In an article of a Major Indian Newspaper, the RSS has claimed they’ve converted 8,000 christians to not Hinduism but Sikhism. They state the Christians were previously Sikh and through their “ghar Wapso” program they have converted the Christians to Sikhism. They figure which has been put out is 8,000 people have “returned home” in the last 3 years and about 3500 over the last one year.
The ruling party which as a major vote bank in the Dalit Christians were unhappy as they stated that “forcible conversions” would not be allowed to happen in Punjab. There has been an image on posters across Amritsar with Akali leaders and picture of Jesus in the background wishing everyone “Happy Christmas.”
This has been troubling to understand by the Sikhs as the RSS has always claimed that Sikhism is part of the Hindus and converting Christians to Sikhism is quite surprising. According to RSS, the SGPC have been assisting in the program and member Kiranjot Kaur has held several “ghar wapsi” ceremonies in gurdwaras in Punjab. She says Sikhs are a small minority and many are converting which is very worrisome. She also stated that the RSS doesn’t mind Christians convert to Sikhism because they see “Sikhs as part of the same family”.
Leader of the RSS Ram Gopal who heads the program in the state of Punjab says ” We are trying to stop the march of Christianity in Punjab and reconvert people back to their original religion, which could be Hindu or Sikh”
The RSS leader stated there were entire villages in Punjab where Gurdwaras were closed down due to the entire population converting to Christianity. However SGPC Spokesman said SGPC weren’t part of any program to convert Christians to Sikhism because Sikhs don’t believe in forceful conversions. The RSS will now shift it’s focus to border regions of Punjab where in some parts almost 70% have converted to Christianity. They said they have arranged with local gurdwaras and granthis to assist in the program.
Hoshiapur district has seen the most conversions followed by Amritsar and Batala. The people said they converted to Christianity because they were assured their illnesses will be healed. The “ghar Wapis” ceremony happens in a gurdwara where they person asks for forgiveness and a siropa is given to them for coming back to Sikhism.
By Daily Sikh Updates Editors, Inputs from Indian Express