"Kicking" out the Christians of India...
Oct 02, 2008 11:17 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
To all readers
"May 7-H.P.B. and H.S.O. embark for Ceylon on the British India coasting steamer SS Ellora (Captain Wickes); accompanied by E. Wimbridge, Ddmodar, Purshotam, Panachand Anandji, Sorabji J. Padshah, Ferozshah D. Schroff, Mrs. Purshotam and Babula. Leave Headquarters in charge of Miss Rosa Bates and Emma Coulomb (ODL, II, 152, 153; Theos., I, June, 1880, p. 240). It is on this trip to Ceylon that the Founders met for the first time young D. H. Hewavitarne, sixteen years of age at the time, who later became the world-renowned Anâgârika Dharmapâla, the great Buddhist reformer."
"Dharmapala was one of the primary contributors to the Buddhist revival of the 19th century that led to the creation of Buddhist institutions to match those of the missionaries (schools, the YMBA, etc), and to the independence movement of the 20th century. DeVotta characterizes his rhetoric as having four main points: "(i) Praise - for Buddhism and the Sinhalese culture; (ii) Blame - on the British imperialists, those who worked for them including Christians; (iii) Fear - that Buddhism in Sri Lanka was threatened with extinction; and (iv) Hope - for a rejuvenated Sinhalese Buddhist ascendancy" (78). He illustrated the first three points in a public speech:
"This bright, beautiful island was made into a Paradise by the Aryan Sinhalese before its destruction was brought about by the barbaric vandals. Its people did not know irreligion... Christianity and polytheism [i.e. Hinduism] are responsible for the vulgar practices of killing animals, stealing, prostitution, licentiousness, lying and drunkenness... The ancient, historic, refined people, under the diabolism of vicious paganism, introduced by the British administrators, are now declining slowly away." (Anagarike Dharmapala, quoted in A. Guruge, Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays and Letters of the Anagarike Dharmapala. Colombo: Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, 1965. 482)
He once praised the normal Tamil vadai seller for his courage and blamed the Sinhalese people who were lazy and called upon them to rise. He strongly protested against the killing of cattle and eating of beef."
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