Pushed on ‘ghar wapsi’, govt calls for laws against conversion

Saugata Roy (TMC): This is a sensitive issue and we should not do or say anything which will raise the communal temperature.

Written by Raghvendra Rao , Rakesh Sinha | New Delhi | Updated: December 12, 2014 10:26 am
RSS-Muslims-conversions-PTI Assaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM said Muslims were “not scared” of conversions and would continue to follow their religion.

 

Under Opposition fire for allowing RSS and its affiliates to push ahead with their conversion and ‘ghar wapsi’ campaigns, the Government told Lok Sabha Thursday it was in favour of anti-conversion laws in all states and at the Centre too.

Opening a three-hour discussion on the issue of religious conversion — it was agreed upon after chaotic scenes in the House over the Agra incident involving the conversion of 57 Muslim families by Bajrang Dal activists — the Opposition mounted a spirited attack which lost steam when one of its own, the Samajwadi Party, broke ranks.

To the merriment of the treasury benches, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose son Akhilesh Yadav is heading the government in Uttar Pradesh, repeated what some in the BJP said: “Nothing happened in Agra… will you run this House by reading newspapers?”

Also Read: Agra a blip, RSS to step up ‘ghar wapsi’

Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s remark “I am proud of my RSS background” led to an uproar and the entire Opposition walked out without waiting for him to complete his reply to the discussion. “How can you allow a minister to speak in such a way,” angry Opposition members were heard telling the Speaker.

In his reply, Naidu said: “The RSS is a great organisation of the country. RSS means Ready for Selfless Service. That is RSS. I feel proud that I have an RSS background. It is because of RSS background, discipline, character, calibre, capacity that I have come to this level. We feel proud. Many of us have this background.”

Ignoring the walkout, he continued, “Some people are allergic to the word Hindu… Let there be anti-conversion laws in all states, let there be an anti-conversion law at the Centre… these people (Opposition) go on like a stuck HMV record… let me assure you, the Government will do all it takes to maintain harmony in this country.”

Key leaders on both sides were missing during the discussion — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior ministers, barring Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, were not present in the House; Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge too were absent.

Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, who opened the discussion, was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members when he accused the RSS, its Dharm Jagran affiliate and Bajrang Dal of being behind conversion and ‘ghar wapsi’ campaigns.

“Our country is a bouquet of not one kind of flower but many. The fragrance of its many flowers spreads across the world… I am proud to be a Hindu but my religion does not teach me to be narrow-minded, or have a narrow ideology. My dharm is a philosophy… It is being said that this (Agra incident) is just the start. They now want to convert Christians… this polarisation is part of a programme. If the soul of this country gets corrupted, there will be no way out,” Scindia said, demanding a statement from the Prime Minister.

Swami Sumedhanand Saraswati, fielded by the BJP as its first speaker, said: “I don’t think this discussion was needed. Some of my brothers have made an ordinary issue into a big one. If you read Manu, he has said ten things about religion which a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, any person in the world can adopt. Our culture is not 1,000, 2,000 or 5,000 years old. It has been there since this world came into being, our culture is 196 crore years old.”

Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress said “this is a sensitive issue and we should not do or say anything which will raise the communal temperature of the House or the country”.

“I appreciate Swami Sumedhanand ji. He represents the Arya Samaj. Arya Samaj is one Hindu organisation which has done excellent work in spreading education. The DAV schools are there all over northern India. I support the statement of Sumedhanandji when he said that the BJP is against conversion. In that case, if he has said that BJP is against conversion, I would like the House to unanimously adopt a resolution saying that conversion is not the philosophy of this country and the whole House stands against religious conversion.”

“It is known historically that when capitalists failed to give economic relief, they went for religious or racial issues. The best example of this is Adolf Hitler, who on the basis of Aryanism. created Fascism which is a mixture of reactionary philosophy and capitalism. That is the danger in the country. When economic relief will not available, then religious divisive issues will be raised,” Roy said.

Assaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM said Muslims were “not scared” of conversions and would continue to follow their religion. He urged the government to stop those behind the conversion and ‘ghar wapsi’ campaigns. His remark that BJP has an “umbilical cord” attached to “people behind these campaigns” drew an angry response from BJP benches. Owaisi also attacked Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party of being “hand in glove” with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

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  1. W
    What goes
    Dec 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm
    If you introduce a law to ban conversion and then stop the muslim from having four wives and m breeding, islam will never conquer Bharat mata. Its the last thing muslims want.
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    1. W
      What goes
      Dec 11, 2014 at 7:40 pm
      Our country which is a 'bouquet; of many types of flowers is under threat from one particular flower who wants control and domination, not just of our bouquet but every bouquet and eventually to wipe out all other flowers. If every bouquet of flowers had only one type of flower what would happen to our love of flowers? So some flowers have decided to be amongst the many, in a fragrant bouquet rather than be in a stale stinky one.
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      1. A
        Anoop Anoop
        Dec 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm
        r u another convert??
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        1. S
          Subhash Bennur
          Dec 12, 2014 at 5:17 am
          BJP s Mathi Brasht Log? Hum Log Kyo Vote Kiya not for this nonsense. s talk about development not about conersion, Taj is a hindu temple. How Mathi Brasht you all can be!.
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          1. V
            Venk
            Dec 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm
            Everyone has freedom to follow a religion and convert to any other faith - the State has no role in restricting religious freedoms.
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            1. P
              Proud to
              Dec 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm
              When Muslims and Christians convert Hindus to their religion it is perfectly acceptable to our "honourable" netas (especially in the Congress and their cohort parties) and in fact Hindus should keep their mouths shut to "maintain communal harmony" - in a Hindu majority country because we "secular" !!! But when the reverse happens all breaks loose, because the Hindus are disturbing the peace and the "secular ideals" of our great nation. What bloody hypocrisy is this. This conversion issue should be a an equal-opportunity two-way street.
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              1. K
                Khushminder Sahasi
                Dec 13, 2014 at 9:01 am
                Provided 'Ghar Wapsi' is also also reconversion, by allurement of Ration Cards, BPL status must be banned.
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                1. M
                  MiLady
                  Dec 12, 2014 at 3:14 am
                  After defining every indian as a hindu, an all encomping definition, would defeat any purpose of such a bill. Afterall who are you converting to when you're already a hindu, its merely a ghar wapsi. Secondly, if these bills are meant to regulate conversions in order to maintain public order, they can be selectively used for regulating conversions to religions other than hinduism. There is a dispute bill covering 40% of Ahmedabad for almost 14 yrs. Its only been used to prevent minorities buying property in majoritarian areas. If you can accomplish a non judicial demolition of a structure in ayodhya under the watch of a secular government in India, you can just about accomplish anything.
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                  1. I
                    Indian
                    Dec 13, 2014 at 7:05 am
                    This is the exact type of thing that will lead to communal riots again. BJP is well aware of it that it's going to happen if this Ghar wapsi act continues. After a break out, the government will have a strong reason to make conversation laws based on religion. God save India!
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