MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has patted Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat for his remarks on Nobel laureate Mother Teresa terming them as a "national service" here Wednesday.
"What is wrong - Whatever he has said is the grim truth as 'conversions' is the main business of Christian missionaries in India and around the world since centuries," the party mouthpiece Saamana said in an edit.
It cited the examples of the northeastern states, the tribal areas of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh where it said conversions took place in the name of "service" and luring the people with food, clothes and money.
"Since Hindu religion does not provide for the basics, become a servant of the messiah, Jesus and you can get rewards... Missionaries converted people to Christianity in the name of service and money," the Shiv Sena said.
Comparing it with Islam, the Shiv Sena said even Muslims carried out conversions with the threat of the sword and became notorious, unlike the Christian missionaries.
"Nobody can stop voluntary conversions, but if they are carried out in the garb of service, it is misuse of the word 'service' itself," it added.
When Hindutva forces spoke of 'ghar wapasi' to wean the converts back to the Hindu fold, a nationwide controversy erupted among the secularists, who kept quiet only after the government spoke of enacting a bill to stop conversions, it argued.
While acknowledging its highest regard for Mother Teresa and her lifelong selfless service to humanity, the Shiv Sena said there are other big names like Baba Amte, his son Prakash Amte, Abhay Bang and Rani Bang, earlier Sant Gadge Maharaj, all of whom rendered similar services to the country without indulging in conversions.
"In such an atmosphere, by speaking on this issue Bhagwat has done a national service... We congratulate him. He has formalized what the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had spoken for long...," the edit added.
Addressing a function in Bharatpur in Rajasthan Monday, Bhagwat had said Mother Teresa's service to the poor was aimed at converting them to Christianity.
"People like Mother Teresa did good work and service. But the aim was to convert the poor to Christianity. This kind of service is devalued if conversions are done in the name of service or work," he had said.