ALAPPUZHA: Kerala witnessed it’s own edition of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme with the Viswa Hindhu Parishad (VHP) reconverting 30 members of 8 Dalit Christian families at Cheppad near Harippad on Sunday.
The families who underwent the “reconversion”, declared as “home-coming” by VHP leaders, belonged to the Cheramar Christian community classified as Scheduled Caste.
BJP president Amit Shah who was in Kerala on Saturday had said that BJP was against forcible conversions and asked other political parties in the country to support a bill in this regard.
VHP leaders said that the “reconversion” was held at Kanichanellur near Cheppad.
The rituals for ‘Ghar Wapsi’ which included ‘sudhikalasam’, recitation of Gayatri mantra and ‘vasthradaanam’ began at 5 am in the morning with Mahaganapathy homam.
According to VHP functionaries, the members of the family had evinced interest in coming back to the Hindu religion a few months ago.
“They had rejoined the community six months ago at Bhagavathy temple at Chettikulangara near Mavelikkara. “The Sunday’s event was only an official function,” a VHP leader said.
According to K Jayakumar, vibhag secretary of the VHP in charge of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts, no forceful conversions happened at Cheppad.
The families belonging to Cheramar Christian community had converted to Christianity nearly 25 years ago.
“We did not give them any money or other benefits to rejoin the Hindu religion,” Jayakumar said.
Jayakumar said the function cannot be called as conversion. “It can only be called a reunion with their parent community,” he said.
The VHP’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme to reconvert people from other religions had given rise to large scale protests in various parts of the country.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had witnessed uproar over the issue recently.