On Friday (September 9), Congress scion Rahul Gandhi met a rabid anti-Hindu pastor, George Ponnaiah, as part of his ambitious mass mobilisation programme ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra.’
In a video that has now gone viral on social media, Rahul Gandhi was seen learning about Jesus Christ from the pastor. “But, He is not God? Or is he God? Jesus is also God?”
A man in the background was heard explaining how the connection between Jesus Christ and God using the different states of water. “It is Like water, which is in 3 states – solid, liquid and gaseous form.”
He then proceeded to explain that Jesus Christ is God and also the son of God. “So, Jesus Christ is a form of God?” inquired Rahul Gandhi.
At that point, Father George Ponnaiah intervened and claimed that Jesus is the ‘real God’, unlike ‘Sakthi & other Hindu gods. The rabid Hindu hater said, “He (Jesus Christ) is a real God, revealed as a human person. Not like Sakthi and all.”
Rahul Gandhi, who otherwise claims to be a janeu dhari Brahmin, remained a mute spectator to the direct insinuation by the Christian pastor that the Hindu deities are unreal and imaginary.
While the Congress party is making a last-ditch effort to turn its political fortunes through the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, it appeared ironic that the Gandhi dynast chose to meet a man who made despicable remarks about Bharat Mata and the Hindu civilisation.
Father George Ponnaiah and his anti-Hindu tirade
On July 18 last year, the controversial pastor insulted Bharat Mata by claiming that She is dirty and can cause scabies. During his public address in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, he mocked BJP candidate MR Gandhi for not wearing footwear out of respect for Mother Earth (Bhumadevi/Bharat Mata).
“But we wear shoes. Why? Because the impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us. The Tamil Nadu government has given us free footwear. This bhuma devi is dangerous, you could catch scabies from it,” he brazened it out.
Father George Ponnaiah also issued veiled threats to the Hindu community about the changing demographics of the State. “We are now the majority (in the Kanyakumari district) from 42 per cent we have crossed 62 per cent. Soon we would be 70 per cent. You cannot stop us. I am saying this as a warning to my Hindu brothers.”
Following his vitriolic speech, about 330 representatives from various Hindu organisations filed complaints with the police in various districts of the state.
On July 21, 2021, Fr George Ponnaiah was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different religious groups), 295A (outraging feelings by insulting religious beliefs), 505-2 (statements promoting enmity between classes), 506-1 (criminal intimidation).
He was eventually arrested on July 24 of that year by the Kanyakumari police for his hate speech. The Madras High Court also refused to quash the FIR against the Catholic priest for his offensive language against Bharat Mata and Hindus.
“The petitioner poked fun at those who walk barefoot out of reverence for Mother Earth. He stated that Christians wear shoes so that they won’t catch sources of infection and filth. Nothing can be more outrageous to the feelings of the believing Hindus”, the court observed.
In August last year, Christian priest Arumanai Stephen, the secretary of Arumanai Christian Association(ACA), was booked by the Tamil Nadu police for gang-raping a married woman and recording a video of the heinous crime.
Interestingly, Stephen had organised the hate speech event of Father George Ponnaiah in Kanyakumari.