Aryāṃśa

Aryāṃśa

06-11-2021

12:45

When Ram Chandra and Chinman Lall, two Kayastha Hindus from Delhi converted to Christianity in 1852 –– the Muslims of Delhi were more shocked at the conversion than the local Hindus. Muslim poets even wrote couplets in Persian lamenting about the conversion.

The reason the Hindus were not as shocked was because both Ram Chandra & Chinman Lall had been open skeptics about religion for a long time. Orthodox Hindus had already distanced themselves from both. The Muslims were shocked as conversion of upper-caste Hindus was very rare.

Both of those converts were excommunicated from the Kayastha caste and Ram Chandra couldn't see his wife for 9 years. Ram Chandra also said his biggest fear of converting was he wouldn't be able to find husbands for his daughters marriage in Delhi.

This is similar to what happened when Nilakantah Gore, a wealthy Chitpawan Brahmin & traditional pandit converted to Anglican Christianity in 1848. He took a secret baptism. However, the Chitpawan community found out and news spread like wildfire in Pune and Bombay.

Nilakantah Gore was anathema from the Chitpawan Brahmin caste and his wife separated from him to go live with her father. Nilakantha (Christian name: Nelemiah) had to ask British authorities for help in forcefully bringing his wife to live with him again.

Nelemiah Gore was one of the most famous Brahmin converts. A rare case of a wealthy pandit converting to Christianity. The British missionaries had touted him as one of their greatest successes. He would write many treatises against all the Hindu darshanas in Hindi & Sanskrit.

Nelemiah Gore would become a tutor of the Sikh prince Dilip Singh (who himself had converted to Christianity). Both of them together would go to England to meet Queen Victoria and Max Müller, John Muir (who had been responsible for Nelemiah's conversion).

At this time, missionaries were primarily targeting Brahmins (and other upper caste hindus). This is clear from the fact all polemics against Hinduism were written in fluent Sanskrit by English evangelicals. The response to these works by Brahmins was written in Sanskrit as well.

John Muir, Chair of Sanskrit at Benaras College had written "Mataparīkṣā"(Examination of doctrines, a sketch for Christianity over Hinduism) Against this, a Marathi Brahmin named Somanatha had written the "Mataparīkṣāśikṣā" (Education of the examination of doctrines)

I will make a post compiling some of these arguments and the Hindu responses to them in a post on my substack when I get time. They are too detailed to be explained on twitter.



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