Failing second day in a row to bring any Christian family back into the Hindu or Sikh fold, an embarrassed Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) blamed it on the strained relations between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP that rule the state.
“The administration and the police threatened the Christian families who wanted to reconvert, and pressurised them into skipping the function. Motivated by the SAD, they approached every family we had contacted and made every effort to keep them at home,” said VHP state secretary and local unit head Sukhpal Sran.
On January 1, the Bathinda VHP unit had first announced “Ghar Wapsi” (homecoming) of 200 Christian families into the Sikh and Hindu fold to, later, bring down the figure to 100. The Hindu organisation claimed 80% of these families would be reconverted to Sikhism.
After failing on January 1, the VHP had thought of suspending its programme for a day under pressure from Sikh bodies that opposed reconversion in a Hindu temple; but even after a change of venue, the campaign flopped.
“This was a new thing for us and now we will change our strategy. It is a pity that the Akali and Akal Takht politics kept Christian families from ghar wapsi. The relations between the SAD and the BJP are not good these days. The SAD and the Akal Takht know it better what they have done for these families,” said Sran, adding that in the new political scenario, the two saw the VHP as a threat.
He also accused Bathinda legislator Sarup Chand Singla of plotting against the homecoming programme. “We are not going to sit at home. From Makar Sakranti, we plan to carry a ‘ghar wapsi yatra’ to every village to support the families who want to reconvert to Sikhism,” he said.