Ghar Wapsi

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Ghar Wapsi (Hindi, meaning "Back to Home") is a series of religious conversion activities, facilitated by Indian Hindu organizations Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), to facilitate conversion of non-Hindus to Hinduism. It became a subject of public discussion in 2014.[1][2][3] The Bharatiya Janata Party's Yogi Adityanath has claimed this campaign would continue unless conversions to other religions are banned altogether in the country.[4]

The Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh organized several Ghar Wapsi events in Telangana,[5] Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Goa.[6][7] The Indian Express reported that Scheduled Caste Manjhi families demanded better facilities along with education and healthcare before they converted.[8]

In a Supreme Court judgment, the judges ruled that reconversion to Hinduism will not prevent a person from accessing quota benefits and adopts the caste of his forefathers. It observed that, "There has been detailed study to indicate that the Scheduled Caste persons belonging to Hindu religion, who had embraced Christianity with some kind of hope or aspiration, have remained socially, educationally and economically backward."[9]

Etymology[edit]

The word ghar is of Sanskrit origin which means "home".[10]

Major instances[edit]

More than 8,000 people in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh converted to Hinduism from July 2014 - December 2014 under the Ghar Wapsi programme.[11] According to a VHP official, 1,200 people converted to Hinduism in a Ghar Wapsi event in Hyderabad.[5]

In January 2016, 15 Dalit Christians converted to Hinduism in a Ghar Wapsi event, organised in Vellore district.[12]

In April 2017, at least 53 tribal Christian families converted to Hinduism as part of the RSS's "Christianity-free" block campaign in Arki, Jharkhand. And at least seven other Christian families underwent a Shuddhikaran (purification ceremony) in Kochasindhri village.[13][14]

In May 2017, RSS performed conversion of at least 22 Muslims, including women and children, into Hinduism in a secretive ceremony at an Aryasamaj Temple in Ambedkar Nagar district of Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ghar Wapsi continues in Kerala; 58 more embrace Hinduism". Rediff News (December 25, 2014). December 25, 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "'Ghar wapsi' only way to end terror says BJP leader". Hindustan Times. 25 December 2014. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  3. ^ VHP to hold 'ghar wapsi' for 4,000 Muslims in Ayodhya in January, Times of India, 24 December 2014
  4. ^ "Ghar wapsi to continue till conversions are banned: Adityanath". The Hindu. February 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Faith matters: 'Ghar Wapsi' boom in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "VHP plans 'ghar wapsi' in 5 Kerala districts today". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "RSS to Facilitate 'Ghar Wapsi' of Goan Catholics". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "'Education, healthcare before ghar wapsi'". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "SC ruling on reconversion: It's a stamp of approval for ghar wapsi, says VHP". Firstpost. 2015-02-28. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  10. ^ http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.7:1:1949.platts
  11. ^ ‘Ghar wapsi’ not conversion: Togadia - Nagaland Post
  12. ^ 15 Dalit Christians ‘re-converted’ in ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremony - The Hindu
  13. ^ Roy, Saurav (10 April 2017). "RSS converts 53 families in drive to make block in Jharkhand 'Christianity-free'". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 September 2017. 
  14. ^ Gupta, Mohak (11 April 2017). "53 families converted to Hinduism: RSS in Jharkhand wants block to be Christianity-free". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "Ghar Wapsi: 22 Muslims convert into Hinduism in Faizabad, UP". Oneindia. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017. 

Further reading[edit]