‘The soul of India is sick’: Open letter to the raped nuns of Jhabua

Flashback: CC Open Letter by Vishal Mangalwadi

Friday, September 25, 1998

Precious Sisters,

The men that raped you tried to dishonour you, but somehow your tragedy has filled me with a deep sense of honour and respect for you. I honour your faith. We are told that all faiths are the same. But the faith of your rapists is clearly the antithesis of yours. Their faith has never allowed ordinary families in the history of our nation to send their daughters to live in remote villages and serve those who would abuse them.

You are indeed model followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who allowed his body to be violated for the salvation of his enemies. May your love for God inspire millions more to follow Christ at personal cost.

Through your medical service you have been seeking to heal the sick bodies. Why did then these "brave and powerful" men rape you? Indeed they ought to have been leading a procession to honour you. But they knew that their culture – the culture of Hindutva – would consider them great, not if they served you, but only if they attacked and raped you. Their act is irrefutable evidence that it is the soul of our nation that is sick. Our social history shows that our culture has always oppressed and exploited the weak – the "Dalits", including women.

Your lives, dear sisters, are glorious evidence that healing is possible for our nation through the blood of Jesus Christ. You are a proof that it has the power to transform us so radically that we would see humility and service as the route to honour. May I, therefore, urge you to be strong in your faith! Keep following the one who shed his blood to bless all the nations of the earth.

I honour you because you remind me of Abraham – your father in faith. Like yourselves, he too offered costly sacrifices to God, but God seemed absent. It was the vultures who pounced upon the flesh of his holy sacrifice, just as they did on your bodies that had been sacrificed to God. Abraham tried to chase the predators away, but proved to be too weak. He fell into a "deep and dreadful sleep". It was in the midst of that "dreadful darkness" that he finally saw the fire of God accept his sacrifice, and heard the voice of God promising to bless him and all the nations through his Descendants (Genesis 15). The vultures and the darkness are not the final realities. God is. He will use your sacrifice to bless our nation. ‘The soul of India is sick’, but you have strengthened my resolve to sacrifice my body for her healing.

Thank you.
Your brother,
Vishal Mangalwadi
Ivy Cottage, Landour
Mussoorie (U.P.), India 248 179



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