Discord in India: BJP lawmaker plans mass conversion of Muslims, Christians

Announcement comes as police investigate earlier incident where Muslims were tricked into converting


December 13, 2014

LUCKNOW: A Hindu priest-turned-lawmaker vowed on Friday to convert hundreds of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism on Christmas Day, despite a police investigation into an earlier round of conversions.

Religious conversions in India are threatening to sow fresh discord as Muslim groups and opposition parties accuse organisations tied to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party of trying to undermine the nation's secular foundations.

This week, police said they were investigating a case in which Muslim slum-dwellers complained they had been tricked into a Hindu conversion ceremony in Agra, lured by the promise of cheap government rations and voter identity cards.

But Yogi Adityanath, a four-time member of parliament from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said an even bigger ceremony to convert Muslims would be held in Aligarh as scheduled and that it was an entirely voluntary affair.

"We have been doing this every year for the past 10 years. It's not a conversion, its a homecoming," he said, adding that the families signing up for the ceremony were originally Hindus.

"These people talk of development, but are trying to create a rift in society," Hussain Dalwai, a Congress lawmaker said. The BJP denies any bias against minorities but says it opposes appeasement of any community.

"These conversions are just the beginning," warned Mulayam Singh Yadav, a leader of a regional group. "If this spreads to other parts of the country, there can be riots."

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2014.

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COMMENTS (12)

Sarfaraz Abbasi | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@dude: Name the groups that hold conversions in Pakistan, like that in India (attended by Indian members of parties) please! Don't try to be smart

Mazo | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Sarah Paul:

Too bad you didn't share such noble sentiments when entire districts in Odisa and entire states in NE were being "saved" by Evangelican pastors fueled with American money and a complicit Central government of bankrupt idealists and liberal traitors from the Congress Party for 65 years.

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