New chief of RSS arm plays down 'ghar wapsi' drive

  • Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 05, 2015 02:38 IST

The Dharm Jagran Samiti, an RSS-allied organisation that hogged the limelight recently for its ghar wapsi pitch, seems to be changing track.

The man who has replaced Rajeshwar Singh, the controversial west UP chief of the organisation, believes in playing down the ‘reconversion’ issue.

Ishwar Dayal, 45, loves palmistry and Vastu shastra. He believes conversions are wrong and supports a return of the people to the Hindu fold in principle, but believes that it is not the samiti’s work to push for the same.

“We do nothing. Those whose ancestors converted and went astray, but still believe in Bharatiya culture, feel an urge to return. We just help in that,” he told HT.

“India needs development. Each citizen is important. Extreme statements do not help anyone. Why follow the empty-vessels-make-much-noise path?” he said.

Then what does the Samiti actually do? “We read out the Hanuman Chalisa and Sundar Kand to the youth,” he said.

He reiterated that “conversion” was not good. Ghar wapsi was a return to the parent fold and not “conversion”, he claimed, echoing the dominant RSS line on the issue.

Asked about his views on Christian missionaries, Dayal chose not to say much. “I will have to study their work more before making a statement,” he said.

While the VHP has petitioned the National Commission on Minorities against Christian missions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently assured Christians that each religion would be allowed to practice and preach its faith peacefully.

Dayal chose not to comment on the views of the PM or RSS regarding conversions, saying it would be presumptuous on his part to comment. However, he added, “The RSS works for the nation and not for its own prestige.”

Hailing from Garhmukteshwar in western UP, Dayal joined the RSS as a volunteer in 1978, became a pracharak in 1992 and joined the samiti in 2010.

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