The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Stung Sangh slams Dalit conversions

New Delhi, Oct. 29: The Sangh parivar today slammed the bid to convert Dalits, saying it was against any form of religious conversion, especially to Islam and Christianity.

Reacting to the recent conversion efforts by Dalit organisations, RSS joint spokesperson Ram Madhav said the Sangh was not unduly worried over conversion to indigenous religions but conversion to foreign faiths went against the cultural moorings and ethos of the country.

“Our main objection is to those religions trying to attract people propagating that one does not get salvation in other religions. People who convert are totally uprooted from their cultural mooring. His or her name is also changed, cutting him from the root of the soil,” the RSS leader said.

The RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad came down heavily on Dalit leader Udit Raj who, on Sunday, had organised a “conversion mela” in Gurgaon.

About a hundred-odd Dalits converted to Buddhism, Islam and Christianity in protest against the recent lynching of five Harijan youths at Jhajjar, in Haryana, for skinning a cow.

Raj had also criticised the district magistrate for indulging in “religious propaganda” after the official had played down the incident yesterday, saying only two or three persons had converted. “The district administration is not for religious propaganda but for administration,” Raj said.

Madhav accused Raj of creating social disharmony. “We are happy that only a few people have fallen to the mischief of Udit Raj,” he said.

The Sangh leader added that B.R. Ambedkar had converted thousands of Dalits to Buddhism, but there was “no hue and cry because he did not indulge in politics or was motivated”.

Madhav also condemned the lynching of the five Dalit youths. “It is a barbaric act. We want the guilty to be punished,” he said, but underlined that “one should not fall prey to the propaganda of religious merchants”.

VHP spokesperson Veereshwar Dwivedi said conversion to Islam and Christianity changed the mode of worship. “This is not simply a change of worship but, unfortunately as history showed, change of worship, change loyalty to the nation,” he said.

In another development, VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore has asked the Union home ministry to withdraw his “inadequate” personal security cover as it was “deliberately” ignoring threats to his life.

In a strongly-worded letter to home secretary Kamal Pande, the VHP senior vice-president said the “Y” category security that was provided to him earlier has been scaled down to “X” category. Kishore claimed that he has received several threatening letters, which he has submitted to the officials concerned through his personal security officer.

The VHP leader said: “Under X category, no security is provided to me during my overnight stays at places outside Delhi.” He reminded the home secretary that he had made several requests to enhance his security cover.

Email This PagePrint This Page