How far would you go to appease the minority? Is the Kerala government working with the church to convert poor Hindus?
The communists in Kerala are known for their minority appeasement policies at the cost of the majority. Such policies have remained unchanged since they came to power in 2016. The latest incident takes them one step ahead of the Indian National Congress (INC) which is their main opponent in the state. The INC and its local partners, the Muslim League and various Kerala Congress parties (Christian church controlled) have always preyed on the poor Hindus to increase their numbers, clout and vote banks.
In fact, there are government departments dedicated to the needs of the Christian minorities. Such departments exist all over Bharat catering to the whims and fancies of various Christians living in different parts of the country. What distinguishes this one from the rest is the fact that, believe it or not, this one caters to the needs of the Christian converts from Hindu scheduled castes only! It’s called the Kerala State Development Corporation for Christian Converts & the Recommended Communities (KSDC). It is a covert state sponsored attempt to promote conversion of the scheduled castes to Christianity at the expense of tax paying citizens. Has secularism been taken to the next level?
Critics say that this is nothing short of church sponsored conversion conducted through the state machinery by offering financial goodies and freebies to the Hindu scheduled caste to convert to Christianity. What does the common man stand to gain from such a department? Who actually gains from such policies, other than a few leaders and the various churches?
Let us take a closer look at the history of this department. Interestingly, KSDC has been in existence since December 1980. Its website itself mentions that 55% of the total beneficiaries were elected in the last five years, i.e. since the Pinarayi Vijayan led CPM communist government came to power. This should give us a brief idea of the number of Hindu SC families that converted to Christianity on the basis of financial benefits offered by the current regime. Critics ask whether this is how a supposedly secular government should conduct its business. What role did the church play in such conversions? How many were converted and who is responsible for such mass conversions? Unconfirmed reports suggest it is a result of collusion between the political parties and the church.
The financial aid offered to such converts is even more intriguing. For starters a non-collateral interest free loan of Rs.10,000/- is offered which has to be repaid in 10 months (Rs.1,000/- each month). Students from class 5th to 12th are eligible for non-collateral loans of up to Rs.50,000/- at 2.5% interest repayable within 24 months to purchase laptop computers. This is an incentive that many parents would easily fall for under the present circumstances with students being forced to opt for online classes due to lack of choices. Nothing wrong in offering low interest rate laptops to poor students but it begs a bigger question. Critics ask what effect will such offers have on other poor children coming from Hindu families? Isn’t this discrimination against the majority community? Does it not infringe on the right to education of Hindu children?
The appeasement schemes do not end there. Housing loans of up to Rs.3,00,000/- repayable within 144 months at an interest rate of 6% P.A, loans to purchase land of up to Rs.2,25,000/- with the same repayment period and an interest rate of 5% P.A, loans of up to Rs.1,00,000/- for rebuilding houses with a repayment period of 124 months at an interest rate of 6% P.A are all sanctioned by the KSDC upon receiving applications from converts.
A marriage loan of Rs.2,00,000/- for marriage expenses of girls is offered at an interest rate of 5% P.A repayable within 60 months. Such loans beg a more complex question. Critics ask whether the government is encouraging dowry.
Similarly, low interest loans are also provided for self-employment (up to Rs.5,00,000/-), education (up to 5,00.000/-), personal loans and agricultural land purchase loans. They are all provided under the guise of helping the socially backward classes. The poor and gullible scheduled castes fall for such schemes, in large numbers and convert to Christianity with the help of local churches. Do honest tax payers really expect their hard earned money to be spent on such nefarious schemes in the name of governance is something that needs to be asked before it’s too late.
It is also important to remember that the Kerala state budget has a deficit of thousands of crores. The state finds it hard to even pay basic salaries of its employees each month and unless the central government funds are released, it finds itself unable to pay. This means that unknowingly, it’s the centre that ends up paying for such grandiose schemes aimed at conversion.
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