The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians describes Mohandas Pai’s views as unscientific and dangerous. The latter said that conversions increased the Christian group by 8 million and that Hindus have dropped from 85 per cent of the population to 77 per cent. In reality census shows that Christians number 27.8 million and account for about 2.3 per cent of the Indian population.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), slammed claims by well-known educationist Mohandas Pai (pictured) that India’s Hindu population declined because of Christian conversions, calling them unfounded and unscientific.
Mohandas Pai, director of Manipal Global Education Bengaluru, made the assertion yesterday in Udupi after opening the Dharma Sansad office at the Royal Garden Udupi.
In Pai’s view, Hindu conversion to Christianity has increased the Christian population by eight million. He also noted that at the time of independence, Hindus represented 85 per cent of the population of India whilst today they are down to 77 per cent.
Pai also claimed that Hindus are lured to Christianity with money and converted by force. To convert Hindus, Christians rely on millions of dollars from America and other Christian countries.
For him, there is no doubt that large number of conversions have taken place all over India, accelerating in recent years, under the push of Western evangelical groups, especially among the poor in tribal areas, but also in rural and urban areas, where they are easy targets.
At the same time, he believes that if a Hindu leader raises his voice against conversions, he is targeted. To counter this, Hindus should form an electoral front if they want to secure equal opportunities, enjoy equal rights and achieve the same right.
Yesterday, even Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lama criticised Christians for trying to convert people from other faiths.
However, the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians rejected such views. Speaking to AsiaNews, he noted that the Christian population was around 27,8 million people according to the 2011 census, or about 2.3 per cent of the Indian population.
“It is dangerous for a well-known and respected educationist to distort government data,” George warned. “This could push Hindus against the tiny Christian community in secular India.”
"Such a baseless statement by someone of Mr Pai's stature could be damaging to the nation's social fabric and could trigger anti-Christian feelings," he added.
Even Indian President Ram Nath Kovind acknowledged the role of Christians in society. “I must note that the Christian community, whose history in India goes back 2,000 years and which has contributed so much to our shared culture, has carved a special role for itself in education,” he said on 20 September.
“Missionary institutions,” he added, “have become symbols of scholarship, dedicated teaching and academic excellence."