Extremist Hindu groups in India plan to convert over 4000 Christian and 1000 Muslim families to Hinduism on Christmas day this year. Past “conversion events” have been linked to acts of violence or deceptive practices to achieve the apparent “conversions.”
According to the Times of India, “This Christmas, the RSS plans to convert at least 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families into Hinduism under what it calls the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (returning home) programme.”
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization that was linked to a forced conversion ceremony last week. In the ceremony, 200 Muslims were lured to a food ration card event and were told after accepting the cards, that they had automatically been converted to Hinduism. Fearing violence, the Muslims did not speak up until safely at home.
“We were not aware that it was an exercise to convert us to Hinduism. We are Muslims and would continue to be so,” said one of the deceived Muslims, Noor Muhammad, to the Hindustan Times.
RSS leaders, however, continue with their tactics unhindered, and plan to issue new names to the “converts.”
The Times of India states that government authorities refused to address the issue, saying “The government, however, washed its hand-off [sic] the issue saying law and order is a state subject.”
RSS has been linked to a variety of violent activities, and essentially functions as an armed paramilitary in India. They have been linked to riots, religious violence, and the demolition of non-Hindu religious structures.
According to the Times, “Singh also claimed that RSS has taken possession of as many as 60 churches across the state, where no Christians worship now, ‘as they have all been re-converted to Hinduism’.” He later added “Ek din in girijagharo ki deewarein bhi gir jayengi aur hamara desh sirf hinduon ka hoga (one day these churches will crumble and our country will belong to the Hindus alone).”
Many of the founding members of RSS favorably spoke about fascism and the Nazi movement.
“Leaders should imitate the youth movement of Germany and the Balilla and Fascist organizations of Italy. I think they are eminently suited for introduction in India, adapting them to suit the special conditions. I have been very much impressed by these movements and I have seen their activities with my own eyes in all details,” said Dr. B.S. Moonje, an early RSS leader in an interview with The Mahattra magazine in 1931.
Dr. Moonje was known for his strong opposition to Mahatma Gandhi, and criticism of Gandhi’s non-violent movement. RSS affiliate organization Hindu Mahasabha later assassinated Gandhi, citing the same criticisms.
After the conversions, RSS beliefs state that the “ex-Christians” and “ex-Muslims” will not be treated well. “On one hand they say they will treat the converts as equals and on the other hand they believe in Sanatana Dharma under which these converts will always be treated as outcastes [sic],” said Roop Rekha Verma, head Saajhi Duniya, a non-profit organization working on communal harmony in India, according to the Times of India.
ABP Live quotes RSS leader Rajeshaw Singh talking about the planned conversion, “Christmas was chosen as the day for conversion because the event is a “shakti pariksha” (test of strength) for both religions…If their religion is better, they can stop them.”
“In the eyes of RSS all those living in India are Hindus. RSS does not discriminate on the basis of caste and religion,” All India Publicity In-Charge of RSS, Manmohan Vaidya told reporters at the Times of India. Over 200 million Indians subscribe to beliefs other than Hinduism.
In 1999, an RSS offshoot group called Balrang Dal, murdered Christian missionary, Dr. Graham Straines, on a medical mission in India. The perpetrators of the crime confessed to killing Dr. Straines and his family because of his efforts to teach local Indians about Christianity.