Christian missions to India imply that India is a land of heathens, and, therefore, stands on the same level with the Andaman or the Fiji Islands. That a country which has been recognised in all ages the world over as the mother of all religions and the cradle of civilisation should be considered as pagan, shows how much ignorance prevails in Christendom. Since the Parliament of Religions, I have been studying Christian institutions, and I have also studied the way in which the Christian ministers and the missionaries are manufactured in this country, and have learned to pity them. We must not blame them too severely, because their education is too narrow to make them broad-minded. I grant that they are good-hearted, that they are good husbands and often fathers of large families, but generally they are very ignorant, especially of the history of civilisation and of the philosophy of religion of India. Most of them do not even know the history of ancient India.We know that in this age of competition, centralisation, and monopoly, very many people are forced out of business. The English say, ‘The fool of the family goes into the Church’; so that when a youth is unable to make a living, he takes to missionary work, goes to India, and helps to introduce among the Hindus the doctrines of his church, which have long since been exploded by science.
My brothers and sisters of America, there is not the least shadow of hope that India can ever be Christianised. After two hundred years of vain efforts and of spending millions of dollars with the prestige of the conqueror and backed by British bayonets, Christianity is not supported by the converts themselves. Every bit of Protestant Christianity in India is maintained partly by the money flowing from England and America, and partly by taxes imposed upon the Hindus against their will, which must be paid although the people starve. The people of India as a whole are saturated with religious and philosophical thought. They think and ponder on spiritual matters from childhood to death. Even the street-sweeper is frequently more profoundly versed in subtle metaphysics and divine wisdom than the missionary sent to convert him.
What benefit have the Hindus derived from their contact with Christian nations? The idea generally prevalent in this country about the morality and truthfulness of the Hindus evidently has been very low. Such seeds of enmity and hatred have been sown by the missionaries that it would be an almost Herculean task to establish better relations between India and America...If we examine Greek, Chinese, Persian, or Arabian writings on the Hindus, before foreigners invaded India, we find an impartial description of their national character. Megasthenes, the famous Greek ambassador, praises them for their love of truth and justice, for the absence of slavery, and for the chastity of their women. Arrian, in the second century, Hiouen-thsang, the famous Buddhist pilgrim in the seventh century, Marco Polo in the thirteenth century, have written in highest terms of praise of Hindu morality. The literature and philosophy of Ancient India have excited the admiration of all scholars, except Christian missionaries.