Say no to Creolization

The adoption of Christianity among Indians and Africans is not one of choice but a direct onslaught that has been in operation from the very first day Christopher Columbus set foot on this land. It was not soft power that was used to win the hearts and minds of people starting with the First People but brute force-rape, loot, plunder and warfare.

Say no to Creolization
Photo : Dool Hanomansingh

The adoption of Christianity among Indians and Africans is not one of choice but a direct onslaught that has been in operation from the very first day Christopher Columbus set foot on this land. It was not soft power that was used to win the hearts and minds of people starting with the First People but brute force-rape, loot, plunder and warfare.

It is common today to see bands of Africans with a single Indian, all dressed in European garments, knocking at the doors of homes in rural villages to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Should these mindless missionaries have a sense of history they would resist indulging in such unethical act. They failed to realize that they themselves have been victims of this cultural and racial assault called creolization.

Creolization is the adaptation of European values in the Caribbean. The term was first used to refer to those Frenchmen who adopted the Caribbean as their home. Their values and way of life were copied by the slaves and other groups under their watch.

The French were happy to amalgamate the society by concubinage.  A colored race was created that was embraced by the French for both social and political reasons. This group was given privileges such as employment as drivers and overseers and house slaves in the plantation. Many were allowed to go to school to acquire an education. And more importantly, this colored class grew up despising everything that was non-European including their indigenous culture and physical appearance. It was common for Africans to refer to their hair as “bad hair.”

When the British took the colony in 1797, the society was already French in values and culture. Roman Catholicism, the religion practiced by the elites, were adopted by the slaves. With the arrival of the British this creolization continued. Now it was the British who became the standard to strive toward. The French did not surrender their religion or language.  Finally, English as the medium of instruction in the school emerged as the official State language. The Anglican Church was also declared the official State religion.

When the Indians arrived, they resisted creolization. Confined to the sugar-cane belt, the Indians had the numerical strength to preserve their cultural identity. Nevertheless, creolization persisted and through the education system Indians were acculturated into the dominant English culture.

The arrival of John Morton introduced the Presbyterian Mission to evangelize among the Indians. Fortunately, the English non- practice of concubinage prevented the rise of an Anglo-Indian race. Also, the Indians were not prepared to engage in sexual unions outside their race.  This pride in ethnic and racial identity is one hallmark of Indians.

The struggle to build Hindu and Muslim schools was a clear indication that the Indians were not prepared to surrender to the anglicizing mission. They built mandirs and masjids that became places for worship and education. The majority who went to the Presbyterian schools held on to their cultural identity. In 1952, the opening of the first six Maha Sabha schools sounded the death knell that alerted the missionaries to pack their bags and return to their homes in Canada.

India culture continues to persist. Not only the foods, dress and music but the ideology of Hinduism and its many variants continue to proliferate. Recent times have witnessed the opening of Maha Sabha’s Radio and TV Jagriti. Added to this list is SWAHA’S IETV and other online radio and tv channels including Sankhya TV.

The Chinmaya Mission’s education trust is a force to behold. Not asking for any State support, the Chinmaya’s education has a heavy Hindu content that includes Sanskrit and Hinduism. It demonstrates clearly that there is a growing section of Hindu families willing to fund a Hindu education for their children.

Christianity is a gateway to creolization. It brainwashes the convert to hate his cultural past as inferior and backward. If today so many are succumbing to conversion, it only demonstrates that the Hindu community is not organized to face this enemy. The challenge is to stem this tide of conversion. This can only be achieved by training a band of dedicated Hindu workers to reach out to every Hindu family in the country. In fact, the time demands that every Hindu becomes a Hindu missionary.