The Toda Janjati community, an indigenous group living in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, India, is facing a threat to their cultural and traditional practices. Due to the increasing conversions to Christianity in their community situation is very alarming. The Toda Janjati is a small community that follows nature worship and ancient forest-dwelling. The community has been struggling to preserve their cultural practices, but the conversions are making it even harder for them.
The organised and forced conversion by Christian missionaries has encapsulated a lrge part of India, and we do not have measure still to counter them.
Christian Conversion Racket
Several Christian missionaries have been targeting the Toda Janjati community for conversion, promising them better opportunities, education, and health care in exchange for their faith. The conversions have been happening at an alarming rate, and it is estimated that nearly half of the community has already converted to Christianity.
Under Joshua Project, which is a flagship network of Christians which targets conversion on a mass level. They are so alarmed and active, that the whole conversion is carried out in a very scientific manner. Data tables and real-time situation is analysed region-wise and caste-community wise on Joshua project website.
The conversions are affecting the Toda community. The community members who have converted are distancing themselves from their traditional practices, including their religious beliefs, language, and attire. The conversions have led to a loss of identity and cultural heritage for the community.
The Toda Janjati community leaders and activists have raised their concerns and have been trying to stop the conversions, but their efforts have been futile.
While the Indian constitution guarantees the freedom to practice and propagate any religion, but this targeted and planned conversion has no counter-law. The community leaders have asked the government should take action to protect the cultural and traditional practices of Todas.
Todas and Their culture
Todas are known for their stringent rules which have until now been the protector of the community. Their sense of unity with the nature and the essence of archaic pagan rituals is fascinating. The dwelling communities of Todas are called Mund, and unfortunately only 140 are remaining. And they are dependent on cattle rearing and sell dairy products for their living. Disappointingly, in a country where we are promised to preserve our traditions there are no strong rules to counter Christian conversion.
Christians are hellbent in erasing the nature-worshipping old societies and establish their hegemonic One-book cult. While such small communities are under attack, the mechanism for Hindu society is still not available to protect themselves.
In conclusion, the threat that rampant Christian conversions pose to the Toda community’s cultural and traditional practices is a serious concern. The conversions are leading to a loss of identity and cultural heritage for the community. Therefore, the situation calls for the government to take action to protect the vulnerable indigenous communities and prevent forced conversions.