Indian Christians fiercely criticized the reprint of Christ Parichay, which translated means Jesus was a Tamil Hindu. Furthermore, the text by Ganesh Damodar Savarkar espouses Christianity is merely a sect of Hinduism.
"There is an attempt to re-write history and draw us into controversy. Christianity is well-grounded and based on the person of Jesus, who without a doubt is a real person in history. The RSS is welcome to claim what they will; it doesn't affect us. Our faith in Jesus is based on a personal encounter with Christ," Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay told Mid-Day.
The book, originally published in 1946, will be re-published Feb. 26 by Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, a trust of the organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Author Savarkar was one of the founders of the organization.
India Today evaluated the book's basic ideas:
- "Ganesh Damodar claims that Christianity is a sect of Hinduism.
- "The present-day Palestinian and Arab territories were a Hindu land.
- "He went on to say that Christ traveled to India and learnt yoga. Who knows Modi might have also learnt it from 'our very own' Christ, right?
- "Christ's real name was Keshao Krishna, according to the author. He even had a dark complexion and his mother tongue was Tamil.
- "Christ's sacred thread ceremony (janeyu) was held when he was 12, according to Brahmin tradition. He even wore a sacred thread.
- "Apparently, Christianity was never a separate religion and it was a Hindu cult and doctrine introduced by Christ.
- "Christ was saved after his crucifixion by people from the Essene's cult, who practiced Yoga and spiritual science.
- "He was given medicinal herbs and plants for his recovery from the 'deathbed.' Christ also was taken to Kashmir.
- "It was in Kashmir that Christ prayed to Lord Shiva and he spent the last days of his life in the Himalayas.
- "Damodar claims that Christ's family dressed in an 'Indian' way and had Hindu signs on their bodies."
A petition on change.org calls for the book to be banned.
"We strongly condemn and demand for BAN full copy of book CHRIST PARICHAY written by BABARAO SAVARKAR elder brother of swatantra Veer SAVARKAR it will be republish on 26 feb2016 which was earlier written in 1946 but BAN for publication (sic)," the petition reads.
"This book mention baseless and complete wrong information of LORD JESUS CHRIST and it will provoke communal violence and infringe Peace and Harmony in Maharshtara (sic)."
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