MEERUT, MOHAMMAD ALI(TH): Days after a church in Agra was targeted, the Hindu Mahasabha on…
New Delhi(First Post): Undettered by the backlash it is facing in Parliament, the Dharam Jagran Samiti, an offshoot of the RSS, is marching ahead to meet its target of ‘converting’ one lakh Muslims and one lakh Christians in a year.
To achieve this, the organisation is seeking massive funding from their well-wishers as the rate for conversion, according to this report in The Times of India, ranges from Rs 2 lakh for a Christian individual and Rs 5 lakh for a Muslim.
The Hindutva organisation, in posters that were released this week, proposes to start a grand ‘ghar vapsi’ fund to tackle the ‘samasya’ of Christians and Muslims in the country.
In an earlier TOI report, RSS regional head Rajeshwar Singh said the organisation spends Rs 50 lakh every month on conversion of an average 1,000 families. “It spends Rs 8-10 lakh per month on fuel costs alone in west UP.”
“We have re-converted 2.73 lakh Muslims and Christians in Braj region that includes Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura, Firozabad, Etah, Meerut, Mainpuri and Uttarakhand since 2003. The upcoming mass re-conversion event in which some 5,000 Muslims and Christians will be brought back into Hindu fold will be headed by Yogi Adityanath on December 25 in Aligarh,” Singh said, claiming that RSS has taken possession of as many as 60 churches across the state, where no Christians worship now, “as they have all been re-converted to Hinduism”.
“Ek din in girijagharo ki deewarein bhi gir jayengi aur hamara desh sirf hinduon ka hoga (one day these churches will crumble and our country will belong to the Hindus alone).”
The Sangh has also issued a statement saying that even the Arya Samaj and other organisations have been working toward ‘ghar wapsi’ for those who went wayward.
In an earlier article, Firstpost contributor Ratan Mani Lal reported that such conversion camps are quite well-known in the remote tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand but rather infrequent in Uttar Pradesh. They involve ashuddhi hawan to ‘cleanse’ the converts and bring them back into the Hindu fold amid chanting of some shlokas.
In Aligarh a similar camp was held in August when more than 70 individuals, who had reportedly converted to Christianity more than two decades ago, were reconverted to Hinduism. All of them belonged to the Balmiki (Dalit) caste, and the Hindu Jagran Manch has already announced a programme to be held in Aligarh again, this time on Christmas, to bring converted Christians back to Hinduism again.
Another upcoming exercise in Aligarh has been defended by Yogi Adityanath who is a BJP MP and no stranger to controversy. According to local media reports from Gorakhpur, he was quoted as saying there was nothing irregular or illegal about it since it involved a homecoming of the descendants of those who had left Hinduism generations ago.
The Hindustan Times reports that the VHP, too, is planning a conversion drive that will be held in Lucknow on 18 January.
While VHP officials claim the programme is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the organisation, workers of Sangh Parivar’s wings have been directed to clandestinely work to spread the message of homecoming among people who have changed their religion within last 50 years.
VHP secretary Purshottam Narain Singh told HT, “We will organise a grand celebration on January 18 and if anyone reads between the lines it’s their fault.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has demanded that BJP MP Yogi Adityanath be placed under house arrest to prevent him from going ahead with the 25 December conversion programme.
“We will now directly tackle the menace of Adityanath in the eastern region. He is spitting venom against the Muslims and has even termed state government as “anti-Hindu”. We have given an application to DIG Gorakhpur for keeping him under house arrest till December 25, so that he is not able to foment trouble,” Kali Shanker Yadav, spokesperson, SP’s Gorakhpur unit told The Indian Express.
But the whole controversy, erupting during the Winter Session of Parliament, could well be a move by those in power to set the ground for the passage of an anti-conversion law, much on the lines of that is already in force in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s home state of Gujarat.
According to the law, an individual who wishes to convert to another religion has to send in an application to the district collector who has the right to decide whether to approve the conversion or reject it, a provision that has rights activists up in arms against this curtailment of one’s right to freedom of religion of their choice, as ensured by the Constitution. “Let there be an anti-conversion law in all states… let there be a law at the Centre also,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venakaiah Naidu told Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The need for a new law was also expressed by BJP chief Amit Shah, who at a media conclave hosted by Aaj Tak on Friday, said his party was in favour of such legislation but maintained that BJP leaders should ‘show restraint’.
But this has done little to mollify Muslim groups who are outraged by the conversion drive. “The Centre must clarify whether it has a communal agenda or a development agenda. I will personally meet chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to request him not to allow any programme of VHP on January 18 as it will put the Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb of the city in jeopardy,” Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali of Aishbagh eidgah told Hindustan Times.
Source: First Post