Leaving home and coming back to it defines human history in a nutshell, if one is alluding to the physical act of going home or away from it for whatever reasons. The going away (or taking one away) from one’s ancestral traditions and culture followed by an explicit expression of repudiation has also become a fixed feature in human history for the last 2000 years all over the earth. India along with few of its neighbours has become a singular and lone region on the planet, which still harbours ancestral traditions as they have been since time immemorial.
As the only nation with an unbroken heritage, India remains the only country with an ancient scientific, cultural and philosophical tradition that goes back a few thousand years. It is not because other regions and nations on earth did not have such knowledge or approach, but people in those countries came to be converted or annihilated, their cultural heritage spurned and spiritual icons shattered, and they had to leave their ancestral traditions, most of them under the pain of death, to join one or another “religious” sect. Upon obtaining a membership in the new community of converts, they also altered their dietary habits, methods of worship and above all their worldview. In ancient Hindu parlance, in their converted new worldview, reason and intuition gave way to stark superstition.
There is still nearly 80 percent of Indians who have not converted from their native traditions. Why didn’t India follow the rest of the world and get converted? Answering that question comprehensively necessitates a whole essay, or even a book, and will have to wait. However one obvious reason was the resilient fortress of the jati system that prevented people from becoming easy prey for conversions by the pain of excommunication from their jati, which also meant loss of trade, livelihood, property and a social base. The first vocational schools in Kerala were set up by missionaries from Europe, apparently to rehabilitate potential converts, without which apparatus, their efforts were proving to be too expensive and futile. The missionaries began to attack the caste system once they came to know what was holding the Hindus back from becoming their victims. This was countered by Hindu leaders like Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Narayana Guru who challenged the conversions by undermining the caste system.
Today the caste system is in its final throes and legally propped up only for the wrong reasons. Efforts still continue in India, mostly financed by converts of other countries, to convert the remaining people of India who still follow their ancestral traditions. And missionaries are finding new ways for conversions, such as “inter-religious dialogues”. It is in these circumstances that the ghar wapsi (homecoming) movement was reintroduced by certain Hindu groups.
Conversion and ghar wapsi
In the wake of the ghar wapsi of 57 Muslim families in Agra (8 December 2014) and the pseudo-secular ire in Parliament, the so-called mainstream media made it out as if ghar wapsi was the ultimate in inter-religious offence. In the side lines some routine conversions to Christianity that are not at all newsworthy in normal times also made news. Whereas ghar wapsi was generally reported as “conversion” of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism, the conversion to Christianity of Hindus was reported in some media as “adoption of Christianity”. Whether you call it conversion or adoption, ghar wapsi doesn’t happen without it. So, before we look at ghar wapsi, we have to first ask: what is conversion here and what activates it?
What is the motivation for conversion? How did it originate? Is it a natural phenomenon? Is it okay to convert? Once converted, is it okay to revert? These issues don’t figure in the current debates about conversion or reversion, but are treated predominantly in the backdrop of vote-bank politics. This essay goes into the details of conversion, on which the ghar wapsi is based.
In the final analysis, ghar wapsi is a more sensible, if not the only sensible response for converts, than continuing with the conversion. To begin with, if conversion is natural, reversion is also natural. Because it follows that if the objective of conversion is not achieved or satisfied by conversion, reversion is a natural response, just like a consumer item is returned or spurned if it doesn’t fulfil the promise at purchase. So, if conversion (adoption of a new worldview with simultaneous repudiation of the old) is a fundamental right, reversion (rejection of a subscribed worldview) is also a fundamental right. Even if a conversion is unnatural, it is all the more natural to revert, or as most poetically said, the homecoming, or ghar wapsi. Moreover this an inevitable phenomenon not only in India, but wherever conversions have taken place. It is only a natural phenomenon that those who have gone away from home will also want to come back home again.
India along with few of its neighbours has become a singular and lone region on the planet, which still harbours ancestral traditions as they have been since time immemorial.
To summarise, conversions are an aberrance in the biological scheme of human life so far as it is destructive to the individual, society and the planet. Conversions are the realisation of a fictitious enterprise by accident or design, which is particularly dangerous for the human species and in this way for the whole planet. As such, ghar wapsi is the only solution to save the species and the planet from certain destruction, which conversion triggers and propels as a necessary effect.
Origin of conversion
It all started in the Bible with the god character, the protagonist of the book, making a covenant with one Abram, a biblically significant, archetypal human character who appears early in the narrative [Genesis 15 & 17]. Responding to a persistent appeal from the god and following instructions, Abram offers the first animal sacrifice for this god [Genesis 15:9-10] and also cuts his foreskin. By the covenant, in return of worship he gets a new name ‘Abraham’ and a promise of land and everything in it held by others.
In this way, the biblical god gained the first convert in the form of Abraham, in exchange of promised “everlasting” material gains in the form of the ancient pastures of Palestine. The god tells Abraham that the covenant extends for all time to all his descendants (whom he had earlier promised in profusion – Genesis 15:5). Time passes by in the narrative and Abraham is gone and several prophets arrive on the scene and the god makes covenants with some of them, the primary among them being Moses, who is supposed to have written the book.
In due course of time, some of Abraham’s conceptual descendants split from the historical folk (Jews) by proclaiming another intervention by Abraham’s god (through Virgin Mary), which is narrated in the New Testament of the so-called Christians. Another offshoot emerged after few centuries from a group who claimed ancestry from the Bible, from the son of Abraham and Hagar, Ismail (Ishmael), and became manifest in the Quran and Islam.
For the Jews (who originally carried the book of Moses), the covenant with god was exclusively for their own kind. They had no mandate to extend the covenant to non-Jews. Even according to part of the New Testament, Jesus the Jew preached exclusively to the Jews. The Jews had no evangelisation programmes or jihad against non-Jews. All the murder and mayhem were hitherto performed solely by the god and his prophets and confined to the book of Moses. This changed with the advent of Christianity and Islam.
The covenant of Abraham’s god was now extended not only to Jews but for all “mankind” and Jesus became the “mediator of a new covenant” [Hebrews 12:24]. What was hitherto applicable only to Jews was extended to all others, with the god’s mandate expanding without limits to encompass all humanity, even at the pain of death. Christians have the “great commission” [Matthew 28:16-20] to convert the world into Christians. The Quran tells in no uncertain terms that “Muslims are commanded to fight unbelievers until they are either dead, converted to Islam, or in a permanent state of subjugation under Muslim domination. Allowing people of other faiths to live and worship independently of Islamic rule is not an option”.
Scriptural dynamics behind conversion
Thus the covenants didn’t stop with Abraham and Moses, but extended through Jesus to Mohammed, who is proclaimed as the last prophet. The covenant with Abraham governs that the pact has to be made and confirmed by every descendant of Abraham by an act of conversion, presumably because the pact has no organic (genetic) basis. This is strictly observed by all of Abraham’s ideological descendants. Hence every child of a convert needs to be converted soon after its birth (8 days from birth originally).
The conversion ceremony is very important for the children of Abraham because the ancestor’s conversion and his covenant with the god is NOT naturally transferred to his descendants through lineage. It has to be renewed by every new-born by the act of conversion (baptism or circumcision) undertaken when young, as young as possible, so that no questions are raised about the purpose and meaning of the conversion. The success in the number of converts to these two religions lies in the conversion of the very young before rationality develops.
Christians consider fulfilling the “great commission” of converting non-Christians the world over to Christianity as the true mandate from their god, and doing so is considered a great virtue that will be, according to Christian belief, rewarded greatly in the afterlife, if not in this life. For this reason, Christians have been extremely devious, deceptive and violent in propagating their faith and converting non-Christians all over the world and achieving success mostly through coercion and aggression.
The archetypal conversion of Abraham is being realised in history through mass conversions of Christians and Muslims worldwide. In reality, a fictitious covenant is being perpetuated by the ideological descendants of Abraham through the conversions, the success of which rests solely on the straightforward brainwashing of their captive victims at a tender age.
It would be virtually impossible for a modern adult human being with a sound mind to voluntarily accept the covenant of Abraham and perpetuate it himself or herself, and without coercion or unseemly persuasion from someone without ulterior motives. It ultimately means that for an adult human with a fully developed intellect, conversion to the Abrahamic faith would be no option without material gains in the background. The scriptural dynamics provides for the material benefit. It is symbolised in the book of Moses by the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, which is identified as Palestine. Whether Abram would have converted without the promise of Palestine is a question that doesn’t bother Abraham’s children, because for them material benefits are at the forefront of religion, not only in this life but in the afterlife as well.
The only motivation behind the scriptural, archetypal conversion of Abraham is material. In the New Testament of the Christians, the Promised Land transforms into the “Kingdom of Heaven”, which is supposed to materialise after one’s death. And Jesus the Doomsday prophet of the New Testament preaches poverty, both material and spiritual, in this life in order to get material benefits in the afterlife [Matthew 5:3]. A parallel can also be found in the Quran, promising ultimate material rewards in the afterlife [Quran 56:17-24 and 35-38].
The symbolic act of conversion, baptism or circumcision, is followed by the regular and constant brainwashing of the young victims in both religions. The Christians have a rite of initiation called “confirmation”, usually led by a bishop and carried out in a cathedral. For major sects like Catholics and Anglicans, the ritual signals the full membership of the convert in the church. Preceding the confirmation, each child has to learn by rote the basic tenets of their faith and prove its knowledge before a priest assigned for the purpose. Though none of the candidates fail the test, they are made to repeat by rote several times the Apostle’s Creed (Book of Common Prayer) or some such texts. In a young mind, the base and for the most part untrue statements uttered in rote form a foundational worldview that is difficult to overcome in adult life. Sticking to the irrational without relenting to common sense (that is, adhering to superstition) is glorified as the supreme virtue, which most of the brainwashed victims follow like nose-ringed cattle.
Another scriptural mechanism that additionally drives the Christian evangelisation is the prerequisite for the second coming of “Christ” or the Doomsday. Every true (active) Christian is looking forward to that day when every individual “soul” will stand before Abraham’s god to be judged and the earth completely destroyed. But this day will come, according to the Christian Scripture, only when “all nations of the earth” have converted [Matthew 24:14].
Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. – Lord Byron
Thus the biblical dynamics play a major role in the inorganic god portrayed in the book undergoing a seemingly organic evolution, prompting Abraham’s mutated descendants to work overtime century after century, converting every child of every convert before it could cogently question its rationale.
The nature of conversion
Those who follow Abraham’s god have left no avenues unexplored to provide make-believe reasons for conversion to their god and religion. For Christians and Muslims, conversion to these faiths by baptism or circumcision is enough to secure the professed welfare in this life and afterlife. Whereas innocent children of converts are sitting ducks for the automatic conversion, non-Abrahamic people are natural prey for these predatory religions.
In olden times and in archaic cultures, outright aggression, coercion and open persuasion through devious means were and are still employed by fervent professionals of the numerous sects that comprise Christians and Muslims. In modern societies, organised Christian sects (the big multinational churches) advance their ulterior agenda in the guise of social services, exerting pressure at the right social levels through the fields of education and medical care.
A web research on modern-day evangelisation and jihad shows that active Muslims (Islamists) inflict 90% physical and 10% psychological violence against non-believers, and the Christian missionaries inflict 90% psychological and 10% physical violence against non-Christians. A student of Christian conversion history would know that absolute violence was the primary means used to convert Europe and the Americas and countless ethnic groups have been decimated for defying the conversions.
Since the inception of these two religions roughly 1800 and 1300 years ago respectively, the combined strength of Christians and Muslims have grown to 55% of the world population today. The adherents of these religions, as a rule, are all under a psychic spell from the childhood brainwashing (conversion) and are conditioned to close their minds to anything that opposes their fantastic worldview. Even when the adherents get modern scientific knowledge, their own worldviews are rarely questioned in a rational way, all thanks to the brainwashing in childhood.
The demographic spread of Christianity and Islam in the world today resembles a fast-spreading thought virus that is promoted by material means (reward and punishment) to host and then transmit via imitation and copying. There are many people in the western countries that are generally termed Christian countries by culture and who have all been converted in childhood, but who profess to have no faith in the Christian teachings and belief. There are also professional Christian preachers who preach the basic beliefs of the church they belong to, but don’t believe in the basic tenets of their own religion.
Despite this anomaly and the contradiction, the majority of such Christians transmit the “conversion” virus to the next generation by baptising their children and eventually making them full members of the church. But these victims are carriers of the thought virus and transmit it to the next generation. This also explains why professional evangelists are not bothered about the welfare of a new convert once the idea of the covenant has been transmitted to the second generation. A Christian evangelist in the US once remarked to this writer personally in so many words that from the point of view of her “faith” it doesn’t matter whether one has lost faith today (like many Europeans and Americans), but the fact that he or she was baptised once can get them into the exclusive heaven-bound club. This statement seems to reflect reality in the substrate, because the “non-believing” Christians nevertheless seem to transmit the subconscious covenant to the next generation even if it is dormant in themselves.
It follows that even if most in the exclusive club do not believe in the basic tenets of their faith, the bronze-age worldview remains intact and sustained, or unquestioned in the current generation that unwittingly transmit the entire scriptural dynamics through the “conversion” act to tender minds of the next generation. This unconscious act seems to be the subconscious upholding of the archaic covenant with their god. This is the primary result of childhood brainwashing. Even if their secondary psychological mechanism (reason) rejects the false worldview, their primary mechanism (subconscious) continues to carry the covenant with Abraham’s god. Their psyche seems to work on automatic mode with their spiritual enquiry button turned off. Apostates are threatened indeed by professionals with dire consequences in this life and the next. This factor also applies to Islam analogically and non-believing, but covenant-carrying Muslims are qualified by the phrase, “moderate Muslim”.
The nature of the conversion concept is such that once these two religions achieve a majority in a country through conversions, there is a decline in their fertility rates. The traditionally Christian countries in Europe are facing a crisis due to dwindling fertility rates. This is in sharp contrast to countries where these are a minority, like in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China. In these places, where there is a substantial number of non-Abrahamic people, the Muslim and Christian populations are increasing at the expense of the former. This phenomenon keeps in line with the scriptural objective of forcing the non-Abrahamic people to convert. And once it acquires the majority and the biblical worldview becomes politically dominant, the fertility rate stagnates or even comes down. The motivation of Abraham’s children to perpetuate themselves numerically dies with their achieving a critical mass, because the scripture signals to them that their spiritual objective has been achieved and that the Doomsday is near.
Meaning of conversion
First and foremost, conversion is an act of repudiation of one’s native spiritual and cultural tradition in exchange of material benefit. This is demonstrated by the archetypal, biblical conversion as well as the general conversions as they happen in today’s world. Even though the motivation is primarily material as discerned in the symbol of Palestine, the original native traditions at any time or place is simultaneously shown to be lacking by the biblical narrative. According to biblical logic, which has only the god’s word to start with, the native state of an individual is a defective condition, where sin and evil prevail as a natural characteristic. All goodness or virtue or truly ethical actions come exclusively from the god character in the Bible and hence people should convert. It is this superstition that make age-old missionaries and jihadis bold enough to stand up and proclaim Hindu gods and goddesses as devils and evil spirits and exhort Hindus to leave their native traditions.
However, studies have shown that human virtues and truly ethical actions are identical in any upbringing, even in those who are reared without any supervision by the biblical god, before or after the Bible’s appearance. This excludes any moral defect in the human gene and there is no evidence to support the biblical principle of “original sin” that is inherited by humans from birth and as such there is no necessity of a conversion for such a purpose.
But Abraham’s descendants who have been converted and have made religion their occupations strive to sustain and expand their subnormal mindscape by propagating the old conversion concept. An objective study of Christianity and Islam and their histories will demonstrate that all the converts do what they do by imitation and copying (without the exercise of reason), for which they expect material gains in this life and the next. The worldview espoused by them, per contra to human experience and reason, has disastrous consequences for the environment and ultimately for the sustenance of the human species, which is manifest in the Doomsday prophesy.
A man-made destruction of the earth is a very likely scenario without any direct intervention of Abraham’s god, if our planet were to become either completely Christian or Muslim or a combination of both through mass conversions. Scripturally the god has also issued a licence for Abraham’s children granting them the power over everything on earth [Genesis 1:28].
This biblical licence awarded to Abraham’s children to gain material wealth at the expense of nature and environment, besides the conversion or annihilation of non-Abrahamic people, reflects a primary motivation for conversion. Pope Alexander VI demonstrated the primary possession of this imaginary licence on 4 May 1493 by brokering the Treaty of Tordesillas between two Christian countries, Portugal and Spain. This treaty divided the unknown non-Christian land to the east and west of Europe between the two parties to the agreement. The pope’s strategy avoided a certain bloodbath between the two Christian nations indeed, but unleashed the material greed and savage force of the biblical dynamics against the natural pagan folk who populated most of the planet at that time.
This is the same biblical licence that the original Muslims in Arabia exercised for centuries in their onslaught against ancient cultures all around them, and the same ideology and tactics followed by the Islamic State in today’s Iraq and Syria. It is the archaic covenant of Abraham that is at work in the brain cells of the active children of Abraham.
The Bible is the story of the conquest of a god over all creation. His endeavour is to establish suzerainty over human beings and through them, over the environment and other life on the planet [Genesis 1:28] with the ultimate objective of destroying it completely [Deuteronomy 32:22 and Luke 12:49]. For Abraham’s active (professionals and enthusiasts) children, envisaging the final destruction of earth is a permanent reality, as if they condone their god’s ultimate agenda of destroying the earth and all other existence. Here, only the destruction of the earth is real, and the promise of afterlife is the mirage.
Coming back home
Now only less than 45% of the world population stands between the biblically induced complete destruction of the planet and an escape from a virulent malady that is currently leading the world to this ill-prophesied destiny. This also means, albeit theoretically, only 45% of the world population presently carry the original human reasoning and have a natural comprehensive worldview that is not in conflict with our experience, our fellow living beings and the general environment. It also means that 45% of humans haven’t left their homes yet or have already returned home.
The so-called moderate or inactive Christians and Muslims share the sensibility of the original non-Abrahamic 45 percent, but are carriers of the covenant concept and perpetuate the destructive thought virus by transmitting it to the next generation. This transmitted idea carries within it the seeds of violence and mayhem described in the Bible. The favourable response from various countries to the recruitment drive by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State from all levels of societies shows how the covenant virus gets activated by any event associated with a matter of faith. People like Mohammed Emwazi (Jihadi John) are the types that get activated by Abraham’s covenant with god and imitate their god’s biblical actions, killing non-believers just for what they are.
The active converts are plotting to set fire to the world in anticipation of their fictitious god once more and making him true, by condoning, following and propagating the act of conversions. Preparation for the Doomsday is what instigates Abraham’s active children to indulge in wanton vandalism and aggression, in blind imitation of the mind-boggling violence of their god depicted in the pages of the Bible. The brutal murder of Avijit Roy, the founder of the Mukto-Mona (free mind) blog site, in Bangladesh shows how terrified Abraham’s children are of the free mind. This free mind is our ancestral tradition that the converts repudiate and lose when they become Abraham’s children.
Coming home to a free mind is what ghar wapsi is all about, even if the people who organise it may not be acceptable to everyone. The free mind distinguishes itself by reason. And if conversion means the rejection of this reason, as is demonstrated by history, ghar wapsi of all converts must be promoted and encouraged by all nations for the welfare of all.
Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. – Lord Byron