Close on the heels of the controversial Bajrang Dal exercise in Agra where 57 Muslim families were ‘converted’ to Hinduism, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) claimed to have “brought nearly seven lakh people back into Hinduism” till date under the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme.” The party added that the converts included four lakh Christians and three lakh Muslims.
Preparations for VHP’s Hindu Maha Sammelan at the Bandra Kurla Complex’s MMRDA ground
Speaking to sunday mid-day on the eve of the VHP’s Hindu Maha Sammelan at the Bandra Kurla Complex’s MMRDA ground (which will be attended by controversial right-wing leader Pravin Togadiya, Yogi Adityanath Ashok Singhal and others), Venkatesh Apdeo, central minister of the VHP, claimed that in Mumbai alone, nearly 5,000 families have converted to Hinduism.
“In India, 99 per cent Christians and Muslims are of Hindu origin. Those who believe that their forefathers are Hindus approach us and most of them are Muslim women. This ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme has been in existence for the last 20 years and many people have joined us. The media and ‘seculars’ weren’t aware of this, so for them, this is new,” said Apdeo.
The party also explained that at the Sammelan, conversion would remain their top agenda, followed by other issues such as Ram Janmabhoomi and gau-hatya or the slaughter of cows. After presenting a report to the central government, the party will ask it to formulate a law that will allow the construction of a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.
The VHP will also thank the Devendra Fadnavis government, as its minister Sudhir Mungantiwar asked the President to pass a law against cow slaughter. When this reporter questioned Apdeo about the VHP’s severe restrictions on girls’ choice of clothing, he claimed, “We aren’t against people wearing any type of clothes. But girls shouldn’t wear tight clothes and our culture doesn’t permit nudity.”