Their life was difficult; Western civilization made their life very easy, and provided all these things – second-hand clothes which have been rejected by the army, and small toys like transistor radios. And for them it was something miraculous, that somebody is speaking in New Delhi – thousands of miles away – and they can listen to what he is saying. This was a miracle – because they had no idea of the technology, no understanding of what was happening.
Christianity was certainly bringing miracles. Now television has reached. People cannot believe their own eyes, that they are seeing people who are thousands of miles away. Through television and radio, cars, small mechanical things, they proved to these poor people that Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, raised the dead to life.
And seeing all these miracles – for them these are miracles – they could not deny that if these people, who are just followers of Jesus, can do such great miracles, Jesus must have done them.
It is very simple to understand the process – that within two years any older civilization will collapse if Western civilization approaches it. The basic things are that the older civilizations should be starving, should not have clothes, shelter, jobs, education, and then certainly the missionary becomes their prototype. They have to become like the missionary.
Even if they get second-hand things – used and thrown away – they are perfectly happy with those shoes and caps and dresses. They don’t fit them because they are not made for them – some are longer, some are shorter – but still they enjoy it, it is better than to be naked and cold.
They have tasted for the first time something of the man-made world, and they are grateful; and to show that gratefulness they become Christians. In India all the aboriginals are turning Christian by and by. And power functions like a magnet.
When there was the British Empire all around the earth, the British missionary was part of the power machine. So anybody who has been humiliated for centuries became an imitator. He could not become Western, but he could at least imitate.
It is ugly to look at from outside. They have now got bicycles, they can move far and wide, now they are smoking cigarettes, going to see the movies. Their whole structure has collapsed. Now the elders cannot dominate them, they have lost all their power. They are feeling more free. They can fall in love with a girl of another tribe and both can escape to the city. They are educated. They can find a job.
Naked they could not come to the city, and even had they come, they had nothing to do except begging. They were not capable of doing any job or any skill; they were never taught.
So the mechanics of the change are very simple; but if we look at the whole thing with a humanitarian vision, it is ugly of Western civilization to exploit these people. You could have given them hospitals, you could have given them schools, you could have given them skills, craftsmanship trainings. There was no need to convert them – as a payment for all your services – to Christianity; that’s where the West has been ugly.