Cultural history project in India could pave the way for Hindu nationalism

By April 25, 2018

India (MNN) — A subtle move by India’s government may be setting the stage for Hindu nationalism.

An investigative report by Reuters last month discovered the Indian government has subtly appointed a committee to rewrite the history of India. The committee’s goal is to show that Hindus today are descended from India’s earliest inhabitants and prove that Hindu scriptures are factual.

This project would essentially dispute India’s multicultural history. Also, by connecting today’s Hindu society with India’s earliest inhabitants, Hindu nationalists could make the argument that the nation must return to its roots.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigning for the BJP. (Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera English via Flickr under Creative Commons License |

David Curry, President and CEO of Open Doors USA, explains that it would help lay the foundation for something the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always wanted — to make India a completely Hindu nation by 2021.

“In the last four years since…Prime Minister Modi has taken hold, you’ve had the BJP party — which is his political party — have an agenda of radical Hinduism. And essentially what they’re saying to the nation is, ‘We’re going to make the entire country Hindu.’”

If the BJP has their way, Indian Christians and Muslims would be forced to convert to Hinduism or leave the country.

“It’s just a lever they want to use to continue to teach schoolchildren and others to essentially be exclusive to the Hindu faith…. This is people who are trying to use government money to brainwash a society into one particular faith and force Christians to be Hindu or force them out.”

The rising persecution of India’s religious minorities in recent years is well-tracked. Open Doors records the top 50 countries with the worst Christian persecution on their annual World Watch List. This past year, India rose from number 21 to now the 11th worst country for persecution of Christians.

“We have this idea of India as peaceful, as Gandhi, as all these kinds of things. But they now have changed. They have forced out [an NGO] because of their Christian faith, even though they were doing tremendous work there, and they [did] the same to Compassion International. They are seeking to push out every Christian agency around and the people are going to be hurt by it because they are doing good, charitable work for the poor and the hungry and have for a long time,” Curry explains.

(Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA)

“It has shown in our World Watch List with hundreds of attacks on Christian churches and Christians, pastors being arrested, I have seen pictures when I was in India of pastors being chained to the wall of a jail. And why? Because they had a church. Because they were talking about Jesus and reading their Bible. India has changed in this regard.”

Curry suggests sanctions by the United States and other countries could have a positive impact on enforcing religious freedom values in India.

“India wants to be part of international trade. It’s fundamental to their economic growth. We need to say to them, ‘If you want the billions and trillions of dollars over the next few years of American trade money and government support, then you must respect the rights of Christian minorities and other religious minorities in India.’ It’s just as simple as that.”

You can also take action by joining Open Doors’ 30-day prayer campaign for India. Click here to download the India Prayer Journal with Open Doors!

“You can go online and get all the information about what to pray for on a weekly and monthly basis for India…. This isn’t something where we must sit by. We can be part of a solution.”

Please pray for Christians in India to be strong in their faithful witness of the Gospel, despite religious persecution. Ask God to open the eyes of Hindu nationalists to the truth in His Word.

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