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Kailash Satyarthi’s Nobel Prize decoded – NitiCentral

My note:

Hold your Applauses. “Nobel” is not necessarily noble!

Notes from a colleague, SD:

India needs to understand the ways of the West, particularly evangelical enterprise.    Arvind Kejriwal is in our recent memory.   Satyarthi maybe a genuine guy with not so desirable Marxist connections, but evangelical enterprise modus operandi is to identify activists, give them awards and lift them up at the cost of many others who could be doing much greater work and make the activists beholden to their agenda.  What is so disturbing is World Vision, the largest missionary enterprise congratulating him as a partner!!! World Vision has also the dubious record of day light murdering of Swami Laxmananda and his associates after attempting several times.  Here is quote Hindu in March 13, 2001 on scale of evangelical enterprise (which was not under the same leadership as now):

(for interested readers)
Christian missionary enterprise presentation:
World Vision murder of Swami Laxmananda (see images)
===========================================================================================

SANKRANT SANU | OCT 12, 2014

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Kailash Satyarthi seems deeply involved in Western evengelical institutional structures.

Kailash Satyarthi seems deeply involved in Western evengelical institutional structures.

The announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize for Kailash Satyarthi was somewhat of a shock. Firstly he was practically unknown within India with journalists and others all shaking their heads and asking “Satyarthi who?” Secondly, the announcement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee was both politically charged and condescending:

The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.

The announcement draws on the old theme of Western “parity” between India and Pakistan, and then calls out the purportedly “Hindu” and “Muslim” affiliations of the awardees. Now, going back at least 10 years we did not find the religion of the awardees mentioned in the Nobel Peace Prize announcement. Barack Obama is not called out as a Christian, nor are the affiliations of Marti Ahtisaari, Al Gore, Mohammad Yunus, or any of the other awardees called out. Why the necessity to call out Satyarthi as a Hindu?

Not that Satyarthi is, by any stretch, a Hindu leader. In fact, Ellen Barry, writing in the New York Times, explicitly points out that he is a Marxist. Here is my exchange with her:

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The long-standing friend and colleague that Barry cites is Simon Steyne. Simon Steyne, according to a report in the Telegraph was a Marxist and “A former militant schoolboy who was once considered so dangerous that his activities were investigated by MI5 is working as a senior official for the Trades Union Congress.” Steyne was vice-chairman of the Schools Action Union, an organisation of militants, “An extreme Maoist group” that Steyne himself described as a “”Marxist-Leninist-Liberal broad front”. In any case, all this Steyne says, is in the past.

Would the Nobel Prize Committee call out a Marxist in the West as a “Christian” just as it calls Satyarthi as a “Hindu.” It appears on the lines of “thou protesteth too much”, unusually calling out a religious affiliation of someone who is clearly not properly identified with that label. What exactly are they trying to hide?

Speaking of religious affiliation, it looks like there is another nexus at play.  Of the congratulations Satyarthi got, one came from World Vision who identified him as a “partner.”

Representational image

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World Vision is powerful evangelical organisation that makes no secret of its Christian affiliation and agenda. Satyarthi partnering with World Vision brings the classic Breaking India nexus into play—using Indian Leftists to pave the way for evangelism mission in India. World Vision declined to provide additional details of their relationship. “Project Rescue:” that aims to bring trafficked children “to Jesus” is another potential link. Other Christian evangelical websites such as “Rivers of Hope”, referenced Satyarthi’s  Bachpan Bachao Andolan rescues, though their exact relationship remained unclear.

Jaya Jaitley, in an NDTV interview after the Nobel was announced, also gave a less-than-glowing review of Satyarthi. Apparently she was quite familiar with his work from the 1980s before he got the Nobel, but she “found the selection of awards rather strange.”

She also mentioned that “we hadn’t heard much about his work lately. He has gotten a lot of international awards and there are some cynical comments on how these awards are selected.” There were many people working on the issue of child labour and Satyarthi’s work was not particularly notable. She called out Swami Agnivesh, who Satyarthi“trained with” as the one who brought this issue to the fore and was the prime mover. It is unlikely a saffron-clad “Hindu” would be given the Nobel, however.

If we take a look at the list of awards that Satyarthi has received, Jaitley’s contention is certainly borne out.

– Defenders of Democracy Award (2009-USA)

– Alfonso Comin International Award (2008-Spain)

– Medal of the Italian Senate (2007-Italy)

– Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavey by US State Department (2007-USA)

– Freedom Award (2006-USA)

– In October 2002, Satyarthi was awarded the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan in recognition of his courageous humanitarian work against the exploitation of child labor.

– Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (1999-Germany)

– La Hospitalet Award (1999-Spain)

– De Gouden Wimpel Award (1998-Netherlands)

– Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995-USA)

– The Trumpeter Award (1995-USA)

– The Aachener International Peace Award (1994-Germany)

Germany, USA, Spain and Italy are certainly prominent among the countries from which these awards originate. Also the US State Deparment has both awarded Satyarthi and funded his Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) during the Bush era.

Finally, Megha Bahree writes in Forbes that her experience with Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan was “Anything But Nobel-Worthy.”  She mentions being taken by a BBA representative on a “tour” to show her child labour for a story she was doing. But none of the places she took her had child labor, till he finally asked her to wait and presented a situation with looked fake to her journalistic eyes. As she pointed out “the problem is that the more children you show “rescued”, the more funds you get from foreign donors.” On that account BBA appeared to be doing rather well. According to Madhu Kishwar, as far back as 12 years ago, he was funded $2 million dollars by US and German foundations.

Representational imageRepresentational image

Kailash Satyarthi has no doubt done some good work.  At the same time he also appears to be deeply embedded in Western institutional structures and sources of funding for a long time.  But he also has his local supporters.  He has received an endorsement from Dr. Vaidik, who also claims to know him for long.  Dr. Vaidik says that Satyarthi is not self-promotional and keep a simple lifestyle. On the other hand it is difficult to reconcile the slew of largely foreign awards, criticism of peers and charges of inflating numbers with the endorsement of lack of self-promotion.

The verdict is still out on Satyarthi and the Nobel on whether he is a hero manufactured by Western institutions for their own interests or a simple, unassuming human rights worker. Given the pattern of funds, the less than stellar endorsement from peers, his Marxist leanings coming with a “Hindu” tag and relationships with evangelical organizations such as World Vision, we should take our newly minted hero with a grain of salt.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


ABOUT AUTHOR

Sankrant Sanu

Sankrant Sanu is an entrepreneur, writer and researcher based in Seattle and Gurgaon. His essays were published in the book “Invading the Sacred” that contested Western academic writing on Hinduism and is a popular writer and blogs at sankrant.org. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and the University of Texas and holds six technology patents.

Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders- 65% has unfavorable view of Hindus

This is an eye opening survey by a reputed (albeit, strongly Christian) foundation. It is important because it reflects opinions of a vast cross-section of top protestant evangelical leaders.

I am reproducing here a small part that talks about Christian evangelicals view of Hindus and Hinduism. I suggest that you click on the link at the bottom to read the report or download the PDF file. There are interesting nuggets on the belief in theory of creation, literal interpretation of Bible, etc. More importantly it brings out majority opinion that environment in “Global South”, i.e., almost all of the world except Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand is conducive to conversion.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

An excerpt from Pew Forum’s Survey of evangelical leaders

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

These are among the key findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life of 2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries and territories who were invited to attend the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization, a 10-day gathering of ministers and lay leaders held in October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. …….

On the whole, the evangelical Protestant leaders express favorable opinions of adherents of other faiths in the Judeo-Christian tradition, including Judaism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. But of those who express an opinion, solid majorities express unfavorable views of Buddhists (65%), Hindus (65%), Muslims (67%) and atheists (70%). Interestingly, the leaders who live in Muslim-majority countries generally are more positive in their assessments of Muslims than are the evangelical leaders overall.2

lausanne-exec-5

Relations with Other Religious Traditions

Historically, the evangelical Protestant tradition was at odds with Catholicism.  But the survey shows that evangelical leaders today hold favorable views of Catholics by a more than three-to-one margin, and they perceive Catholics as mostly friendly or neutral toward evangelicals. The leaders express similarly positive views about adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy, the third major historic tradition (alongside Protestantism and Catholicism) within global Christianity.

lausanne-exec-15

The evangelical leaders also are favorably disposed toward the century-old renewalist movement known as Pentecostalism. Some evangelical Christian denominations in the U.S. (including the largest, the Southern Baptist Convention) forbid or discourage Pentecostal practices such as speaking in tongues. But the survey finds little friction between the Lausanne delegates and Pentecostal Christians. More than nine-in-ten of the leaders who express an opinion (92%) have a favorable view of Pentecostals, and eight-in-ten (80%) see Pentecostal Christians as friendly toward evangelicals in their country — more than any other group considered. Only 3% say Pentecostals are unfriendly, suggesting there is little tension with this closely related movement or, in the view of some scholars, sub-set of evangelical Protestantism.5

lausanne-exec-16

Overall, most of the evangelical leaders report that conflict between religious groups is not a big problem in their home countries. Leaders in the Middle East and North Africa are most likely to say religious conflict is a moderately big (37%) or very big (35%) problem. About half of those in the Asia-Pacific region (55%) and sub-Saharan Africa (49%) also see inter-religious conflict as a moderately or very big problem. By contrast, in North America, Latin America and Europe, majorities say it is either a small problem or not a problem at all.6
lausanne-exec-17

Still, the survey finds some signs of tension with non-Christian religions, particularly Islam. Nearly seven-in-ten of the evangelical leaders (69%) name Islam as more prone to violence than other religions.7 Far more leaders say Islam and Christianity are “very different” (69%) than say the two faiths have “a lot in common” (25%). And a solid majority of the leaders who express an opinion (69%) feel that Muslims are generally unfriendly toward evangelicals in their country. Sizeable minorities also see Hindus (41%) and Buddhists (39%) as unfriendly toward evangelicals. Of the evangelical leaders who express opinions on other religious groups, most say they hold generally unfavorable views of Hindus (65%), Buddhists (65%) and Muslims (67%).

Jews are the only non-Christian religious group toward which the leaders express generally favorable opinions. Three-quarters have either mostly favorable (60%) or very favorable (16%) views of Jews, even though most do not think those views are reciprocated; lausanne-exec-1886% think that Jews are either neutral (53%) or unfriendly (33%) toward evangelicals. By a margin of more than three-to-one, most also say that God’s covenant with the Jewish people continues today (73%) rather than that the biblical covenant with the Jewish people no longer applies (22%).

Attitudes toward Israel, however, are more mixed. Overall, 48% of the evangelicals say the state of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus, while 42% say it is not. More say they sympathize with Israel (34%) than with the Palestinians (11%), but a small majority say they either sympathize with both sides equally (39%) or with neither side (13%). Leaders from sub-Saharan Africa are especially inclined to sympathize with Israel (50%), while sympathy for the Palestinians is strongest in the Middle East and North Africa (26%). Among evangelical leaders from the United States, three-in-ten (30%) sympathize more with Israel, 13% sympathize more with the Palestinians and nearly half (49%) say they sympathize with both sides equally.

The survey also assesses the evangelical leaders’ perceptions of non-religious people. Asked to assess the attitudes of various groups toward evangelical Christians in their country, just 7% say they consider non-religious people to be friendly, while 45% say the non-religious are unfriendly toward evangelicals. And seven-in-ten leaders who answered the question (70%) say they have either a very unfavorable (35%) or mostly unfavorable (35%) opinion of atheists.

POLL June 22, 2011

http://pewforum.org/Christian/Evangelical-Protestant-Churches/Global-Survey-of-Evangelical-Protestant-Leaders.aspx

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