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he attack is only natural (Interview) - Outlook

K. S. Narayanan ()
October 12, 1998

Title: he attack is only natural (Interview)
Author: K. S. Narayanan
Publication: Outlook
Date: October 12, 1998

VHP all-India secretary Baikunt Lal Sharma 'Prem" spoke to K.S.
Narayanan on the VHP's stance towards the recent attack on nuns
in MP. Excerpts:

Q: Is the attack on Christian missionaries in Jhabua in MP
justified?
A: The attacks on missionaries are due to an awakening among
Hindus. The attack is a natural reaction of the local people to
the missionary activity. Not a planned attack by the Bajrang Dal
or VHP.

Q: VHP is seen to be behind the attack.
A: I deny the involvement of the VHP. It's the local MLAs and
politicians who are involved in the attack and raping of nuns.
The rape of any woman has to be condemned and the rapist
punished.

Q: What about the reports that you justified the attack?
A: I've been misinterpreted. People have conveniently ignored
my plea for detailed investigation into the matter and that
culprits should be punished.

Q: What is the extent of conversion?
A: The Muslim organisations are active in western UP, while the
Christian missionaries are carrying on their religious
conversions all over India. The missionaries are fiercely
converting the tribals in MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and the
seven North Eastern states.

Q: Are the attacks due to a growing VHP frustration because of
the failure of its reconversion project?

A: No. But the fault lies with Hindu society for religious
conversions. The caste-ridden Hindu society never bothered about
conversions earlier. Now we've launched the 'ghar wapasi'
programme to bring back neo-converts to the Hindu fold. So far
we've achieved some success in Jhabua, Ambikapur and Raigarh in
MP. In Rajasthan, several Rajputs converts have been
reconverted.


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