[This presentation was made on ICDN Wednesday Night Zoom-October 21, 2020]
Conversion is a serious threat to the survival of the Indian community in Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname. In Trinidad and Tobago, the number of Hindus has declined by 15.9 % between 2000 and 2011, that is, from 285,000 to 240, 000. In Guyana, Hindus are 253, 065 or 24.8% of the population in 2002. In 1991 the Hindu population was 253, 065 or 35% of the national population. In Suriname, Hindus are 22.3% or 120,000 in 2012.
I want to invite you to look at some push-factors within the family and community that are making us vulnerable and placing us at the mercy of those pious predators.
The Story of Mahindra
- Age-62, Mahindra was a former laborer with Caroni Ltd. He is married with two sons who are pursuing studies at tertiary level institutions.
- Mahindra is diabetic and had a few toes on his right foot removed. For the past three months he has been on dialysis, three times per week.
- Mahindra recently visited a church unknowing to his wife and sons. He returned with a bag with gifts and a copy of the Bible and announced to them that he has baptized and he was now a Christian.
- The wife, Shanti, a proud Hindu, was in shock. Shanti remarked that “members of the church would come and pray with him once per week, and that is all, I have to look after him, they not here to look after him.”
The following are some of the push-factors that contribute toward making Hindus exposed and vulnerable:
- Too many dysfunctional families. There is a definite breakdown of the extended family. Though living in the same compound, relatives are aloof and apart from one another. There is also an increase in single-parent households, divorce and separation.
- Increase in individual rights and freedoms and a corresponding decline in obligation to social groups like the family and the mandir and other clubs in the community.
- Alcohol has acceptable presence in social gathering and is given preferential treatment. Without alcohol it is near impossible to muster a social gathering.
- Carnival and other aspects of creole and western life-styles have now become part of the Indian psyche of having a good time. The culture of adultery and having children outside of wedlock are the new norms.
The community has failed to address some of those social ill. Many Hindu leaders are afraid to speak about this issue for fear of being labelled negatively. As such nothing is being done to remedy the situation. No support institutions are being established to help families such training volunteer social worker to reach out to families in crisis. The mandir continues to be puja centered and those social issued are never addressed.
- There is a need for emphasizing the social value of the mandir, that is, to provide an avenue for Hindus not only to pray, eat and return home but to sit and chat, play games, have entertainment. The mandir must be a second home for Hindus, especially the children.
The Christian Threat
- The local churches in the neighborhood are linked with powerful international forces including governments, big businesses, media houses and universities. They all stand to benefit by erasing your Indian and Hindu values and implanting a chip in your head, thus reducing you to a robot under their control.
- The plot to convert India was hatched in the White House when the George Bush Junior was in power. The financing of this enterprise is done by the western states, business corporations, the church, media, and the universities.
- The objective of the operation is to reduce us to workers and consumers; to feed us their pizza and burgers and their music and fashions.
- Most importantly, they want us to look up to them as superior beings with eternal gratitude to them for rescuing us out of darkness and taking into the light;
- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and the BJP, the RSS and Rajiv Malhotra among others understand the forces that are arrayed against Hindu society. Sita Ram Goel (Voice of India) has identified the following forces in his book Hindu Society Under Siege: Christianity; Islam; Communism; Secularism and the United Front of Hostile Forces
You Must Be the Change
I believe in the power of One, that is, an individual with faith in himself can effect the change he desires in his social environment.
Converts are generally people who have no faith in themselves. They are lost sheep, bleating away for someone to rescue them. We as individuals must demonstrate strength and success in all walks of life; our lives must become beacons of hope for those who are feeling defeated and lost. It is the best and surest way to help to effect change-be the change.