What is Happening in Andhra is not Mere Temple Vandalism but an Outbreak of Hindu Persecution
PROLOGUE: THREE HISTORIES
HISTORY ONE: AMNESIA OVER PROLAYA VEMA REDDY
This fourteenth century inscription by the unmatched warrior of Sanatana Dharma, the fierce Prolaya Vema Reddi, became a pioneering template for all Hindu kings of southern India who trounced the various invading Muslim barbarians from the north. Hundreds of such inscriptions on stone, copper and palm leaves contain a variation of Prolaya Vema Reddi’s text—some of these also have beautiful poetry set to various metres but the ultimate meaning is the same: a glorious celebration of Kshatra to safeguard a sacred Dharma against the Asuric forces of a violent Abrahamism.
The fourteenth century was indeed both pivotal and critical to Hinduism in Southern India.
Even as the Hoysala Empire was sputtering to death in the neighbouring Kannada country after being serially ravaged by the eunuch Malik Kafur, the Andhra country had already fallen into chaos after the Kakatiya power was snuffed out.
Prolaya Vema Reddi suddenly emerged from the embers of this chaos and gave the Delhi Sultanate a thrashing they never recovered from. Vema Reddi was the brilliant forerunner of the grand Vijayanagara Empire that arose in his own lifetime. In one valiant stroke, he militarily consolidated and politically united the Hindus in a breath-taking sweep of land encompassing Nellore in the south and Srisailam in the west. The entire coastal Andhra was not only re-Hinduised but became a vast bastion for a centuries’-long defence of Dharma.
Vema Reddi was also a prolific daani (loosely, philanthropist) who built 108 Shiva Temples and re-consecrated hundreds of ancient temples destroyed by the Turushkas. He lavished substantial endowments of land, money and resources to great Punyakshetras like Srisailam and Ahobilam among others, and established thousands of Agraharams throughout his empire. The exalted honorific Apratima-Bhudana-Parasurama (The Unparalleled Land-Donating Parasurama) that he earned was more than deserving.
The central focus of the Reddi Empire that he founded was the safeguarding and nurturing of Sanatana Dharma, a great task and matchless service that it rendered for 120 years. As a result, no rapacious Sultan from the north dared to look in this direction. Cows could now roam around fearlessly. The savage Turushka practice of the mass-slaughter of Brahmanas and measuring their perverse “victory” by weighing their sacred threads would no longer occur. More vitally, the Hindu Empire that Prolaya Vema Reddi had established was the fearsome bulwark that protected Hindu Temples—temples would no longer be broken and Murtis would no longer be smashed.
Today, we have a curious tribe known as “Reddy Christians.”
HISTORY TWO: A LANGUISHING ANCIENT CHALUKYA TEMPLE
About six years ago on a yatra to the general Rayalaseema region, we had a Darshan of the exquisitely grand Mahanandi Temple followed by visits to other major and minor temples in the vicinity. The entire belt is the cradle and home of early and mid-Chalukyan glories in temple building, architecture and sculpture.
Of these, one experience has remained vividly etched in my memory.
This was the visit to a modest Vishnu Temple obscurely tucked away on the outskirts of a dilapidated village surrounded by miles of smiling greenery. The temple was closed. A bidi-smoking villager sitting inside the compound told us, “But there are no fixed timings but Ayyavaru will be delighted when devotees like you coming from so far visit it. Wait.”
In about ten minutes, Ayyavaru, the temple’s Archaka, arrived with three or four young men and a few girls and women of different ages.
After the Puja was complete, we asked him to narrate the Sthala-Purana (history of the temple). His command over the temple’s history was impressive and truly encyclopaedic, narrated in chaste, melodious and highly Sanskritised Telugu in the Puranic style. Needless, the historical timelines got mixed up but that was not a fault. He took us around the temple and patiently explained every sculpture and carving all throughout extolling the glory of the Chalukyas and the various Rayas of Vijayanagara. It was clear that this temple had once enjoyed immense sanctity and drew devotees from various parts. When I asked him why it had fallen to such a state, he said, “Who cares, Swami? Dharma is on its last leg. The Government thinks it can legislate and enforce Bhakti by appointing officers and clerks. Do you know why these boys and girls have come with me? Like me, it gives them happiness and hope as well. Each time people like you come here, it is a matter of celebration for all of us—you see, who knows that this temple even exists on this earth? If you all have come here, it means that you took the effort to find out about it and more importantly, you actually made this journey and that is genuine Bhakti. As far as possible, we try to do what we can with our meagre resources to keep the temple going. We try to celebrate the major Utsavas according to our means. We’re deeply attached to this ancient, sacred temple and want to somehow preserve it.”
For about an hour, the melancholy induced by this revelation transformed itself into vaporous silence inside our car. As we drove on unwilling to break this silence, a ubiquitous sight greeted us, surrounding us from all sides of the road in this slice of Rayalaseema, once the proud home of Sanatana culture and society: an explosion of churches. To give just a sliver of what I mean, consider this: the entire belt from Nandyal to Mahanandi and Kurnool to Srisailam resembles conquered territory, each church and Cross the flags of victory.
The sanctified land of the Chalukyas and the Rayas is now the preying ground of Christ.
HISTORY THREE: THE STORY OF SUDHIR MONDITHOKA
In 2015-16, during the course of some research I was doing, I stumbled upon a certain vermin named Sudhir Mondithoka. This newly-minted Christian pastor, a former Hindu, was now a zealous soldier of Christ. Justly confident in the slumbering civilizational apathy of the Sanatana society, he took a bunch of White soul-harvesters from abroad on a guided tour of the sacred Tirumala mountains, giving them precise details about its sanctity to the Hindus and how taking over Tirumala would be a great service to Christianity. It could become the Vatican of India.
It is a different matter that Sudhir was arrested but the question remains: what enabled this level of brazen audacity on his part? More fundamentally, why were Churches allowed to be built in the sacrosanct Kshetra of Tirupati, the gateway to Tirumala?
CHAPTER 1: ANDHRA’S DOWNFALL
For all his faults, the first non-Congress Chief Minister of (undivided) Andhra Pradesh N.T. Rama Rao can be credited with two major accomplishments. The first, he re-Hinduised Andhra in an unprecedented fashion by a powerful fusion of raw and a highly-public display of the most enduring Sanatana cultural and religious symbolism, and a soaring appeal to reinvigorate Telugu-tanam (Telugu-ness). The second was his unapologetic warning of the Muslim demographic threat—he called upon Hindus to unabashedly increase their population.
His son-in-law, Chandrababu Naidu, as Chief Minister, undid both.
The downside to this success and appeal of N.T. Rama Rao was the fact that it was short-sighted and therefore short-lived. Barely two years into his Chief Ministership, his Telugu Desam Party was dubbed as a party of Kammas, a label that permanently stuck to it for good reason. Thus, while N.T. Rama Rao had decisively broken the spine of the Congress in Andhra, this Kamma label further contributed to the strengthening of caste divisions in the state. By the late 1980s and mid-1990s, these divisions hardened into open enmity and infrequent caste wars leading to violence and murders. In this divisive mix, the newly ascendant Kapus began demanding their pound of flesh as well.
Thus, when Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy (YSR) swept the Congress to spectacular victory in 2004 in both the Assembly and Parliamentary elections, the Hindu society in Andhra Pradesh was fragmented in a manner which continues to make it impossible to unite again.
YSR, a second-generation Christian convert was one of the most seasoned, wily and ruthless politicians India has seen. Cutting his teeth in the murderous politics of Rayalaseema, one of the first things he did was to eliminate all opposition to his power in his home turf. On the sophisticated plane, he began to systematically choke the support system of the TDP: the most high-profile instance of this was his sustained witch-hunt of the media baron, Ramoji Rao. On the wily plane, he carefully concealed his real identity as a Christian by making a public show of his Reddy identity.
Both worked beautifully.
To the missionary apparatus, this was a real gift from Christ. It began to implement a finely-honed technique of segmented marketing and conversion with aplomb. The Reddy community was now largely isolated from the larger Sanatana society and was highly vulnerable. Thus, it didn’t take too long for the aforementioned “Reddy Christians” to grow in numbers. Here is a real-life data point that illustrates this truth. Forget Andhra for a moment. As recently as 2006-8, huge shopping malls in Bangalore began stocking CDs and DVDs of something called Gospel Music for Reddy Christians.
The story of how YSR also extended state patronage to Christianity by establishing special-interest boards and corporations, giving out scholarships and grants exclusively to Christians is now well-known. This served the twofold purpose of strengthening the Chrisitian community against Hindus, and two, of luring Hindus to convert so they could reap this largesse. This is derived from the classic playbook of the medieval Muslim rulers.
Indeed, the assault was multi-pronged, crafty and occurred directly under the nose of the Hindu community. “Brother” Anil, YSR’s son-in-law went on a massive rampage of untrammelled conversions of Hindus throughout his torrid regime. The glorious bastion of classical Hinduism in southern India was rapidly being gnawed away and ruthlessly encircled by a ghost-worshipping cult.
Next, the YSR Government also drew blood in yet another sinister fashion. It brazenly auctioned off thousands of acres of temple land largely in the Godavari region. It was partially halted after huge public outrage. However, till date, no one knows whether these lands have returned to the Hindu fold.
However, the most flagrant attempt was the proposal to build Churches atop the sacred Tirumala hill itself. Once again, Hindu backlash aborted it.
YSR died before he could do further damage but the preying foundations that he had laid are today yielding a substantial harvest for his son, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
CHAPTER TWO: A CHRISTIAN STATE WITHIN THE INDIAN UNION
The current state of Andhra Pradesh is a Christian State within the Indian Union. It is manned by a devout practising Christian whose closest people in the government are Christians and the unseen hand of the Church-missionary apparatus looms large in the state.
The ongoing spate of vandalism of Hindu deities are mere methods to claim Andhra for Christ. In fact, these vandalisms are not the real deal, they’re not the picture but a miniature painting of what will happen to Hindus under a “pure” Christian state. Think about it. When politicians of the North-East joined the BJP, they took oath on the Bible.
In 2016, I had commissioned an informal survey, the results of which revealed that thirty percent of Hindus in coastal Andhra Pradesh had been converted to Christianity. This number did not include Christians who had retained their Hindu names. One can only guess by what factor this number would have increased now.
The worst fears have now come true.
If the ongoing attacks against Hindu deities are occurring with such frank impunity, at such rapid pace, with such frequency and in such a concerted, simultaneous fashion, they all lead to these inescapable conclusions:
1. The appalling extent to which Hindus have been converted.
2. The casually heartless manner in which these converts are being used as weapons against their own former religious brethren.
3. The Church machinery openly showing its full might because of its confidence in Jagan’s protective, political Christian fist.
4. A public challenge that the Church machinery has thrown to the cultural and constitutional foundations of India’s sovereign integral unity.
To put it even more bluntly, the issue is no longer about people converting to a “better” religion or for healthcare or education. Least of all is it about a theological victory. Indeed, when savants like Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel and Arun Shourie wrote that Christian theology was the mask that cloaked the imperialism inherent Christianity, this is what they meant. Indeed, as the protracted history of Christianity shows, theology is the deceptive preface that foreshadows an eventually assured bloody war of political conquest. Which is exactly what is occurring in Andhra: a naked and open capture and consolidation and of political power.
When Jaganmohan Reddy became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh with a stunning majority, an elderly scholar who I deeply respect uttered just three words in Telugu: Andhra sarvanashanam ayyindi—Andhra has been annihilated.
Those who have studied history will attest to the fact that Jagan Reddy increasingly resembles the Roman Emperor Constantine but unlike Constantine, he is fighting fit, hungry and eager for God. For a detailed and brutal explanation of what Constantine unleashed when he declared Christianity as Pagan Rome’s state religion, read this frightening essay.
Then there is also a purely political side to the ongoing Christian assaults against the Hindu society in Andhra. Arguably, the politican in Jagan Reddy knows that it is an uphill battle to singlehandedly face the formidable election juggernaut of the BJP. He also perhaps knows that if the BJP wrests Andhra, it will be the end of the road. A workable option before him therefore, is to harvest as many Hindu souls as he can so that in 2024, he would have carved out a substantial, readymade Christian vote bank that will be his sole monopoly.
CHAPTER 3: DESTRUCTION ON THREE PLANES
Unlike Chief Ministers with Hindu names who go to extraordinary lengths to declaim their Hinduness and assure that they are committed to protect the “minorities,” Jagan wears his Christianity on his sleeve.
Which calls into question the very notion of how we regard the concept of minorities. When missionaries have converted entire Hindu villages in Andhra to Christianity, do they still remain minorities? What happens to the temples and Mathas and other Sanatana institutions in these villages?
This consequence was precisely foreseen by our saints, savants and thinkers like Swami Vivekananda. Indeed, luminaries like P.V. Kane and D.V. Gundappa repeatedly warned of the dangers of both the unsuitability and the fatality of adopting an alien, Godless and soulless system like secular democracy in a deeply Dharmic civilizational state like Bharatavarsha. The verdict after seven decades is unambiguous: Hindus have been the most spectacular victims of the untested democracy that we imposed upon such a civilizational state in 1950.
The selfsame seven decades also reveals that the everyday truth that the Hindu society is devouring itself from within in two major ways:
1. While the senseless and politically motivated caste feuds have comparatively declined, the vestiges of mutual suspicion and distrust they have left behind, have continued to endure.
2. Increasingly, Christian converts of today are turning against their former Dharma with unmatched zeal, ferocity and an immediacy that was formerly absent.
And Jagan-governed Andhra is the latest battleground where both these factors are eminently, physically visible.
Going by the situation currently unfolding in Andhra, the Christian political apparatus is playing out on three main planes:
Political: Using state power to directly and indirectly convert Hindus on a massive scale. The concomitant feature of this vile endeavour includes the targeted harassment including violence against anything that can be identified as Hindu.
Societal: A near-total breakdown of the already splintered Hindu society thereby pushing it further to the brink of defencelessness until it is finally emaciated, until the vultures have left behind just the skeleton. Think about it. At the moment, the Reddy community forms the main and the most powerful support base of the “Reddy Christian” Jaganmohan Reddy. What would happen when “Reddy Christians” become the majority and the minority “Reddy Hindus” refuse to convert?
Individual: As we have already seen, conversions are no longer about religion, God, healthcare or education, but especially in Andhra, they have become a lucrative new route for making good money overnight. The missionary apparatus also ensures protection to these multilevel marketing agents of soul-harvesting who use mostly foul tactics to gain new converts. On the other side, individuals and small groups of Hindus who try to resist this menace have largely been rendered impotent.
The overall picture of Andhra today eerily resembles that of the Rwandan society in the nascent stages of internecine conflict before a full-blown civil war erupted and the state was finally claimed for Christ.
For the full details of what I mean, do read the horrifying chapter on the Rwandan genocide in Breaking India. Read and memorize.
CHAPTER 4: DEEP SLUMBER ENSURES SELF-INFLICTED DESTRUCTION
I have deliberately refrained from listing even the most shocking instances of the ongoing vandalism of Hindu deities in Andhra Pradesh for three straightforward reasons.
The first: fundamentally, these are not merely vandalisms but are the moving parts of a full-blown outbreak of Hindu persecution, akin to the daily episodes of a dark soap opera.
The second reason: it is redundant to provide such a list in an era of instant and global dissemination of news via even video.
The third reason: instances of this Hindu persecution will only escalate even as we speak and there are thankfully a good number of websites and portals that meticulously record them.
I’ll say just this much: if you ever wanted a concrete and live demonstration of the thousands of temples razed by medieval Turushka barbarians that you read about in history books, please visit the Jagan Reddy-ruled Andhra. At least back in that painful period of history, our ancestors fought back with great grit till the last man and the last drop of blood. Today, their descendants are whining and weeping.
And we wonder how Prolaya Vema Reddi would react if he was alive today.
The other brutal truth that the aforementioned Telugu scholar told me was this: Hinduvulu tama nashanaani votu vesi tecchukunnaaru—Hindus have brought their destruction by voting it to power.
To state the frank truth frankly, Jaganmohan Reddy would not have attained this level of electoral victory sans the overwhelming Hindu vote. The other fact is also that he campaigned not as a Christian but as the liberator of Andhra Pradesh from Chandrababu Naidu’s corrupt regime. Yet, as Chief Minister, what has been his record after nearly two years? Why is Andhra Pradesh witnessing almost an overnight eruption of sustained anti-Hindu assaults, something that had not occurred even in his father’s regime?
Blaming Jagan Reddy entirely is partly unfair. Contours of the full reality of the situation in Andhra become clear when we examine the other side as well. A representative example is that Swami who delivered an impressive block of Hindu vote to Jagan Reddy. Ever since, this Swami has become flamboyant and powerful. Unlike in a monarchy, it is clear that Swamis like him do not understand the short and long term dynamics of political power in a democratic set up.
This is also a sorry reflection of the state of the already-shattered Sanatana society in Andhra. But there’s something even worse.
A few months ago, a poster of sorts and an email emanating from Andhra gained wide currency. It was a statement from the Andhra Pradesh Vaidika Brahmin community expressing solidarity with Jagan Reddy who they regarded as some sort of saviour.
Perhaps the best way to describe this nadir is to recount the story of the Archaka Rama Bhatta who appears in Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s masterly epic, Thantu. After the Government takes over temples, the fate of thousands of such Archakas becomes truly pathetic. The Government pays them a pittance and many of them simply abandon their ancient Dharma. Grand temples fall into disuse and their exquisite Murtis become fodder for smugglers and thieves. However, some courageous folks like Rama Bhatta remain steadfast: he refuses to take the Government salary and somehow continues to perform his Dharma duties as the hereditary Archaka of the ancient Hoysala Temple. This is what he says: “Should I light the lamp in the temple with the money I get from the Government after bribing the clerk? I haven’t taken a single coin from the Government so far. Nor will I ever take it. Archakas from huge and renowned temples went on strike. Their demand from the Government: the money you give us is hardly anything. If you don’t give us a salary equal to that of a sweeper or a toilet-cleaner in Taluk and Municipal offices, we will stop performing Puja. In other words, what are they comparing their work to? If they go on a strike for performing Puja, do they have Bhakti?”
It is unnecessary to say anything beyond this.
As things stand at the moment, if it is any consolation, Chinna Jeeyar Swami, other Hindu Swamis, and political figures like Pawan Kalyan and the BJP’s Sunil Deodhar seem to have finally woken up, especially after the perverse vandalism at Rama Teertham. With due reverence and respect, it is once again a case of too little too late. The ideal situation would have been one of preventive vigilance, not postmortem. At any rate, it is heartening to note that all these eminences have announced a solid protest, which is good only for the short term because the real work lies in a different realm.
As a first step, these spiritual guides of the Sanatana society must seize the real nature of the missionary beast and understand the civilization-wrecking doctrine at its core. Until then, any amount of spirited resistance offered by large and small Hindu groups and sects will essentially be short-lived. These saints and swamis and political leaders must also study the demonstrated reality of a Christian state against whose might they are pitted.
This is the last chance.
|| Om Tat Sat ||
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