The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

VHP urges President to expel foreign missionaries

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has demanded expulsion of foreign missionaries from India. In a memorandum presented to the President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on May 28 the VHP president Ashok Singhal and central secretary Dr Surendra Jain said the right to propagate religion under the Indian Constitution is only for the Indian citizens. “Therefore, all the foreign missionaries should be directed to leave the country,” the memorandum said further demanding a ban on the foreign money coming to missionaries from outside the country. The VHP also demanded the constitution of a commission to investigate into the activities of missionaries and their associated non-governmental organisations. “Orders should also be issued to forfeit all the literature that insult Hindu Gods and Goddesses and Hinduism. A central law should also be enacted to ban conversion in India by force, allurement or fraudulent means,” the memorandum said.

The memorandum also came down heavily on the propaganda of so-called attacks on Christian missionaries. “Unfortunately, some vested interests have been conspiring to attach the name of some Hindu organisations behind such attacks. Whenever any such incident surfaces, the bishops, priests and nuns along with the students of missionary schools come to the streets and demonstrate abusing Hindu organisations. A section of media too with a view to increase their TRP or polish their “secular image” present such incidents with sensation. In these efforts they not only insult the great Indian tradition of sarvapanthsambhav but also become a toy in the hands of anti-India forces. We wish to attract your kind attention to these incidents so that the atmosphere of religious and communal harmony should not disturb,” the memorandum added.

The 15 pages memorandum alleged that the Christian missionaries are working under various aggressive and imperialist programmes to turn the whole world into Christianity. But to achieve their objectives they insult the others’ ways of worship, which has disturbed the peace of the whole world and sometimes several violent incidents have taken place. The memorandum said the overactiveness of the missionaries and repeated insult of Hindus by them has forced the common Hindus to react at some places. The blame for such self-reaction by the Hindu society in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and some other places has been put on Hindu organisations using very uncivilised language. Despite being no activist of VHP in the people arrested by the police in Kolhapur incident and filing of affidavits by the victims that they were converted without their knowledge, very filthy language was used for Hindu organisations. “Can the work of judiciary now be handed over to a section of media, which levels allegations and give verdict even without hearing the opposite party? After sometime when their propaganda is proved false, they even do not say sorry or admit their mistake,” the memorandum said.

The VHP leaders alleged that the Christian missionaries were working as Talibans in India and they finish the non-Christians in the areas where they are powerful. They are terrorising Hindus in north-east through terrorism, assassination, kidnapping, etc. Their relations with terrorist organisations are well known. In 1990, the then Union Minister of State for Home had said in Lok Sabha, “This is true that a Father has been arrested with RDX.” The leftist Government of Tripura too in a report to the Union Home Ministry said that the terrorists and church are closely associated. The memorandum further said that the missionaries have become so powerful that they forcibly enter the Hindu religious places and try to convert the people.

“We are peace loving citizens of India and want peace and communal harmony. You are requested to kindly inspire the Government of India to take appropriate action in this regard,” the memorandum appealed to the President. (FOC)

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