Rajeshwar Singh Solanki, chief of the Dharma Jagran Samiti (DJS), the group behind mass conversions in Uttar Pradesh that sparked outrage, tells Pradeep Saxena the December 25 conversion programme has only been deferred and the DJS will continue to oppose churches despite a state ban.
HT: Why did you call off the December 25 conversion programme?
RS: We have deferred our programme, not cancelled it. The decision was taken because we did not want a direct confrontation with the administration.
When will the programme be held?
The conversion programme is continuing. By conversion, we do not mean converting anybody from any other religion, but bringing back home those Hindus who embraced Christianity or Islam because of inducement or force.
What will you do on December 25?
We will oppose Christianity. Many representatives of missionaries are currently staying in Aligarh’s Ingraham Church since the conversion row. The administration should conduct an inquiry into the reasons behind their stay. The church used to hold baptism programmes on December 24 nights. On December 21, we will announce a programme to oppose that.
Various organisations have opposed your homecoming programme.
Yes, but the main reason behind it is vote-bank politics.
Did you postpone your programme as you failed to get the BJP’s support?
No, we did not request the BJP for any support. We have more effective workers than them and our network is spread in the entire country. We have more than 200 workers in Aligarh and each of them is capable of collecting 10,000 people within a short time.
Have you met your target?
We are successful as conversion is being discussed all over India and has also reached Parliament. We had been demanding a law against it for 50 years. Now the government is working on it. It is our victory.