What challenges remain for Christians in India who want to continue on this positive legacy?
Indian Christians have forgotten the impact their missionary forefathers had, on language, education, Indian identity, health, and the treatment of women, outcasts, the poor. Indian Christians are beleaguered. They've gone into a sort of "give me" stage, saying, "We haven't got this," "We haven't got that." One aspect of what I do is to encourage Christians: "Look, you have a great heritage." Our forbearers invested in the future of the country. We should stop complaining and living in fear, and instead contribute like they did to building the nation.
We can't just rest on our laurels. We find a country coming apart, particularly around regionalism, corruption is rife, so is the criminalization of politics (25 percent of senators or members of parliament have a criminal records), and violence against women. Before, many Indian leaders were Christianized. Nehru was a Christianized agnostic. Gandhi was a Christianized Hindu. That is going away. After 60 years, leaders of integrity are gradually disappearing.
If India disintegrates, it would be terrible for the world, because it's a unique example of a successful democracy. It hasn't had any military coups. There have been free and fair elections. [But] there's a lot of political corruption. There's a lot of criminality in politics. There's a lot of caste discrimination. There's a lot of polarization. Unless there is a direct or indirect Christian ethos in government, we will not survive as a democracy.
All these are areas where Christians can get involved.