Hindu nationalist leader call for beheading of converters
In a video filmed in the state of Chhattisgarh, the swami Parmatmanand, in the presence of local BJP leaders, says: "In our villages we keep hatchets at home". Divine Word Missionary Fr Jospeh: "Every limit has been exceeded".
Raipur (AsiaNews) - "Behead all those who come to convert you". In a shocking video circulating on social networks, the Parmatmanand swami, a Hindu religious leader in the State of Chhattisgarh, shows no qualms in calling for beheadings to resolve an alleged "wave" of conversions to Christianity.
According to the Indian website The Wire, the speech, which openly calls for violence, was delivered during a demonstration "against conversions" held in the district of Surguja. Prominent figures from the BJP, the Hindu nationalist party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were also present on stage at the event. The video shows the former chairman of the National Commission for the Disadvantaged Castes, Nand Kumar Sai, applauding the words of the swami Parmatmanand.
In his disconcerting speech, the Hindutva exponent says: "Keep the sticks in your home. People in the cities don't, but in our villages people keep hatchets. Behead them when they come to perform religious conversions". He added: "You may wonder why a holy man like me talks about violence. You will say: how can he be a holy man if he lights the fire? Sometimes fire has to be lit, even Hanuman (a Hindu deity) did it. I tell you," he continues, "whoever comes to convert in your house, in your street, in your neighbourhood, in your village, must not be forgiven.
After this demonstration," The Wire reports, "the superintendent of police in the nearby city of Sukma sent a letter to all police stations asking them to monitor Christian missionaries and recently converted tribals to stop these "illegal" activities.
The Divine Word Missionary Fr Babu Joseph, former spokesman of the Indian Bishops' Conference (ECBC), said: "The statement allegedly made by Swami Paramartanand against the religious minorities in India in a rally in Surguja of Chattisgarh has crossed all limits of rhyme and reason. He is openly calling for unleashing violence on a section of Indians because of their religious belief is at variance from his. This is most reprehensible a behaviour that too coming from a Hindu religious person - or so claims.This is the height of propgating hatred and mayhem in society which should be strictly dealt with by the law enforcing agencies of the responsible state.”