Document Type


Publication Date

September 2020

Publication Title

Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations


Featured in this chapter are a number of prominent Indian critics of evangelism and conversion to Christianity over roughly the last one hundred years. After briefly covering early twentieth-century figures like Savarkar, Hedgewar, and Golwalkar, the chapter focuses primarily on postcolonial leaders of the last few decades, especially Mohandas Gandhi (who survived just barely into the “postcolonial” era), Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, Arun Shourie, Ashok Chowgule, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and Radha Rajan. Finally, at the end, to demonstrate the multinational scope of these polemics, I briefly discuss the views of the Hindu American Foundation and Rajiv Malhotra. It is important to note that the critical focus of this chapter’s polemicists differs somewhat from those of an earlier era. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century polemicists tended to focus on perceived religious differences of an ethical, theological, soteriological, or epistemological nature. While such differences remain of concern to the figures featured in this chapter, they tend to focus more on the sociological or political ramifications of those differences, and therefore on the sociological and political manifestations of Christianity in India.

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