Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks daring the opposition to support a law against conversion, today triggered a political storm with several parties attacking his views and questioning why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been silent on the issue.
Hitting out, former I&B minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari said RSS cannot be permitted to carry out the “Pakistanisation” of India.
“The reason why the idea of Pakistan has gone belly-up is primarily because of its theological conception. And if the RSS wants the Pakistanisation of India, that is something which cannot be permitted under any circumstances.”
“Therefore, not only would it be fought at the appropriate forums, but more importantly it will be fought at people’s level in order to keep the secular ideal of India intact,” Tewari said.
Another Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, “RSS wants anti-conversion law against conversion by force and inducement. Are they sure? Would they treat ‘Ghar Vapsi’ as conversion?”
He said on Twitter, “Personally I have no problem on anti-conversion law because VHP and Bajrang Dal is doing just that. Conversion by force and inducement.”
Rashid Alvi, also from Congress, criticised the RSS Chief’s comments and said that such politics could only bring dark days in the future. “Why is Narendra Modi silent on these issue?” he asked.
Expressing similar views, JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said, “The Prime Minister’s silence on this entire episode only furthers the objectives of Bhagwat ji.”
At an event in Kolkata yesterday, while strongly defending the current controversial campaign of the Sangh Parivar, Bhagwat dared the opposition to support a law against religious conversion.
He also asked other minorities not to convert Hindus if they also do not want to come back to Hinduism.
“If you don’t like it (re-conversion to Hinduism), then bring a law against it. You don’t want to bring it. If you don’t want to change into a Hindu, then you should not convert Hindus too. We are firm in our position,” he had said.
Senior CPI leader D Raja claimed that the recent comments cannot be seen as an isolated incident but as part of a larger plan.
“I do not think what the RSS chief is saying is an isolated thing or VHP is doing is an isolated thing. These are all part of a sinister design which is an affront to Constitutional system of governance in our country.
“On one hand they talk of good governance, on the other hand they do what all they can to destroy the Constitutional framework of our system and governance,” Raja said.
Senior BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria emphasised that the country belongs to all religions and asked why people who used to call former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – ‘Maun’mohan (silent), have themselves gone silent on the matter.