The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has called for a law that criminalizes forced and induced conversions. Speaking in Goa, Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, the national general secretary said that the RSS opposes conversions done by exploiting and inducing the illiterate, poor and backward people. Such practice of conversion to Christianity using exploitation and inducement should be made a punishable offence, he demanded.
While he stressed that there is no restriction on individuals going to Christianity on their own, there is a need to punish mass conversions as well as individual conversions done by exploiting the individual’s economic and educational backwardness. “Forceful conversion or by inducement, we say, should be made a punishable offence. There is no restriction on those who are going to Christianity on their own,” Joshi said.
Joshi also added that there were many such cases across the country where people working under various NGOs have indulged into religious conversions. “There are many cases across the country of those operating under the guise of NGOs. If you want to work in the area of water conservation, then why are you building a church in the village,” he said.
Joshi also remarked that opposition to BJP should not be seen as opposition to Hindus. He also stated that without an understanding and a concept of a Rashtra, people will only view it as a piece of land or a geographical entity.
Joshi also clarified that RSS does not oppose non-Hindus from joining the organisation, but they must believe in the concept of Bharat Mata. “We will not change our ideology or have a special program tailored for them”, he said.
Bhaiyyaji Joshi also said that a Hindu can never be communal because Hindus are not a community. “Those who worship one God, have one manner of worship, and believe in one book are considered a community. Since Hinduism doesn’t fit into this description, Hindus are not a community. Hindus, therefore, cannot be communal,” he explained.
Recently, groups affiliated to the RSS were stopped in conducting marriage ceremonies for tribals in Bengal despite taking permission from the administration. The VHP has alleged the collusion of Christian missionaries and communist leaders in this incident.