The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) will launch an 11-day campaign on Monday, pressing for the enactment of "a stringent" law against "unlawful" religious conversions and legal provisions to ensure that the tribals converting to Islam and Christianity do not get the reservation benefits and other facilities available to the scheduled tribes under the Constitution.
Ahead of the launch of the nationwide campaign, the VHP has approached 327 MPs from various political parties, including the BJP, the Congress, the JD(U), the RJD, the AAP, the TMC, the CPI(M) and the NC, requesting them to support its demands for an anti-conversion law and an amendment in the Constitution to stop the benefits of reservation and other benefits to the tribals abandoning their faith to embrace another, the outfit's working president Alok Kumar told a press conference here on Saturday.
He, however, did not share the names of the MPs whom the VHP had approached seeking their support to its demands. During the campaign that will conclude on December 31, various programmes will be organised to strengthen the Hindu society, Kumar said. "Efforts will also be made to bring those who have converted to other faiths back to the Hindu religion," he added.
While public awareness will be enhanced through the distribution of literature and pamphlets, public meetings and small group meetings will be organised "to expose the conspiracies of those engaged in conversions so that the Hindu society sees through their anti-Hindu and anti-national acts and awakens to stop this," the VHP leader said.
"It is not because of the inner conscience that people (Hindus) are converting to other faiths. They are being converted through allurement, fear or deception," he claimed. Any religious conversion through allurement, fear or deception is against the religious freedoms granted by the Constitution and also against the dignity of an individual, Kumar said. "A stringent law should be enacted against such religious conversions by the states and the Centre," he added.
Raising the issue of the conversion of tribals, Kumar said the Constitution should be amended to ensure that the tribals converting to another religion do not get the benefits of reservation and other facilities provided to the scheduled tribes under the Constitution.
"The tribals who abandon the faith of their ancestors and convert to another religion also abandon the faith, tradition and system of their worship," he contended, adding, "The members of the scheduled castes do not get the reservation benefits after converting to another religion. We feel that the same should happen in the case of those from the scheduled tribes embracing another religion."
The VHP leader said the outfit will continue to reach out to more parliamentarians to discuss various issues pertaining to religious conversions in the country and seek their support for the enactment of an anti-conversion law and provisions for stopping the reservation benefits and other facilities to the tribals converting to other religions.
"Of the 327 MPs we have met so far, 10 are Muslims and eight Christians. We had a very frank interaction during the one-on-one meetings with each of the MPs. We assured them that their names will not be made public. We have got a consensus on the issue and we feel that in the days to come, we will be able to intensify our movement against conversions," he said.
Kumar said there has been a decline in the number of cases of "unlawful" religious conversions and "love jihad" in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh after the two states enacted an anti-conversion law and took action against "some people".
-With PTI Inputs