02/26/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Hindu radicals: We will convert Christians and Muslims until the government stops us

by Nirmala Carvalho
The provoking remark was made by the leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which will celebrate the anniversary of the extremist group in Kandhamal. In 2008 the worst anti-Christian persecution of Indian history took place there. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "No concrete action of the Government after the statements on religious freedom by Prime Minister Modi."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "We will continue with the programs of ghar Wapsi [reconversion to Hinduism], unless the government introduces anti-conversion laws at the national level", warns Praveen Togadia, leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Hindu radicals).  The group is set to  celebrate 50 years of activism in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa), on February 28.

Here in 2008 the worst anti-Christian pogrom in the history of India occurred and the announced gathering worries the religious minority. Sajan George, leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews: "Peace has not yet been restored in the area and there are still tensions. The presence of the VHP will marginalize and terrorize the vulnerable Christian community even more " .

Togadia's declarations and the upcoming celebration of the VHP in Kandhamal contrast the recent statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in defense of religious freedom. On the contrary, they are the latest in a series of actions taken by Hindu ultranationalists against minorities in the country: the ceremonies of "retuning home", the ghar wapsi; attacks on churches of Delhi; allegations of forced conversions made against Mother Teresa by the leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

"Even the ferocious and disgusting slander against the work of Mother Teresa - Sajan George told AsiaNews - should be viewed in the same light. The Hindutva brigade continues to pursue its diversionary tactics, completely ignoring the assurances of the Prime Minister. It acts as if it were on an election campaign: the premier makes great speeches, while extremist groups continue to act undisturbed. "

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), currently in power in the central government, is the political wing of the Hindu nationalist movement Sangh Parivar, which includes radical groups like the VHP and the RSS, responsible for violence against ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

Responding to the accusations made against the founder of the Missionaries of Charity Msgr. Henry D'Souza, Archbishop Emeritus of Calcutta, answers "as Mother Teresa herself would do: I will pray for them, always. The best way to help these people is to love them and be merciful".

What's more, in recent days the VHP also attacked Christian missionaries of Delhi, accusing them of "submitting false reports of attacks on churches. It is known to all that the Christian missionaries, under the previous government, have led malignant and aggressive campaigns ".

 

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