Recording Christian contribution to nation building

Liberating Christianity from the negative hue of being an outside religion is as much necessary today as much as recognizing Christian contribution.

Recording Christian contribution to nation building

By Binu Alexander

India as a nation got shaped in 1947 and later the freedom fighters became India’s heroes. Out of thousands of people who painfully and silently suffered, there were many Christians too but we hardly know about them. Their names may not sound Christian but they were pious believers. Have you heard of Pandita Ramabai Saraswati and Kali Chandran Banerjee or Madhusudan Das or S K Rudra? Even others with typical Christian names remain anonymous like Rosario Braganza or George Joseph or Paul Ramasamy. Liberating Christianity from the negative hue of being an outside religion is as much necessary today as much as recognizing Christian contribution. The uniting factor was art and culture. The cover photo of this month is from a retreat centre at Varanasi run by Indian Missionary Society, an indigenous congregation, where a huge number of people attend the retreat and most of them are not even Christian. Literature also made a major part of missionary activities in India. Translating the Bible into Indian languages or lexicography like the one by Padmabhushan Dr. Camille Bulcke SJ or writing epics on the Biblical themes like Kristubhagavatam by P. C. Devassia, all show “Christianity is as much a religion of the Indian soil as any other religion of India,” as affirmed by none other than the first Prime Minister of independent India. This month’s cover is an artistic testimony of this affirmation where Mother Mary whose Assumption we celebrate is depicted in a typical Indian texture and contour.

Binu Alexander, a journalist by profession, is Editor and Publisher of Living in Faith.

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