Saturday, October 24, 2020
Home Opinions The best tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary is to fight...

The best tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary is to fight for anti-conversion laws

Is an anti-conversion law against the principle of secularism? Of course not. This is like saying that rejecting British colonialism is against free trade or capitalism.

What is the best way to pay tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary? The story of his life, which was cut short at the tender age of (less than) 25 years, gives us some clues.

As a child, Birsa Munda was baptized and raised as “Birsa David” at a school in Jharkhand run by Christian missionaries. Many tribals at the time had to convert thus, as a precondition for receiving an education in missionary schools. This was in the 1870s and the 1880s, when oppression by Christian missionaries, obviously patronized by the British colonial government was at its peak.

On growing up, he cast away the name of “Birsa David” and decided to return to his original faith. The Church at the time extracted tributes from the public, leading to immense hardship among the much oppressed and impoverished people. He decided to start an uprising.

Read: Birsa Munda, a tribal legend who was a nightmare for Christian missionaries during the British Raj

Matters came to a head-on Christmas eve in December 1899, when Birsa Munda and his followers rose up against the Church and landowners patronized by the imperial government. This is recorded in his official biography by A K Dhan from the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Untitled.png

He was captured by the British government and died in a jail in Ranchi soon after, laying down his life before reaching his 25th birthday.

There is a lot to unpack here. The first is the shameful history of oppression of tribal people by the Church in India. How many people even know about this?

The second is the pain of Indian people being uprooted from their original belief system and converted by missionaries. This is a form of aggression and Birsa Munda clearly understood it as such. Almost one hundred and twenty years after his death, have we as a nation realized it properly even today?

No. In fact, the popular discourse around Birsa Munda has often painted him as an icon of tribal separatism. This amazing Orwellian feat has been achieved by collusion between leftists, missionaries and the ‘secular’ establishment. On the ground in Jharkhand, missionaries and their allies often use his name to pit tribals against ordinary Hindus!

Could there be a better day than Birsa Munda’s birthday to push for a nationwide anti-conversion law?

The identity of the Indian nation is anchored in its traditional beliefs. These beliefs constitute our identity, which is as much a legacy as any other form of wealth. An organized campaign to uproot our people from this identity is no different from colonial plunder of the riches of India.

Is an anti-conversion law against the principle of secularism? Of course not. This is like saying that rejecting British colonialism is against free trade or capitalism. The British Empire required India to become a captive market for British made goods. This is how the wealth of India was systematically pumped out. A sovereign India does not reject trade relations with the UK. Instead, we trade out of free choice, which enriches both our economies. Free trade only works if it makes both parties better off.

Secularism is supposed to work the same way. Our traditions are our cultural wealth. We can engage actively with other nations and other cultures. The free exchanges are supposed to make everyone better off. That’s real secularism. But the organized missionary cartels and the lack of awareness in India means it becomes one-sided plunder, akin to the dumping of Chinese goods in the Indian market.

One hundred and twenty years ago, the young hero Birsa Munda rose up against this cultural plunder. No better way to honour his memory than to make a final push today for a nationwide anti-conversion law.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Encounter specialist’ cop facing murder charges and reinstated by Param Bir Singh had joined Shiv Sena

Sachin Vaze, Pradeep Sharma, who were both 'encounter specialist' cops facing murder charges, were close to Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh

Radio Mirchi RJ finds space with radical preacher Zakir Naik as she waters down terms like ‘Kafir’ and ‘Jihad’

A video featuring Radio Mirchi RJ Sayema is doing rounds on the internet in which she was seen normalising anti-Hindu bigotry by legitimising the usage of radical Islamic terms as 'Kafir' and 'Jihad'.

Pune: Police tricks caretaker-turned-thief into arrest through romantic social media chats

Pune Police created a fake Facebook account posing as a "woman" and lured the thief into meeting him at a place where the police officials arrested him

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti refuses to unfurl the Indian flag, BJP demands arrest for her seditious remarks

In her first press conference after being released from her 14-month detention, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti denounced the Indian flag and pegged for the restoration of Article 370

After Twitter, Amazon’s Alexa now claims Jammu and Kashmir is part of China, netizens fume

As per reports, Alexa uses a machine-learning algorithm and more than a dozen 'question-answer techniques' to determine the best response to a user query.

‘Kale Baba’ aka Nasir caught sexually exploiting women in Lucknow, Times of India gives it a Hindu spin by calling the accused as ‘Tantrik’

The Times of India on Saturday attempted to give a Hindu spin to a crime perpetrated by an Islamic cleric, who is an accused in the sex racket, by referring to him as a 'Tantrik'.

Recently Popular

‘He supplies drugs and girls’: Estranged wife of Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew Luviena Lodh alleges harassment by nephew-uncle duo

Luviena Lodh said that Mahesh Bhatt is the don of the industry, and he controls everything that goes on in the film industry

Exclusive: Conversation that shows how Mumbai Police is trying to coerce witness into naming Republic TV in TRP scam

While Hansa Research report and the FIR filed named India Today in TRP scam, in less than 24 hours, Mumbai Police had seemingly made up its mind that Republic TV was the culprit

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

‘Jism ki garmi’: How Hindi film industry disregarded consent and normalised rape and molestation over the years

The Hindi film industry has, knowingly or unknowingly, convinced a generation of people that rape is normal when done in light of 'greater good'.

Lucknow: Jama Mazar caretaker ‘Kale Baba’ caught running sex racket, video goes viral

The caretaker has allegedly confessed to police that he was sexually exploiting women and engaging them in illicit activities in the name of curing infertility and other ailments.

Complaints filed against Eros Now and Arré for vulgar social media posts related to Navratri

Both Eros Now and Arre had published social media posts linking Navratri festival with sex and vulgarity
- Advertisement -

Finance ministry issues guidelines for interest waiver scheme during the lockdown period- Read details

The govt will pay the difference between simple and compound interest from March to August under compound interest waiver scheme

‘Encounter specialist’ cop facing murder charges and reinstated by Param Bir Singh had joined Shiv Sena

Sachin Vaze, Pradeep Sharma, who were both 'encounter specialist' cops facing murder charges, were close to Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh

US Presidential elections: YouTube overwhelmed with political ads, sees a shortage of advertising space

YouTube has received so many ads for the US presidential elections in the same states that it can't find enough space to place them

Fact Check: Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana alleges government will provide free COVID-19 vaccines only in Bihar. Read the truth here

Saamana article perpetuates the myth that only Bihar will get free COVID-19 vaccine from the central government

“Not my intention to be culturally insensitive to Indian community”: Writer of bizarre ‘papadum’ song apologises after it goes viral on Twitter

Writer of bizarre Papadum song confirms the speculation on social media that the Indian woman in the video was not comfortable doing it

Radio Mirchi RJ finds space with radical preacher Zakir Naik as she waters down terms like ‘Kafir’ and ‘Jihad’

A video featuring Radio Mirchi RJ Sayema is doing rounds on the internet in which she was seen normalising anti-Hindu bigotry by legitimising the usage of radical Islamic terms as 'Kafir' and 'Jihad'.

Funny ‘fact check’ video by Fauxy shows guy drinking urine to compare it with Budweiser, beer company sues, Delhi HC rules in company’s favour....

While The Fauxy debunked the claim that Budweiser beer contains urine in a satire video, the company accused it of making the claim

Pune: Police tricks caretaker-turned-thief into arrest through romantic social media chats

Pune Police created a fake Facebook account posing as a "woman" and lured the thief into meeting him at a place where the police officials arrested him

Kerala: Woman tied to a hospital bed, daughter-in-law barred from meeting patient

The Coronavirus-infected woman is now undergoing treatment at a private hospital and her condition is said to be stable.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti refuses to unfurl the Indian flag, BJP demands arrest for her seditious remarks

In her first press conference after being released from her 14-month detention, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti denounced the Indian flag and pegged for the restoration of Article 370

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
467,672FollowersFollow
19,100SubscribersSubscribe