Fifty-nine Christians were converted to Hinduism on Thursday in Kottayam, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s home district. within a month after similar conversions triggered row in Uttar Pradesh.
As many as 42 people from 21 families – all of them Christians – took part in temple rituals, and amidst chanting of slogans became Hindus in Ponkunam in Kottayam district.
Another 17 people from near Kottayam town also became Hindus at a temple function.
State Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary V. Mohanan said what happened Thursday and last week – when 35 people became Hindus – “was not conversion, but re-conversion”.
“Right from the time the VHP became active in Kerala, re-conversion has been taking place but there has been no forced conversion at all.
“What we do is all those who have gone out of Hinduism, when they express their wish to return, we help them,” Mohanan said in a press statement issued.
Chandy had Wednesday said Kerala has always stayed clear of forced conversion and if any individual decides to convert, no one can stop them.
Hindu Ayikya Vedi leader Bhargava Ram told the media to come out with proof that there was pressure on people to convert to Hinduism.
“We have been doing this ceremony of making people Hindus in temples in full public glare. Today, when the function took place, the media was there and we told the media to please ask those who converted if they were under pressure.
“I challenge the authorities to register a case against us, as forced conversion is against the law of the land,” he said.(IANS)