Sacred Places

pic of Dev Bara Karo at the Madgaon Train Station by Arun Shanbhag

It is sad that in India, places of worship are being targeted to achieve political ends, or vent frustrations. This is absolutely wrong! Temples, churches, mosques, and all other places of worship are sacred and should not be pawns in political movements. People should feel empowered to use objective fora to address grievances. Politicians! Make it happen and stop using these incidents to advance narrow political gains!

In an attempt to address the grievances, the Karnataka state government blames “the flow of foreign funds,” for conversion of Hindus into Christianity.

Let’s follow the money trail. The Jan-Mar issue (see pg 7 top, in this PDF) of Hinduism Today, had a piece titled: “Avalanche of Christian Aid Falls on India.” The information was extracted from a report: “Receipt of Fereign Contribution by Voluntary Associations” (for 2005-2006) published by the Government of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs. In 2005-2006 for which the latest data is available, nine of the top fifteen agencies are Christian and six are secular. None are Hindu. These nine alone add up to $224 million coming into India. The State AND Central governments should investigate what the funds are being used for.

    Amounts reported by the nine organizations and country of origin

  • Gospel Fellowship Trust of India (USA): $60 million
  • Gospel for Asia (USA): $36 million
  • Fundacion Vicente Ferrer (Alicant, Spain): $27 million
  • Christian Aid (UK): $21 million
  • Miseror Mozartstrasse (Germany): $20 million
  • Fundacion Vicent ferrer (Madrid, Spain): $20 million
  • Kindemothilfe (Germany): $14 million
  • Manos Unidas (Spain): $13 million
  • Missio Germany (Germany): $13 million

How are these funds used in India? The Gospel for Asia mission for India: Plant another 300 Baptist Churches, start 10 Christian Schools and establish 3 Bible colleges within the next 10 years.” Yikes! Am waiting for the politicians to follow up on their own data and investigate!

Konkani Genocide by Christians in Goa:
The Konkanis have faced their own persecution when Christians destroyed all their temples and attempted genocide.

When the Portuguese took over Goa in the 1500s, they announced the Inquisition, a systematic pogrom to irradicate all aspects of Hindu culture. This genocide was with the blessings and encouragement of the Vatican. Archives have letters written by Francis Xavier (later sainted) asking the King of Portugal to give the order to impose the Inquisition in Goa. ALL Hindu temples in Goa were burn’t, the lands confiscated and given to the church. By edict, Hindus could not own any land; these were confiscated by the Church. Hindus were caught and beef was rubbed on their lips forcing them to convert. Resistance was met by burning at the stake! Hindus were prohibited from having any images or representations of the Gods and were prevented to even read their scriptures in the privacy of their homes.

Later Christian missionaries have tried to whitewash their atrocities; see an example and discussion of the Revisionism here.

ALL our Konkani temples in Goa were destroyed. Our family Kuldevata Ramnathi was originally in the village of Lotli in the district of Salsette. Our temple was destroyed in 1566 and records indicate that in Salsette alone, 280 temples were destroyed!

Konkani faithful carried remnants of the deity across the Zuari to the region of Ponda, which was then not under Portuguese control. There our temples were rebuilt. Today the Ramnathi Devasthan stands magnificent, a symbol of a resilient people. And we vow: Never Again!

From my recent visit to Ramnathi; In this hall (antaraalay) devotees gather for divine grace!
pic of outer hall at the Shanteri Kamakshi Ramnath Devasthan temple by Arun Shanbhag

Konkani remain a God-fearing people: See opening Konkani sign at the Madgaon Train Station, wishing all: “May God do you good”

My Posts Related to Konkani Temples in Goa:

30 thoughts on “Sacred Places

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  1. Good account. I had heard of inquisition and desertion of Goa by our fore-fathers. I understand that our ancestors were residents of Nagve – may be it was situated in Salsette. Do you have any details of these villages and Konkani residents prior to inquisition. Our people migrated alongwith deity and set up temple at Ankola _Laxminarayana Mahamaya Temple. Mine is fifth generation at Ankola (North Kanara District).
    I shall be obliged if you could disseminate available information.
    I am staying in Mysore at present after opting for Voluntary Retirement from State Government service.


    R U Mahale

    Mysore India
    Phone: 0821-2561540

    1. Namaskar Mr Mahale:

      Thank you for going through this article and sharing your thoughts.

      I am currently working on a compilations of ALL the towns and temples sacked by the Portuguese. I do find that indeed the Portuguese destroyed all the temples in the village of Nagave, also called Nagao, taluka of Salsette.

      VN Kudva mentions that the Bhagvathi Devi from Nagve was moved to Marcel, while the Shanteri Devi, GramPurush, Barajan and LaxmiNarayan were taken to Ankola. Looks like you are absolutely right.

      If you have any of your temple literature which discusses the history of your Kuldevata, will you please forward it to me? I will be in Mumbai in Aug and can arrange to talk on the telephone.

      Many regards,

  2. Arun

    I have surfed your blog many times and enjoy your posts and recipes very much. Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for maintaining such an informative and interesting blog.


    1. Hi N Pai:

      I want to thank you for your kind support and in particular for sharing your kind words.

      I will continue to do my best and would appreciate feedback from you.

      Best Wishes and Thank you,

  3. Hi! There are other websites too which voice the same concerns… I get extremely distressed that our politicians and the media in india are so anti – hindu! If anyone voices their concerns about this, they are termed non-secular! When will this change? The collections from the temples is used to fund haj ! Can’t these be used to develop other temples and the villages surrounding them ? I still hope we survive this onslaught of conversions – it is an active programme where I stay! History has shown that Hinduism has survived several onslaughts…I hope god drills some sense into our politicians and makes them realise that they have to look into this matter!

    1. Thank you Anu for sharing your pain.

      it is truly sad that how the media and the ‘secular elite/fundamentalists’ has subverted the educational system to forward their ends.

      And politicians are the most spineless, corrupt vermin you have seen. yes, they will sell their own mother for a few votes in the election, so they can win a seat and collect more bribes!

      I think it is upto each and everyone of us to stand up for what we believe to be right! and fight against injustice!

  4. hi arun sir..i think this article is trying to tarnish the image of the christians in india..i am sure u will agree to that..sorry to say this..why cant u tell abt the muslium rulers who bulldoozed temples ??!!

    From Arun:
    Hi Joe:
    Thank you for sharing your distress. Rest assured, my goal is not to paint any faith with a broad brush. Actually I have previously posted many pics of fabulous churches all over the world and wonderful experiences there.

    But, I am a Konkani and OUR TEMPLES WERE DESTROYED by the Portuguese with sanction by the Vatican. It pains me to know this. And it should pain you too! My mission is to educate fellow konkanis, and any others who will listen, to the atrocities and attempts at genocide that we have survived. Did you expect me to whitewash this troubling aspect of our history and our personal heritage?

    This information is not discussed in the history books (I don’t know why); so I have a personal responsibility to research and disseminate this information to a wider audience.

    And you are absolutely right; Muslims did bulldozed 1000’s (perhaps millions) of Hindu temples. I hope others, perhaps you, can help identify and share this information in a cogent manner online. I am but one and have my plate full.

    Best Wishes

  5. Sia:
    It is amazing that our convent education system has brainwashed us! We don’t even know our own history!

    But I am glad that with the internet we can connect, find out the truths and learn.

  6. It’s upsetting how Christians are forcing conversions like that, even today. It’s interesting, because Kerala has Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Jews living side by side with little trouble. However, it seems the degree of influence among the Abrahamic faiths (aside from Judaism) is increasing, and often times, costing Hindus. The hajj is state-funded, apparently, but trips to Sabarimala are not. This is at least what I’ve heard.

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