After the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858, the British East India Company consolidated its position and the British Queen Victoria became the Empress of India with the "Proclamation Durbar of Delhi” on January1, 1877. Though Queen Victoria’s Proclamation guaranteed impartial protection of the law for all the people of different faiths and no interference with their religious practices, the mayhem that prevailed after the exile of Bahadur Shah Zafar, in India Christianity was assuming a status of the Religion of the Oppressor. But the love of Christ never failed to attract people like Bhavani Charan Banerjee, who was with the Gwalior Maharaja’s army fighting the British. This guru of Brahmo Samaj took baptism in 1888 at Hyderabad, Sindh. But he never wanted his name to give him a Christian identity that would make him unreachable to the mass; hence, he translated his Christian name: Theophilus (friend of God) as Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya. He was convinced that one could be a Christian in religion and a Hindu (Indian) in his way of life. He came to Calcutta in 1900 and set-up a small ashram in a house with a few of his disciples from Sindh province. He could be considered the founding father of the Indian Christian Ashram Movement. This ‘Christian Counter-movement’ of Brahmabandhab, earned the good will of Indian leaders like Keshub Chanda Sen, and Rabindranath Tagore, who strongly supported the secular nature of India.
The Dohnavur Fellowship of Amy Carmichael is very much similar to an ashram. She was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Mission to save the Hindu temple children where young girls were dedicated to the gods and forced into prostitution to earn money for the priests. Much of her work was with young ladies, some of whom were saved from forced prostitution. The fellowship served as a sanctuary for over one thousand children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future.
When Christianity was introduced in India, St Thomas retained the cultural identity among the Thomasine Christians. But when Christianity was once again introduced to India in a big way by the European missionaries, it posed a threat to the cultural identity of the people of India. Sadhu Sundar Singh is said to have done more to "indigenize" the churches of India than any other figure in the twentieth century. He remarked, "You have offered us Christianity in a Western cup... Give it to us in an Eastern bowl and we will drink of it." His conversion and his identification with the Indian culture made several people from the Punjab province, more particularly the followers of Sikh faith to taste the love of Christ. His wandering life-style and his entourage into the Western World, served as ‘counter-balance’ to the flutters created by the speech of Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.
During the Freedom Struggle Movement in India, the Anglican Church in India was considered, a part and parcel of the British regime as the Anglican Bishop was next in command to the Governors of the Presidency / Province, during the British Raj. Hence bishops kept away the spirit of the freedom struggle from their churches and the church establishments like the schools and colleges. In addition they tried to develop a faith doctrine that would support the British regime in India. As a result, the Christian intellectuals like Amrit Kaur, Princess of Kapurthala and Dr J C Kumarappa, the economist, who were attracted by the Gandhian life-style kept themselves away from the Anglican Church. As the freedom struggle was gaining momentum, Periannan (Dr Savarirayan Jesudason F R C S E) along with Chinnannan (Dr Ernest Forrester Paton) started Christukula Ashram, the first Christian ashram in India in 1921 at Tirupattur. This ashram attracted many national leaders of the freedom struggle like Rajaji and Gandhiji. Similarly the Christian Ashram started by Dr Stanley Jones at Sat Tal had the blessings of Gandhiji. But for the Christian Ashram Movements initiated by Dr Savarirayan Jesudason and Dr Stanley Jones, the Indian Christians would have faced marginalization after India became independent from the British yolk, in the hands of the Hindu right-wing politicians. It is not an exaggeration to say that the nexus between promoters of the Indian Christian Ashram Movements and the leaders of the Congress party facilitated the adoption of a Secular Constitution for India, drafted very much similar to that of the Queen Victoria’s Proclamation.