Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In UP, dalits reconvert to Hinduism

By Our Special Correspondent

Lucknow, April 10: More than 295 dalits belonging to 57 families in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh have reconverted to Hinduism.

These persons had converted to Christianity last year and their conversion had kicked up a major controversy with a section of the people claiming that they were being forced to convert.

In an elaborate ceremony on Sunday, these families were initiated back into the Hindu religion in the presence of representatives from the Hindu Jagran Manch and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The reconversion ceremony took place in Chandvak Khas village under Chandvak police station village where 108 persons belonging to 22 families had converted to Christianity last year.

Another ceremony took place in Bagerwa gram panchayat where 187 persons reverted back to the Hindu fold.

Local RSS functionary Murlipal told this newspaper on Monday that some local Christian missionaries had lured the dalits, and some tribals, into Christianity by promising them a better life and education for their children.

"We are very happy that they are returning to their parent religion and we will make sure that they do not get misled again," the RSS functionary said.

"When these people converted to Christianity last year, we did not raise any objections because we knew it would lead to a major controversy. However, a year later, these people have seen through the game and came to us with as plea that they wanted to revert to being Hindus. We asked them to go back and give it another thought but they all came back to us and so we finally arranged for their return to the Hindutva fold," he said.

Kunwar Nagina, a local tribal who had led others when he converted to Christianity last year, told this newspaper that when they found that there was no difference between the two religions, they decided to revert back to Hinduism.