As the BJP braces for several crucial elections next year, the Sangh Pariwar’s hardline arm Vishwa Hindu Parishad is set to launch a “massive campaign” to bring back Hindu converts to Islam and Christianity, while it has demanded that Adivasi converts should not get reservation benefits.
“Christians have persecuted, conducted genocides and mass executions for 350 years. So, when the Pope comes visiting Bharat next, he should apologize for all this,” International Working President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and senior advocate Alok Kumar asserted.
The VHP chief also said, “The Pope should show respect to all religions and should declare to stop horizontal religious conversions in Bharat.”
Touching off what could snowball into a major controversy, he went on to say that, “When a tribal converts, he/she leaves behind and lets down all his/her indigenous deities and traditions, so he/she should not get the facilities of reservation – we will try to ensure this.”
Alok Kumar was speaking at a three-day conference of the board of trustees of VHP, which concluded in Junagadh on Thursday.
He said with the VHP turning 60 in 2024, it would launch a “massive campaign to bring back to their Swadharma the Hindu brethren whose forefathers had been compelled to become Muslims through force, fraud and allurement a few generations back.”
Kumar added that the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini would also actively participate in this campaign.
On the lines of BJP, the VHP is also planning a membership drive to enroll “40 lakh to 50 lakh Hitachintaks (well-wishers)”, while conducting a concerted drive to expand its wings abroad to reach out to NRIs.
The organisation will work aggressively for “dharmaprasar (propagation of religion)” and take out “dharmayatras (pilgrimages)” across the country.
Addressing the large gathering of sadhus, VHP activists and leaders, Alok Kumar said, “This century is a Hindu century.” The purpose of this meeting was fulfilled simply by the large presence of the Karyakartas, who gathered for the first time after the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The VHP chief said, “Hind di Chaadar Guru Tegh Bahadur ji had sacrificed his life for protecting Hindus from Mughal tyranny. Therefore, to propagate his teachings, we will organize programmes and conferences across the country.”
In an attempt to bury the caste divisions among the Hindus under the overarching Hindutva “spirit”, Akhil Bharatiya Sadhu Samaj president Swami Muktanand said at the meeting, “Let there be no dispute in the country – all Hindus are our own flesh and blood, kins, Rishi Santaans (children of saints)!”
“We can also lay down our lives for the nation and country in which we were born and brought up,” Swami Muktanand added. He said, “Our holistic and altruistic Kulaachaar (culture) should flourish, so that the world gets to enjoy happiness, health and blessedness.”
The meeting was attended, among many others, by VHP president Padmashri Dr RN Singh, Secretary General Milind Parande, VHP office bearers from Germany, Thailand, Bangladesh and Nepal.
According to political scientists, the BJP is returning to its hardcore Hindutva plank in sync with its strategy to take a strident line whenever it faces challenging electoral battles ahead. “The message was very clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the recent massive much-publicised and hyped Varanasi temple event,” says a political analyst.
Meanwhile, a “Gau Bachao Padyatra” (cow protection yatra”, which had started from Haldighati way back in 2012, reached Dhrangadhara in Saurashtra’s Surendranagar district to a huge welcome. Hundreds of people received several decorated raths (chariots) with slogans such as “Jai Gau Mata” and “Jai Shri Krishna” and sprinkling of petals and flowers.