Monday, 25 August 2014

Breaking Tamil Nadu

The state of Tamil Nadu is 130,058 square km. It has 29 districts and a population of 72 million people. That is roughly the size of Peninsular Malaysia and more than triple the population here. 

Although Tamil Nadu is not the biggest state in India, it is still a large state with a large population. 

During the last decade, political organisations like Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Kongunadu Munnetra Kalagam (KMK) have called for the state to be divided into smaller states. 

The usual call is to either bifurcate or trifurcate the state by using the Kaveri river (and Amaravathi & Kollidam) as natural boundary(s).

If we were to refer back to ancient political geography of Tamil Nadu, the state can be also divided into the following 5 smaller states. This includes the Union Territory of Puducherry.

Thondai Naadu
Nadu Naadu
Kongu Naadu
Chola Naadu
Pandya Naadu

A rough sketch of possible new states in Tamil Nadu based on ancient political geography.
DISCLAIMER: This image is not 100% accurate.

There are pros and cons in breaking the state. 

Smaller states means better administration. With smaller states, the existing taluk divisions within each district can be upgraded into districts. It will be much more easier to manage smaller districts compared with bigger ones. 

Each state will have their own police force. That could be an effective way to tackle crime as their area of concentration is now smaller.

In North India, large states were split for economic growth. The state of Uttarakhand sees rapid growth after it was split from the larger Uttar Pradesh. Similarly the state of Chattisgarh is doing better after splitting from Madhya Pradesh.

In Tamil Nadu, new districts like Virudhunagar, Dindigul were carved out of larger districts to make administration easier.

Different castes dominate different regions in Tamil Nadu. Caste reservation policy is applied for university intakes and government jobs. 

If the states are split, dominant castes like Vanniyars, Kongu Vellalars and Mukkulathors will no longer need to compete with each other. This is because they are each concentrated in their own region.

Kongu Vellalars in Kongu Naadu
Vanniyars and Mudaliars in Thondai and Nadu Naadu
Mukkulathors in Chola and Pandya Naadu

The splitting of Tamil Nadu will also mean there will be 3-5 Tamil Chief Ministers. There will be more voice for the Tamil people in the Indian government.

However, there can be negative effects too. 

Major rivers of Tamil Nadu

If Tamil Nadu is split into smaller states, each state will have control over the culture of the state. 

They can even decide on matters like Tamil education. If Chola Naadu decides to revert back to Grantha script instead of Vatteluttu script, the other states cannot interfere. We will then have a segment of people who read Tamil using different scripts.

Although industrialised, Kongu or West Tamil Nadu is a landlocked area. That means they need to depend on other states including Kerala for sea products. They also need their permission to use their ports. This can impact the imports and exports. 

Furthermore, if you were to look at the river map of Tamil Nadu, you will notice that the rivers cut across the regions. 

Kaveri river which originates in Karnataka passes through Kongu Naadu before reaching Chola Naadu. If Kongu Naadu builds a dam, they can control the water level of Kaveri just like what Karnataka is doing to Tamil Nadu today. This can then lead to enmity between states.

All these needs to be considered before breaking the state. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Christian Inculturation

I was exposed to Christians and their religion at a very young age. I was born in Hospital Assunta which was started by the Christian missionaries. I grew up having many Christian friends around me. 

When I was 6, I was admitted in the same hospital I was born due to asthma. Since I was too young to walk outside the hospital in order to worship in the nearest temple, I decided to just worship in the hospital chapel. I saw no harm in doing that. I still feel the same way. 

Russian Church in Sofia. One of the few churches which I visited.
I did the same thing when I was in Bulgaria. Went into churches, light up candles, offered my prayers to the Holy Mother in silence. This will not make me less Hindu. I still chant the Kalabhairava Ashtakam and the Panchakshra during my daily prayers.

But despite the religious tolerance I have, I do have a different opinion about missionary activities. I never liked their style of work and many things which they do. This is because I do believe in respecting native culture.

Should someone intend to preach Christianity, then let it be based on the true teachings of Christ. Let is be based on the contents of the Holy Bible. 

Christianity should not be spread by lies and fraudulent methods. People should become Christians for what it really is than for what they think it was.

My 1st contact with missionaries happened at the age of 13. I lived in Kajang back then and I used to be active in football. So one fine Saturday, I attended a football clinic in town. It was organised by some local footballers. They had a Brazilian white guy as the coach for the day. 

So we were playing football and one of the guys committed a foul. We had an agreement that whoever commits a foul must do 10 push ups. Our team had a mix of races. One Malay guy committed the first foul.

As he was about to do his push ups, the Brazilian guy stopped him. He offered to do the push up for him.

"Jesus died for us in the cross. I will do push ups on your behalf"

I was happy when he did that. Because I played defence and I always end up committing lots of foul.  

During the end of the clinic, there was a briefing.

"Boys, we are very happy you participated today. We hope we helped you improve your football skills. If you are interested to participate again in the future, please join us for further explanation. It will be in the church tomorrow morning. We can probably talk about sending you boys to Brazil for further training. Breakfast is provided."

Only then I got the message. They are here not to only teach football but to also spread their religion.

My 2nd contact happened when I was in secondary school. This time I was in USJ. No more in Kajang.  My door bell rang on one evening. I went out and noticed there were two white guys on bicycles.

"Hi! I am XXX and this is YYY. We were cycling and noticed your house. It looks very pleasant. Ermm the picture on your entrance, is that the elephant God Ganesha?"

I responded with a Yes and asked him what they want.

"Oh nothing actually. We just wanted to meet your parents to talk about Lord Jesus. We would like you to know how life can be better, more peaceful with Jesus in your life. Can we come in?"

I just told them that I appreciate their presence but we are not interested. Shook hands and told them to just leave.

My 3rd contact happened when I was in college. I had this Chinese male lecturer for my Multimedia class. We once had a group discussion. My friend asked him for some assistance. He then replied,

"Son, things like this needs further explanation. Trust in Jesus and he will fix it for you"

Me and my friend were quite shocked but we didn't want to make an issue out of it. Is Jesus going to sit in exams for us? 

We thought he was joking but well he wasn't. Few days after the incident, he invited me over to his house for a Christmas party.

"Hey Sharmalan. Why don't you join us for the party? We will have grilled beef. You know, Indians should stop eating lamb. It is not good for the heart. Try beef. It is better. Your classmates XXX, YYY, ZZZ and KKK will also join us for the party. We can talk about life and also how Jesus helps us alot"

An invitation which I declined for obvious reasons.

But these people are not that bad. They never forced their religion on me and their attempt was quite mild. There is another group of people who do even worse things.

The former pastor of the St Barnabas church in Klang, Pastor Jambunathan, told me many things about the method used by the missionaries. 

He was kicked out from the church for disagreeing with them especially on things like conversion of orphans and the poor. You can still witness their conversion activities. Many Nepali and Myanmar workers were converted by them. Take a walk behind Jalan Tengku Kelana on any of the weekends. You will know what I mean.

Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real issue is not the conversion but the method used to convert people.

I am not sure how many of you are aware of the term "Christian Inculturation". It is a covet method used by the missionaries. Basically they adopt local practice, modify it, re-brand it as Christian practice and sell it back to the people. 

Perhaps I should show you some pictures which I took from the internet on how this is being done in India:

The Upanishad is a Hindu scripture now it became Christian scripture. 

Images like this are now being circulated in the internet to bring Jesus into Hindu celebrations.

Hare Rama! Hare Krishna! Hare Yeshu??? 
Hindu Temple or Christian Church?

Hindu Yatra or Christian Yatra? Kumbham in Christianity??

Hindus or Christians?

Part of the ceremony in the Christian Yatra. They also conduct something called Christian Pooja by using coconuts and incense sticks like the Hindus.

The Saffron Christians

Christians dressed as Hindu monks going around to convert Hindus.

Krishna or Jesus? Jesus in blue and flute?

Baby Ganesha now a Christian?

Christ became Hindu god?

A new Hindu God?

Hindu God?

The new Buddha?

Bharathanatyam, a Hindu classical art dedicated to Shiva Nataraja now dedicated to Jesus?

Christian Bharathanatyam?

Christian Bharathanatyam?

The album Suprabatham is now a Tamil Christian song album. It has songs like Saranam Yesuve. Suprabatham is no longer Venkatesa Suprabatham which we all know.

Hindu slokas and mantras modified. OM SRI YESU BHAGAVATE NAMAHA. Is this from the Bible?

These pictures were taken from the internet. It was compiled by the people behind the following page which was formed in response to the missionary activities in India.

The page can be accessed at

There was another page in the past. It was known as Ban Christian Missionaries in India. They deactivated the page due to pressure from the Christians.  

Christian Inculturation is not something new in India. Back in the 17th century, there was an Italian missionary named Father Constanzo Beschi. 

Also known as Viramamunivar due to his contribution towards the Tamil script, Beschi was among the first to use inculturation in a very radical manner.

He dressed up in saffron robe like Hindu saints. He then claimed that the Bible is the 5th Veda. Therefore, all Hindus must now adhere to this Veda because it is the conclusion of the previous 4 Vedas. He claimed that this Veda was lost and he brought it back.

How cunning!

During the last decade, a new cult group emerged in India. They also have a branch in Malaysia. They are supported by Tamil film personalities like Snehan. 

According to them, their method of conducting weddings is the real Tamil way of doing it. So all Tamils must now follow this method.

The video below shows how their wedding is done:

This cult group known as Dynamic Puratchi Kalyanam (Revolutionary Dynamic Wedding) was started by a Tamil Christian man named Dr.Gabriel.

Need I explain more?

Hindus in general are not against the preaching of another religion. We have always welcomed other religions with open arms. In fact, Hindus were the only few people who gave the Jews protection in India when the rest of the world was busy chasing them out.

However, Hindus can't be blamed for speaking up against inculturation like this. This is definitely not the right way to spread Christianity.