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(ANS) – India ‘s Sangh Parivar (body of Hindu nationalist organisations) continues to aggressively pursue its agenda of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). The Sangh Parivar’s political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), continues to agitate for anti-conversion laws. Likewise the Sangh Parivar’s religious/cultural wing, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP – World Hindu Council), continues its “re-conversion” campaign enlisting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – Hindu paramilitary) and Bajrang Dal (Hindu youth militia) to forcefully and violently “re-convert” tribal Christians to Hinduism. In a recent report, Sankshipt Karyavrat-2004, the VHP claimed that 2004 was a successful year for its re-conversion campaign, with 12,857 members of the minority communities (3,727 Muslims and 9,130 Christians) being “re-converted” to Hinduism. Bishop Menezes of Ajmer-Jaipur dismisses such claims. “These are highly inflated figures,” he told AsiaNews, confirming however that “Hindu fundamentalists operate with terror tactics especially among the poor defenceless Tribals and Adivasi”. According to the VHP report, the leading states for re-conversion have been Gujarat , Rajasthan and Orissa. (Links 1) In Rajasthan (north-west India ) the ruling BJP is moving to introduce laws to outlaw conversions to Christianity. Meanwhile, the Congress-led federal government is heading to neighbouring Gujarat where they will use the 75th anniversary of Mahatma Ghandi’s historic Dandi march to remind Indians that Mahatma Ghandi’s legacy of social and religious peace, tolerance and unity is both relevant and Indian, and as such, the Sangh Parivar’s legacy of divisive, militant Hindutva may be rejected.

To read the full story, click here: INDIA: HINDU NATIONALISTS AND CONGRESS IN CONTENTION