Amid a raging row over alleged forced reconversion in Agra, a Hindu organisation has announced its plan to “convert a large number of people” on December 25, which was welcomed by the local BJP MP who said people are within their rights to choose their religion.
“A number of people who had earlier left the fold of Hinduism will be reconverted at a grand ceremony to be held at the Maheshwari Inter College in the old city on Christmas,” regional in-charge of the Hindu Jagaran Samiti Rajeshwar Singh told reporters last evening.
“This is not conversion but homecoming for those who had been misled and enticed to leave their original religion earlier,” he added.
Singh claimed that a large number of such persons were expected to reconvert in several other districts of western Uttar Pradesh as well.
Rajeshwar Singh’s announcement on Wednesday was welcomed by the BJP MP from Aligarh, Satish Gautam.
“If people are ready to embrace Hinduism on their own accord and in a peaceful manner, then they are fully within their rights to exercise their choice,” Gautam said.
Meanwhile, leaders of non-BJP political parties here have expressed grave concern over the announcement.
“This is not a question of conversion but it is a deliberate move by a political party to polarise society and divide it for political gain. It is a part of the well planned conspiracy. All peace-loving citizens of this city should beware of the designs of the BJP,” RLD MLA Dalvir Singh said.
Congress spokesman Vivek Bansal said, “The issue is not about conversion or reconversion. It is a move aimed to aggressively promote religious polarisation and the state government should ensure that peace is not breached.
“Religion is a private matter and when political parties get actively associated in such matters, it can only leads to trouble,” he said.
The issue of conversion of some Muslims in Agra rocked the Parliament for the second day on Thursday with opposition members demanding immediate discussion on the matter, which they said could have grave consequences like causing riots.
About 100 people, mostly Muslim slum dwellers, were reconverted and “brought back” to the Hindu fold through a ritual carried out by Hindu organisation Dharma Jagran Manch.
The police in Agra registered a case against the outfit and its UP convener Nand Kishore on late Tuesday night and launched investigations into the incident.