There were no Hindus in Goa: theologist

July 16, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

He said that the temples instead belonged to different “independent cults and religions which were often at war with each other.”

Hindus of GoaGoa, July 16, 2013:  A leading Christian theologians has claimed that ‘Hindus’ did not exist in Goa during the pre-Portuguese era.

Fr. Victor Ferrao, a dean at the state’s most renowned Rachol Roman Catholic seminary, which trains and grooms priests has also said in his research paper that the scores of temples demolished by the Portuguese colonists from 15th century onwards were not Hindu temples.

He said that the temples instead belonged to different “independent cults and religions which were often at war with each other.”

Ferrao in his paper presented at a recent seminar ‘The Challenge to be a Goan Christian’, said that by painting of pre-colonial Goa as Hindu territory, “there is a direct attempt to turn the historical facts about conversion against the Church and the Christians of today”.

The renowned Church academic in his research paper even goes a step further and attributes political motives to the “reductionist and distortionist” appropriation of Goa’s history by Hindu-logists.

“I have described these attempts as Hindu-ology. In fact even the word Hindu does not exist in the entire sixteenth century Indo-Portuguese historiography,” his paper titled ‘The Other Orientalism and the Challenge and Opportunities for the Church in Goa’ reads.

The revelations in the research paper come at a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state has been trying to cosy up with the Church in Goa, which is the spiritual and religious beacon to nearly one third of Goa’s population which is Catholic and a key vote bank.

A large section of authors and historians have insisted that Goa has been described in ancient texts as a land reclaimed by Sage Parshurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, from the sea and that the state known for beaches, booze, nightlife, sex tourism and drugs now, was once called ‘Konkan Kashi’ or Benaras of the South.

Several other scholars, however, tend to disagree with Ferrao’s argument.

P P Shirodkar, who has authored several books on Goa’s history, says in research paper ‘Social Cultural life in Goa during the 16th century says: “At the time of the fall of Goa in the hands of the Portuguese, its population, majority of whom were Hindus, followed by the Muslims mostly on military duty continued to live in villages with its agricultural communities”.

He further says that villagers in Goa followed the Hindu law of inheritance.

Ferrao, however, claims that Christians living in Goa, had forgotten their origins (that they were part of independent cults and religions) and “are wounded and continue to be victims of the aggression of their Hindu counterparts.”

Ferrao has also called for a therapeutic dialogue between the two communities living in Goa.

“There is an inevitable need of dialogue that can heal wounded memories in our Society,” he said.

Christians account for nearly 30 per cent of Goa’s over 1.5 million population.

– firstpost

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.