BJP MPs — Yogi Adityanath in Lok Sabha and Tarun Vijay in Rajya Sabha — will introduce private member bills in their respective Houses to stop religious conversions and go for a debate on the issue in next session of the Parliament.
The MPs made this announcement on Friday during a conference on ‘Dharmantaran Rashtranataran Hai’, organised at the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, to observe the death anniversaries of former chief priests of temple — Mahant Digvijay Nath and Mahant Avaidyanath.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Tarun Vijay said: “While I will present the Bill in Rajya Sabha, Yogi Adityanath will do the same in the Lok Sabha. Debates will be held on the issue in the Parliament on the lines of Thomas Jefferson’s famous Freedom of Religion Act-1786.”
He claimed that it was essential to put a stop to conversions of Hindus and raise a voice to safeguard their existence as faithful Hindus. “I plan to introduce a private member Bill with like-minded MPs to stop conversions… Many MPs from other parties have shown interest. I am trying to build an all-party consensus by holding discussions with them,” Vijay said while refusing to reveal names of the “like-minded” MPs.
“My line of argument is that religion must remain a matter of personal choice. But in India, it has become a political tool in the hands of foreign powers, who are targetting Hindus to fragment our nation again on communal lines. This has to be resisted in national interest and in the interest of all minorities in India,” he added.
Claiming that in India, religious conversion is a planned conspiracy, Vijay said: “Such areas get cut off from the country and Hindus are reduced to a minority… Jammu & Kashmir is an example where Hindus were forced to leave their houses… anti-national and separatists forces are active there…” Hindu majority is an essential guarantee for the flowering of democracy, constitutionalism and pluralism, he claimed.
While addressing the conference, Yogi Adityanath said religious conversion was an “anti-national act” and it must be stopped. “An aggressive campaign is required for ghar wapsi of those Hindus, who had converted to other religions in the past,” he added.
“The recent Census data shows that in India, Hindus’ share in the population has for first time reached below 80 per cent.. this was an alarming situation… The Niyogi committee of 1956 and other such commissions set up till 1999, had indicated about the consequences of a fall in the population of Hindus. But the governments did not any pay heed to it for votes and power,” said Adityanath, while adding that Hindus cannot leave it only to the government to maintain national unity and prevent religious conversion but should themselves take initiatives.
He further said that mahants Avaidyanath and Digvijay Nath had opposed religious conversion of Hindus.