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Subtle and not so subtle tactics of Christian Missionaries

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There are many tactics used by Christian Missionaries to unethically spread Christianity in India. The most common that we all know and now many videos are coming out is where they go to villages and slums to offer incentives to poor people to convert thus exploiting their poverty.

Apart from this tactic, I would like to draw attention to some other subtle but equally unethical tactics used by Christians. They will only use these tactics against people who are vulnerable, either financially or emotionally. Some of the stories here may be fiction but I request readers to understand the tactics used by them. There are many issues that are talked about in this fiction like how Christians and Hindu parents bring up their children, the issue of inter-religion marriage and how Christians use every tactic to spread their religion.

So here it goes, again please don’t get offended

Rekha is a young widow who has got a job as a teacher in a Convent School. She is very happy to finally start earning and supporting herself and her mother. She is supposed to take Mathematics for Primary School. She gets ready and reaches school and goes straight to the Principal’s Chamber. There a middle-aged man Father Menezes who is sitting and welcomes her. He says lots of good things about the school, about how they maintain a very good standard of education, etc. He also says how they help poor sections of society etc. Rekha is very impressed. Then Father Menezes suddenly asks ”How come you are wearing Bindi, I thought you were widow”. Rekha is a bit shocked to hear this but says “I like wearing them”. Father Menezes laughs and asks “Oh but I thought widows in your religion are not supposed to put it, anyway this is minority school so even if you don’t put its fine. You can go and start taking classes”.

Rekha starts taking classes and begins to enjoy her job. Then as days pass by she observes that since its minority institute about half the students is from one community and for teachers its more than half. She then thinks about her life, how she needed this job and its close to her house so no need to travel etc and she must be thankful that she has a job.

One day there is a school unit test and all students are busy studying last minute before entering the class. Suddenly after the Prayer, some students are taken out and they are being punished. Rekha sees this and thinks maybe they have not polished their shoes properly or worn uniform without tie but later when they enter class she comes to know from one girl and one boy that they were punished because girls put kunkum and boys put vibuthi. Other students are laughing but the punished students are crying. They say that today in their house their parents only put it on them for good luck in the test. Rekha feels sad. Next Moment the Headmistress Sister Lucia walks into the class and says “Again I am repeating the rules. Some of you have joined this year so I am giving you excuse no putting Bindi or anything on the forehead. Am I Clear” All the students Shout “Yes Sister” and she walks away. After that day slowly even Rekha stops putting Bindi herself.

After the Unit test, there is a parent’s teachers meeting and Rekha is the Class teacher for 7 std “C” Section so she needs to meet all the parents of the students. She meets the students and parents and gives feedback. Then she meets Rohan’s mother. Rohan was the boy who had got punished for putting vibuthi. Rekha is worried that she might ask why he was punished but instead she apologies. “I am sorry, with great difficulty we arranged for donation to get him admitted to this school we will not put vibuthi again on him. We know all Gods are the same only. We want him to study well and go abroad”. Rekha does not know what to say and gives her, Rohan’s report card. However, after some time Meenakshi’s father comes and he is visibly upset. He asks why his daughter was punished for just wearing Kunkum. Rekha again does not know what to answer. She just blurts out “Its school rules”. Later he goes to meet HM and after that Rekha observes him slowly walking back outside.

Later that week while having lunch Rekha and Mrs. Bindu Taneja who is the Hindi teacher discuss this “Nothing on forehead rule”. Mrs. Taneja has been teaching here since 2 years. She said, “even when I joined I felt strange but I didn’t bother much. I am just teaching here till my husband gets a visa after that our family will shift abroad”. Rekha smiled at her and wished her good luck. Mrs. Taneja though dressed like any normal Hindu married woman, wearing bangles apart from Bindi.

In school, there was a rule that one period in a week for each class all the Christians would go to bible study and the Non-Christian students in the same class would have Moral science class. One day the Moral science teacher was on leave and HM asked Rekha to take the class since she was free. Rekha went to the class and told stories of Sudama and Sharavan Kumar from Mahabhrata and Ramayana.

Later just before Dussera Holidays, Rekha asked her students to prepare a chart of Ancient Indian Scientists and Mathematicians. Many students were enthusiastic and browsed the internet and prepared the project. Then when they came back to school they came with their charts. Many of them had put lots of effort to prepare a chart on Arybhatta, Sushrutha, and others. Then the Principal walked into the class and saw the project. He told Rekha he wanted to meet her personally. Rekha went to the Principal’s chamber. Father Menezes was visibly upset and started speaking .”Rekha Mam, you know this is a minority institute so we don’t want too much glorification of Hinduism”. Rekha was a bit shocked “But father I just told students to find out about Ancient Indian Scientists”. Father Snapped “Rekha Mam you should have asked them to do a project on Ancient Greek and English scientists also. Else what will Management think? Remember that it was due to my recommendation that you got this job”. Rekha was a bit stunned to hear this. She said she would take care of it in the future and left the room. On the way home, she was a bit upset but she thought about her financial condition before she got a job and consoled herself.

Few days before Deepavali When Rekha was sitting in the staff room along with other teachers, Some teachers were talking, suddenly Rita Mam who teaches Geography spoke “Oh God now Diwali will come and my children will want to go his parent’s house. How much ever I try to prevent them they don’t listen”. Initially Rekha did not understand what they were talking about and walked out of the room as she had to take a class. Later on, she came to know that Rita’s husband was Hindu but she was bringing up her kids as Christians. Later on, Deepavali got over and there were no celebrations in the school but one month later the entire school was in the festive mood as December had begun.

Soon the Principal sent circular for every class to either conduct plays or choirs and to keep small Christ huts depicting how Jesus was born etc. Also, it was mentioned that all students should take part at least in one event or else bring the model from home. Only a Few teachers like Rekha,Bindu, and a few others were not needed to go anything but had to be in charge of maintaining discipline. The celebrations were conducted wonderfully and all children were very happy with Santa Claus. Later there was a party organized only for the teaching staff here Rekha observed that There was one main Group Called D’souza group which had stakes in different fields like Hospital, Shipping, and Footwear whose chairman was the main Trustee of the school. She noticed that even some of the teachers freely consumed wine.

After School reopened the pressure to complete the syllabus was there so management was putting lots of pressure on teachers. So Rekha was not getting much time to relax. Then after few months Academic year came to an end after Conducting final exams. Then she was surprised to see a few things. First Meenakshi’s parents took a Transfer certificate from the school. Later Mrs. Taneja informed management that her husband got a long term visa so she is going to quit. She came and spoke to Rekha and wished her all the best. Since Rekha had completed one year she was expecting a rise in her salary. Then there was a meeting with all teachers and principal and Headmistress where they discussed how to improve teaching for next year, still, no one spoke to her about salary. Then she thought to try in a different school but it was far for her. Finally, she thought she should go and talk to the principal about the salary raise. Father Menezes was surprised to see Rekha and when he listened to her he told: ” now for Christian’s Lent month s going on and only after Easter Sunday I can speak to management about you”.He even invited her to management’s Easter celebration party but Rekha didn’t go.

Finally, after Easter when the school also was closed then Rekha came and meet Father Menezes.”Yes Rekha mam what can I do for you”.Rekha reminded her about her salary rise. Father Menezes replied, “See Rekha mam in our school we don’t give raise every year unless the teacher is very good you can ask with Mrs. Taneja, She worked in our school for almost 3 years on the same salary “.Rekha replied” Mrs. Taneja’s husband was earning well so she didn’t ask for raise and they are planning to go abroad “, Father Menezes replied, “But rules are rules Mam and this is Minority institute still I recommend you for the job, However, if you were Christian then I would have asked the management to do something “.Rekha did not understand what Father was trying to say. Father Menezes Continued “Why don’t you become one”.Rekha was a bit stunned “What do you mean Father”.Father Menezes knew this was not the right time so he changed the topic. He said, “Rekha I can try and get you some Private tuitions so that you get extra income ”.Rekha thought it was fine.

Rekha was sitting in a big Bungalow where she had gone as per the recommendation of Father Menezes. This was the house of the Fernandez’s who had Factories in shipping. The fees they had agreed to give were almost equal to her school salary for which she had to teach both daughter and son mathematics. Soon she started giving tuitions. She observed that they had one cook, one servant who did domestic work and one driver. One day since it became late for Rekha after giving tuitions, Mr. Fernandez told the driver peter to drop Rekha home. Peter was a little talkative person and asked about Rekha, however, Rekha was not comfortable in answering Peter. Then Peter only said “You know Mam our boss does lots of Charities in the name of the lord. He also helped our servant. Before her name was Sandhya and her husband was a drunkard and used to beat her, now she has left him and got converted and become Sandra. She stays in the house and helps the family ”.Rekha felt sad for her.

After school reopened now since Mrs. Taneja had left the school Rekha was feeling a little lonely since she was not very close with other teachers. Then she observed that for Hindi new teacher had joined. Her name was Vaishali. In the staff register, she saw her full name as Vaishali Jacob. After few days Vaishali herself came and introduced herself and started talking. Soon she became friendly with Rekha. Rekha told her about her past and that she was a widow and had to take care of her mother. Then she asked Vaishali about her life. Vaishali told that before she was Hindu and that she had a love marriage with a Christian guy whom she had met in college. Vaishali said she was from strict family and she was a rebel and when she came to college, she fell in love. Her parents never approved of her choice. However she never wanted to convert and wanted to follow both religions but when it came to marriage, Jacob’s family said we will approve the marriage only if you convert. Initially, her family did not approve but they wanted at least both style of marriage so first, they had Hindu marriage and later Christian wedding. But Before Christian wedding they Baptized her. After marriage, her husband found there was a job for teaching so she applied but they gave her a job only because I am Christian.

After few days Rekha asked Vaishali “Now you don’t feel like celebrating any Hindu festival” .Vaishali’s reply was interesting “My Family was strict with traditions and they always expected me to follow the rules so I used to get angry. They never explained anything to me. So I didn’t get that feeling”. Then Rekha asked what about Christian Traditions Do you follow them “Actually no but My husband and in-law keeps taking me to church on Sunday mornings. Also now in School Father Menezes and Head Mistress always keep checking if I have attended the bible classes”.

Now Rekha’s life was very busy, mornings she would go to school, later she would go to Fernandez’s house to take tuition in the evenings. Normally Mrs. Fernandez would offer her Tea and snacks and ask about her children’s progress; how they are learning and Rekha would give feedback. But one day Mrs. Fernandez suddenly asked Rekha about her personal life. She asked, “Rekha how long you will be like this I know in your community widows don’t get respect if you wish I can find some good suitable boy for you”. Rekha was a bit shocked now and told: “Mrs. Fernandez I have not thought anything about it”. Still, Mrs. Fernandez didn’t stop she said, “We do lots of charities in the name of the lord and bring people closer to Lord. You can also come close to the Lord”.

Rekha did not answer and after she went home she was thinking, Should she leave the tuition, if she leaves the tuition, how will she pay for her mother’s medicines. She started calling her relatives but most of them did not respond properly. She did not go to Tuition for 2 days then in School, Father Menezes called her and asked: “Why are you not taking tuitions for Fernandez house, You know I recommended you for that tuition if you don’t go there you can stop coming here as well “.Rekha was shocked to hear that.

She was walking alone to her house. What do you think Rekha did?

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