New Delhi: Fireworks over the issue of alleged forced conversion of Muslims into Hinduism began as a united Opposition attempted to attack the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre when both Houses convened for normal business on Thursday.
Congress and Samajwadi Party had earlier given notice over alleged forced conversion in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra by several groups affiliated to the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and demanded a debate on the issue.
However, later, SP leader Naresh Agarwal denied that his party has given any notice for discussion over religious conversion. Janata Dal (United) is also likely to give a similar notice to the Lok Sabha Speaker today.
Here are the Live Updates:-
- Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm due to ruckus created by Opposition over conversion row.
- We tried it in Arunachal Pradesh for indigenous people but it didn’t work: Ering
- The idea of banning conversion is not correct:Congress MP Ninong Ering
- UP Minority panel asks Agra DM, SSP to file report on conversion row within 72 hours.
- UP State Minority Commission also intervenes in the issue.
- Home Ministry seeks report from UP govt on alleged forced conversion in Agra .
- I urge UP, Bihar govts to ban such outfits: Yadav.
- Bajrang Dal should be banned: RJD MP Pappu Yadav.
- It’s constitutional right of every citizen to choose their religion, but luring people to change their religion is a crime: Singh.
- Sangh & BJP have always had political agenda of dividing people of nation in the name of religion: Digvijaya Singh.
We all know who is behind conversion of poor Hindus – Vatican – from where the entire money flows: Raut
We will also present of view point on that, Hindus were forced to converted in many stats and it continues even today: Raut
Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena says we are not afraid of any debate on conversion
Congress MP PL Punia seeks PM’s reply on religious conversion issue.
Katiyar claims that J&K CM Omar Abdullah’s forefathers were also Hindu.
BJP MP Vinay Katiyar says nobody talks about Hindus’ conversion
It is also the Centre’s responsibility to see no such forced conversion takes place: Mayawati
The SP, which is in power in UP, must look into the matter; BSP chief
BJP and its affiliated outfits are trying to create communal tension in UP: Mayawati
This is a planned controversy by RSS-backed outfits to damage the secular fabric of the nation.
BJP also dares SP to conduct probe into UP conversion row.
Agree that anti-conversion law should be made: Parliament Affairs Minister
When there will be a debate, we will discuss both conversion and re-conversion: Naidu
We are ready to debate any issue, don’t disrupt Parliament: Naidu
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu counters Opposition charge, says Govt is ready for discussion on any issue.
Congress Leader Mallikarjun Kharge presses fo a detailed discussion on conversion row.
Congress raises conversion issue and demands a detailed discussion
Question Hour continues in Lok Sabha as Congress MPs shout slogans in background
People are voluntarily converting, says Swkashi Maharj.
Congress gives notice for discussion on religious conversion in Rajya Sabha.
Also Read: Tension in Muzaffarnagar over conversion
On Wednesday the Opposition parties condemned the reports of alleged religious conversion of some 200 people in Uttar Pradesh and are demanding strict action against the RSS affiliated groups as they plan to go ahead with their “homecomings” programme to convert more people into Hinduism.The Opposition is also demanding a clarification from the BJP government on the issue.Reports on Thursday said that this Christmas, the RSS affiliated groups have planned to convert at least 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families into Hinduism under what it calls the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme in Aligarh.
Organisers claim the event in Aligarh will be one of the biggest ever conversion programmes, firebrand BJP leader MP Yogi Adityanath will be among those who will lead the event on December 25.
While the ruling BJP has denied any role in the conversions, its firebrand MP Adityanath had said that,“This is not conversion but homecoming. My program is in Aligarh and it will happen – those who want to return voluntarily will be welcome.”
The RSS-backed groups have chosen the “Aligarh”and December 25 as the day for the even since the city has a sizeable Muslim population and is considered to be a stronghold of Samajwadi Party, which is currently in power in UP.
“Aligarh has been chosen because it’s time we wrest the Hindu city from Muslims. It is a city of brave Rajputs and their temples on whose remains Muslim institutions have been established,” RSS regional pracharak Rajeshwar Singh was quoted as saying.
Christmas was chosen as the day for conversion because the event is a “shakti pariksha” (test of strength) for both religions, said Singh. “If their religion is better, they can stop them. It is a test for both of us. If they come to us on Christmas, it is the biggest rejection of the faith,” Singh was quoted as saying to he media.
According to reports, the RSS-backed groups have already identified families from 40 slums in Aligarh, Bulandshahr and Hathras, “The 4,000 Christian families belong to the Valmiki samaj. The Valmiki samaj is the feet of the Hindu society. We are incomplete without them.”
The 1,000 Muslim families who have been identified for the conversion are descendants of Thakurs and Brahmins who have been convinced of their “lost pride”, Singh further claimed.
Meanwhile the Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday issued a state-wide alert in view of plans by Hindu groups to hold more conversion programmes this month.
“All SPs have been told to remain vigilant and monitor the activities of groups involved in conversions,” said additional DG Mukul Goel. “Police can’t stop a person from choosing or adopting a religion. But if there is a complaint of forced conversion, we will act against the organisation concerned, ” he added.
Hindu Yuva Vahini, an outfit floated by BJP MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath, will spearhead the a even to reconvert people to Hinduism in a programme at Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh on December 18.
This comes amid a denial by 57 Muslim families of claims made by hard-line Hindu groups Dharma Jagaran Manch and Bajrang Dal’s that they have switched to Hinduism. These families say they were tricked into a conversion event couched as a “homecoming ceremony” in Agra.
“We have taken permission from the administration and hopefully we would reconvert 2,000 people in Ghazipur on December 18,” Sunil Singh, state president of the Vahini, was quoted as saying.
Though Yogi Aditynath has denied charges that people were reconverted to Hinduism at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur, it is rumoured that the Gorakhnath temple, the seat of spiritual power of the Nath sect of ascetics, is behind reconversion efforts in this part of eastern Uttar Pradesh for many years.
The issue created a furore in Parliament yesterday and is likely to be raised again when both Houses met for normal business today. “The House and the country need reassurance that the Constitution will not be violated. It is a diabolical plan by the BJP,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. “The Prime Minister must clarify,” said Left leader Sitaram Yechury.
A criminal case for cheating and promoting enmity was also filed yesterday in Uttar Pradesh on the complaint of a villager who has alleged that 57 Muslim families chosen from a rag-pickers’ colony in Agra were given inducements like I-cards for welfare schemes to convert to Hinduism.
The ceremony, allegedly organized by activists of the Bajrang Dal and Dharam Jagran Samanvyay Vibhag, featured chanting by priests while the converts, wearing skull caps, made offerings at a ritual fire or havan.
Sangh & BJP have always had politcal agenda of dividing ppl of nation in the name of religion: Digvijaya Singh on religion conversion issue