Kolkata, Jan 29: It seems 'ghar wapsi' (reconversion) has reared its ugly head again, and this time, it is in West Bengal's Birbhum district where at least 150 tribal Christians on Wednesday "pledged to follow Hinduism" at a programme organised by VHP in Rampurhat area.
"A programme was today organised at a village near Rampurhat. It was attended by about 1,000 people including Christians, Hindus and Muslims. During the programme, a 'yajna' - a ritual of fire - was held and about 150 Christians participated in it and took a pledge to follow Hindu path of life," state VHP leader Sachindranath Singha said.
Singha said the tribal Christians were not forced to embrace Hinduism and that they did it voluntarily.
"We didn't force anyone to change their religion. This is not conversion as projected by the media as no legal procedure was followed which is needed for conversion," he said, adding that the programme was attended by VHP National Secretary Jugal Kishore.
When contacted, Birbhum Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria said he was not aware of any such incident as no complaint had been filed in this regard.
Asked about the conversion, VHP President Praveen Togadia who addressed a rally at Rampurhat on Wednesday, said, "If someone wanted to become a Hindu. How can we stop it?" "We have announced various schemes to help each and every Hindu family from arranging employment to providing education to Hindu children," he said.
Addressing the rally, Togadia said the state government should undertake a time-bound programme to deport illegal Bangladeshi Muslims "else Bengal would soon become greater Bangladesh".
(With agency inputs)