Religious conversions: VHP wants anti-conversion law, terms Agra event 'home-coming'

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Kolkata, Dec 18: As the uproar over the alleged forcible conversion of around 300 Muslims in Agra continued to disrupt parliament, the VHP Thursday justified the act as "ghar wapsi" (home-coming) and pressed for an anti-conversion law.

Citing Swami Vivekananda, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international joint general secretary Y. Raghavulu and national vice president Jagannath Sahi stressed the urgent need to prevent Hindus from getting converted after being lured by money, employment and other material benefits.

VHP wants anti-conversion law, terms Agra event 'home-coming.'
"Once asked, Swami Vivekananda had said it was a loss to the religion when a Hindu is converted and it was the duty of the rest of the Hindus to bring him back. In that context, what happened in Agra is home-coming and not conversion," Sahi told media persons.

"Once India consisted only of Hindus but they are being lured by money and other material benefits and converted. There is an urgent need to prevent it, if that can be done through a law, we most welcome," he said.

Speaking in the same vein, Raghavulu said conversion of Hindus to other religions was a national issue warranting immediate attention.

"I think the government must pass an anti-conversion law," he said.

The leaders also slammed West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for her government's decision to grant honorarium to imams.

"The honorarium was unconstitutional. That is why it was ruled out by the court. The move was only aimed at wooing the minorities. Why didn't her government find priests from other religions entitled for the honorarium?" Sahi said.

They said invitations to Banerjee and Governor K.N. Triptahi have been sent for the VHP's Dec 20 meet in the city where Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagavat, and VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia are scheduled to speak.

IANS

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