VHP criticised for Goa re-conversion plan

March 4, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)Panaji, March 1, 2015: The VHP’s decision to start a re-conversion drive for Christians in Goa has attracted widespread criticism, with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar warning people not to make provocative remarks.

The opposition Saturday criticized Daba Vedak, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad secretary in-charge of Satsang division, for trying to foment communal trouble in the state with his remarks made Friday.

“I feel as the chief minister that nobody should make any statement that would disturb or affect communal harmony,” Parsekar said.

Earlier, ahead of VHP’s golden jubilee function in Goa, Dada Vedak told IANS that its senior leaders would discuss issues like re-conversion and how to approach them in next 50 years.

“Thousands of our brothers were converted to Christianity due to Portuguese oppression. We will, of course, make efforts to bring them back to the Hindu fold once we strengthen our organisation here,” Vedak said.

He added that the VHP would reach out to Christians converted during the Portuguese regime with “love and affection”.

Goa, a former Portuguese colony, has a population of 1.5 million of which 26 percent are Christians.

The opposition Saturday joined the protest against the remark.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that attempts were being made to “vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of Goa” and said that “radical elements” in the state should be put under close watch.

AAP also said that it was ironic for the VHP leader to make a communally insensitive statement on the same day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament that his government believed in only one religion – “India First”.

“This can mean only two things… that either Modi and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) have lost all influence and control over the Sangh Parivar organisations or we are being fed the classic good-cop-bad-cop routine to allow Modi to establish an image of secular statesman while the so-called ‘fringe elements’ slowly but steadily going mainstream,” AAP’s Valmiki Naik said.

The Congress too condemned the VHP statement.

“Goa is becoming a testing laboratory for Modi and his government,” said Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat.

– ians

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