RSS may revive `Swadeshi Church' agenda at Kottayam conclave
KOCHI: When its top national leadership sits across a table with
Christian intellectuals in Kottayam next week discussing the
possibility of a `National Church', the RSS is likely to revive its
Swadeshi Church agenda with the hope of finding an ally in the
Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church.
Citing the live discussion between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian
Church and the Jacobite Syrian Church over the ``foreign supremacy of
the Church,'' RSS sources said that the concept of Swadeshi Church
would evolve stronger through the ongoing row between these factions.
Realising that time is opportune for cashing in on this, the RSS may
use the Kottayam conclave to propagate its `Swadeshi Church' theory.
The argument that the Catholicos enjoys the supreme control over the
temporal powers of the churches corroborates Sudarshan's Nagpur
statement that ``Churches should have no foreign links or financial
transactions'', sources pointed out. ``We have always been of the
view that Indian Churches should be independent and that their
management and properties should be solely under the control of
Indian Christians. The Orthodox faction is also attesting to this
view of Swadeshi management,'' they said.
However, according to Joseph Pulikkunnel, the main host of the
dialogue, the `National Church' is merely one of the six agendas set
for the programme. ``There would be also discussions on `Conversions,
minority rights, Dalit issues and flow of foreign funds. We don't
know what Sudarshan is going to focus on,'' Pulikkunnel said.
Sources, however, said that RSS chief K Sudarshan's idea of a
Federation of Swadeshi Churches is one of the main agendas of the
Addressing a public function at Nagpur last year, the RSS chief had
called on the Christian intellectuals in the country to initiate the
process by sitting together and discussing the shape of the
federation. Speaking on his concept of `Swadeshi' Church, the RSS
chief had also wanted the Indian Churches to sever all their foreign
links, including financial transactions.
Sudarshan had also insisted that the properties of the Churches
should be solely under the control of Indian Christians.
The RSS supremo's speech had drawn heavy flak from the spiritual
heads of various Churches and the laity associations in the country.
But Sudarshan reiterated his theory during a major dialogue between
the RSS and the Church leaders at Aluva in November last.
The Aluva meet was attended by the spiritual leaders of almost all
the major Churches in India, except the Syro- Malabar Church and the
Orthodox Syrian Church. There were reports that Sudarshan's repeated
adherence to his theory was one of the reasons that deterred these
major Churches from keeping out of the meet.