Dear Mr Venkat and friends:
In a situation where literally millions of India's children, especially those of a lesser god are starving, as the latest figures on world hunger were released a few days ago, one wonders what use to them Sanskrit education will be.
Funny, also, how more innocent and devout people were killed in temple stampedes in the past few months: 215 in Jodhpur, 147 in the Naina Devi temple in Himachal, 6 in Vijayawada than in the bomb blasts, because the organisers of the events in the temple managements did not take the trouble to make the necessary crowd control measures. The RSS and other champions of the Hindu cause would do well to look to these urgent calls on their expertise; in other words, work with a positive agenda for, rather than against, the public good.
Mr. Venkat, glad that you noticed that the Press release was dated 2004. It has been in the public domain since then. But I felt that when senior Central Government officials, citing thier official positions, give unsubstantiated data seeking to "prove" that "conversions" are a task being carried out by nefarious persons with all kinds of unsavoury agendas, it would be good to share information on how those of a majoritarian persuasion go about thier business. Even though the hyperlinks given in the original were deleted, I hope the information would have given a clear picture of the methods used. From my limited exposure to the RSS cadres, I do agree they were quite well-behaved. I wish we could say the same about the activists of the Bajrang Dal, the Ram Sena, the Dharma Raksha Manch, and sundry other Vedikes and fronts used by the Hindutva groups on the ground.
And as for whether any communal activity between 2003 and 2007, I call to your attention the series of over 56 attacks in Jabalpur, MP alone in a few months in 2006 by the Dharm Raksha Sena, and the rape of two Christian women tribals in Khargone on 28th June 2006, which the MP govt. failed to act upon, causing the Christians to appeal to the governor of the state. Only a massive mobilisation by the entire sizeable Christian population of Jabalpur who came to the street in an unprecedented protest on Easter sunday of 2007 caused the Dharm Raksha Sena, who were the main group carrying out the violence, to give pause. There were a series of 6-7 murders of Pastors in AP in 2005-2006.
These are only a few of the more notable communal, anti-Christian incidents in the pre-2007 period in parts of India other than Orissa and Karnataka, where also, of course there were many such instances we can cite, all of which have been reported in the press including the print media and are in the public domain.
Trust this addresses the questions you have raised.
Mr. Murthy, I appreciate that you have seen the distinction between religion and faith, though sorry that you see the clarifications I have offered to complete the picture as vilification - I have been clear in presenting facts but never used any pejorative terms as far as I know. My focus is not on religion per se. Rather, I feel it is important to counter, with verifiable information, the kind of propaganda which will do harm to the social and communal fabric of our nation, and go counter to the Human and Constitutional rights of the citizens of our country, especially those marginalised from mainstream discourses.
Independent Researcher and writer