Origin of Christianity in India: A Historiographical Critique

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Media House, 2007 - Christianity - 392 pages
History of Saint Thomas Christians; with reference to Kerala, India.

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All the Hindu rituals, beliefs, customs followed by Christians before the Synod of Dampier are clear evidences to show that Syrians were converted from untouchables. Pariahs and Pulayas believed in transmigration and they offer even today flowers and sacrifices (vavu bali) to dead souls thinking they would continue to bless them in transmigrated status. It is foolish to say that Christian children attended Hindu schools, for there were no Hindu schools at that time. Portuguese started theological schools at Vaippicotta, Kodungalloor and Kochi; CMS missionaries started regular schools and colleges. As a matter of fact, caste Hindus (Brahmins and Nairs) vied with one another to get admission in CMS schools where low-caste Christian students were studying in large numbers. .Exorcism, astrology, marriage customs are similar to Hindu Pariahs and Pulayas and that is why the Synod wanted to civilize Syrian Christians. Christians were asked to believe in resurrection and not transmigration. In dress, Hindu women were not allowed to cover their breasts, and that was the common practice not merely of untouchables from whom Syrians were converted, but even among caste Hindus such as Nambbodiris and Nairs. When Syrian immigrants married lower caste women, they were almost naked except a small piece of loin cloth to cover the genital area. So, like the Arab immigrants in Malabar, they stitched a collarless shirt called Chatta (Tamil word for shirt) and a long piece of single cloth to cover the bottom portion from navel to calf called Mundu ( a Tamil word for dhoty) and the excess cloth was not cut off to avoid waste but frilled and tucked at the back. . Most of the maid servants and poor women in huts all over Kerala wear chatta and mundu. The Synod wanted to civilize Syrian Christians because they were all from untouchable castes. In the initial stage, a few West Asia immigrants would have married some untouchable women, like Anglo-Indians, but at a later stage it was mass marriage among untouchables who had become Christians. That is why they retained all the rituals of untouchable Hindus. Read Thurston’s customs. beliefs, marriage (Tali tying) of untouchables such as Pariahs, Pulayas, Mukkuvas, Kuravas and Ezhavas. Then we will understand how the Synod wanted to civilize and modernise Syrians who came from that stock. False identity claiming Namboodirii and Nair caste will boomerang, for Nairs and Nambbodiris do not accept Syrians as converted from their castes. They ridicule and pooh-pooh these insane claims, ignoring historical and demographic evidences. 

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Written from an Roman Catholic point of view, hence not neutral. Heavily biased.

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