We all know that conversion is a right of any individual granted by the constitution. There is no way one can ban conversions, but government and authorities can strictly act against forced conversions. Strongly defending the current controversial campaign of the Sangh Parivar, its chief Mohan Bhagwat dared the opposition to support a law banning religious conversions. Bhagwat knows that practically it is impossible to ban conversions and by the time this debate reaches any conclusion, VHP and RSS will convert more people. Emphasising that the whole world was once inhabited by Hindus, they will ensure that the population of Hindus in the country increases from 82 per cent to 100 per cent.
VHP believes that the Hindus were prospering and safe for centuries till about 2,000 years ago. The population of Hindus should have been 700 crore in the world but it’s only 16 per cent at 100 crore. They talk about, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh among other countries where the population of Hindus had declined drastically, so in India they want 100 per cent population of Hindus. The question here is, what about those Christians and Muslims, who refuse to get converted to complete this 100% figure? Where will they go and why? Will they be cleansed in the name of riots or they will be shunted out ethnically? Whatsoever it is, but the way VHP and RSS are going, there is threat to human life. Government must ensure protection to every individual of the country.
Meanwhile, RSS chief believes in creating a strong Hindu society. Those who have strayed, they have not done so on their own. They have been allured and have been forcibly taken away. When the thief has been caught and my property has been recovered, they believe that these converted people are the property of Hindus and by reconverting them, they are backing their own property. Bhagwat’s comments assume significance in the context of Sangh Parivar outfits carrying out ‘ghar wapsi’ (return to Hindu fold) programme in parts of North India. Rajya Sabha was stalled over the issue with the opposition demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the issue.
Bhagwat also said in his speech, that there is no need to fear. We are in our own country. We are not intruders or infiltrators. This is our own country, our Hindu ‘rashtra’ (nation). A Hindu will not leave his land. What we have lost in the past, we will try to bring it back. No one should be afraid of Hindus rising. Those who are raising voice against the rise of Hindus are selfish and are having vested interests. Hindu society does not believe in suppressing anyone. Hindus have been tolerating crimes whether it is by Bangladesh or Pakistan. Our God says that after 100 crimes, don’t tolerate any more crimes against Hindus. Stating that Pakistan too had been part of India before partition, he said that Hindus do not have a very strong presence there which is why Pakistan can’t live in peace. Bhagwat also feels that Hindus were strong enough to save their property and honour, adding that “for the betterment of the entire world, there is need for a strong Hindu society”. His speech was very much provocative and stimulating. Too much emphasis on Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra may lead to riots and innocent killings in this country.
It’s high time, there is need to ban politics based on religion. This is the only issue where both the protagonists and the antagonists look similar, repulsive and hateful. India being a secular country, every person has the right to practice his/her religion. BJP should give priority to promises it has given at the time of election. Religious conversion was neither on their agenda nor in their manifesto. This matter is creating unnecessary unrest in the country. However, there is no definition of forcible conversion or voluntary conversion? Does law interpret forceful conversion? If one member among the married couple chooses to convert to find acceptance by the other family, is that voluntary or forced? Should individuals be allowed to practice their respective religion even after a marriage? In which religion should the children of such individuals be initiated into and raised by? These are all highly subjective and individual decisions and unless “by force or voluntarily is defined” – which can never be – it is impossible to legislate on the matter.
Present government and the lawmakers must give priority to development of the nation and welfare of the people. They should work to eradicate hunger, malnutrition rather than debating on irrelevant issues. They are distracted by vested interests to wreck havoc on the development agenda of India.