An open letter to Paadam Narayanan Ananth
Director of NGO CHANGEindia, Chennai
16.11.2017 | H. Margret
Dear A. Narayanan,
I would like to introduce myself to you. I am a German and I am one of those many people who read and saw many shocking reports in the media, at the start of the 1990s about the mass killings of female babies in various areas of India. Above all I was horrified by the BBC documentary which showed very detailed reports about the killing methods and the terrible torture the new born girls endured. The documentary also included statements from the parents revealing the terrible truth concerning the ignorance of Indian society in general towards this whole issue. I do not need to provide more details, you are well aware of the facts. For me these reports were more than just general news issues which one then easily forgets. It stirred me to take action and to do something about this.
And so I became one of those people who had the idea to start a Home in order to take in these newborn unwanted girls, together with Pastor Gideon Jacob. Therefore I too stand fully behind MoseMinistries – and over many years this cause has been actively supported by thousands of other committed Germans and Europeans.
As one of those morally co-responsible for this project from the beginning, I have visited MoseMinistries several times each year from the start, and I have closely monitored the development of the girls from the outside. Although I do not live there personally and I have never worked there, I know all 89 girls personally and have seen them grow up through their childhood and youth with my own eyes. I have met each female staff member who has worked there. I was one of the organizers and was personally present, when on two occasions, groups of girls came on trips to Germany and I accompanied them the whole time during their trips.
I rejoiced with them when both their schools and the social authorities approved their travel permits. I was present when the Indian girls experienced a new culture with their own eyes for the very first time in their lives. When they could play with children from another culture and of their own age, for the first time. I can still see their joy when visiting German playgrounds, having the opportunity to visit a zoo, trying German food, attempting to speak a new language and exploring new landscapes. It was great fun accompanying them and observing they enjoy themselves, and seeing how they widened their cultural horizons. I could see how they were able to discover indepth that they themselves were in fact actually wanted in their uniqueness, and that even though in their own society they are seen as “unwanted girls”, there is a future for them.
It is one thing, when one acts with good intentions - and I will presume this is the case – to denounce unsatisfactory conditions in order to protect children and to order the inspection of Homes which have not been officially registered. However, in the Indian media reports and even in the accusations brought forward in court, one thing has been totally suppressed. Namely, that MoseMinistries Children’s Home has always been registered! When the Home was founded in 1994, and girls were taken in from 1994 to 1999, the current Registration Law did not even exist. Later MoseMinistries applied to register the Home under the J.J. Law and – as is the usual procedure – the registration was granted temporarily. Over many years the authorities repeatedly claimed in their official inspections, that this was one of the best run Homes in the district! Perhaps you might not know, but the temporary registration is valid until the official final registration is issued. The MoseMinistries Children’s Home was always officially registered! Indeed many of the stated facts are simply hard to believe. In your court allegation, you formulate shortcomings which you yourself have not even seen.
Up to this present day, you have not personally met the young women from MoseMinistries. You have never made the effort to become personally acquainted with the matter at hand, nor to meet with those people who are actually involved. The results on which you have based your charges, are based on your own words, on the superficial research carried out by two young trainees, who were students at that time – young people, who themselves were hardly older than the girls at Mose Ministries, without any higher education qualifications, or work experience, without much life experience, without any qualified supervision and without any verification of their so-called investigations. You sent two inexperienced young people, who did not know what they were doing, and what affect they would have on other people’s lives, for two days to visit a Home and then you accept their findings as the truth without even verifying them? Or was it that your intentions from the start were not good, and from the outset you knew the results you wished to achieve?
It is also important to mention in this context, that none of the girls at MoseMinistries have ever claimed or in any way indicated that they were in fact abused or suffered from human trafficking. As there has never been any abuse or human trafficking, such a case or complaint could never have been brought. All these accusations are purely vague assumptions made by people who are not experts, and who were not in a position to make any sound judgements, or moreover deliberately spread such malicious and unfounded accusations. Is this the way you work? Do you call this “scientific research” in your organization? As far as we have ascertained, you yourself have no qualified education in social work, teaching, psychology or law, but you simply carry out all these things “just like that”. Are there no quality controls in India for NGOs and Reseach Centers, meaning that anyone can just give him or herself the title they require?
As one of the those people who have been in constant contact with the girls (who have in the meantime now become young ladies), I know and can witness that there was never at any time any case of sexual or emotional abuse at MoseMinistries. The girls have always been well cared for and supported. The home leaders, staff members and other girls have been their extended family and in comparison - for example to state-run homes – they have always enjoyed a very good standard of living. As with all children and young people, they have admittedly struggled with questions regarding their identity, and due to their own personal background, they have faced even deeper times of crisis. It was hard for them to once again face up to the fact that their biological families did not really want them. Almost all of the 89 girls were handed over to us personally by their own families, except for the few babies we found abandoned and lying on the streets. All the families knew and still know the whereabouts of their daughters. Yet not one of these families has ever made the effort to enquire after their daughters, not even once have they shown any interest. The tales of lies that the babies had been stolen directly from their mothers after birth, have all been disproved, simply by the fact that none of these allegedly missing children were ever reported to the police. Of course they did not do so, because they knew exactly where their girls were and were glad to be rid of them. When these families today stand in front of the camera and report how they painfully are missing their daughters, then you should know Mr Narayanan, that on other occasions these same parents openly admit that they were put under pressure by the social authorities to do so, and that they were offered money by the authorities or others to do so. The same parents, on whom you are making your false accusations, are also publicly making different statements behind your back. They are just people who are trying to get the best for themselves out of every situation, also financially.
Also the claims that the girls had been brainwashed, or were suffering from the Stockholm syndrome, have never been scientifically proved and are absolute nonsense. You know this full well yourself. You yourself cannot comment on this, because you have never even met the girls. And to date this wild claim has not been examined by any kind of specialist. And this will not happen either, for the results would nullify your claim! The home was run by Christians and taught Christian values, in the same way as all parents teach their children. If you wish to reproach the home for doing this, then you would have to reproach every Hindu family for teaching their children the values, which Hinduism teaches. I am aware that Hindus believe that you are born as a Hindu. But please let me explain, that the Christians do not think the same about Christianity. You can not become a Christian by birth or by education, the only way to become a Christian is to make a personal and free will decision to believe in Jesus.
Because of this fact, the girls at MoseMinistries were not raised or educated to become Christians and we did not make any of them Christians.
The Christian education gave them knowledge. The public schools, which are also not neutral concerning religious education, gave them knowledge concerning Hinduism. At the Home they were not forced to take part in religious events, but they were forced to do so at the state schools, for example in the daily Yoga. The girls are now all legally of age and spiritually mature, should they now decide to become Christians of their own free will, then according to the Indian Constitution, they have the right to do so. If they are put under pressure whilst being questioned in peculiar and degrading ways, and then are asked the question as to whom they wish to put their trust in for the future, if they then answer that they trust in Jesus, their God – what is wrong with this?
Would you claim that a Hindu who trusts his gods has also been subjected to brain washing and the Stockholm Syndrome?
Based on your accusations, the home leaders were accused of isolating the girls and of destroying their lives. However, the girls were in fact never isolated and every day they attended the public school and had contact to others outside of the home. That is widely known, as, with 89 girls, it cannot be hidden. It is also a fact that the girls would no longer be alive today, if MoseMinistries had not taken them in as babies. Does all of this not matter to you? It is also a fact that the girls were preparing themselves to become independent adults and many of them had already begun professional training or studies, when,due to your aspirations, the home was forcefully taken over by the local authorities and all the education and training courses for further personal development were abruptly stopped.
Up to this present day, they have not been offered any further alternative education of any kind. For two years now, the young ladies have been under a form of house arrest. They are treated like criminals, although they have not done anything wrong at all. Yes, their lives have been totally destroyed, however not before, but after the home was taken over by the authorities in December 2015. How deceitful is it when the girls are put under pressure to answer the question concerning how they see their future, when they have just had the possibility violently taken from them to be educated for their future? And moreover the contact to their mentors has been cut off, the very people who supported them financially and provided for their education and future? Are you actually sure that you know what you are doing – then and now?
Only just recently in a newspaper article, you actually admitted what your plans and aims were: to put the MoseMinistries ladies into closed state-run institutions forever. Without any regard for their losses, without even meeting these ladies, without knowing really who they are, what strengths they carry inside and what a contribution they could make to their country, you made such a decision, destroying the lives of 88 innocent and totally normal ladies. Mr Narayanan, I must make it clear that you have begun to destroy 88 adult lives and you must bear the full consequences for this! In the public domain, you like to present yourself as a philanthropist. However your deliberate destruction of the lives of 88 women shows more sociopathic traits, for it seems that the young ladies are of no consequence to you at all. The same applies to the irresponsible manhunt against Pastor Gideon Jacob. I can only assume who the originator of the slanderous accusations against him was; but that fact is that you have jumped on this bandwagon and have actively used the media to generate a level of bias in the public eye, which has even influenced the police, the CBI and the courts. The fact that the investigations have repeatedly been restarted from the beginning, although no proof has ever been brought regarding the allegations, would seem to indicate that external pressure is being used, or that money is changing hands. And it seems clear that those behind this case are not really interested in justice, or in caring for the girls in the home, but that they have low motives and are only interested in money or the hidden persecution of Christians.
In Germany, people are now asking whether there is any independent, courageous and investigative journalism in India? Is there no one who does not just copy the work of others, but who is really interested in finding out the truth and researching all sides thoroughly himself and then reporting the truth with courage in the media? And we ask ourselves, whether the Justice system in India is still functioning independently, so that the courts do not just follow the bias of public opinion, do not carry out pointless investigations and spend endless time researching all possibilities when all previous investigations have brought no results, but instead decide independently and in the interest of the truth and justice without corruption.
The number of religiously motivated persecutions is constantly increasing in India, and especially against Christians. This trend is being watched closely and with great concern around the world. Sentencing of Pastor Gideon Jacob, who is completely innocent, would be a further case, which could not be interpreted other that he was deliberately being moved out of the way for being a Christian pastor and a leader of a Christian Home, and so being denied his legal rights simply for being a Christian. The truth is, he did what others omitted to do. He did not look away, but he courageously took action against the killing of girls. He saved the lives of 89 girls and gave them a life with a future! What is wrong with that? Every other Indian, regardless of his religion, would have had the ethical duty to do just the same. The right thing to do would be to thank him, instead of making evil and slanderous accusations of abuse, human trafficking and other accusations against him. Anyone who knows him, knows that the exact opposite is true. That his heart’s desire is actually to save people from such desperate situations.
Dear Mr Narayanan, I have read much about you and seen interviews with you. If only a fraction of that is true what you say about yourself, then it must be your strong intention, to allow the young ladies from MoseMinistries to be free to choose the future that they would receive from MoseMinistries. It must be your expressed desire, not to intervene against the wishes of these young ladies, but to support them in their own choices and to allow them to lead a life of courageous self-determination, and not to imprison them.
If it is true that you are really interested in pursuing justice and that you are willing to fight for those who are disadvantaged and helpless, then it must be your utmost intention to prevent a genuine philanthropist like Gideon Jacob from being unjustly accused, attacked and possibly unjustly sentenced. I do not know whether you have abused or sold people, or killed or done human trafficking. But I know for sure that Gideon Jacob has not done so, because I myself (and many other Germans and Indians besides myself) can bear witness, that in all the years that MoseMinistries has existed not one single child has ever disappeared, been sold, traded, killed, abused or been offered for abuse. On the contrary, all the babies have now grown into mature, courageous, lively young ladies with great hope for the future, who are all very grateful for the love and protection which they have received from MoseMinistries. They are extremely grateful to be able to grow up in a loving and caring family, knowing that they are indeed “wanted daughters” of India.
For these reasons, I strongly urge you to inform yourself thoroughly and to find out the truth. Your actions and everything which has resulted from them, is changing the picture of how the whole world sees India. They greatly question the entire Justice System, the treatment of religious minorities, the values of Indian culture and tradition. The world community is losing the trust which they once placed in India. As the main instigator behind these proceedings, you personally bear a great responsibility, not only for the fate of the ladies at MoseMinistries and of Gideon Jacob, but for the picture that the world community has of India. It is time to stand up for the truth and for justice for those whom you have previously denied these rights!