Indian Lawmaker: Hindus that Convert to Another Religion Deserve Death

Sakshi Maharaj

After saying Hindu women should give birth to at least four children to ensure Hinduism is the reigning religion in India, Sakshi Maharaj, a lawmaker who belongs to the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), said Hindus that convert to Islam, Christianity or any other religion deserve the death sentence. While addressing a religious gathering in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Maharaj said the only way that Hinduism will continue to be the largest religious group in the country is if Hindu mothers took it upon themselves to bear as many children as they can. It must be noted here that India ranks as the second most populated country in the world.

“Wait for some time… A law will be passed in Parliament in which anyone indulging in cow slaughter and conversion will be punished with the death sentence,” said Maharaj.

He also clarified that members of other religions that convert to Hinduism would not be subjected to the death sentence.

“Ghar wapsi is no conversion but just a process to guide these people to the fair where they actually belong,” said Maharaj.

Maharaj’s non-secular and divisive comments come at a time when religious minorities in India, including Christians and Muslims, claim to feel fearful of being converted forcefully.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized repeatedly for refusing to address the issue of Hindu radicalism and subsequent persecution of religious minorities that seems to have escalated ever since his new government has come into power. Reportedly, over 600 attacks have taken place on both Christians and Muslims within the first 100 days of the new government being sworn in.

“Why has the prime minister maintained silence even for 24 hours? Is this the new population policy of India? The country wants to know, the nation wants an answer,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a senior figure in the former ruling Congress party.

Modi received flak last year as well for refusing to sack another lawmaker from BJP who said during a rally that the Indian government ought to be run by “children of the Hindu god Ram” and not “children of bastards.”

Additionally, BJP’s innumerable right-wing offshoots, which abide by the Hindutva ideology, have accused other religions in the country of targeting Dalits, also known as untouchables. Allegedly, Christian monks and Muslim peers promise dalits better lives outside the Hindu caste system so the former’s numbers can keep increasing while the latter’s numbers keep declining. Even though Hindus account for over 80 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population, the country is officially secular, thus being considered home by a significant number of Buddhists, Christians and Muslims as well.

Photo Credits: Indian Express

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