Other States

Conflicting versions of Valsad event

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which claims to have reconverted over a 100 Adivasi Christians in Kaprada taluk of Valsad district on Saturday, says the outfit had received applications from those converted expressing their desire to become Hindu. The outfit claimed that 170 families had gathered for the drive to bring “misled” people back to the Hindu fold.

But the police dismiss the claims.

“The VHP performed a yagya and only three couples were sitting at the yagya, not 100 people as is being claimed. They did a katha [religious discourse through storytelling]. It was part of their golden jubilee celebrations and had nothing to do with religion. We have not received any complaint of forcible conversion, but if we do, we will take action,” Nipuna Torwane, Superintendent of Police, Valsad, told The Hindu.

Dharmendra Bhavani, chief of Dharm Prasar Vibhag of the VHP, however, told The Hindu: “The Adivasis themselves felt that they had taken the wrong path by converting to Christianity. They themselves threw their rosaries into the fire.”

Ceremony

“First, they all took a holy bath at a ‘kund’ [holy pond]. Then they worshipped Ram and Hanuman. A ‘yagya’ was performed followed by sermons by our priests. A ‘tilak’ ceremony was held in the end to complete the Ghar Vapsi. We only reconnect willing people to their ancestors. This is not conversion,” Mr. Bhavani said.

Asked if the three Adivasi couples who sat at the ‘yagya’ were Christian, Ms. Torwane said: “They had Hindu names. We have not verified their religion.”

Koli Rajputs next

The VHP plans to continue its “re-conversion” drive in parts of Gujarat, namely in Vyara in Tapi district where it will launch a drive among Koli Rajputs, who are said to have converted to Islam. It will target the border areas of Kutch and areas of Bhavnagar district.

“Our jubilee celebrations have nothing to do with the Ghar Vapsi work. This is an ongoing activity. We expect to receive 1,000 applications till ‘Krishna Janmashtami’ [in September]. Our workers are meeting interested people,” Mr. Bhavani said.





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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 1:58:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/vhp-conducts-ghar-vapasi-in-valsad/article6713089.ece

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