SGPC Supported Ghar Wapsi Programme Initially: Ram Gopal

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), January 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

SGPC Supported Ghar Wapsi Programme Initially: Ram Gopal


Chandigarh, Dec. 31 -- Ram Gopal, the president of the Dharam Jagran Manch's Punjab unit, that is leading the "ghar wapsi" (conversion) programme of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the state spoke to assistant editor Chitleen K Sethi on Tuesday on the activities of the manch, its relationship with the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP:

This ghar wapsi programme in Amritsar, is it politics or religion? Is it because the BJP is in power in the country?

Our work is not dependent on any government. We were doing this even when the BJP was not in power. Governments, be it any government, are interested in playing votebank politics and that does not go along with our activities. We have our team of dedicated workers and we work through our own network. Our motivation is the Hindu religion and we work for Hindustan. In fact, we are generally faced with political opposition than support.

Is this the first such programme organised in Punjab?

The work of the manch in Punjab is not new. It has only come into the limelight today. Last year, we got 2,470 Christian "Balmikis" to become Sikhs. These ghar wapsi programmes were organised in Tanda, Dasuya and Mukerian. We celebrated Balmiki Jayantis in these villages and set up temples for Balmikis.

How does it help the cause of the manch to convert Christians into Sikhs?

Hindus and Sikhs share a common history. Today, Sikhs have a separate identity, but we are bound by flesh and blood. Sikhi ke prachaar se hindutva ko koi khatra nahin (If Sikhism flourishes in Punjab, it is not a threat to Hindusim).

But wherever Christianity and Islam increase their influence it damages both Hinduism and Sikhism.

But is it not the SGPC's work to get people back into the fold of Sikhism?

The SGPC had initially supported us in the 'ghar wapsi' programmes. Bibi Kiranjot Kaur and Daljit Singh Bedi had come for these. …

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