‘Conversions in Orissa not out of choice: Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati

Conversions in Orissa not out of choice

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 13, 2008

Appearing before the team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday, Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati said that not a single person was converted to Christianity out of his choice. “They always adopt a means of allurement and fear to force and persuade innocent people to change religion,” he said, adding that he was prepared for an open debate on this issue with any one. Saraswati appeared before the Commission to record his statement. He further said conversion was going on rampantly in tribal areas.

He further alleged that there has been large scale forgery of tribal certificates. “Most of the converted Christians forged Kui tribal certificates to get jobs,” he said, adding that an inquiry could only expose the rackets behind it.

He further said foreign funds also were diverted for the cause of conversion. “A mechanism should be evolved to regulate flow of foreign funds to NGOs,” he demanded.

Asked why he did not return to his Chakapada Ashram in Kandhamal, he said as tension continued he preferred not to go the Ashram at this point. “If I return the miscreants who want to create disturbances will take mileage out of it. Later, they will try to squarely blame me,” he said.

He demanded that an inquiry should be ordered to find out who were behind the attack on him. “I have been attacked nearly eight times. But no one has yet been arrested,” said an emotionally-charged Lakshmanananda.

Later, a delegation led by general secretary of BJP Vinay Katiyar met the Swamiji and held a detailed discussion with him on the Kandhamal turmoil. Speaking to reporters, Katiyar said the attack on the Swamiji should be condemned. “I would raise this issue on the floor of the Parliament,” he said, adding that Congress MP RK Nayak should be squarely blamed for all this. “He has been involved in conversion activities,” Katiyar alleged, adding that action should initiated against him. SP of NHRC Mukesh Singh said he has already recorded the statements of 20 people. “The team will submit the final report within 15 days,” he said.


2 Responses to “‘Conversions in Orissa not out of choice: Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati”

  1. 1 Kapil December 9, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Foreign fund flow for the Conversion & Re-conversion activities in India
    Dear All,
    JVM has been consistently maintaining that the Conversion and re-Coversion is the root cause of the communal tension between Hindus and Christians like it has happened in Kandhamal, Odisha. And, the Church has a good media machinery to spread propaganda from the local to the global level to project the Persecution in order to get huge foreign funds.
    But, in the process of our debate and discussions, we have found that the Church uses the foreign fund for managing media also in the name of Communication and Information Department associated with Church. The irony is that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is restrained, controversial and of course debatable in Indian Media, but the Church is spending thousands of crores every year on the Media management and Evangelisation (Spreading message about Christianity leading to Conversion).
    This is evident in the letter of Fr. William Premdass Chaudhary, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese to Rev. Vincent M. Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi who is considered one of the most powerful Church leaders in India. The letter shows how the foreign funds are invited in the name of curbing Hindu Fundamentalism.
    The Church leadership is sharply divided on the use of foreign funds for the Communication and Information purposes. In a telephonic communication with JVM, Fr Premdass Chaudhary strongly opposes the getting of the foreign funds (here Euros) in the name of Hindu fundamentalists while another father Fr Dominic Emmanuel defends it saying that it is meant for the Communication and Information and not directly for Media.
    This letter also demonstrates that the Dalit and Tribal Christians are not only victimized by the upper caste Christians in Christian community, but they are also harassed within the Church. Hence, India needs a Social Change movement.
    Please read the below letter (attached with this mail also) to know the use of the foreign funds for the Communication and Information and the Dalit and Tribal discrimination within the Church premises. Also, send your comments and suggestions.
    Finally, JVM would like to convey you all that we have obtained annual reports prepared by the “Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners’ Division, FCRA Wing” for the last four years. We are trying to get reports for few more years. After getting all, we will release a comprehensive report by this Christmas on how many thousands crores foreign fund inflow India is having for the religious activities which is nothing but conversion and re-conversion activity.
    In Solidarity,
    Member, JVM
    Date: December 8, 2010

    Fr. William Premdass Chaudhary Clergy House, 1, Ashok Place
    Delhi Catholic Archdiocese New Delhi – 110 001
    Tel: 23362058, 0 9811275507

    To, December 7, 2010
    Most Rt. Rev. Vincent M. Concessao
    Archbishop of Delhi
    Archbishop’s House, 1, Ashok Place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Your Grace,

    After receiving the copy of ‘The Title of the Project: Partial Financing for advocacy of human rights’. Communication/Information Bureau –English & Hindi, I am obliged to write about the project to be sent to the Missio, (International Catholic Missionary Work) Germany. I am going through the report and writing by points by points.

    1. To get the Budget Pass:
    Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD had originally conceived the idea to set up such an office and to serve the diocese. I feel that he had used the communication department for his own personal gain. He has become famous and rich through this office. I would like to know that what he has done for the diocesan priests and Laity in Delhi Catholic Archdiocese.

    Fr. Dominic Emmanuel has used the word Hindu Fundamentalists group in order to get the Budget to be passed by MISSIO. Why has he mentioned the Hindu religion in the project? It is very serious matter that he is using the Fundamental Hindu religion in order to get money. It is not necessary to mention the religion in the project. What is his intention to use the word Hindu?

    How Fr. Dominic can say that there are no trained diocesan priests for this media office? He means to say that diocesan priests are not worthy, useless, fool and he is wise enough to run the office. Is he challenging the diocesan priests or making the statement? He used to Boss to the staff members that Archbishop can not find trained and able priests for the media. He should have challenged the diocesan priests openly for this office, but he did not. For me, he is fooling you and himself while making the statement that there are no trained priests to run the communication department. He has used the office for the self gain and to become rich. It means he has misused the office because he did not serve the diocese. He may be working for you but not working for diocese. I would like to know that what he has done for the Dalit Catholics since I belong to Dalit Community?

    2. Objectives and Activities of Comm/Info bureau:
    Objectives and Activities of this office are fairly good, but not carried out properly. Fr.Dominic’s main objectives were/ are to become famous in Delhi and in India. He became famous and rich through this office. He takes more interest in politic rather then to work to uplift the downtrodden. He insults the poor Hindu people and he is bringing division between Hindu and Catholic religion. His works increase the tension between Hindus and Catholics. Fr. Dominic must work along with Catholics rather than along with non- Catholics. As he started the Communication department, he had hidden agenda and working accordingly from the very beginning.

    3. Bishop’s letter:
    Your Grace, you have written unofficial letter (no reference no.) to be passed the project by MISSIO. Have you read the project report when it came to you for signature? I would like to bring to your notice and I am confident that when the person came for the project report to be signed, The Budget Sheet was not attached and you signed the report. Why Fr. Dominic did not attached the Budget Sheet with the report? He was not sincere with you or you overlooked it. He kept you in dark. If it was done this year, he and you must have followed the same way in the passed years.

    4. Budget of CIB for next 2 years for both English and Hindi sections:
    Salaries and benefits (in Rupees):
    Before I explain you about the Budget I would like to say and explain about the Vivekmani Lakra, (Tribal Catholic) who approached me for the help. He narrated to me the true story which happened with him. After listening him, I decided to write this letter urgently. He says that Fr. Dominic falsely blaming him for stealing the amount of Rs. 6000/- . He says that he had handed over the keys of the office last April, 2010. He was not responsible towards the office. He has been humiliated in front of the staff members. Fr. Dominic is blaming him only without finding the facts. First of all, I doubt whether he kept the Rs. 6000 in the drawer. If he had kept then he should have inform all the staff members, which he did not do so. Your Grace, it is not the matter of the money, but of the justice. What Fr. Dominic has done to him is immoral. Fr. Dominic had published an article in Nai Dunia, hindi daily.

    He says that Government should be impartial with Trible but he did the opposite with Vivekmani Lakra. It is easy to write and give good advice but it is difficult to follow up. Now how can he say that he is working for the welfare of Dalit and Tribal? Vivekmani Lakra is a Tribal who is treated inhuman way, forget about helping him. He has been asked by Fr. Dominic to leave the job immediately without giving prior notice to him. Miss Jasmine Jose was working with Fr. Dominic in the Communication department. She came to know certain loop poles about the Fr. Dominic. Fr. Dominic sacked her without giving the prior notice and reason. She left the office with heavy heart. Mr. Xavier worked for ten years with Fr. Dominic. Once he wanted to take Christmas holydays for one month, but Fr. Dominic put the condition that if you go for one month holydays, then he must not return in the office. He too left the job. What Justice Fr. Dominic has done to them? How can he play with the life of others? Now he must be ready to face the consequences.

    A. The Director’s salary: I am shocked to read that he, being a priest, is taking salary regularly. Your Grace, have you employed him for the job or asked him to serve the diocese selflessly? He is completing 13 years and continues to be in the office. That means, he is taking Rs. 1, 26,000/- per annum. I don’t know the reason that why you have allowed him to take the salary. I am sure that he must be using the money for himself rather than to give to the society. Though it is his personal matter, but he can be questioned regarding money matter.

    B. Vivekmani Lakra’s profile: Vivek was working for six years in Communication department. He was working as an office assistant, research assistant, translating from English to Hindi and Hindi Typist in Computer and Helper and Handy man. Please look at the Salaries and benefits sheets and see that how the salaries are given according to their jobs. Actually, there are only two persons are working in the office. One person is always working only for the sadbhavana, SVD. Salaries are given as follows:

    i)Office Assistant
    One year- 18,000 x 12= 2, 16,000.00
    ii)Research Assistant
    One year- 20,000 x 12= 2, 40,000.00
    iii) Hindi Translator and Typist
    One year- 16,000 x 12= 1, 92,000.00
    iv) Helper and handy man (shared)
    One year-7,500 x 12 (shared) = 45,000.00

    Grand Total – 6,93,000.00

    Vivek was getting Rs. 6000.00 per month. It means that Rs. 6000 x 12=72,000 per year. Since Vivek was working as office assistant, research assistant, Hindi Translator, Typist and helper and handy man, then he should have receive the salary Rs. 6, 93,000 per year, but he was getting only 72,000 per year. If we reduce Rs 72, 000 from the Grand Total Rs. 6, 93,000 then balance remains Rs. 6, 21,000. Since Vivek worked for six years then balance Rs. 6,21,000X 6 = Rs. 37,26,000 becomes. Now I ask Fr. Dominic where the money Rs. 37, 26,000 has gone. What he has done with this money? He supposes to give entire money to Vivek. How can Fr. Dominic blame that Vivek has stolen the amount of Rs. 6000, when Fr. Dominic has taken Rs. 37, 26,000 which belongs to Vivek. Who is a great thief between them, of course Fr. Dominic? Vivkmani Lakra has right to claim his own money Rs. 37, 26,000. Fr. Dominic has to pay balance money Rs. 37, 26,000. Fr. Dominic was/ is not sincere to give full salaries to staffs. He is putting in his pocket major part of the salaries. It is one of the ways of making money by Fr. Dominic. There are other ways; he was/is gathering money for himself. I will latter on reveal his evil ways to make money.

    5. The Movie “Aisa Kyon Hota Hai”
    Fr. Dominic had produced the Bollywood movie. Your Grace, I would like to know the Income and Expenditure of the movie. Please tell Fr. Dominic to put on the website of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. He had Income and Expenditure for dubbing the movie into other languages. The same Income and Expenditure must be put on the website. When the movie was produced, the name of Sadbhavana was added. Why it was so? Chetanalaya was the only producer. I heard that Fr. Dominic Emmanuel was telling others that Sadbhavana had contributed the money towards the production of movie.

    Now the DVDs and CDs are being sold by CIB staff since last four years in various schools, religious and Inter-Religious meetings, seminars and conferences, the whole income from the selling DVDs and CDs of the movie “Aisa Kyon Hota Hai” is going to Sadbhavana Account only.

    6. Sadbhavan and SVD National Mission Secretary:
    Your Garce, I bring to your notice that the Communication/Info Bureau was and being used most of the time for the Sadbhavana’s work. Bro. Sumit Dhanraj and Sukhbir Singh are working for personal work of Fr. Dominic and Sadbhavana. But Salaries are given to both of them from Communication department.

    7. Peace and Harmony Reward
    Fr. Dominic received Peace and Harmony reward from government. In order to get this reward he had spent huge amount of money and energy. What sort of Peace he had given to his co-workers who were sacked from the jobs. It was/ is not easy to get jobs immediately but Fr. Dominic’s position is secured. They lost their peace of mind and heart. He should imagine that what sort of agony they were under going. While sacking them from the jobs Fr. Dominic had made enemy with them. They will not forgive him. There is no Harmony among them (between Fr. Dominic and ex-staffs). I would like to know from Fr. Dominic that before receiving the reward where and which community did he bring Peace and Harmony? First of all Fr. Dominic must have Peace of mind then only he can bring Harmony in the communities.

    8. Fr. Dominic is a politician.
    As early I have said that he is only interested in politics. While seeing his works one can understand his intention. He did his best to become the member of National Commission of Minority. He can go any extent to enter to Indian Politics. He uses his cassock mostly for politics rather than for religious purpose.
    Your Grace, what I have seen and experienced, I have written in this letter. I may be writing more about him in future. I wish to conclude this letter while asking your blessing.

    Yours Sincerely

    Fr. William Premdass Chaudhary
    Delhi Catholic Archdiocese

    Copy to:

    Most Rt. Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias
    Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India
    Cbci center, 1, Ashok place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Fr. StanislausTiekey
    ST Commission
    Cbci center, 1, Ashok place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Most Rev. Bishop Franco Mulackal
    Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi
    Archbishop’s House,1, Ashok place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Rev. Dr. Babu Joseph
    Spokesperson of CBCI
    Cbci center, 1, Ashok place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Rev. Fr. Susai Sebastian
    Director of Chetanalaya
    9-10, Bhai Veer Singh Marg,
    New Delhi – 110 001

    Fr. Charles Lrudayam
    Executive Secretary
    CBCI Commission for Justice, Peace and Development
    CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place,
    New Delhi 110 001

    Fr Cosmon Arokiaraj
    Executive Secretary
    CBCI Commission for Scheduled Castes / Tribes and Backward Classes
    CBCI Centre, 1, Ashok Place,
    New Delhi – 100 001

    Nicolas, Provincial SVD

    Rev. Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD
    Director and Spokesperson
    Communication Information Bureau,
    Delhi Catholic Archdiocese
    9-10, Bhai Veer Singh Marg,
    New Delhi – 110 001

    Enclose Letter of Vivekmani Lakra

    December 3, 2010

    Most Rev. Vincent M. Concessao
    Archbishop of Delhi
    Archbishop’s House,1, Ashok place,
    New Delhi-110001

    Sub: Information about the dismissing me from the job of Communication information Bureau without reason

    Respected His Grace,

    I, Vivekmani Lakra, A-7, Bapu Park, Kotla Mubarakpur, New Delhi-110003, beg to state that I am an Adivasi as well as Catholic member, I had been working as a senior staff in Communication Information Bureau, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, 9-10, Bhai Veer Singh Marg, New Delhi-110001 since last six years. On November 26, 2010, Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD, Director of the Communication Information Bureau falsely blamed me for stealing Rs. 6000/- from the drawer of his chamber. Since last one year, I have no key of the office, while all staff have got the keys of the office.

    Fr. Dominic Emmanuel said that Rs. 6000/- was stolen from his drawer on November 25, 2010. On that day I had entered to receive phone calls only for 10-12 seconds and other staff had also entered in the chamber to receive phone calls on the same day. Rev. Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD threatened me and he forced me to surrender for the stealing of money from his drawer, while I have not stolen money. In the group enquiry he humiliated me in front of all staff that he doubts on me only. So many times I have worked till 7 O’clock during Orissa attacks, Lenten Season, Christmas for sending press invitations and releases through internet. Even during the holidays of Durga puja, Dipawali and Edul Fitter I used to come in the office for work. I have handled the tasks of office during the absent of Fr. Dominic Emmanuel. My Duty was the reports and files maintaining, translating English into Hindi, article writing, researching through internet and newspaper, sending press invitations and releases by Email and following up the reporters and media persons by phone calls. My work is very much appreciated by all the staff members and many times by Fr. Dominic.

    On 30th of November, without reason and without giving any prior notice suddenly he said to me to leave the job. Now I am not going to office.

    So I request to you kindly form a committee to enquire about the matter of money lost. Please find the evidence which can proof that I have taken money. Please give the salary continuously till you proof the matter. If you are unable to find the proof what should I do? You always speak about the helping the downtrodden and poor people like me and you only are depriving the poor people in the religious institutions. I had been working from the last six years. I was throne from the office like a useless paper (non skill labour). I am a educated person, then I should be respected as a human being which was not followed. Fr. Dominic had received a reward of Peace and Harmony, but he broke the peace of my mind and heart. Everything is black in front of me and I don’t know what should I do? God help me and Archbishop please give the blessings so that I may have peace.

    Yours truly,

    (Vivekmani Lakra)
    Contact No. 9871542800

  2. 2 Pushpika Kujur June 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    In fact this is happening in Delhi Catholic Archdiocese

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