Ghar wapsi, first time when I heard it I had a few questions in mind “kaun aa raha hai”, “kiske ghar”, “kya fayda iska”… who is coming back home, whose home, what’s the benefit? I guessed it could be intelligent Indians who immigrated to foreign countries in search for better opportunities, which we called “brain drain” are coming back. I wish it could have been what I guessed. That would have helped India immensely. But disappointingly it is related to religious conversion by Hindu organization. They are calling it “Gharwapsi”.
Economically weaker people of Muslims and Christian communities are selected and converted to Hinduism. The reason quoted is they were once converted to other religion from Hinduism and now coming back. What is the benefit of such religious conversion, what will country benefit from it?
Is the issue deliberately raised to divert attention from key issues to benefit in upcoming elections? We have Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and many other religions whose people were once Hindus but why only Muslims and Christians are deliberately targeted now? Religious conversion is not a new issue in India, it has been happening since medieval period. But Independent India never supported forceful conversions. PM is silent over the issue after his tweet and BJP is asking for an anti-conversion bill in the Parliament. I remember PM Narendra Modi was once taking a dig at China by saying “kuch log ab bhi vistaar-waad mein lage hai” some people are still in expansion mode in the era of growth and development. So does he support this way of “vistaar-waad” expansion of religion? Can this help our nation to grow? After all this wasn’t the issue Indians voted for him.
The problem also lies in our understanding of religion and the way we present it. It helps in politicizing it. Religion is simply a set of rules to live a life. We just follow or practice some set of rules under some name. Like I practice Hinduism. I live my life according to set of rules of Hinduism. These set of rules are scientific and were made according to time. It did change according to the need and new findings with time. Nothing is in its initial form. There is less proof to support such claims. Change was and is inevitable.
Taking it as a base we understand that religious conversions have been happening all over the globe since centuries. In past it could have been forceful, lured and on tenets of religion too. In India we have proofs of forceful conversion during Mughal era. Moreover we have a few religions which were originated from Hinduism and some religions which arrived in India from foreign countries. A good example is Buddhism which originated from Hinduism, expanded in Asia through widespread exposition of its tenets by kings and disciples of that time.
India has always been a place where different people came and lived. Even today different religions and communities are living together here. In Independent India people are free to live the way they want. People can follow the set of rules (religion) they are comfortable with. Article 25 of our Constitution gives us that right. It states that subject to public order, morality and health, and to the other fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution, all persons are equally entitled to “freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.” One can observe that we do practice goods rules of other religions in our day to day life.
Our way of living has become Indian rather than based on any religion. Then why is this nonsense “Gharwapsi” going on. What benefits it will reap us? Why don’t we learn to respect differences and grow together as Indians? May be the set of rules mentioned in any religion never had mentions of economic challenges like we have today.
We cannot stop the ever happening religious conversions by passing a law in parliament. Because it is an individual’s personal choice. But we can definitely stop forceful conversions. It is only possible through merits. It should not sound strange. The idea is from the PM Narendra Modi’s initiative Make in India. In order to increase GDP of the country PM wants businesses to “Make in India”. This is not just a slogan, in order to achieve this PM is making India a desirable place for economic investment. For potential investors there are other Asian countries available for investment. Narendra Modi understands that he can neither force investors nor perform a nonsense “Gharwapsi” for Indians staying abroad to invest in India. So he is reducing hassles, changing norms, removing problems which can attract investments naturally. Moreover our PM is promoting India in every possible way. This has created a lot of positive vibes. People have started to invest in India.
Similarly if anyone believes his set of rules (religion) be accepted by more people in the world should try to improve and promote it. It shouldn’t be forced or lured. Do accept the fact that your religion wasn’t perfect that’s why other options existed. So try to make it more acceptable for all just like our PM is trying to do for India. This is the only way we can stop forceful conversions or re-conversions.
Let’s grow together, let’s have a greater mission of Double Digit GDP Wapsi rather than Gharwapsi
By: Chirag Goud