Reprinting of a book depicting Jesus as a Tamil Hindu has stirred up a debate in Indian Christian circles. Many have taken to the streets to reject and protest against the idea.
The book ‘Christ Parichay’ by Ganesh Damodar Savarkar claims that Christianity is merely a sect of Hinduism.
Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay told Mid-Day, “There is an attempt to re-write history and draw us into controversy. Christianity is well-grounded and based on the person of Jesus, who without a doubt is a real person in history. The RSS is welcome to claim what they will; it doesn’t affect us. Our faith in Jesus is based on a personal encounter with Christ.”
The book, originally published in 1946, was re-published on February 26 by Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, a trust of the organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Author Savarkar was one of the founders of the organisation.
According to the author, Jesus came to India to study the Vedas, and became an expert in Yoga. He then returned to his country to preach the right path or religion. While preaching, he got involved in a political storm and was crucified, but miraculously escaped alive.
A petition on change.org calls for the book to be banned.
The book claims in another place that Jesus Christ was born Keshao Krishna in a Tamil Vishwakarma Brahmin family and Christianity is just a sect of Hinduism۔۔”We strongly condemn and demand for BAN full copy of book CHRIST PARICHAY written by BABARAO SAVARKAR elder brother of swatantra Veer SAVARKAR it will be republish on 26 feb2016 which was earlier written in 1946 but BAN for publication (sic),” the petition reads.
Members of Indian Christian community protested against the book. organised by the Hubballi Taluk Pastors and Christian Leaders’ Association.
The protesters marched from the premises of Basel Mission Church to Kittur Chennamma Circle and to the Mini Vidhana Soudha.
They held placards saying they would not tolerate attacks on Christian faith and attempts to discriminate between religious heads and faiths. There were also a few placards which said that the author of the book did not know what he was doing and an appeal to Jesus to pardon him. The protesters alleged that through the re-launch of the book, a deliberate attempt was being made to divide various communities.
They said that the religious beliefs of Christians were being attacked and an attempt was being made to divide society.
Muslims, for centuries have been presenting their own view of the Christian Jesus. According to the Muslim concept, Jesus (Eesa) was actually a Muslim who was not actually crucified but ascended to the sky alive.
Such attempts to modify and align Jesus’ life with the concepts of other religions only proves the influence that Jesus’ life and teachings hold on the minds of people following other faiths.