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Hindu leaders divided over entry of re-converts

A majority Hindu caste organisations of Kerala remain divided over the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s call that the re-converts could return to any caste of their choice.

Vyankatesh Abdeo, central secretary of the VHP, had earlier stated that those returning to the Hindu fold were free to choose a desirable caste.

While the Kerala Brahmana Sabha said that it was opposed to conversions and reconversions and would not welcome reconverts to its fold, Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam said that it would be glad to include those returning to Hinduism to its fold.

However, Nair Service Society general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair said that the organisation was yet to make up its mind.

Vellapally Natesan, general secretary of the Yogam, welcomed reconverts to Ezhava community. There has been a drop in the demographic strength of the Ezhava community due to conversions and other factors. If anyone was willing to become an Ezhava by caste, the Yogam would welcome them as the move would help in bolstering the strength of the community, Mr. Natesan said. Punnala Sreekumar, general secretary of a splinter group of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha, said the organisation would welcome its former members, who opted for conversion earlier.

If a member of the Pulaya caste, who got converted earlier, was now returning to Hinduism, he would be welcomed to the caste. However, such treatment would not be extended to other caste members as it would lead to legal issues and also upset the protection guaranteed to the caste members by the Constitution including caste reservation, Mr. Sreekumar said. T.V. Babu, general secretary of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha, apprehended that the entry of the “new Hindus” into the caste fold may affect the reservation benefits enjoyed by its members. K.N. Venkiteswaran, kshetreya secretary of the VHP, said that those returning to the Hindu fold should have the right to join a caste of their choice.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:40:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hindu-leaders-divided-over-entry-of-reconverts/article6716813.ece

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