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Savitha Rajendran | HENB | Chennai | June 27, 2022:: Announcing its action plan for 2024, when the organisation completes 60 years of its foundation, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday said all state governments must enact laws to curb illegal religious conversion, put a stop to hate speeches against Hindu religion, and hand over control of temples to the Hindu society.
Addressing the media in Chennai following its two-day central governing council meet, the VHP expressed concerns over government control of temples and their alleged demolition by state governments, besides illegal religious conversions and growing hate speeches against Hindu belief and deities.
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said, “All state governments should enact law to curb illegal conversions and love jihad (Hindutva organisations’ term for inter-faith marriages involving Muslim men). The growing menace of acquisition and demolition of temples in a discreet manner and hate speeches against Hindu beliefs and deities must also be stopped forthwith.”
VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said: “Apart from stopping conversions, we have to ensure re-conversion to Hinduism through ‘ghar wapasi’ (homecoming). We will initiate a social movement on these issues. Wherever there is need to put pressure on the government, we will do that.”
Announcing the action plan for its 60th anniversary in 2024, Jain said VHP will enroll more than 1 crore members and raise its units to 1 lakh, with 15 lakh karyakartas (workers) across the country.
“The VHP is of the opinion that illegal religious conversion is the biggest crime and violence against humanity… (other faiths) are assuming it as their religious rights and using unconstitutional and unethical means (to convert Hindus),” according to a VHP statement. “Since Independence, a demand has been raised by different sections of the society to stop this illegal criminal act. VHP welcomes state governments which have made a law to stop illegal conversions in their states.”
Criticising the DMK government in Tamil Nadu, the VHP said that due to the state government’s “insensitivity” there were instances of illegal conversions and attempts to convert Hindus to Christianity in Christian-run schools in the state. It pointed to a case in Thanjavur district, where a girl died, allegedly by suicide under pressure to convert to Christianity.
“There were also instances of Islamic fundamentalists targeting Hindu girls in the name of Love Jihad and finally the girls have been used as sexual objects,” the VHP stated. “Some of the girls had to commit suicide as it happened in Ramanathapuram and Melur-Madurai. Tamil Nadu government should stop such activities by punishing these institutions and individuals stringently, so that these kinds of abuses on the Hindu Society may be stopped,” it said.
The VHP Central Governing Council urged the state government to enact a stringent anti-conversion law to curb illegal conversions and growing cases of Love Jihad.
The organisation also said the country is facing violence due to Islamic fundamentalism. “Using CAA (citizenship amendment Act), Coronavirus, Hijab and Nupur (Sharma, former BJP spokesperson whose remarks on the Prophet have stoked protests) controversies, they are trying to inflame the country in senseless violence,” the statement said. “Terrorism has also been nurtured by these fundamentalists.
“Unfortunately, Tamil Nadu has become a hub and recruiting centre for Jihadi Terrorists. Many Islamic terrorists have been arrested by NIA in recent months, and their terror support structures like finance, sleeper cells and infrastructure have been flourishing in Tamil Nadu. There seems to be a laxity on part of the state security agencies in identifying such elements…”
On the issue of control of Hindu temples by the Tamil Nadu government, VHP said it was a colonial legacy. It also criticised the state government over alleged demolition of temples. “Hindu temples are being demolished by the Tamil Nadu government…in the name of encroachment and illegal constructions. More than 20 temples have been demolished in the last 13 months,” it stated. “This treatment has not been meted out to any mosque or church. VHP demands, if removal of temple is required as per law, it should be relocated to other place, in prior consultation with the temple committee and local Hindu organizations, as it is done with relocating people from encroachments.”
Demanding strict action against hate speech, it said, “Throughout the country, strict actions are being taken on perpetrators who make adverse comments on faith of non-Hindus and its leaders, but there is inaction on perpetrators who make insulting comments on Hindu deities, like the recent comments on the sacred shivalingam or pious Chidamabaram Natarajar. The VHP warns that if they (authorities) remain silent spectators, the Hindu society will have to stand up and defend its pride.”
Read the Press Note of VHP here in their website.
(Main script from Indian Express)