Friday, May 13, 2005

Kerala Christians helping (not!) the pilgrims to Sabarimala

may 13th

the hill shrine of lord ayyappan in sabarimala attracts millions of hindu pilgrims to kerala. there has been a long-running demand to build a railway line close to the shrine, and the railways had agreed to it. kerala complains perpetually about not getting enough railway investment. and the pilgrims to sabarimala complain perpetually about having to get off in places like kottayam, chengannur and ernakulam (railheads relatively close to sabarimala, and which are all dominated by christians who form 50+% of the population in these areas). hence the idea of a railway line to the shrine.

however, the kottayam-erumeli railway line has been abandoned by the kerala government because it would bother christians! so much for christian cooperation with hindus (especially apropos the news that tirupati is doing a lot of business with christians thanks to christian convert cm reddy). i am therefore amused by the righteous indignation shown by an anonymous poster on this blog, whom i shall call 'george', who identifies himself as the drain inspector.

here is the news report. the kerala CM, oommen chandy, who is known to be particularly close to christian interests, personally intervened in this. i have the original news report in malayalam, it was the top front page item in the kerala kaumudi on that day. the translation is mine.

i simply love the sentence: "The line to Sabarimala would not in particular benefit those who lost their land." that is, christians will only do things that benefit them explicitly.

how about the hindu jawans who lose their lives protecting, among others, the christians of kerala? they should probably say, "no, i don't think i'll go to the front today, as i will not in particular benefit from losing my life today defending the country for oommen chandy's benefit."

how about the hindus who put their money into the hundi at tirupati, wouldn't they be justified in thinking, "my money going to some christian missionary hospital isn't going to particularly benefit me"?

Kottayam-Erumeli railway line abandoned

Kerala Kaumudi, April 27, Wednesday

State Government recommends the cancellation of the project

Trivandrum: As requested by the State Government, the Southern Railway has decided to abandon the construction of the Kottayam-Erumeli railway line.

It was Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who recommended this step in the wake of disputes regarding the acquisition of land. The proposed railway line from Kottayam to Erumeli would go through Christian-majority areas. If the line became a reality, the houses of several prominent people, as well as churches, would be lost. In addition, many plantations would be divided in two. The line to Sabarimala would not in particular benefit those who lost their land. The State Government decided to terminate the Kottayam-Erumeli line, which the Center had approved, after taking such issues into consideration.

Railway Division manager Dr G Narayanan said in a press conference that the project has been terminated based on the State Government's recommendation.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rajeev,
Almost all of my christian friends in Kerala have gone and prayed in Sabarimala (that too after following all the austerities and regulations, almost every year!). So, its just some extremists minds in govt. that works against the railway line. Guess they dont get any money out of this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, This just proves that you have very few (one or zero) Christian friends in Kerala. The average Christian is like the fellow whose rantings on SEEurope were posted on this blog: he thinks he is worshipping God while Hindus worship Satan. In fact, the Christians actually worship Mammon, the god of money.

san said...

Now please stop that. I have Christian friends from Kerala, and I know they are staunchly pro-India, and they don't engage in Hindu-bashing. I'd also say that not all Christian sects have the same political orientations. I've seen some East European Catholics bash Hindus more than othes, along with Southern Evangelicals. But I find the Syrian Orthodox Church in India to be very benign and not conversion-oriented. BJP and VHP have themselves praised the Orthodox groups for this. You'll notice that the Vatican is always ruled by a White European. There were the usual insincere patronizing speculations about electing an African Pope or Chinese one, but you know in the end that the Roman Catholic Church will always be about Europe and the Holy Roman Empire from which it originates. That's why I sympathize with Chinese govt demands that no Chinese participate in a Church whose centre lies outside the country, because then that religion is only cultivating extra-territorial allegiance. If the Roman Catholics can't even elect one non-white pontiff after all this time -- and it's the 21st Century for heavens' sakes -- then they never ever will.

Anonymous said...

1. Please dont count the number of my friends, I cannot pay you for that.
2. I still stand by what I wrote earlier, because that is something I have come to know directly.
3. I also have Hindu friends who go for masses once in a while.
4. What about the whole idea behind Sabarimala. I thought, it was all about "secularism".
5. Dont we Hindus worship goddess Lekshmi for wealth and prosperity?
6. Please try to have some Christian friends from Kerala and try to understand them.

Anonymous said...

So how does this promote "separation of the church and state"? The UCC would have helped start the railroad.

Web Inspector said...


You can call me George, you can also call me "Drain-Inspector". In fact,
no better name for a guy who digs Rajeev's blog.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some comments from presumably Hindu
posters here defending their Christian friends. I always thought
Rajeev's readership is mostly a bunch of fanatics. I am wrong, and I am
glad that I am wrong.

Coming to the specifics of your post:

It is a known fact that no one except the pilgrims wanted that railway line.

1. The environment ministry was opposed to the line because it would cut
through the Periyar tiger reserve. The environmental activits too were
against it for the same reason.

2. The forest department was against it too. Even if implemented, the
railway line would have to be terminated before the forest boundaries.

3. The railway ministry was not keen on that line, because the traffic
is seasonal, therefore not profitable. It would require special
attention from the authority (the Central government), if the railway
link is to become a reality. The last BJP ministry had a BJP man from
Kerala as Raliway minister (for state). Why didn't they push for the
line, they had 5 years to do the job!

4. This is not the end of railway link to Sabarimala. Another one is
being done from Angamaly to Sabarimala. I hope that one materializes.
Pilgrims need to have facilities. Besides, scrapping that project would
mean more propaganda matter for you.

5. It was widely reported that the plantation owners were against the
railway line. May be they succeeded and also succeeded in putting the
blame on common man.

You may argue that these plantation owners are Christians. many are,
in those areas, yes. But they are not opposing the line for the sake of
Christianity, but for their personal gains. Can we hold Hindus responsible
for Rajeev's blogs? No. That would be stupid.

And these districts (Kottayam and Pathanamthitta) are Hindu majority btw. At least 50 to 55% is Hindu. Do you have some proof to show that the Hindus
of these districts welcomed the railway line while Christians opposed it?

So far so good. A railway line, that had many opposers was finally called off, and the blame is conveniently on Christians. Good.

And Rajeev, please don't invoke the soldiers' name to justify your
propaganda. Soldiers sacrifice for their nation and the nation respects
them. Rajeev says: "soldiers are Hindus, I am Hindu too. Therefore I
have a right to criticize Christians". No. you don't have that right.
You cannot bask in soldiers' glory. YOU are judged by what you have done
for the nation. Tell us what you did for India and we'll see if that
gives you a special right to judge and be critical of others.

btw, the army is not Hindu exclusive, there are many Christians and
Muslims in it. I have read your logic on this before. ie. you read
newspaper for two days while in Kerala, and did only find Hindu
soldiers' name in them, (names of those who died on the borders) and
concluded that all soldiers are Hindus. This is silly logic.

Thank you,
George, the 'Drain Inspector'

Anonymous said...


I am a student studying in the US. Recently I was doing some research on the net on the activities of the Christian churches and I came across an article which shocked me. I am attaching portions of the article below and also providing the link (
at which you may check the article first hand for yourself. Kindly organize yourself better and save Hinduism from extinction from its own country of origin.

A devout Hindu.

Church of God Active in the Asia/Pacific Region


Unreached People Groups Conference

The recent Tsunami in Southeast Asia has opened doors for the people of that region to hear the gospel. As a result of this, many have accepted Christ as their Savior.

The World Mission Leadership along with Asia/Pacific Field Director, W. Harold McLeod have decided to seize this opportunity to reach the lost. They will be conducting the "Unreached People Group Conference" in Thailand. This conference will begin on May 17, 2005 and conclude on May 20, 2005.

Leaders from 20 countries in Asia will come together for four days of intense instruction on ways to reach the millions that have never heard the name of Jesus. These leaders will take that knowledge and return to their area of leadership and train others. This will mobilize the church in Asia to spread the gospel to unreached people.

Your prayers for this conference are greatly appreciated.

145 Hindu's saved in India!

Four mini crusades were conducted in India during the month of April. A total of 145 were saved, 67 people were baptized and many were healed. All of those who were saved and baptized came from a Hindu background.

The overseer of India/ West Central Region, A. Mathai, along with pastors Shibu Thomas and Reji Samuel were the speakers at the crusades. God used them mightily to spread the gospel to the people of India.

Please-SAVE HINDUISM from the Muslims & Christians.

Shikari Shambu said...

I thought the whole idea of the pilgrimage to Sabrimala was fasting, trekking thru' forests etc...not landing there at the shrine thanks to indian railways.

I am glad that the christians (if it was that religious block) are doing the best to ensure that the hindus uphold their customs.

And, Kerala needs other urgent rail investment rather than this stupid line to sabarimala.

Oh yeah, I am a keralite

Anonymous said...

Christian terrorism is on the rise in Central travancore area. It's these same terrorists under the patronage of Shri. Ooomen Chandy & the Manorama gang that's against the Sabari line. [This project was indeed proposed when Shri O Rajagopal was the minister]
The reason could be the un-authorized land loot by the same gang with active support from the Church. If this line is approved, many shady land deals of the Church & its gang would come out in open.

The previous post by a keralite is misleading, since the railway line stops at Kottayam and from there pilgrims need to board a bus to Pamba. From Pamba, yes pilgrims need to go through the forest areas. Kottayam is richly populated with Christian traders who will lose, if a railway line directly goes to Pampa.


Anonymous said...

Please, it is no good for anybody to start a religious issue anywhere. Everybody is a human, let him keep his faith and be saved. Regarding the railway line, the Government and the railway ministry would have their own feasibility studies, and we can expect at least the railway ministry to come out with what is workable and what is a wishlist.
Secondly, Hinduism is not a religion. It is a way of life and refers to people living to south of river Indus. means India. That means basically all Indians are Hindus, and we should be proud of being part of a 5000+ year old culture.
Regarding the blog by 'anonymous', he should understand there are bad apples in Christianity (just like in Hinduism the religion - extremist BJP, etc. who take the name of religion for collecting votes) who misuse the religion for their own gain, money and power. You are in the US, if you open your mind and look around, you will see that the REAL church is rising against this "counterfeit revival" of christian head-hunters and crusaders.
Having said so much, it would be a shame to have finished without putting in a word about the corrupt selfish cheating criminals in the state legislative assembly who should be imprisoned. It's open news that if you pay the right amount to the toppers, they would get you seats in educational institutions, employment, contract jobs, etc. How else would there be so many sex scandals, bribery, nepotism, hooliganism and gangs, trade union extremism, etc. flourish? Now is the time for the coporate comrades and white-shirted thieves. Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi must be rolling in their graves to see such hypocrite politicians taking a free ride on their names. Young people, unemployed youth, don't let these people cheat you into joining their parties and be the foot soldiers for a non-cause. Otherwise, in your latter years, you will suffer without a future while the demi-gods for whom you toiled will sleep in the luxury of their palaces made from the money of your blood and sweat. Wake up!
Certainly, God has left the land a long time back. It is now the Kingdom of Oz.

Anonymous said...

Why convert to Christianity ? It is only imitating Hindu temple customs, rituals, and rites. Why convert and imitate ? Why are these Padres going around claiming that they are Sanyasis and Sanyasinis ? I ask you how can beef eaters and wine drinkers call themselves Sanyasis ? Why light Hindu lamps. Will their Desert God accept 'strange fire' ? Why shamelessly erect Dhwajastambha in front of churches ? Their Desert god frowns on these pagan practices. Converts, why imitate shamelessly ! RETURN TO YOUR ANCESTRAL RELIGION -SANATANA DHARMA - HINDUISM.

Sanathan Dharmishtan said...

Mr. G K S , what you have said is absolutely right. All religions and worship methods are formed as per the geographic peculiarity of the land where the religion was formed. So a religion which took its origin in dry desert like lands have their own limitations so they try to imitate and steal Sanathana Dharma way of worshiping. How could a candle shine infront of The Sun. Let them read "Christumata Chethanm" written by Chattambi Swami. The thing is that they found a green land and they want to be the masters on this land. Sanathana Dharma followers Awake now or never.