For more than 200 years, European Christian colonialists
conquered, subdued and dominated most of the world. The pope
helped them divide and share power in South and Central America,
while Africa, Asia and other areas were settled among the
Europeans through conflict.
After achieving absolute control, the white colonials
first task was to rewrite the history of the conquered territories.
By denying the conquered people their history, which often
stretched way back into the past, you manipulate their minds
and established a cadre of European-thinking locals.
But every one of the colonies, on being freed, attacked the
colonial powers and their attempts at brain-washing via the
Dr Eric Williams in his book Inward Hunger wrote about his
early education and Englishman JO Cutteridge who was appointed
principal of Tranquillity. Williams wrote:
Nothing reveals more clearly Britains control
of Trinidad life in all its forms, its domination of the civil
service, than the appointment by the Secretary of State for
the Colonies of an Englishman as principal of an elementary
school. Cutteridge was not a university graduate. His policy
at Tranquillity was openly designed to make the school more
English in its outlook.
Elsewhere in Inward Hunger, Williams on Cutteridge wrote:
He published textbooks called West Indian Readers and
West Indian Geographies. The idea was pedagogically irreproachable.
But West Indian public opinion, and not only in Trinidad,
considered the books presented West Indian life in a disparaging
The people of India, like our own Dr Williams, have over the
independence years reexamined and often rewrote textbooks
in India. But our local self-acclaimed Catholic spokesman,
in an article in the July 11 Newsday, condemned groups in
India for placing the history textbooks used in Indian
schools under heavy fire.
In T&T, the Ministry of Education has a standing textbook
evaluation committee whose role is to review and approve material
and texts to be taught in our schools (see Guardian ad on
page 36, July 19).
But Marion OCallaghan and her Christian cohorts in India
will wish to deny people of the largest democracy in the world
the right to evaluate, recognise and incorporate new information.
Marion attacks Hindus in T&T and in India for our involvement
in matters like history, which she considers secular. She
Hindu communalism here should be no surprise. The Median
Maha Sabha was one of the organisations which the RSS incited
Hindus against secular Gandhi and Congress.
Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Congress Party in India, is Italian
by birth and Catholic by background and we are not surprised
that she finds communal support from Marion.
Seven hundred years ago, Pope Boniface VII had asserted his
authority with these words:
Both swords, the spiritual and the material (secular),
are in the power of the church. The spiritual is wielded by
the other by the hands of the kings.
Like Pope Boniface, Hindus have always held the view that
the sacred and secular are inseparable.
Pope Honorius IV (1286-1287) encouraged the study of oriental
languages as an aid to missionary work. Soon after the Ecumenical
Council of Vienna (1311-1312) decided that the holy
church should have an abundant number of Catholics well versed
in the languages, especially those of the infidels.
Even today we see the effect of this effort in places like
In the early days of Christianity, those who refused to believe
in Jesus were first branded as heretics and witches and then
killed or burnt at the stake. In the name of the holy wars,
military missions were sent which resulted in millions of
people being massacred in South America.
To perpetuate the forces of imperialism in Asia and Africa,
the western powers fit like a hand in glove with the Christians,
dictators and mafia people. Christian churches used their
money and military might to convert the natives into Christianity.
Apart from distorting history as a weapon of conquest, Mohan
Gupta writes that the churches had to devise new means
to convert Asians and Africans into Christianity after the
demise of the western imperialism.
Along with this came a breed of Christian evangelists
guided and financed by Christian churches and the western
powers to carry on the crusade by using the label of poverty
and disease as their weapons.
MAHARAJ is the Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha