Michael Vijaykumar: The Turning of a Ruthless Dictator
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: November 17, 2009
Michael Vijaykumar was hated and feared in India. He was a ruthless political dictator who ascended to power through bribery, intimidation and murder. Michael’s parents were Christians, but he rejected their faith early in life.
“As a child I thought Jesus was a low-caste God, and He didn’t have the strength,” Michael tells The 700 Club. “That’s why He died on the cross.”
As a young man, Michael was surrounded by people who were influential in politics and he envied their wealth and power.
“I wanted to become a minister in the government. I wanted to rule the people. That was my ambition in life. So I entered into politics and became a very cruel factionalist.”
He set up his political fiefdom in the area of Andrah Pradesh and ruled it like a tyrant. His cruelty knew no bounds. He was surrounded by an entourage of bodyguards who carried out his ruthless commands to squelch opposition.
“I had a lot of henchmen who were terrible killers. They were murderers who would do anything if I tell them to do it. I used them to kill my enemies.”
On many occasions, his opponents made attempts on his life, but none were successful. They tried poisoning his food and placing explosives in his path. But in every instance, Michael walked away unharmed.
“On another occasion, they shot at me while I was going in my jeep. The bullets pierced through the front of my jeep, but the bullets did not harm me.”
He eventually obtained the power and wealth he desired, but he still wasn’t satisfied. He became addicted to drugs and alcohol, which fueled his angry temperament. Even his wife Pushba and his children didn’t escape his wrath.
“Sometimes he used to put his gun to me and even on my children,” Pushba says. “He used to beat me very much. He was a very cruel man.”
All the while Pushba, who was a Christian, continued to believe her husband would change.
“Every day I used to pray for him,” she says. “Actually it was very difficult for me, but God gave me patience.”
Michael’s drug and alcohol use increased. Eventually he needed sedatives to sleep each night. Even though he feared death, he tried to take his own life several times.
“I think I was haunted by the devil,” Michael says. “There was a lot of trouble to sleep. I did not have peace, and something went wrong inside my brain. I did try to commit suicide many times.”
By 1993, the local police constable had a vendetta against Michael, so he fled the area and settled in Chennai. For the first time, he examined his life.
“In Chennai, I was sitting, under a tree on that day and I remember I just cried out in a helpless situation, thinking, ‘What has happened to me? What is my life?’ I started crying.”
Also in Chennai, for the first time in his life, he saw how true Christians lived.
“They were not troubled like I was. So when I observed their life, I thought that something was very good in them.”
One Sunday morning, Pushba took her husband to the elders of the laymen’s evangelical fellowship in Chennai and asked them to pray for him.
“When I was going there, I used to think that even if they take me out of the city and stone me to death, there is no forgiveness for me. That was my thinking.”
Michael stayed for the service that day and the elders laid hands on him.
“But God’s servants told me that Jesus could forgive my sins and that God loves me and that God would speak to me. I believed what they said to me.”
Michael then asked the elders if there was a room where he could go to pray.
“Though I did not know how to pray, I pleaded to the Lord. ‘Will You save a sinner like me? Will You speak to me?’ It was a miracle of my life. God spoke to me in that room.”
Michael spent days in fasting and prayer.
“When God started speaking to me and when I realized that He is the true God, I was awake around 10:00 at night. The suicide mentality, the cruel mentality, at one instance, this big load came out of my head, and the peace of God came into me.”
Although he risked imprisonment and possible murder, Michael went back to Andrah Pradesh and personally spoke to over 200 people, asking them to forgive him.
“The people did forgive me. It was a real miracle of God. Not only did they forgive me, they felt happy that I was a changed man.”
Many miracles followed Michael’s salvation.
“The wife of my main enemy who wanted to kill me, she was in the hospital with severe cancer. I went to the hospital and prayed for her, and God healed her of that disease.”
Incredibly, Michael was even given a pardon for his previous crimes.
“The government removed the court cases which were pending on me. I don’t know how that happened, but suddenly it happened. They withdrew all the cases on me — all the cases.”
Soon after that, Michael started traveling the world to share his story.
“I started praying much and started witnessing to people, and many people started accepting the Lord Jesus Christ. I once asked the Lord, ‘I have grieved You so much. How can I make You happy?’ And God said, ‘Through you, if one sinner is converted, that will make Me happy.’ That is my mission in life. That is my aim: to make God happy.”
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