Let me begin with a contemporary aphorism – Christians and Muslims, no matter where they are placed and what position they hold, will always serve their religious interests. Hindu intellectuals, politicians and judges in the thrall of Hindu “tolerance” will serve secularism, pluralism and the Indian Constitution, even at the cost of Hindu religious interests. C Umashankar, a Christian canker in IAS clothing is no exception to this rule. Umashankar has been on the radar of Hindu nationalists since 2011 when as Special Officer and Managing Director of Co-Optex he removed pictures of all Hindu gods and goddesses from his office citing some high court observation on the issue.
So what precisely was the observation made by the Madras High Court? Justice Ibrahim Khalifulla now elevated to the Supreme Court from ordinary judge in the Madras High Court to Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, had observed in the course of some trial in the Madras High Court that in the best interests of secularism government offices should be free of all religious symbols.
When our judges – Hindus, Christians and Muslims, exemplifying the opening aphorism, make sweeping statements about secularism and other self-serving Christian political virtues like pluralism and freedom of expression or freedom of religion and conscience in court, en passant, but not amounting to an order, or when the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court in 2011 pronounced judgements ordering state governments to remove all places of religious worship which have “encroached” upon public roads, we can safely assume they are targeting only Hindu temples and Hindu religious sentiments. The end objective of these exercises is to de-Hinduise the country’s public spaces while at the same time doing nothing about the corresponding increasing visibility of the Abrahamic cults and their religious symbols; they also get to demonstrate their commitment to the country’s skewed definition of secularism.
Jumping at Justice Ibrahim Khalifulla’s observation, C Umashankar IAS saw an excellent opportunity to bare his Christian missionary fangs; and without losing another moment removed pictures of all Hindu gods from his office. Before I return to Umashankar the topic of this article, let me go back to Justice Ibrahim Khalifulla. Highly-placed sources in the Madras High Court told me that Khalifulla, who pontificated on the virtues of secularism, had asked for an air-conditioned prayer hall within the precincts of the Madras High Court, where Muslim judges and advocates could offer namaz on Fridays and during Ramzan. So, while secularism demands that government offices should be free of all Hindu religious symbols, the same secularism does not frown upon Muslim judges wanting a prayer hall inside the Madras High Court or upon a serving Christian IAS officer preaching and propagating (secular for religious conversion) the Christian cult, nor frown upon Christian padris and nuns spearheading the anti-Russian Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu. At one time the Madras High Court had at least three very senior Muslim judges – Justice MY Eqbal, now elevated to the Supreme Court (of course), Justice GM Akbar Ali, who retired in 2014 and Justice Ibrahim Khalifulla.
Umashankar’s School Leaving Certificate states Umashankar, who was known as Ashok in school, was a Christian by religion.
I know from personal experience that every Friday, all Muslim judges rose from their judicial bench at 12.30 PM, one hour ahead of lunch break at 1.30 PM, to offer Friday namaz. And this was happening right under the secular nose of successive state and central governments. As prone to making freewheeling insulting observations in court as Justice Ibrahim Khalifulla, Justice Markandey Katju and Justice KG Balakrishnan was former Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Justice MY Eqbal.
In the course of the hearing on my PIL asking the court to instruct the Chennai Corporation to stop demolishing Hindu street temples, especially one temple sitting under a majestic Banyan tree which is protected under the law, Justice MY Eqbal observed nastily: “First you will build one room and call it temple; then you will build a bedroom and then a kitchen….” The judge did not include this offensive observation about Hindu street temples in the final order, but the totally un-called for anti-Hindu observation was made in open court.
- When Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat, when Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi as Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu demolished Hindu street temples,
- When Leela Samson removed all Hindu murtis from around the Kalakshetra Foundation campus,
- When Leela Samson allowed CBFC to pass anti-Hindu movies like PK and other explicitly anti-Hindu scenes in several other Hindi films while at the same time editing and removing scenes which offended Christian and Muslim sensibilities,
- When C Umashankar IAS removed pictures of Hindu deities from the Co-optex office,
- When Justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik ordered the vaults of the Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple to be broken open,
- When the Allahabad High Court with scant respect for the sanctity of the birthplace of Srirama broke up the Ramjanmabhumi into three parts and gave away one part to Muslims,
- When Justice Markandey Katju made this comment in the Supreme Court from a three member bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, hearing a petition filed in the Supreme Court by Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Orissa. “If your government is unable to protect minorities, then you quit office. We can’t tolerate persecution of religious minorities. If your government cannot control such incidents, then quit office”,
- When in November 2012 Madurai District Collector Anshul Mishra took exception to a homam performed to ward off dengue in the Vana Bhadra Kaliamman Temple located inside the Madurai General hospital on the grounds that this was a “mindless event” (by implication violating Nehru’s scientific temper; what Anshul Mishra did not know was that Gandhi was of the opinion that ramanama could cure malaria) and that he would conduct an enquiry and take action against those responsible for the homam, (http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/article1353580.ece)
- When Justice Markandey Katju as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court observed –
“That the Muslims in the village were entitled to take the bodies of the dead through public streets (in this case through temple land belonging to harijans of the village). The authorities should ensure that there were no communal clashes or disturbance of public order by any one.‘Whoever tries to create communal tension or ill-will must be dealt with, with an iron hand in accordance with law, including the relevant provisions of the IPC, Cr.PC and other penal statutes”, the Bench said.The Bench also observed that India was a free, democratic and secular country. People of all religions, castes and communities were equal under the Constitution, vide Articles 14 to 18 and they had a right to freely practice their religion, vide Article 25.”
“India does not belong to the Hindus alone. It belongs equally to Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Jews and all are equal before the law, the Madras High Court has observed.”
“It is not that the Hindus can live in this country as first rate citizens while others can live only as second rate citizens. In our country all citizens are entitled to live as first rate citizens,” the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Markandey Katju and Justice FM Kalifulla observed while allowing a Public Interest Litigation on Friday.”
“Hence the only policy which will work in our country, hold it together and take us to the path of prosperity is the policy of secularism and equal respect to all communities. This was the path shown to us by our great emperors Ashoka and Akbar, who gave equal respect to all religions and communities,” the Bench said and added that without such a policy India as a democracy could not survive for long.” (The New Indian Express, July 16, 2005, page 4, “Give all sections due respect: HC –
- When Issac Mohanlal, the Christian President of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association or MMBA issued a notification in 2013 that Ayudha Pooja during Navratri cannot be celebrated within High Court premises,
they all exemplified the opening aphorism. All worthies named so far, including C Umashankar IAS sprout and flourish without resistance in this fertile anti-Hindu secular soil.
The case against C Umashankar IAS
- C Umashakar, a serving IAS officer in Tamil Nadu, is a practicing Christian.
- Umashankar regularly conducts Christian prayer meetings in churches and also private prayer meetings in houses of Christians and gullible, vulnerable non-Christian houses.
- On January 16, 2015 Umashankar was scheduled to conduct a private prayer meeting in a house in Pudukadai village, Kanyakumari, and another prayer meeting in a local church.
- Several Hindus in the village with the help of Hindu organizations lodged a protest with the police who refused Umashankar permission for both prayer meetings.
- Refusing to obey police orders, the local church went ahead with plans to conduct the prayer meeting.
- Confronted by a worsening law and order situation in the village, the police entered the church and dispersed the gathering.
- C Umashankar with the imperviousness of all Christian missionaries to public outrage and anger against their proselytising activities, announced his intention to conduct prayer meetings in several places in the three districts of Tirunelvelli, Toothukudi and Kanyakumari between January 24-26
- Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan’s letter to C Umashankar IAS on January 24 said violating the government direction would invite disciplinary action against him under relevant provisions of the All India Services (conduct) Rules, 1968, and the All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969.
Umashankar’s half-truths and barefaced lies
- The Constitution allows me right to freedom of speech and freedom religion.
- I am a Hindu and I love Jesus.
- My father belongs to the pallar (scheduled) caste. [Umashankar said his Dalit father and his mother, who belonged to a fairly rich intermediary caste, when faced by the wrath of the village after their “inter-caste marriage” fled Palayamkottai after they married]
- I am spreading the word of Jesus just like I did for open-source software Linux or Ubuntu. What is wrong with that? I am not Christian. I am a disciple of Jesus.
- This is not religion. This is spiritual discourse.
- There is nothing in the book (All India Services (conduct) Rules, 1968, and the All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969) that says I cannot propagate. Besides, there is only a thin line between preaching and propagation. How it is received depends on the nature of the audience.
- Switch on your television in the morning and you will find many bureaucrats giving discourses on the Bhagawad Gita, so why can’t I preach?
- I was the collector of Thiruvarur, which has the second biggest temple in the state. I was the first to draw the temple chariot for two years. I was given that honour as I was the collector. Why didn’t anyone object to my participating in a temple event then? Why are they protesting now? I am not doing anything wrong.
- In 2008 Umashankar unearthed a scam following which he was transferred. “I was depressed. Then I heard Jesus for the first time. It was this [political] system that changed my faith and now I am peaceful.”
Umashankar has been on the radar of Hindu nationalists since 2011 when as Special Officer and Managing Director of Co-Optex he removed pictures of all Hindu gods and goddesses from his office
But the fact of the matter is…
Umashankar’s father may be a scheduled caste Hindu but his mother is a Christian from another caste. Their marriage is not simply an inter-caste marriage as is always made out to be whenever such inter-caste marriages take place in Tamil Nadu, and as is made out to be by Umashankar himself when he wants to play the persecuted dalit card, but an inter-religious marriage where one spouse is Christian. Umashankar’s Christian mother raised him as a Christian for the first twenty years of his life. This too is always the case when one spouse is Christian. In all inter-religious marriages where one spouse, man or woman is Christian, the children are always raised as Christians; and if the man is Muslim, even in high-profile inter-religious marriages of the rich and the famous, the Hindu wife begets only Muslim children. This is the story of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra too.
Robert Vadra’s father Rajendra Vadra was Hindu who married a White Christian woman of Scottish origin. It is not clear if Rajendra Vadra converted to Christianity to marry the Christian woman, but he did have three children and all of them were raised as Christians with Christian names. In C Umashankar’s case too, we do not know if the father remained a Hindu or if he converted to Christianity to marry the Christian woman but nevertheless retained his Hindu identity to avail of government benefits reserved for Hindu scheduled castes. But Umashankar’s School Leaving Certificate states Umashankar, who was known as Ashok in school, was a Christian by religion. This means Umashankar, aka Ashok was raised by his mother as a Christian and he remained a Christian all his school-going years. In February 1984, when Ashok was 20 years old and looking towards higher education and then a job, Ashok’s father ‘reconverted’ him to Hinduism, changed his name to Umashankar and two months later notified the change in name and religion in the government gazette.
When Pope John Paul II came to India in November 1999, during Deepavalli and declared with typical Christian arrogance and insensitivity that he will plant the cross in Asia in the third millennium, he was only re-stating the missionary nature of all churches as proclaimed by Ad Gentes.
C Umashankar was now eligible for all reservations in education and employment constitutionally guaranteed only to scheduled caste Hindus. Ashok could not have availed of these benefits and perhaps may not have been inducted into the IAS had he remained a Christian. So when C Umashankar claims he is a Hindu who loves Jesus, who is a disciple of Jesus and that he heard Jesus for the first time in 2008 when he was “depressed” because he had been transferred for the nth time, C Umashankar was lying through his Christian teeth.
Christian missionary end objective and modus operandi
- C Umashankar’s activism to proselytise for the Christian cult as a serving IAS officer in Tamil Nadu serves several deeply embedded purposes:
- Use his IAS status to give Christian missionary activism high-profile publicity
- Use his half-dalit identity to play the persecuted dalit card for domestic and international consumption
- Use his Christian prayer meetings and screaming congregations to introduce a new idiom in political discourse – if Christian prayer meetings cannot be visible and loud, then do not permit Hindus to gather to sing bhajans
- If a serving IAS officer cannot preach and propagate the Christian cult and the word of Jesus, then serving Hindu bureaucrats also should not be permitted to give public discourses in Bhagwad Gita, Ramayana, Ramanuja, Dvaita or Advaita
- Use Hindu resistance to aggressive proselytising by the Church to scream ‘persecution’ and force the issue into some court where the Abrahamic cults stand a good chance to do portfolio management and get a ‘secular’ judge to pass yet another anti-Hindu judgment
The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) emphatically asserted that the Church is Missionary by nature. As the Second Vatican Council drew to a close in December 1965, the Vatican issued its most aggressive conciliar document which detailed the existential purpose of the Church – Decree Ad Gentes: On the Mission Activity of the Church. The opening paragraph said it all:
- Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them “a universal sacrament of salvation,”(1) the Church, driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder (cf. Mark 16:16), strives ever to proclaim the Gospel to all men. The Apostles themselves, on whom the Church was founded, following in the footsteps of Christ, “preached the word of truth and begot churches.” (2) It is the duty of their successors to make this task endure “so that the word of God may run and be glorified (2 Thess. 3:1) and the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world.
The Vatican has made its intentions clear in unambiguous language. United Nations Organization, Globalization of the world economy, IMF, World Bank, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Pentagon and US State Department, NATO, EU, white Christian government agencies like USAID and DFID, foreign governments funding their own aggressive and intrusive think tanks like Brookings Institute, Rand Corporation, Stratfor, global finding agencies like Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation funding Indian think-tanks, NGOs and even politicians across the political spectrum – they are all instruments crafted towards this objective – the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world. When Pope John Paul II came to India in November 1999, during Deepavalli and declared with typical Christian arrogance and insensitivity that he will plant the cross in Asia in the third millennium, he was only re-stating the missionary nature of all churches as proclaimed by Ad Gentes.
The threat posed by C Umashankar, a piddly little man with towering ambitions, is not piddly if one realizes that he gets his destructive powers from all those who exemplify the opening aphorism but primarily from the English print and electronic media and the country’s judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court. So long as the Christian cult and all its churches, irrespective of their denominations old and new, assert that religious conversion is the core of their cult and to work to establish the kingdom of their god on earth is the end objective (pun intended) of all churches and all Christians, then every form of resistance to the church’s agenda is legitimate. This is a war of survival – the survival of Hindus and the Hindu religion on Hindu bhumi. India is Hindu Rashtra and every Hindu must be a soldier on the street when faced by aggressive and in-your-face Christian religious symbols and activity; every Hindu must strive only to put in place a Hindu Rajya which will be the ultimate protector of the Hindu identity and Hindu character of this nation. Until the country gets a Hindu Rajya to protect him and his way of life, every Hindu must fight for his survival with any and every means.
When the core objective of the Christian cult is to convert non-Christians to Christianity and if this cancerous cult can receive foreign funds to lure and bribe converts from among Hindus and tribal peoples and use foreign money to buy supporters in important institutions, then prayer meetings is not Hindu bhajans and to preach and propagate is not freedom of religion and conscience. Then Christianity is a war against non-Christians and Christian prayer meetings, prayer houses, churches and the Christian people are weapons of war. Hindu intellectuals should resist every attempt by the predators and their domestic supporters to equate Hindus and Hinduism with the Abrahamic cults, Christians and Muslims. If America and Europe are rejecting pluralism and are insisting on discussing what it means to be American, British, French and Australian, Hindus insist that in this zero sum game, Hindus cannot allow preaching and propagation if the line dividing preaching from propagation is thin as Umashankar states with such smugness and when there is no dividing line at all between propagation and proselytising.
Hindus should begin by showing Barack Obama his standing among political Hindus when he declared in his Breakfast Prayer Meeting in Washington that the spate of recent acts of religious intolerance would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. Let me be the first to start. First Gandhi is not my idol and Gandhi does not define the Hindu nation. Second. Arun Jaitley does not speak for me when he responded to “Barack”s insolence with the observation that these are aberrations to the general rule of famed Hindu tolerance. These are not aberrations; this is resurgent Hindu resistance to the war being waged against them by the well-organized and all-powerful Generic Church of which America is the most potent weapon.
Radha Rajan is a Chennai-based political analyst. She is also author and animal activist.