Name-Shri Dinkar Laxman
In 1906 I left my Furguson College to work in the National High School at Talegaon well-known as Samarth school. I was in the Inter class when I left the college. The school was abolished in 1910 by Government. In 1910 I went to Wal to study Sanskrit literature according to the old system. I spent there five years. I was then spreading the knowledge of Vedant, Philosophy and reciting Geeta to the public. During the first war I travelled from Badrinath to Rameshwar. I was studying at Benaras for six months, vedic literature. After the first world war, i.e., beginning of 1919 I went to America for study. I studied for four years in the California University to study economics and sociology and I got my M. A. Degree there. I fell ill with pleuracy. I returned to India in 1924. In 1946 to 1948 I was Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. I came to stay in Buldana in 1925 as the climatic conditions were suitable to me. Then I toured from Nagpur to Belgaum for lectures in sociology, economics and political theory. I joined congress in 1930 and took part in all the congress movements. I collected Rs. three lacs in Buldana district to start a T. B. Sanitorium. It is now Government’s hospital.
The Nazerene Church Mission is working in Buldana district. They were conducting school and now they have started a High School at Chikhli. To my knowledge they do not do any medical work. 'They have no independent orphanages but they have hostels attached to the Anglo-Vernacular Schools. I have heard Christian preachers both Indian and foreign preaching in the towns as well as in the church. I occasionally attend church services. In the church they do not decry Hindu or other religion. They preach only. But outside when they preach in villages they criticise their customs and Gods. They try to describe the Gods as worshipped by the Hindus derisively referring to their birth, their childhood and their life and contrasting them with the life of Jesus. In that way they try to impress the excellence of Jesus. I had been to villages for the last 15 years but I have not heard any preaching in villages because during this period I was a member of the assembly and was also in jail.
I attended many churches for services in America. There collections are made in several churches and sometimes they observe weeks styled such as China Week, India Week and the collections are made and this money is sent to other nations for spreading the message of Jesus and preaching.
I have come in close contact with the Mission work in India carried on not by Americans but also by other nations and I found that the prevalence of overtly and distress in India and the caste system affords a great deal of scope for the activities of Missionaries resulting in conversions. I have seen Mission hospitals also. Several of them are doing good service. I have seen such hospitals at Vellor, Miraj and Wai conducted by Missionaries. I was in the Vellor hospital and I found those patients who were willing to join prayers in the church were allowed to do but there was no compulsion on anybody to attend the service. In America the Government Universities do not give any religious instruction in colleges, but in private Universities, there is compulsory attendance on Sundays at Church services. In our country, I am of opinion that conversion should be registered after a declaration made before Magistrate. No man should be allowed to be converted unless he attains the age of 18 or 21. I am further of opinion that Primary education should not be in the hands of any religious body even including Hindus.
To Mr. Tiwari of Mungeli-
came twice in Buldana in 1924 but I made permanent residence in March 1926.
I used to go on my lecturing tour. round the Marathi-speaking part of the
country. I lectured on Geeta, Vedant and Political subjects.
I cannot lecture on Vedant here. I never said anything about Christianity
in my lecture. I cannot say exactly, but it is my impression that Nazerene
Mission might be working for 25 years before I came to Buldana. I cannot
say when the school at Chikhli was opened. I do not know of how many boys
and girls learn in the Chikhli Mission School. I had visited the
school. I cannot tell the names of teachers but they were some American
Missionaries. I had been there two or three times, twice before 1940
and once in 1947. My last visit may be in 1947 or 1948. After
that I did not go. Since then I cannot say anything about how the
school was conducted. I do not know whether any boys in that school were
converted to Christianity. I cannot say whether there was any conversion.
I must have heard the preaching of Christians 15 or 20 times. Before
1940 I heard preaching in Buldana, Dhad and other villages. I do
not exactly remember the words which were said against the Hindu Gods.
I cannot say the particular village but what I heard was that Krishna was
a thief, etc. Even now I hear sermons in the church but there is
no reference to any Hindu Gods or Goddesses or any other religion. I cannot
tell the names of preachers. I never made a report to police but
I have been hearing their prachars. The church collections are sent
from other countries to India. I do not know anything about Washim.
I do not know about any hospitals in our State. There is no provision
in the constitution about the declaration before the magistrate.
I am in favour of anybody changing his religion after he attains majority
but not before it. If this is not in the constitution then I think
it is a defect. Shivaji Education Society is not religious society.
They do often prayer to God but the prayers are not compulsory.
I am a mistress in Mission School, Chikhli. My pay is Rs. 95. I get my pay out of the mission funds received from America. I receive my salary through Principal James who is a foreigner. I teach according to the prescribed course. There are three Hindu boys. I never induce them to be Christians. The Bible is taught after the school hours. We do not compel Hindu girls to attend the class. There is no compulsion. The age of the girls ranges from six or seven to 12 to 13. It is not true that we entice Hindu boys with the promise of their marriage with Christian girls. Mr. James is a treasurer for the last two years. I have been in Chikhli for the last 14 years. The foreign Missionaries do not give money to me or any other person for the purpose of converting any non-Christian. The foreign Missionaries do not indulge in any objectionable activities but they serve only.
is primary and meant for Christians only, but some Hindu boys are also
admitted. Now the form is “Christi Dharma Shikshan Dilyas Mazhi Kahi
Harkat Nahi”. I have no objection (the headmaster, Shri Meshramkar also
agrees) if the words are like this “Mazhya Mulas Kristi Dharmache Shikshan
a convert from Mahar community at the age of 18 years. The preachers,
both foreign and Indian, were spreading the message “Suvarta”. I
was not offered any inducement of material gain. As Mahar I could
not dine with the Brahmin. They could not even allow me to come near
them. We were not allowed to take water out of the well nor were
we allowed to enter the temples of Hindus. We were treated like dogs
or other lower animals. There were no schools and the higher classes
would not allow us in their schools. When they told us about Jesus
Christ and his love for humanity we were impressed about Christianity and
we embraced Christianity. Before I became a Christian I saw that
the Christians were praying to one God and that regarded each other equally
and I used to join them in their devotion. I believed that Jesus
Christ was God. I have 12 or 13 acres of land. This was not
given by the Missionary as an inducement to become a Christian. I
purchased this land from a Fakir. Now there is perfect equality among
all Christians. Even a Brahmin Christian has no objection to enter
into marriage connections with Harijan Christians. The foreign Missionary
visits our village to preach in Church. He comes from Chikhli. The
Missionaries do not offer any inducement nor try to create disaffection.
a convert to Christianity before 15 years from the Mang caste No inducement
was offered to me when I became a Christian of money or any other material
gain. While I was Mang I was not allowed to enter into social intercourse
by the Hindu nor to enter the temples, nor to even out of their wells they
were not willing to draw water themselves and give it to us lest they may
be poluted. We used to get dirty water from puddles just as the animals
do. I learnt up to third Marathi. I did not prosecute my study because
I along with my caste students used to be segregated from other students
and no proper education was given. The Missionaries gave us instruction
in Christian religion and told us about the God and I was impressed by
the preaching and I knew that there was perfect sense of equality prevailing
in the Christian religion. I am now a labourer in my village. I am
employed by the Hindus and others. The Missionaries come to my village
to preach in Church. Missionaries do not offer any inducement to
people to become Christians. After convention there are now marriages
performed between members of Mang, Mahar or Maratha and no caste distinction
is observed in this respect.
Name-Shri Laxman Shrawan
I belong to Harijan caste of Mahar. I have been a social worker for nearly 35 years. I was trying to uplift my caste, i.e., Harijan people. For the last 35 years I have been conducting a hostel for the Harijans at Chikhli. It is mean for boys coming from the villages and for all castes. There is no school attached to this hostel. In my hostel there are Mangs, Mahars, Chamars and Marathas and Kunbis. It is known as Chokhamela Hostel. There are 35 boys in the hostel. There is no hostel for girls. The boys from my hostel do not go to Mission School but go to Government and other schools. Some boys from the Christian hostel come to my hostel and I admit them if only they have rot been converted. About 10 or 15 boys had come to my hostel seeking admission. I did not admit them because they were Christians, saying that the hostel was meant for Harijans only. I user to go round the villages preaching to my caste people to improve their mode of living, education and solving their difficulties, social or others.
In 1924 I remember that the Mahars who had embraced Christianity in Mehkar taluq were reconverted to Hinduism. I was M.L.A. from 1938 to 1942. I am now M.P. and I was also a member of the Constituent Assembly.
I have heard the preaching of Christian Missionaries, both foreign and Indians. Broadly it can be said that almost cent per cent of the Christian converts are drawn from the Harijan caste. It is because they are ignorant and poor and they were ill-treated by the Hindus. That afforded the scope activities of Missionaries to propagate their religion and convert these people.
It is well known that everyone has got a right to preach his religion and he has got full freedom to do so but while doing so he should not decry other religions. As among the Hindus there are also differences amongst the Christian such as Roman Catholics and Protestants. Roman Catholics worship idols whereas Protestants do not. The Christians believe that there is only one God and that he is superior to all other Gods. Even so it is wrong to attack any other religion because it has many Gods. Even among the Hindus some worship idols and some do not. To the best of my knowledge and experience there are very few people who change their religion out of conviction. As I have already said that the Harijans are poor and ignorant they are naturally induced to become Christians if they are offered the post of a preacher or teacher. The Mang caste was under surveillance under the Criminal Tribes Act. Generally they become converts in order to relieve themselves of the harassment by the police, and the Mangs are even now trying for exemption of the operation of the Criminal Tribes Act.
On the 14th of this month I happened to travel in the same compartment with Mr. Torkelson, a Missionary. In the course of our talk he admitted that there are some exceptional cases of inducement but that is not generally the rule. But he said that he resented such methods. The grievances of the Harijan community as regards their ill-treatment and other disabilities are now much less than what they were before. That may have checked conversion to some extent but there is a constant propaganda going on behalf of Christianity, attacking the Hindu religion and social customs and their object is only to secure conversion. I cannot say whether the rate of conversion has increased. The activities of Missionaries are confined mostly among the ignorant and poor people. The privileges which are given now to the Harijans are in many cases enjoyed by the Harijan converts under guise of being Harijan. Mr. Wickey, Member of Parliament, who represents the aboriginal areas, also complains that the privileges mostly go to the converted Christian aboriginals. Some Christian students do not disclose the fact of conversion and utilise the scholarships awarded to the Harijans by the Government of India for the Christian converts, suppressing the fact of their conversion. This practice ought to be stopped. It is on account of this that there may be a tendency on the part of Harijans to become Christians.
To the best of my knowledge and information the caste distinctions are observed in even Christian community. I am of opinion that a Mang would not inter-marry with Mahar.
To Mr. Tiwari-
I have been residing at Chikhli for the last 35 years. The hostel at Chikhli was established by the Depressed India Association. The president of that body is Pandharinath Sitaram Patil. I am the Manager of that body. I do not admit Christians whether they are converts from Mahar or from any other caste. I know Rajkumari Amrit Kaur who is Health Minister of Government of India. I do say that the concessions by the Government of India were given to Harijans and not to Christian converts. She had stated in the meeting of Indian Christians at Messi Hall in New Delhi as follows:-
I did not read any reference to this in the newspaper nor have I heard otherwise.
I am positive that the facilities in regard to scholarships were not given to the Christians. I am of opinion that poor Christians should get aid in matters of education from the Central Government. I cannot give the number of poor Christians in the Buldana district. As Akola and Buldana districts form my Constituency I must have toured over more than 300 villages. In these 300 villages there may be 10 or 15 villages where Christians reside. I might have met about 10 Christian converts, since I became a Member of Parliament. I enquired with 7 or 8 Christians as to the reason for change of religion. They said that they were poor and they were ill-treated by the Hindu society. They did not say, that they were offered any inducement. I said that if they were reverted to Hinduism they would get all facilities. These 'people belong to the village Mathla near Chikhli. I cannot remember the other villages from which Christians met me. This is an incident of 2 or 3 years ago. Primarily my work in the villages is in connection with the Congress. I had gone to attend the marriage ceremonies. I had gone to acquaint myself with the grievances of the people. I go there to address meetings. I am M.P. since 1952. I had heard about the Missionary activities even before 1952. I do not remember that Dr. Katju made any statement in Parliament. There was a discussion in Parliament on the report of Shri Shrikant, Commissioner of Scheduled Castes. There was no debate in Parliament on such matters like Jharkhand. Mostly I am present at all the Sessions. I was in favour of this Committee which was appointed by the State Government because the matter was not debated in the Parliament. Under the Constitution some special privileges should b given to Christians. I do not know how many Christians have been reconverted to Hindu religion. I have heard Christian preaching up to two years ago. In the course of their preaching, they often indulge in attack on Ram and Krishna. There is no Arya Samaj in Chikhli. I cannot say whether there is any Arya Samajist in Parliament. I have heard Arya Samajists. They also preach Hindu religion. They do not worship any idols. That is their religious persuation. I have read Satyarthprakash. There is mention of Jesus Christ in it. It is said that He is not the son of God. There is also criticism of idol worship and idol worship is not true devotion of God. There are some references to Ramayan and Vedant. It is the literates who are able to judge about religion. I cannot say that a man who becomes a Christian as a result of ill-treatment or social injustice, is incapable of judgment as to what is good.
be able to point out thousands who embraced Christianity that they were
poor. I have known these facts for 35 years. I know at least
500 out of these since 1947. As I said already I met about 1 0 persons
out of 500 during the last 2 years. I did not mention 1947 but what
I said was during the last 35 years I came across, from the facts that
most of the Christians are drawn from the poor Harijan class. If
necessary I can prove this. Mr. Torkelson is a Missionary at Delhi.
I do not know to what Mission he belongs. He himself gave me this
visiting card. He was going to Poona. He was talking to me
in English. I failed in the XIth class. I cannot speak English
fluently but I can follow it. Now the rate of conversion is decreasing
since the disabilities on the Harijans are removed. These concessions
are being given during the last 7 or 8 years. I cannot mention the
name of any individual from whom I learnt that caste system is observed
in Christian religion. I am of opinion that there should be inter-marriages.
I am a born Christian. I am a pastor in the Church of Manubai. I get Rs. 85 as pay. I get my pay from the treasurer, Shri Dongardive. Up to two years ago I used to preach and I used to say that I witnessed my faith in Jesus and that he was the only Saviour. No inducement is offered to make one Christian. We do not attack Hindu religion or other religion. Foreign Missionaries do not preach among the non-Christians but come to Church to deliver sermon. The Christian Missionaries do not try to alienate the minds of the Indian Christians from their allegiance to Government. They want on the other hand to encourage us to be patriotic, to wear India-made clothes and be loyal to our country.
I have been a preacher for
the last 25 years.
Name-Rev. Rassel Gophane.
I am pastor of the Church of Nazerene in my village. I instruct my congregation in the doctrines of Christian Church. I also preach to the non-Christians. I offer no inducement. I do not refer to any other religions, but tell them about the life of Jesus. I get Rs. 60 from the treasurer, Shri Dongardive. I believe strongly that no Christian Missionary will ever offer any inducement to secure conversion. It is not true that the Missionaries spread disaffection amongst the people against the Government. I am pastor for ten years.
I mean Parameshwar although this word is a Hindu, still I think that my
God is a living God. Hindus have a dead God. I believe that
even after crucification Jesus Christ physically lived. Jesus Christ
was the son of Jehovah sent by him.
I am a teacher in the Hindi Nazerene Mission School at Chikhli. I get Rs. 114 including compensatory cost of living allowance per month. I am a Hindu Brahmin. I never became a Christian. I know the foreign Missionaries there, viz., Mr. James and Mr. Lee. There are two or three Hindu boys in the school. No Missionary tells Hindu boys that they should become Christians. I never saw any Christian Missionary talking against the Government. I have been there since ten years. I believe that they will not harm any Government.
125 boys are Christians in Middle School and about five or six boys are
I was a member of the Local Legislative Council from 1923 to 1937 with a break of four years. I have been practising here for the last 35 years. Now I have ceased practising. I have never come in contact with Christian Missionary like Mr. James or Mr. Lee. In 1914, I was building my house, a foreign Missionary came and criticised my building structure for the Tulsi plant.
In my opinion registration of conversion should fall under the expression Vital Statistics occurring in list 3 schedule 7.
To Mr. Tiwari-
not come in contact with foreign Missionary. I have not visited any
school or institution. Whatever I have said is correct.
Name-Shri V. K. Soman.
About two years ago the Missionaries invited the people over the loudspeaker to listen attentatively to what they were going to say. They said that the Hindus were idolators and that people should not be led away by their Gods who are worshipped by the Hindus generally. Such a propaganda was going on for five or six days. Then a complaint was preferred to the police which resulted in stopping the propaganda.
To Mr. Tiwari-
were fixed in trees. The tree is in middle of the weekly market.
My house may be about 200 or 300 steps away. This was about 8 or
9 p.m. at night. It is not true that I was ill two years ago.
There was one American Missionary. He attracted about 50 persons
on the spot. I went alone to the place. I sat there for five or ten
minutes. They were comparing Hindu and Christian religions but I
cannot give the particulars. It is not possible to recollect at this
time. What I clearly remember is that they were describing Hindus
as idol worshippers. I did not go to make the report to the police
but I was told that a report was made. I gave the advice as the people
came to me to make a report to Police. It was on my advice that a
report was made to the Police. I do not know the name who at my instance
reported the matter. I do not remember the date, but it was 1953.
Name-Shri Luther Manmothe.
I am Christian by birth. I know Shri Soman. I know him for the last 18 years. It was not in 1953 but in 1951 that there was preaching done through Missionary and through loudspeaker. Mr. Greer was addressing the people. Mr. Greer was never in the habit of indulging in attack on other religion. This loudspeaker address was in the bazar. I read a report about this incident ill “Maharashtra”. What I read was that a Missionary was preaching Christian religion with the aid of loudspeaker.
I am a pastor in Mehkar Church. I get Rs. 81 as pay per month from the Church fund. I am there for four years. From 1938 to 1943 I was at Mehkar then I was transferred to other place and now I am again transferred to Mehkar, for the last four years. I was at Washim for four years. I know Mr. Pathak who lives near Church at Washim. He was excommunicated from the congregation. His conduct was found to be objectionable. I myself enquired into the matter as a pastor and I was satisfied. I know Shrimati Subhaktibai. I saw Mangalsutra in the neck of that lady. Among the Christians Mangalsutra is worn after marriage. It is not true that in the Washim hospital the Mangalsutra is removed before operation. I can say it from the instance of my wife. I was also a pastor at Pusad, Washim and Chikhli. I never offered any inducement to anybody for becoming a Christian. At Pusad, I know Mrs. McWan who is a Head Mistress of A. V. School. I am sure, that she also does not induce any body. I was at Pusad from 1942-1946. Haribhau Yengad was pastor at Pusad in 1951. He is now at Washim.
It is not true that Shankar Ellaya, a boy was sought to be enticed by the offer of a girl in marriage to become a Christian. In our Church there are not more than ten conversions since 1947. From our Church, I mean, the Nazerene Church which comprises Buldana, Chikhli and Mehkar.
Even those who are born Christians, are sinners at their birth. I read John’s Gospel. St. John’s Gospel relates a story of one man who approached Jesus and was told a man should be reborn to be able to enter the kingdom of God. The natural birth is purely physical but rebirth is spiritual. I underwent training in the Washim Bible School for three years. Whatever I learnt in that school I teach in my preaching. In the Bible school we never teach that our preacher should condemn other religions. Now the American Missionaries have announced to us that they have already transferred the authority over the Church to the Indian Christians and that they are prepared to leave India at any time they are asked to do.
of all the churches comprised in. the Nazerene Church must be about 1,000.
I am Christian
by birth. I am Headmaster, Nazerene Mission Middle. School,
Chikhli. I know Mr. Deshpande since 1946. He is a teacher in
our school. It is not true that he has turned Christian. There
are 10 teachers in the middle and primary school. There are nine
Christian teachers and one Hindu. In the middle school there are
95 boys and girls and in the primary school 102. The boarders are
82 in the middle school and 70 in the primary school. In the middle
school there are three Hindu boys who also reside in boarding. Two Hindu
boys come from the neighbouring village. If somebody were to tell
us that the Christians should have a separate state like Jharkhand we will
resist to him as we think that we are the Indian nationals.
I am a preacher. I embraced Christianity in 1947. I am now preacher I was Mahar before I became Christian. I was a member of Gadge Maharaj religious party and I used to go about preaching in his company and on his behalf. I was with him reciting kirtan myself but once it so happened, I came across the verse of St. John Gospel. It said that God sent his only begotton son to the world to wash off the sins of people. On reading that all my evil passions subsided and I experienced a peace of mind. I was never offered any inducement. I do not preach against Hindu religion but only preach Christian religion. I dislike condemning other religion.
baptised by Mr. Borde and I became a preacher after five years of my Baptism.
I was trained in the Bible school at Washim.
I became a Christian from the Harijan caste. I have got 10 acres 30 gunthas of land from Government under Grow More Food Campaign. It was because I served in the Defence Force for six years. I embraced Christianity in 1937 without any inducement given by the Missionary. I became a Christian having believed the word Jesus which is recorded in John Gospel. While I was Mahar I was not harassed by any Hindu but I was not allowed to enter their temples nor was I allowed to draw water from their well. I was ill-treated while I was in the school.
Missionaries are not doing anything adverse to Indian nation.
(Note.-He is able
to repeat “Lord’s prayer”).
Name-Rev. S. J. Bhujbal.
I am a District Evangelist. I have got 30 churches under my jurisdiction. They are situated in Pusad, Mehkar and Chikhli and other taluqs. The congregation is over 1,000 strong, and including children the number may exceed even 2,000. I go to the churches and deliver sermon. The subject of the sermon is biblical such as birth of Christ, death of Jesus, his second coming resurrection and generally instructions as to how the congregation should maintain the level of their christian life. The church collection on the whole comes to about Rs. 10,000 per year. To them is added a subsidy received from the mission fund. The foreign missionaries preach in the church as well as outside. But generally they preach in the churches and rarely outside. There are 24 individuals in the Nazerene jurisdiction. In our church the hierarchy is General Superintendent at the top then District Superintendent, pastors and evangelists. The General Superintendents are Americans. The General Assembly is in America and they appoint these General Superintendents. The Home Board in America appoint the General Superintendent and the District Superintendent is appointed by the District Assembly in India. There is no other area in India where there is Nazarene church as in Basim where it has got its headquarters. Our church is affiliated to the National Christian Council. I have not come across a book entitled “Bharatat Alele Preshit”.
To Mr. Tiwari-
rot induce anybody to become christian. There are about 50 preachers in
all in our area. They preach not only in villages but in towns also.
They do not denounce Hindu religion.
Name-Shri Dhondu Shioram
I became a christian at the age of 25 from the mang caste. A pracharak by name Ingle used to visit my place and Kisan Yengad also used to come to preach. They used to come to my house saying that Jesus was the saviour of humanity. The questioned me as to what was the cause of my poverty. Then they asked me why I did not put my children into schools. I pleaded my inability to send my children to school on account of my poverty and lack of resources. Then they said that if I became a christian they would take up the burden of educating their children as orphans and that they would help me in my difficulties. Then I thought if these people are going to help me and get me out of my difficulties, I should have no objection to follow their advice and become a Christian. Then as promised by them they gave education to my children at Chikhli. Then they also helped me off and on with money. Then on the day on which I was going to be baptised they presented to me and my children cloth worth Rs. 18 or Rs. 20. My daughter was educated in the mission school at Chikhli up to the VIII standard. One of my sons read up to the VI standard and two girls up to the III standard. The, American Missionaries used to demand payment of fees for my children studying in the school but the pastor used to assure me that there may be remission of fees to some extent if I were to agree to pay partial fees. I paid full fees for one of my daughter but half fees for the rest. After my daughter passed the VIII class then they began to ask for fees and that in the higher classes it is hot possible to educate the boys free. As I was unable to pay the fees, they discharged the children from the school. On account of this I reverted to Hinduism. My brother also reverted to Hinduism with his family. Nobody called me here but as I knew that the commission was coming here I came.
To Mr. Tiwari-
I am a Hindu for the last five years. I did not like the christian religion nor its mode of life. Before I became a christian they used to show me great affection but after I became a christian they behaved in different manner. My daughter is about 20 years and the son 17 or 18. If some muslim were to ask me to become a mohamedan offering the same inducement as the christians did I shall not embrace Islam because of my unhappy experience.
What is Hindu dharma? The witness asks Mr. Tiwari what is your religion?
He says unless Mr. Tiwari tells what christian religion is, I am not bound to say what hindu religion is?
I am as poor as I was before. I work as a labour. I earn about Rs. 8 per month. My children are not employed anywhere and my daughter is married.