In an apparent bid of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ by Hindu Jagaran Mancha and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), 96 Christians were converted to Hinduism at Kailashahar in Unakoti district on Sunday. Hindu Jagaran Mancha is an RSS-affiliated organisation.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Hindu Jagaran Mancha leader Makhan Lal Nath said that the converted persons were Hindus to start with and were simply ‘reconverted’ to their original faith.
“They were Hindus at the beginning. Nine years back, these 98 persons of 23 families from Rachipara area were converted to Christianity. They wished to be reconverted to Hinduism and a yajna (holy pyre) was organized to convert them back and respect their wishes,” Nath said.
He also informed that most of the converted persons hail from Jharkhand and Bihar and belong to Orao and Munda tribal communities. They were engaged as workers with Sonamukhi Tea Estate in the area. VHP’s Unakoti district secretary Madan Mohan Goswami said the conversion Yajna was actually ‘Ghar Wapsi’ or returning to their own religious fold.
Birsa Munda, one of the re-converted persons, said he was lured for conversion to Christianity.
“We are very poor people in villages. Christians converted us and behaved with us at their will. We were bewildered as they frequently misbehaved with us. This yajna was organized here today and we were reconverted to Hinduism with our own volition”, he told reporters.
The Ghar Wapsi ‘Yajna’ was headed by Chandrakanta Singha, a Vedic scholar and president of Gayatri Kunja, a local Hindutva organisation.
Another Hindu Jagaran Mancha leader, who didn’t wish to be named, said that the tea estate workers were converted to Christianity by taking advantage of their poverty, illiteracy, and helplessness. He also said that similar “awareness programmes” of reconverting misguided people would be beneficial across Tripura.