Some people may think that what does U.S. Christianity have to do with India. But any body who has any knowledge of the present state of affairs of the USA, especially its global engagement knows that USA (post 9/11 and on-going financial/ economic crises) has gone out in rest of the world non-returnably – and can not again come back to live in its historical exclusionist mindset, cut-off from rest of the world.
By any reckoning the record of the USA in this period of nine years can easily be termed as an utter failure and it is due to simple reason that so far USA has tried to deal with rest of the world through economic and military power only and has not tried to use political power and that too in this age of globalization for the implantation of which, the remaining mankind has cast the responsibility and leadership on USA. This deficiency of USA is mainly due to the reason that USA has not made any effort to develop people to people contact of Americans with the people of other countries.
To be fair, it is not the US government but the Christianity which has failed the Americans in this matter and the main reason for this is that the US Christianity has abandoned its traditional and foremost responsibility of conversion and also of the health and education of the people though all over the world Christianity is known as a religion which cared for the people by taking this responsibility through missionary hospitals and schools.
To what extent these responsibilities have been abandoned by Christianity in USA is evident from the fact that though predominantly Christian America has provided ample assets and funds (land, buildings, cash etc) to thousands of Churches in the USA but the Americans are still facing the following:
• Though rest of other developing countries manage their health expenses in about 8 percent of GDP but despite collecting about 8 percent of GDP ($ 1.11 trillion) from the people, the US government (Fed + State + Local) is not providing free medical assistance to Americans (especially to economically humble predominant majority of Americans). With the result healthcare in USA is a matter of concern because apart from other low income percentile Americans, the 20 percent of Americans are unemployed or underemployed hence they all and their dependents are unable to get proper medical help
• Though government is providing free education up to 12th standard but nowadays in US media and in academic field lot of anxieties are expressed that US educational system is not producing enough citizens to take care of the present day globalized and high-tech economy (the cause of huge out-sourcing also) and US education system is not developing US citizens to be worthy of democracy.
One fundamental thing needs to be understood that State functions better if instead of running the institutions (economical, of welfare like health & education etc), it ensures that these institutions are allowed to run properly. Because welfare institutions need humane attitude which comes naturally to religious people hence people with profit motive or even social organizations (without guidance from or the control of saints) can never be as humane, efficient and effective in comparison to as provided by Churches.
Hence without going in details, this problem of health and education in USA can easily be solved by Christianity if government introduces a system (as explained in my book “Betrayal of Americanism” published on October 5, 2010 by ISOTUT publisher and also available for online free reading and download at link http://www.globusz.com/ebooks/Betrayal/index.htm) where social institutions (also or rather predominantly run under the guidance of Churches) take up the activities of running these hospitals and schools out of money:
• Revenue from government (a)- out of money which government is already collecting ($ 1.11 Trillion) from people for health expenses and (b)- out of money which government is already spending on education.
• Capital (a)- for assets to be provided by individual and social organizations of charity givers and (b)- assets on lease to be provided by government (existent assets and also to be newly created and which will generate huge employment also if spent thus instead of giving meaningless and unethical bailouts and stimulus money to business / industry)
It is obvious that:
• The leadership of USA for globalization is bound to doom if democratic USA can not present the example to rest of the word that how it solve its domestic problems especially of economically humble substantial part of its population.
• Political contact of Americans with rest of the world (which, at second phase of globalization, will require international political parties regulated by amended UN) will have to be started from some country where situation is ripe for it.
India (a country of about 1.2 billion people having an 85 percent Hindu population and a functioning democracy) is such country which provides an opportunity for Christianity to discharge its ultimate responsibility of helping and religious emancipation of humanity, in this case the 65 percent of Hindu population, which is looked down upon socially by Hindu religion and termed as Schedule castes (SC), schedule tribes (ST), backward castes (BC), other backward castes (OBC) etc. also so termed as per the system of reservations in government services and elected offices.
As is natural, the people who are relegated to socially inferior status by any religion can never hope to really come-up and emancipate themselves religiously, hence these about 500 million Hindus are itching for honorable and meaningful life.
Of course BC and OBC are mostly landed and militant castes (most of them in armed forces also) hence their pining is less sever than of ST and especially of SC (most were earlier untouchables and even now faces most oppressive and violent prejudices of Hindu order). Hence Christianity may take up the case of BC and OBC for conversion later than of ST and especially of SC.
This conversion precisely is where the importance of health & education comes. Though every body knows that merely health and education will not solve the problem of SC unless they have religious places (Churches) in villages and in cities where they live where they can go with respect and equality with other co-religionists to pray and worship. But if Christianity will try to convert these SC Hindus directly then there will be unnecessary violence and this should be avoided. Therefore first US Christianity should try to start the institution for health and education all over India which (by availing of these institutions) will empower these people (SC) and will give them a feeling of security by way of physical presence of these Christian missionary schools and hospitals in villages and cities.
But if any body thinks that it will be a trouble free mission then he has to remember only the recent wide spread violence against Christian missionaries in the State of Orissa of India where in the garb of ill-intentioned laws (enacted by Hindu majority India for stopping conversion of oppressed Hindus, in utter disregard to religious rights conferred by UN and even to freedom of religion conferred by Indian constitution) Christian missionaries were bullied to forgo and derelict their most fundamental religious duty of conversion.
Though conversion can never be free from wild resistance but the chances of unchecked and uncontrolled violence can certainly be avoided if fury of impartial State or any organization functioning under delegated power of State / States (as UN) is perceived to be effectively present in those areas where the chances of such violence are there. This can be achieved by repealing the Optional Protocol – 1 (OP1) of International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which presently allows intervention (including military) of UN in only those countries which blatantly violates human rights and have ratified this optional protocol.
Therefore US Christianity should first constrain US government to mobilize other countries to repeal OP1 of ICCPR at UN before taking up the activities of opening missionary hospitals and schools in India and conversion of these willing Hindus to Christianity, so that these pious activities do not face the same gory reaction and fate as missionaries recently faced in Orissa.
Of-course for this Americans will have to cease to be suicidally selfish. The crass selfishness of Americans is evident from the fact that in 2001 post 9/11, the entire world (including Muslim countries) supported at UN the US lead Afghanistan war against a Muslim country Afghanistan in the name of war against terrorism and US promised to reach out to Muslims. But when in the very next year of 2002 thousands of Muslims were butchered in the State of Gujarat of India then the same Americans were no where to be seen and they never came to the rescue of these helpless and unfortunate Indian Muslims and never mobilized UN to intervene effectively (including militarily) and took the lame excuse of and irresponsible refuge in the same OP1 – ICCPR because India is not a party to this protocol.
Hem Raj Jain
Mankato – MN, USA
Greater Noida, U.P., India