It has become a business for him. Every year Swami Narendra Maharaj claims to make massive "reconversions". And although the veracity of his claims is unknown, it still makes headlines.
For the second time this year, Swami Maharaj's group is to reconvert a very large number of Christians into Hinduism. According to the media, at least 6,000 persons are to convert in a special ceremony on Oct. 26 in Thane, Mumbai.
With this ceremony, says a spokesman of the group, the goal of reclaiming one lakh persons to Hinduism will be completed.
"So far, we have already completed conversion of nearly 94,000 Christians into Hindus and one lakh number will be achieved in a two-year period," he said.
The unnamed spokesman divulged that various organisations had helped identify the "hapless" people who were forced to convert to Christianity. "They had converted as they found the grass green on the other side," he adds.
Now, they are reclaimed "without any force or any assurance," he declares. Over a dozen pandits specially brought from Ayodhya are to perform the conversion ceremony today.
This is the second function to take place this year. In April, the Hindu seer spearheading a religious campaign against Christians had allegedly converted about 1130 Christians. And last year, in the same April month, over 1700 Christians were claimed to have converted in Borivili, Mumbai.
Incidentally, about 30 extremists from Swami Maharaj's group on May 5 this year had attacked a Christian meeting, injuring 10 Christians including a five-year-old girl in Mumbai, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
Alleging conversion, the mob closed doors and windows of the hall on all sides, and forced the Christians to chant "Jai Shri Ram". When the Christians refused, they were mercilessly beaten.
Although the official Christian population in the country still remains stagnant at 2.5 per cent – the figure registered in the 1947 census, Swami Maharaj repeatedly accuses Christian missionaries of indulging in forceful conversion through "fraud, force and inducement".
In the past, such anti-Christians tirades and various erroneous allegations have led to continual communal schisms. These have disturbed religious harmony and peace and have replaced it with hatred and revenge.
At the start of 2010, an interfaith dialogue between Christians and Hindus will be organised in Mumbai to tackle the various misconceived notions. The meet will include Catholics, Protestant and Pentecostal groups.
6,000 to reconvert to Hinduism in Mumbai: Swami Maharaj
Published 26 October 2009 | Dibin Samuel