Re-converted people can choose caste, claims VHP

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MUMBAI:  Amid the ongoing controversy over Ghar Vapasi, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has claimed those who re-convert to Hinduism from Islam or Christianity can be allowed to choose a caste for themselves and will not be subjugated to unfair treatment.

Once a person returns to the Hindu fold, the VHP investigates the parampara (tradition), aastha (faith) and sanskriti (culture) of his or her ancestors and guides them to follow their new lives in that pattern.

However, if the person wants he or she can choose a desirable caste, Vyankatesh Abdeo, VHP central secretary, told The Hindu on Wednesday. “Caste matters little for us when the person is back in Hindu dharma. But if he or she wants a particular caste, it is made accessible to them,” Mr. Abdeo said.

A day after the planned Ghar Vapasi programme on Christmas in Aligarh was shelved by a lesser known faction of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the VHP pledged it would carry on with its usual programmes of re-conversion across the country. “This was just an event. We won’t attach any prestige issue to it. Ghar Vapasi is nothing new, we will continue to hold it,” Mr. Abdeo said.

According to the VHP, a typical case of Ghar Vapasi takes years to execute and does not happen over events. “It is a slow process, not restricted to an event. We have to ensure hriday parivartan (a change of heart). Sometimes it takes up to decade,” Mr. Abdeo said. Though he declined allegations that the Ghar Vapasi programme was staged by the Hindutva camp to trigger a discussion on the anti-conversion bill, Mr. Abdeo said the VHP and its affiliates were happy to see the “seculars trapped” in the debate.

The Organizer, the official RSS mouthpiece, in its latest editorial also praised the incident as it brought “the debate on right track and created the possibility for universal anti-conversion law.”

“By proposing the pan India anti-conversion law, the Centre has given golden opportunity to all the ‘seculars’ to prove their credentials on the conversion issue,” the editorial said.

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