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Thursday, November 05, 2009 09:54:28 AM, Pervez Bari

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Bhopal: Fr. Anand Muttungal, PRO & Spokesperson Catholic Church, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, has taken strong exception to the highly controversial speech on “Mass Illegal Conversions” made by Rajnath Singh, the national president of Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), here in Bhopal.


Fr. Anand Muttungal in a strongly worded letter to Rajnath on Wednesday said: “You did not have any attractive slogan to draw the support of Hindus to the next electoral battle. So, now you have chosen to incite Hindus by raising the slogan of conversion”.


He drew Rajnath’s attention to the Constitution of India which gives freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It means also the freedom to change and embrace any religion or any ideology, he inferred.


“Let us uphold the Constitution of our Country or else it will weaken the foundation of our country which I love perhaps as much as you love it”, Fr. Anand appealed Rajnath.. 


The copy of the letter has been dispatched to National office-bearers, state presidents of BJP and Ministers of Madhya Pradesh along with a copy of the paper cuttings wherein the controversial speech was published.


It may be mentioned here that Rajnath made the said speech on 28th of last month on the occasion of “Amrit Mahotsav” (75th Birthday), celebration of former Rajya Sabha member Kailash Sarang which was organized to honour the senior leader for the service he had rendered to the BJP from the time of Jan Sangh days. Fr. Anand had himself attended that function and was witness to the rabble rousing speech of Rajnath Singh.


The people present at the programme were invited by the organizers of the event. They came from different religions, belonging to various organizations and professions. The programme was not to discuss the issue of dangers to Hindu society in the country. Almost all the speakers restricted their speeches in referring to the qualities of Sarangh and also enumerating his contribution to the Jan Sangh and then to the BJP. The All India Congress Committee general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, a sole non–BJP speaker, was also one of the speakers who made an excellent non-political speeches which was applauded by the audience.


Fr. Anand pointed that in the initial part of his speech he said: “due to mass illegal conversions, the affairs in North East is worrisome, 30  per cent of the tribal population in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have changed their religion”. If there is some truth in what you say then it is not a worrisome sign for you alone but for the whole country.  So it will be at the best interest of our country to ascertain all facts related to illegal conversions. We must take the service of all means possible including RTI Act in this regard. It will also be at its best if before deploring conversion; it will be very interesting to find out the cause of why people are changing their religion.


Rajnath in his speech had also claimed that “using all illegal means systematically conversion is carried out en-masse, if needed we have to amend the constitution to stop and we will support this.”

Fr. Anand said if conversion is too dangerous to the stability and integrity, then BJP should have taken the step to ban it when you were in power for six years.


You said: “if anybody gets converted into religions of Indian origin then it is alright. The foreigners are using religion to infiltrate into India and vitiate the Indian culture. There is threat to internal security due to conversion. No country in the world will allow conversion in this way….”  


“I am tempted to say that you have no much knowledge about the religious conversions going on around the world. There are large numbers of foreigners joining Hinduism, Islam etc. There are no restrictions in the Christian majority countries against conversion. If you feel that conversion into non-Indian religion cause internal security, it will be very kind of you if you can specify in the case of Christians to which country will they pay allegiance because there are many countries with Christian majority, the letter said.


Fr. Anand said Christians have been serving the country with full dedication in the field of education, health and community development. “There are many persons in BJP who have been educated and associated with us, every year they approach for recommendation too for admission. If your argument to be believed then you may check their credentials and activities since they are associated and educated in our institutions”, he urged.


“You also promised to build Ram Mandir at Ayodhya but you did not carry out that promise too in the long tenure of your government. So, my charge is that you use this promises to create vote bank and try to capture power. Even your leader L K Advani publicly accepted that we came to power because of Ram Mandir agitation. Thus it is clear that you used all these promises to betray them. This you did in Ram Mandir, while keeping the issue of Article 370 in Kashmir and also formulating a uniform civil code on the backburner”, the letter stated.


Fr. Anand said: “Let us look for the record of your party in Madhya Pradesh. The members of your party, Bajrang Dal members and many supported organizations have given sleepless nights to Christians in Madhya Pradesh since November 2003 when it came to power. Every now and then churches, prayer centres, individuals, Christian educational institutions etc. are subjected to brutal attacks by anti-social elements. And the BJP Government have not done anything concrete to stop them.


“Then you tried to bring a new law to regulate conversion but the president on the advice of Attorney General has sent back calling it unconstitutional. So, please stop making baseless and unsound allegations”, Fr. Anand appealed.









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