CHENNAI: Controversies such as the aborted Aligarh mass conversion deserve criticism and the politics behind it abhorred for it is creating fissures in the nation’s religious harmony, Church of South India Moderator Rev. Govada Dyvasirvadam said on Wednesday.
Speaking to Express at an event celebrating the legacy of Dalit and tribal arts, he said every Indian is free to embrace the faith which he/she believes in.
“Most Christians in this nation are a product of group conversions conducted by missionaries who arrived in these shores several centuries earlier. So, we are not against conversion,” the leader of the CSI said.
“But instances like Aligarh seem deliberately magnified by political outfits and such things deserve criticism,” he added.
According to him the controversy with respect to the status of Bhagvad Gita was unnecessary.
“Hindus have lived by the book for the last 2000 years or so as it incorporates Lord Krishna’s teachings. To now artificially inflate a non-existent issue, is an attempt to create fission in the nation’s religious harmony,” he said, adding that local political leadership could leverage the issue for political mileage.
The cultural event which saw participation of Dalit artists from all over South India was aimed at calling the attention of dominant communities to acknowledge the richness of the traditions of the marginalised communities, faced with the threat of extinction. Administrative Secretary of CSI Madras Diocese, Rev. Devaputhiran said regretted the traditional forms of art losing ground. Drawing similarities to the situation of Dalits in the country with the ugly duckling fairy tale, he said the birth of Jesus and the arrival of missionaries brought liberation to the oppressed people.
“Dalits, who were until then treated as the ugly duckling, grew into a beautiful swan and are flying high,” he said.