Hindu Fundamentalists Beat 5 Nuns in Madhya Pradesh

Mark Alessio

The accusation of “forced conversions to Christianity has once again been used as a pretext to justify Hindu fundamentalist violence against members of the Catholic community,” reports Asia News (Oct. 27, 2007):  

Yesterday 5 sisters of the Poor Clare’s order were savagely beaten with sticks by a group of activists from Dharma Raksha Samiti (Committee for the protection of religion), a fundamentalist organisation in favour of sati (the ritual suicide of the widows). The incident took place yesterday afternoon in Raseli, Indore diocese, Madhya Pradesh. The police have refused the diocese’ attempts to report the incident.

The sisters, members of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, are Sr. Jincy, 40, Sr.  Sayujia, 27, Sr. Pavitra, 26, Sr. Sweta, 26 and Sr. Anna Maria, 27. The young sisters are recovering from the brutal assault in Bhandari Hospital, where their condition is described as “grave.”

“We had gone to attend the Rosary Prayer at Mr. Anil’s house. He is a Catholic by birth and the driver of our convent, when they attacked us with sticks”, says Sr. Jincy. Kamal Waghela of the Dharma Raksha Samiti group accused the nuns of trying to convert local Hindus to Catholicism. He claims that, after the prayer meeting, the sisters “picked a quarrel on this issue which lead to [sic] clash between the sisters and our workers”.

Christiansunite.com reports (Nov. 6, 2007) that twenty Hindu militants surrounded the home of Mr. Anil in the city of Indore at approximately 8:30 PM on the evening of October 25th. At the conclusion of the prayer gathering, the mob began accusing the nuns of forcibly converting local Hindus to Christianity. They then proceeded to attack the sisters, continuing to assault them until police arrived. The police escorted the nuns to safety, but not before Sr. Jincy suffered serious head injuries as a result of the attack. Sr. Sayujya suffered a broken leg in the assault.

A statement released after the attack by the Indore diocese stated: “It is nothing but finding an easy way to justify the brutality done to women religious, we will fight with tooth and nail.” Archbishop Leo Cornelio, Chairman, Catholic Bishops Council of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, said, “We have been suffering silently but it looks that the fundamental organizations take it as a weakness from our part, it is an attack on women and human freedom.”

Local police refused to launch an official investigation into the attack until Catholic authorities agreed to call off a hunger-strike planned in response to the brutal beating of the five sisters. Police felt that such a protest would have reflected poorly on a meeting of Madhya Pradesh Industries which was scheduled for October 27th. Msgr. Cornelio told  AsiaNews:

What is alarming is that these fanatical outfits are so powerful politically, that the authorities cannot take care of Law and Order and fail in their duty to protect the citizens and hence these fanatics get encouraged to intensify their hate propaganda and anti-minority sentiments to carry out act [sic] of violence towards the monitory [sic] and get away scot-free. India is a democratic country and this cannot be tolerated, our religious freedom is non-negotiable.

There is a bizarre twist to the story. After beating the nuns and inflicting serious injury upon them, the Hindu zealots filed charges against the sisters at the local police station under the state's law restricting religious conversions.

Comment: Strangely enough, the first thing that entered my mind after reading about the five courageous nuns brutally beaten in Madhya Pradesh was the image of two “Womanpriest” harpies who recently made the headlines here in the States. According to a November 7, 2007 Associated Press report, Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, 67, and Elsie Hainz McGrath, 69, are going to be “ordained” as “priests.”

Naturally, the St. Louis Archdiocese has warned the “ladies” that they will be excommunicated should they proceed with their unholy little charade. The response from the women was, of course, the usual protestations of martyrdom. "It's a typically hierarchical form of intimidation, and we will not be intimidated," crowed Elsie McGrath. "What is he going to do, burn us at the stake, or what?" asked Rose Marie Hudson.

Compare, for a moment, McGrath and Hudson... and ask who has the greater claim to “victimhood.” The nuns of Madhya Pradesh risked attending a prayer gathering at the house of a fellow Catholic, knowing full well that they risked their lives to do so. McGrath and Hudson cluck because they desperately want to “take the stage” (which is all that the altar is for them) to play a clerical form of “dress-up.” With Catholics being persecuted daily in places like India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, etc., you would hope that, at the very least, these “womanpriest” types would feel some sense of shame in comparing themselves to truly courageous Catholic women.

As it is with Catholics everywhere these days, those living in India have an entire socio-political system against them. However, unlike Catholics living in America, who suffer “attacks” in the form of smarmy Hollywood blasphemies and persecution from idiotic celebrities and profiteering “civil-rights” groups, our brethren in India suffer direct assaults upon their persons. In fact, anyone who describes himself as a “Christian” is vulnerable to the most brutal assaults. The reports flow out of India in tidal waves. An 18-year-old Protestant  boy from Madhya Pradesh, returning from a prayer meeting, dies after being thrown from a train by members of a militant Hindu youth group. The wife of a Protestant minister in Bihar state is raped by a man put up to the deed by Hindu militants. In Orissa, three daughters of a Protestant pastor are molested by Hindu militants and chased down by a tractor while on their way to school.

Meanwhile, Indian states pass “anti-conversion bills,” mandating jail-time and fines for anyone found "forcibly converting" another person. As can be seen from the case of the five nuns savagely beaten in Madhya Pradesh, “forcibly converting” is in the eye of the beholder. And, of course, the police turn a blind eye to violence directed against Catholics and Protestants. In fact, in the case of the boy thrown from the train, the police wanted to rule his death a “suicide!”

No, aspiring “womenpriests” Rose Marie Dunn Hudson and Elsie Hainz McGrath, you won’t be burned at the stake by an “intimidating” hierarchy. You’ll be able to play dress-up, and no one will bother you. And, pray God, someday, you may acquire a fraction of the love for Christ and the Catholic Faith that has motivated the true martyrs of history. In fact, may we all be so blessed.


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