Ghar Wapsi: Forced Mass Conversion To Hinduism

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Ghar Wapsi: Forced Mass Conversion To Hinduism

The purpose of a religion is to realize self actualization of a man! In other words, the true purpose of a religion is to ensure that each person reaches his true potential, goes beyond the temptations toward one honest truth – upliftment of himself.

With the recent trend of events, religion seems to be taking a completely different trend. For a long time I was very proud to know that Hinduism was one of the very few religions which did not have a format for conversion of people. It looks like I have been visibly proved wrong with the recent turn of events – In Agra where about 57 Muslim families have been mass converted into hindus with a promise to provide them ration cards, BPL facilities and more. The event was proudly hosted by Dharma Jagaran Manch and the Bajrang Dal.

mass conversion, agra conversion, agra muslims to hindus, conversion to hinduism,
Agra Conversion

I had always reckoned that the true essence of a religion lies in its tolerance and was also of the opinion that Hinduism was one of the most tolerant ones in the world. I was also of the opinion that Indians were the most civil when it came to various religions co-existing in the country because we come from a secular nation where we are used to the wide ranged diversity and perhaps learnt to respect different religions over the past 60 odd years from the time a secular culture was embedded in the constitution of India.

Perhaps this is why it is said that the way things work are a lot different than they appear on paper. I am highly appalled to look at the news which displays a headline –

200 Muslims converted into Hindus in Agra

Mass conversion into hinduism in Agra

Forced conversion in Agra

No matter what these headlines say, there sure is a lot deplorable about the news and the first few questions that come to my mind are

 why

    Why

       WHY?

Why these conversions, why the intolerance?

Who gives these people the right to convert?

What do they think they are doing by a forced/coerced conversion? Are they creating ambassadors of their religion? If they are doing so, are these people who are forced going to be the fair ambassadors of the religion?

Are they trying to spread the message that if you have to survive well in a country, you have to be a Hindu?

Does Hinduism come with more privileges to humanity than any other religion on earth?

And above all,

What gives them the right? What gives these so called fundamentalists to stand on the neck of people and force them to do something which is against their accord? And what is the point in bribing someone into it?

And to know that these organizations are led by leaders who are looked up to by people and they are spreading a message of autonomy in a democratic country? What message does this send to the normal followers? Does it mean that I can convert anyone just because I don’t like them? Or maybe I don’t like a few things they do?

And where does this end?

– When all people are converted into one religion?

– Can something like that ever happen?

And before we answer that, aren’t we all bound by the one religion of humanity?

Enough is enough, people have talked about Islamophobia, people have cast Muslims in a bad shadow all along. Now to see something like this, the so called Hindus are not so different after all.

There will always be a few religious nuts out there to try and prove their helpless, sad points. But we are a country of people, of human beings who are a lot more important than a mere few practices they follow. It is about time that we step out of these old worn out shoes and start looking at something more sensible – the true meaning of any religion!


PS: A few searched items:
Ghar Wapsi meaning:

I was wondering what the meaning of Ghar Wapsi could be? I realize there have been a few searches which have led to this post with the tag word – ‘Ghar Wapsi meaning’. Well to my understanding, the literal translation comes to – Home coming.

In other words, I guess these fundamentalists believe the nation to be of their caste/clan and think that whoever has followed a different path is considered an alien or a foreigner who has lost touch with the ways of the land. As a result of which they have to be brought back home and these fundamentalists are assuming that they are doing it by doing a forced mass conversion.

 


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42 thoughts on “Ghar Wapsi: Forced Mass Conversion To Hinduism

  1. Lol, the moment I heard this news Vinay, I thought that it will definitely be a issue soon, and it becomes too. I am not sure if they are forced or coerced or whatever is behind, but are they a fool who did not understand what actually is going on?

    If just for the sake of money or some greedy offer you agrees to change your religion, so whose fault is it? I honestly don’t consider them the faulty who offered something to them, rather I consider those as faulty who accepted the offer and converted…

    But anyways, it is a political drama, and since our opposition has no strength left these days, they will try to bring it into lime light for the sake of their politics.

    1. He he yeah, even I realized that. It is absolutely insane that people still keep doing this and offer a bribe for the forced conversions.

      I think it is a fault from both ends. Just like in giving a bribe, both the person offering it and the one taking it are guilty, I guess the same extends to this as well. In theory I agree that it is the sheer fault and stupidity of people who were wooed by promises. But at the same time, when someone is desperate for the basic necessities of life, I don’t know how much I can put them at fault. All I can feel for them is sympathy and a little bit of helplessness..

    2. Hey we cannot put the whole blame and find all fault on those who took the offer or as we hear theo nes who were forced. Its totally unfair. I do agree they are a part of this crime too, but aren’t the ones who tried to disgrace and spread the word that Ghar wapsi could be encouraged if they converted are the most at fault! I just find it biased.

      1. I agree Najm, the people who were in a position of power or a position of money can try and wield the weaker ones to realize their own selfish goals which I think is a situation here. And these poor people were definitely lured in. As Gandhi once said – Poverty is the biggest curse in India and these organizations are making use of it.. Such a sham and such a shame 🙁

      2. Hey Najm, not differing from your point of view, but let me tell you one thing, if you go to rural areas you will find many people are forcing or bribing people to change their religion, and no one is even talking about those incidents.

        My concern is that what is the point in shouting on such things, in my opinion those who accepts the bribe are bigger culprit than the one who is offering the same…

        1. I agree with you Alok.. Conversion is going on since many years in my town. 50000 rupees to Hindus to convert in to Christianity. And nobody knows about it. I am not supporting what is happening now. All I am saying is for sure there is a bigger political agenda behind what’s happening now.

  2. Forced! Hehe… lol…. I saw rate chart of religion conversion on some news channel. Rs 2 lac for Christian to Hindu and Rs 5 lac for Muslim to Hindu. Then, a thought crossed my mind: What a brilliant opportunity to earn Rs 7 lac doing nothing! First I’ll have to convert to Muslim then convert back to Hindu & get Rs 5 and then to Christian and again back to Hindu to get another Rs 2 lac. Who is forcing me? Well….. no one.

    It’s just a practical calculation. On a deeper level, what difference would it make if all religions lead to the same Almighty? Nothing. It appears to me as the opportunity given my Almighty to the poor one to get some benefits out of this foolishness.

    1. In principle I agree to the line of thought Ravish. Although the coercion works on many levels here, one is a physical one – by sheer brute force. There is one more in the form of gifts, just like the votes are bought and favors are purchased. I agree that both are equally deplorable and an easy way out for the poor or the ones who can take advantage of it.

      But at the same time, we are talking about people who are absolutely desperate here and the promise was of BPL cards so that these people would get easier access to ration and food. The real question is – why wouldn’t these people get the BPL cards if they are in their own caste. What is the hurdle? And if that is identified what is the way out?

      How can a party promise BPL cards upon conversion? How are they allowed or how can they subvert the rules to provide them a governmental favor? The politics in a scenario seem to run very deep here and unfortunately not much of it will lead to a positive answer 🙁

    2. hahaha… Ravish what a great Idea. May be everybody should do this and then these stupid people will understand the depth their foolishness. First convert to Christianity (they used to pay 50k for that in my city, not sure if they still do) then convert and convert and convert again. why stop at 7 lakhs? Let us loot them!!!

  3. Thank you Rajeev, Nice to see your thoughts here :). I agree, if it is not the blankets it is the promise of food or color tv or a car or something else, the list will never end and the political parties do take a great advantage of a situation like this. Like you said, a voice should be raised each time and a small action, even if it is a very small one should be taken in that front. That way it acts as an impediment for someone to try something similar in the future. It is not going to obliterate the problem completely but it sure is going to mitigate it 🙂

  4. I was so shocked when I saw this on News. So disheartening to see such things still happening in India . I hope someday people do understand that its humanity that they should’ve believed in. Loved your post on this sensitive issue. Very well written 🙂

    1. Thank you Najm. I too was a bit taken aback that they are still doing this. I thought the mass conversions should have been a term of the past, dating to the time when the separation of India happened where the conversion was kind of inevitable. But now, there is no excuse for this..

  5. It’s an age old tradition..this conversation of religions. Christians do it as well, especially the tribal people of Orissa and West Bengal have accepted Christianity as they’re assured to get medical support and education from that community. I hope you’ve heard about the latest ‘love jihad’ trend of the Muslims….and now the Hindus. I hate the whole thing….religion has devoured some people’s conscience…they are no more human beings..just Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jews…..

    There’s no one to blame particularly…blame the thing..RELIGION… opium for masses…

    1. I agree Maniparna, people have been doing it all along. True that, down south, the conversions done by christian missionaries are quite popular – they targeted the so called lower castes who were the recipients of horrible treatment like untouchability which lifted that veil over them. But then again it did not solve the problem since there could never be one ideal religion that everyone will follow. I dont get it as to when people will understand that religion is a personal affair and not many have a say in it..

      1. Lets face it. Its not personal affair any more. See what is happening in Kashmir for pandits, what is happening in Iraq to yazdi community or Africa country. India is the only country where different religion exist, bec of its culture and values. Hinduism is culture , tradition not religion. So lets not demean the Hinduism by calling religion. It offers solution to everyone for their problem. Off course Hinduism offers personnel liberty by accommodating all kind of ideology. It is not static it is lively. If we loose our numbers we will be prosecuted by other religion so lets guard it . I am not telling there is no space for other religion but other religion should have the same kind of attitude towards Hinduism also. Whatever happening is good for the country culture and values. Jai hind.

        1. True mate. Unfortunate as it is and as despicable as it is, I am appalled by the proceedings and the way religion is being taken for granted not only in this country but worldwide. It opens a new line of thought when you mentioned about Iraq and Africa. I had read somewhere that tolerance is the ultimate religion but none of these fundamentalists seem to see it that way.

          I think every religion or a practice is a part of the culture and even Hinduism, religion is a culture which has been established over the years and prevailed itself as an entity. I think every religion has its beauty which has to be protected, but I also think that personal liberty has to take ultimate precedence over it and there are protagonists who want to save the culture but in the name of it, they seem to be pushing off the hedge and destroying it which makes things a little more intense and a little less desirable..

  6. When Christian missionaries are converting on mass scale in a organized way these seculars keep mum but if few people converted back to Hinduism then all shout why double standard? Voice should be raised for all not against only Hinduism? This is nothing but ‘secular hypocrisy’. If conversion is perfect then re-conversion is also perfect. Secularism is a abusive word in India.

    1. Ranjit, I think every one of those forced or bribed conversions are equally deplorable. Religion certainly is a personal choice and the moment any institution tries to take advantage of it, it loses sanctity. And as for the reason as to why it makes such a big deal when people are forced for conversion into Hinduism, I would say that is because there was a lot of sanctity maintained to it till there was a forced conversion. It was more of a religion which could be embraced by choice and less of a religion which could be paraded as it is being done now… It is very unfortunate that secularism as a word has lost its meaning in the midst of these propaganda.

      I really wish that humanity and truth prevails over everything else..

  7. It is very unfortunate Gowthama. To see religion being paraded like this, it makes me hang my head in shame sometimes and feel really bad about it.. I wonder when they realize that they are actually sending a very bad image of the country by doing this by staying too fundamentalist with their approach..

  8. A very interesting thought Amitabha Gupta. I like the comparison with a shadow of democracy. It sure does have a lot of understones where democracy can be seen at only one segment of the society and its shadow at the other and in the middle there are people who try and take advantage of it..

    I could not agree more Amitabha, it is these very people who never understand the true meaning of religion. For them it is as closed as a set of practices and marriages and some big grand festivals which ultimately have no meaning at all since they lose their basic touch with people and their normal lives..

    You said it! For these guys religion is a political party, religion is just votes, it is an identity through which they can cash in on nepotism.

    Really happy to see your thoughts Amitabha, it takes the conversation and the post to a very new level and to be honest, I am loving responding to this comment. Thank you mate 🙂

    1. To be honest it not possible to convert to Hinduism. In our Holy books and epics,I have never heard of any content that illustrates any rituals or procedure as to how one can be converted into Hindu!

      1. Very true Amitabha, I had heard this, but I was not sure how right I was and hence refrained from posting in that article. I think it is the only religion you are born into and there is no tenet which actually calls for a conversion.

        It is very much a political action by these benefactors who find it very easy to use religion for their own selfish needs..

  9. Aah! I had not made that connect! Thank you Yogi :).

    He he 😀 .. I agree, religion is more of a personal choice, a way of life, not some reference to be claimed in a book. I fail to understand what these parties gain by performing a mass conversion and the rationale behind it? Won’t they know that even these people who actually do it, do it only for the sake of money or some other reason. Is it done just as a publicity stunt to woo in the voters?

    So many questions, but I guess it is very hard to find a conclusive answer for this..

  10. Thank you Romana. This indeed is a beautiful comment, kinda made my day :).

    He he thanks mate, sometimes I fail to understand why a societal or a religious aspect takes over an individual aspect. But I guess that is somewhere most of them stem their identity. Somehow if we are able to find a way out of that and place the individual tolerance, it sure will be a bright future ahead :)..

    Great to hear from you mate 🙂

  11. I was wondering what the meaning of Ghar Wapsi could be? I realize there have been a few searches which have led to this post with the tag word – ‘Ghar Wapsi meaning’. Well to my understanding, the literal translation comes to – Home coming.

    In other words, I guess these fundamentalists believe the nation to be of their caste/clan and think that whoever has followed a different path is considered an alien or a foreigner who has lost touch with the ways of the land. As a result of which they have to be brought back home and these fundamentalists are assuming that they are doing it by doing a forced mass conversion.

    I am not sure how exactly to react to such a shocking display of ignorance and a complete insensitivity towards tolerance. It certainly is a matter of shame..

  12. Another update on the Ghar Wapsi incident today. About 30 christians were converted in Kerala into hinduism. There sure have been a lot of tales about conversion of hindus to christians in Kerala, most of them dating back to the good old past and we had really hoped that the nation had moved on from such meaningless rituals towards the true meaning of religion.

    Turns out that there are still a few people who would happily sit back in their own archaic beliefs and not only that – try to impose it on everyone else they see..

    I am not sure when all of this is going to end…

  13. Faith is embeded in heart and mind. Flowers, fire, words are oral and physical presumtions. In Hinduism no one can be converted to high caste BRAHMIN, they are converted as low cast SHUDRAS AS per MANUSMRITI:

    No collection of wealth to be made by a Shudra even though he may be able to do it. Brahmin can take Shudra’s property by force. (Manusmriti X,129).

    Brahman can have 4 wives, Kshatriya can have 3 wives , Vaishnava can have 2 wives, Shudra cant have more than 1. (Aitreya Veda, Brahma VIII, 29 page 201).
    The tongue of Shudra who spoke evil about Brahmin should be cut off (Apastamba Dharma Sutra II/10-26.
    Those who are with stinking conduct they will enter a stinking womb, either the womb of a dog or the womb of a swine or womb of Shudra (Chandogya Upanishad 5-10-7)
    Shudras must be prohibited from hearing, studying Vedas (Brahma Sutras 1.3.9.38)
    More on google Why Dr.Ambedkar burnt Manusmriti.

    Due to Brahmins discrimination of Shudra Hindus converted in 550Bc to Jainism, in 500Bc to Budhism, 712Ad to 1700 to Islam and after British rule till today Shudras are converting to Christianity.

  14. Faith is embeded in heart and mind. Flowers, fire, words are oral and physical presumtions. In Hinduism no one can be converted to high caste BRAHMIN, they are converted as low cast SHUDRAS AS per MANUSMRITI:

    No collection of wealth to be made by a Shudra even though he may be able to do it. Brahmin can take Shudra’s property by force. (Manusmriti X,129).

    Brahman can have 4 wives, Kshatriya can have 3 wives , Vaishnava can have 2 wives, Shudra cant have more than 1. (Aitreya Veda, Brahma VIII, 29 page 201).
    The tongue of Shudra who spoke evil about Brahmin should be cut off (Apastamba Dharma Sutra II/10-26.
    Those who are with stinking conduct they will enter a stinking womb, either the womb of a dog or the womb of a swine or womb of Shudra (Chandogya Upanishad 5-10-7)
    Shudras must be prohibited from hearing, studying Vedas (Brahma Sutras 1.3.9.38)
    More on google Why Dr.Ambedkar burnt Manusmriti.

    Due to Brahmins discrimination of Shudra Hindus converted in 550Bc to Jainism, in 500Bc to Budhism, 712Ad to 1700 to Islam and after British rule till today Shudras are converting to Christianity.

    1. Thank you Kalelemulla :). This is a very very very interesting fact you have shared here.

      I have strongly believed that sometimes caste and its practices have been extension of an individual’s thought. And after a certain point, esp when it became institutionalized, it lost its true touch and meaning. And finally now it seems that they are all headed towards the goal of nepotism and creating smaller circles of people within the bigger world so that they have a greater feeling of security, not to mention the idea of xenophobia or culture phobia.

      I guess all of it is lost the moment they forget the importance of tolerance. I don’t think there can ever be a religion or cutlure without tolerance. If it is mere fundamentalist approach, then it sure loses the very purpose don’t you think?!

  15. In theory, I agree to Sharath. The missionaries did play a huge role in conversions and a lot of gullible ones were forced to convert. And we all know how jews were treated cos they belonged to a different culture.

    There never seems to be an end to it. Probably I was disappointed to hear this news cos I thought hinduism had showed a bit of tolerance all along history and it was unexpected of these fundamentalists, cos maybe they were blocked by the principle that there was no formal conversion process as per hinduism.

    Having said that, I agree that people who were different have made a mistake in the past. But that hardly becomes for us to commit the same mistake right? I cannot be right just because someone else did the same mistake and was not punished for it. At the same time, we are talking about evolving religion beyond personal numbers here to a greater scale of humanity. And when that comes into play, the only thing I can think of is tolerance..

  16. True Kiran, it is very unfortunate that they are makinga big deal out of it. I think everyone knows that it means nothing. The ones converting know that these guys are never going to follow, the ones getting converted know that they are doing it only for the benefits or the fears. I really dont see any point in trying to shove it down the people’s throats.. But as we see, somehow forcing seems to find its way in the system!! Weird!

  17. People can’t seem to get any stupider. I was shocked to see this on the news item today –

    Mother Theresa’s aim was conversion – says a RSS leader. He claims that all the service that was done by Mother Theresa was with the view of conversion to christianity. I am not sure where these people get their stats from and I don’t really see the point in making an issue for the sake of it.

    “Mother Teresa’s service would have been good. But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian,”. says an idiot leader at a mass rally.

    I don’t know how to place these people. Although I do agree that freedom of speech is something people take for granted, but this is taking it too far. It is baseless beyond all doubts and really despicable that such a woman is being brought into the topic of their own individual meaningless debates. Is it used as a point to support Ghar Wapsi? It is a point of debate at all? My god! Should’t there be a slander suit against these people in the court of law??!

    Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mother-teresas-aim-was-conversion-says-bhagwat/article6926462.ece

    1. It was a decent comeback by Kejriwal though –

      “I worked wid Mother Teresa for a few months at Nirmal Hriday ashram in Kolkata. She was a noble soul. Pl spare her.”

      I think it is one thing to use famous names but an entirely different thing to make mockery of them and their own selves in trying to capture media and people attention. At some point these so called leaders should realize that people are not as stupid as they think. People can think for themselves, people are smart. It is not about the stupid castes anymore. We are trying to progress as a society and these people seem to keep pushing us down over and over again.

      Honestly there is no point or sense in creating a sensation by bringing mother theresa into this topic and i wonder the real motivation behind it! Gosh! It is despicable to say the least…

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