return to their kula devatas.

This is a grim and cold-blooded assault on India’s Hindu civilisational foundation – more lethal even than the assault on the Kanchi Matham in 2004 – and deserves an equal response from the Hindu community, even the Indian State, as it willy-nilly takes a major part of the country into the Western Christian Bloc at a time when the latter is waging a virtual crusade against the entire world that is not under its sway.

As a beginning, this measure needs to be challenged in court at the earliest. The Jerusalem paid holiday is a sin against the Nation and against Hindu dharma.

Ms Jayalalithaa’s dutiful fulfillment of her pledge, in the presence of Archbishop A.M. Chinnappa who happily fed her a piece of cake, proves the writer’s long-held conviction (articulated in various forums over the years) that Indian Secularism is nothing but a Mask of the Christian Church. It is a colonial lemon sold to Jawaharlal Nehru to [1] negate a concerted Hindu response to the two-nation theory that would have aborted the Partition Project of the British Raj; and [2] maintain Muslim separatism in the remaining portion of the motherland so that the civilisational dragon that raised its head in 1857 should forever remain dormant or weak enough to be decapitated by anti-Hindu State power.

That Nehru did not abandon the secular farce even after the third frontier in Kashmir was breached due to the connivance of Mountbatten-Auchinleck and the British officers of Gilgit-Baltistan Agency shows that Partition was a deep-rooted British conspiracy, and that he and Saint M.K. Gandhi went along with the British plan as part of a ‘deal’ that credible historians need to expose without delay. Else, the nation may suffer fresh mischief as America itches to rearrange the globe in the 21st century; an independent Kashmir, as the writer has often warned, is now a live American agenda.

To return to Ms Jayalalithaa, it is blatantly unconstitutional and illegal to fund religious or sectarian religious activity from taxpayers’ money. Article 27 in the Constitution is explicit:

27. Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion. No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

The reference to specific appropriation clearly covers the ever-increasing Central subsidy for Haj by Muslims, and now the Jerusalem Picnic. Given the fact that a Supreme Court bench scandalously permitted continuation of the Haj subsidy on specious grounds, and the so-called thekedars of Hindu society maintained disgraceful silence instead of shrill and implacable opposition, it may be time to dislodge all non-performing assets of Hindu society so that more puissant and sincere warriors can rise. It is also time to revisit the shoddy verdict of the loquacious Justice (retd) Markandey Katju, who obviously believes that his grand intellectual pretensions supersede the constitution, rule of law, and equality before law.

A pertinent point in the Jayalalithaa outrage is that the Haj subsidy cannot in truth be equated with the Jerusalem Holiday.

The Jerusalem deception is not mandated by Christian theology, and is nothing but appeasement of the rich and powerful Christian clergy for electoral benefit. It is a betrayal of the nation because it offers a powerful inducement for conversions. By definition it reeks of hatred of Hindus and Hindu dharma.

Haj is a religious duty that Muslims are supposed to undertake at least once in their lifetime, provided they can afford it and can ensure adequate support for their families during their leave of absence. The Hindu-Secular State has encouraged Muslims to violate this most sacred of Koranic injunctions by providing the Haj subsidy, which is largely an appropriation of Hindu taxpayer money. This is a constant irritant to Hindus and earns Muslims unnecessary ill-will from fellow citizens.

Half-clever Hindus, seeking to dampen Hindu resentment while covertly wooing the Muslim vote, have slyly mooted the idea of mitigating this crime against the constitution and Hindu society by providing subsidy to Hindu pilgrims to Kailash-Mansarovar in China-held territory. In other words, instead of forcing the Government and the Supreme Court to end this pampering of minorities at the cost of offending Hindu sensitivities and by violating the Constitution, the half-clever Hindus have made a mockery of the Hindu ethos by suggesting that the crime can be ‘made up’ by giving some subsidy to Hindus who undertake the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra – though Hindu yatris undertaking this arduous journey do not crave subsidy.

Yet it is from such Abdicated Hindus that a man as intellectually savvy as Dr Subramanian Swamy took his cue, and instead of challenging this perfidy in court as is his wont in many cases, obliged Ms Jayalalithaa with a safety clause by demanding (sic) subsidy for Hindus going to Kailash-Mansarovar, at par with the Christian converts. In other words, he facilitated the Church’s third millennium goal to ‘annihilate Hinduism’.

Dr Swamy knows that Hindu pilgrims need only the grace of Mahadeo to complete the Yatra successfully and that this move has only given the Church a fig leaf to disguise its conversion agenda. As a close associate of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, convener, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, who waxes eloquent on the undesirability of conversions to Hindu audiences in India, and then accepts on behalf of HDAS a declaration at the Vatican in 2006 permitting conversions in the name of freedom of religion, only Dr Swamy can explain his motivations and end goals.

The Vatican dialogue was kept a total secret from concerned Hindus in India – it was discovered by the writer in connection with some other research – and to this date Hindus have not been told the identity of the Indians or Hindus sent to the meeting, on what basis were they selected, what was their brief, and who they represented.

One stray thought – what about Atheists? Can they demand a subsidized Secular annual holiday from the Secular State – to do something exciting like river rafting? Or even better, the Luxor Cruise on the Nile, since everyone else is getting a foreign holiday?

Seriously, however, it is time to challenge the Haj subsidy - Jerusalem Picnic and to define the Indian State, its purpose and objectives – whom does it serve and for whom does it exist? We can no longer accept the asymmetry wherein defined minorities eat the cake and cream at the expense of an undefined and unrecognized majority population that is defamed as the greatest menace to public peace.

It is pertinent that when the Haj Subsidy was challenged by Shri Prafull Goradia, businessman, intrepid scholar of Hindu issues, and columnist, in the Supreme Court in 2007 [Prafull Goradia vs Union of India, Writ Petition (civil) No.1 of 2007], the issues raised did not get the attention they deserved from the Hon’ble Bench comprising the great Hindu- baiter, Justice Markandey Katju, and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra. They delivered judgment on 28 January 2011.

The Writ Petition, filed under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenged the constitutional validity of the Haj Committee Act 1959 and Haj Committee Act of 2002 which replaced the 1959 Act, on grounds of being violative of Articles 14, 15, and 27. Shri Goradia contended that he is a Hindu but has to pay direct and indirect taxes, part of whose proceeds go for the purpose of the Haj pilgrimage which is undertaken only by Muslims. This violates his fundamental right under Article
27 [mentioned above].

The Bench contended that there can be two views about Article 27. One is that Article 27 is attracted only when the statute by which the tax is levied specifically states that the proceeds of the tax will be utilized for a particular religion. The other is that Article 27 will be attracted even when the statute is a general statute, like the Income Tax Act or the Central Excise Act or the State Sales Tax Acts (which do not specify for what purpose the proceeds will be utilized) provided that a substantial part of such proceeds are in fact utilized for a particular religion. The Bench said Article 27 is attracted in both eventualities as Article 27 is a provision in the Constitution, and not an ordinary statute. Its object is to maintain secularism, and hence it must be construed from that angle.

The Hon’ble judges proceeded on a tangent about cases in Australia, United States, Holland [do their case laws apply in India?], and opined that Article 27 would be violated if a substantial part of the entire income tax collected in India, or a substantial part of the entire central excise or customs duties or sales tax, or a substantial part of any other tax collected in India, were utilized for promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Thus, if 25% of the entire income tax collected in India was utilized for promoting or maintaining any particular religion or religious denomination, it would violate Article 27 of the Constitution. Shri Goradia, the Bench held, has not made any averment in his Writ Petition that a substantial part of any tax collected in India is utilized for the purpose of Haj. Hence the allegation in his writ petition is “very vague”.

Ignoring both the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the Bench concluded that,

“In our opinion, if only a relatively small part of any tax collected is utilized for providing some conveniences or facilities or concessions to any religious denomination, that would not be violative of Article 27 of the Constitution. It is only when a substantial part of the tax is utilized for any particular religion that Article 27 would be violated.”

The Bench asserted that the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Central Government maintained that the State Government incurs some expenditure for the Kumbh Mela, and the Central Government incurs expenditure for facilitating Indian citizens to go on pilgrimage to Mansarovar. Also some State Governments provide facilities to Hindu and Sikh pilgrims to visit Temples and Gurudwaras in Pakistan. These are very small expenditures in proportion to the entire tax collected. The Central Government further asserted that it is not averse to the idea of granting support to the pilgrimage conducted by any community.

Hence, the judges held, “we must not be too rigid in these matters… A balanced view has to be taken here, and we cannot say that even if one paisa of Government money is spent for a particular religion there will be violation of Article 27.” The judges concluded that “there is no violation of Article 27 of the Constitution.”

Similarly, the Bench held, there is no violation of Articles 14 and 15 because facilities are also given, and expenditures incurred, by the Central and State Governments in India for other religions. Thus there is no discrimination.

The Bench dismissed the petition of Shri Goradia. It then went into fallacious assertions that India is “a country of immigrants (like North America)” – where did the Hon’ble judges go to school? There was a homily on the need for “tolerance and equal respect for all communities and sects”. The rest – a eulogy of Pandit Nehru – was pure gibberish.

There has possibly never in the history of the Indian judiciary been a case where the Bench has proffered reasons to justify its own bias/ideological inclination and judgment has been given keeping the letter and spirit of the law and the constitution at bay. If one were to go by the ‘percentage of tax collection’ or ‘at least 25%’ argument, we may one day have a judgment that says ‘Mr X tax evader may go scot free because the total tax evaded is not an impressive percentage of total tax collection, in fact the Income Tax department has not been able to furnish such a calculation; hence it is too miniscule a matter to merit punishment’.

Can anything be more pathetic? The Haj subsidy judgment is simply bad in law and should be adjudged ab initio void.

The writer contends that it is time to demand a fresh look at the issue. Kumbh Mela is a collective Hindu observation within the country and state agencies make administrative arrangements like crowd management, medical services, security arrangements, and so on. They don’t give free or subsidized transport or free food and lodging. Haj is an individual Muslim religious duty and is supposed to be undertaken by the believer from his/her own resources. The Jerusalem Picnic is not mandated by religion at all, and is pure political appeasement of the rich and powerful clergy, which is richly funded by Western colonial countries for ulterior political purposes, which is why it meddles in elections in states where Christians are in sizable numbers.

Hindus and Hindu Dharma are in grave danger of cannibalization and disempowerment. The mad scramble to extend the reservation pie on grounds of religion is extending the Minority Footprint in all directions, virtually choking and suffocating Hindus in their own country.

The Supreme Court must interpret the Constitution correctly; judges who cannot do so must be overruled.




The author is Editor,

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