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New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday, December 15, asked Hindus to pledge to ensure the “ghar wapsi” or ‘return home’ of those who had converted into other religions.
Bhagwat’s plea, at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, comes amidst rising clamour and violence by Hindutva groups citing “forced conversion” by Muslims and Christians – claims which in many cases have been reported to be ruses for escalation of tension.
Like Bhagwat, speakers at the ‘Hindu Mahakumbh’ at Chitrakoot brought up “love jihad” and “conversions” repeatedly, according to a report by Deccan Herald. Several BJP-ruled states have brought “love jihad” laws in the recent past, giving legal credence to the Sangh Parivar’s bogey of a conspiracy to convert Hindu women into Islam through marriage. The Union home ministry, however, had said that it has no data on such cases.
“Take a pledge that I will persuade those who have converted, to embrace Hinduism and also make sure that the Hindus don’t convert…I also take a pledge to protect the dignity of our Hindu sisters,” Bhagwat said.
From across India, and especially in Karnataka and Uttarakhand in recent times, incidents of violence have been reported in which prayers by minority communities have been disrupted over unfounded and unproven allegations of “forced conversion.”
The PUCL had noted in a recent report that the “illegal conversion” claim is a mere myth and that there is a pattern in such rightwing attacks in Karnataka.
Other speakers, according to the report, all spoke on communal lines, noting without evidence that “Hindu girls are being lured in the name of love jihad”, calling for cow protection laws, and saying, “We already have A and K, now we want M.”
The ‘A’, ‘K’ and ‘M’ are understood to stand for ‘Ayodhya’ and ‘Kashi’ respectively. While a Ram temple is under construction at Ayodhya, following a Supreme Court verdict on the title dispute over the land on which the Babri Masjid stood until it was destroyed by kar sevaks in 1992, the Hindutva brigade has been pushing for the demolition of mosques at Varanasi and Mathura now.