The Niyogi Committee Report On Christian Missionary Activities is a report published by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1956. It is divided into two volumes and three parts. It is a controversial report on missionary activities in India. The chairman of the committee was Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, a retired Chief Justice of the Nagpur High Court.
The report, set up by a Congress Party government, took a view "close to" that of the Hindu nationalist movement. It recommended the "legal prohibition" of religious conversion not "completely voluntary", which was not implemented as it would have been "difficult to formulate and indeed to apply without violating the precepts of religious liberty enshrined in the Indian Constitution".
a long and searching document.. in many places it amounts to an accusation. Some of the questions border on an inquisition, and may well be equated to a "fishing expedition" on the supposition that something discreditable can be discovered.
The Committee recorded that "there was a general complaint from the non-Christian side that the schools and hospitals were being used as means of securing converts." It said that "Reference was also made to the practice of the Roman Catholic priests or preachers visiting newborn babies to give ‘ashish’ (blessings) in the name of Jesus, taking sides in litigation or domestic quarrels, kidnapping of minor children and abduction of women and recruitment of labour for plantations in Assam or Andaman as a means of propagating the Christian faith among the ignorant and illiterate people." (Goel 1998, p.13)
The report writes that especially Roman Catholic missions used money-lending as a device for proselytisation. They gave loans which were later written off if the debtor became a Christian. (Goel 1998, p.115)
The Committee was set up in response to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh's protest movement, "The Anti-Foreign Missionary Week"; the movement was suspended once the Committee was formed.
The Roman Catholic Church withdrew its co-operation with the Committee, and filed a petition against the Committee at the High Court in 1955. The High Court dismissed the Petition in April 1956.
The report stirred controversy in India. It was criticized by theologians, Christians and politicians. The recommendations of the report influenced Bills passed by the State Governments against forcible conversions.
The committee gave the following recommendations: