Taking the conversion debate a step further, Bhagwat, at a public meeting here, alleged that missionaries of other faiths were exploiting tribals’ poverty and converting them.
Bhagwat’s call for monetary contribution comes in the wake of reports that five persons, belonging to a backward caste of Hindu community, converted to Christianity in Kahalgaon subdivision of Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, though the concerned persons denied the same later.
Bhagwat’s remarks are seen as the continuation of the Sangh’s aggressive stand on ‘ghar wapsi’, a controversial ‘reconversion’ campaign being undertaken by Hindutva groups.
The endorsement of ‘reconversion’ programmes by the BJP’s ideological parent was reported first by HT last week. Defending the campaign, Bhagwat had likened the conversion programmes to reclaiming “something a thief had stolen”.
Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal, who was also at the meeting with Bhagwat, said they never wanted to convert the world but only “win over hearts”.