Jana Sena Party (JSP) President Pawan Kalyan hit out openly against mass religious conversions. He demanded the State government make its stand clear on the issue. He announced his commitment to protect Hindu Dharma, even while staying secular.
Addressing a media conference here on Wednesday, he said every religion should be respected and given the due space for its followers. “One should not shout ‘Jai Bhavani’ in Kadapa Dargah, chant ‘Jai Sriram’ at Medak Church or pray ‘Hail Jesus’ at Tirumala Venkateswara temple. I condemn any such attempt to encroach into the space of other faiths,” he said. Mr. Kalyan minced no words while reiterating his commitment to secularism, cautioning people against the ‘pseudo-secularists’, who, he said, were out to disturb communal harmony by pitting one community against the other.
Government owes an explanation
Recalling the recent ‘mass conversion’ of 40 Hindus at Krishna Pushkar ghat in Vijayawada, he wondered how officials of the Endowments Department – mandated to safeguard Hindu religion – could remain indifferent. “The State government owes an explanation on religious conversions in general, and this incident in particular. Else, people will have to take it as happening with your tacit approval,” he demanded.
Mr. Kalyan also wondered if the unceremonious removal of the former Chief Secretary L.V. Subrahmanyam was the outcome of his tough stand and firm action proposed against non-Hindus working in temples under the Endowments Department.
Responding to the hue and cry raised on a video circulated on the social media, which he alleged was the ‘cut-paste handiwork’ of YSR Congress workers, the JSP leader said he never spoke against Dharmic institutions or Hindu organisations, but only questioned those Hindus who preferred to remain silent and the pseudo-secularists making an outcry.
MLAs’ silence on unconstitutional acts
He also sought to know if the Hindu MLAs in YSRC, who he said were ‘bent on twisting facts’, approved of the forced religious conversions happening around them. “Though it is unconstitutional, you remain silent, fearing loss of votes. I don’t care if I gain or lose votes with my stand, but I remain firm while talking truth and protecting the Dharma,” he indicated.
Political Affairs Committee (PAC) Chairman Nadendla Manohar, member Arhan Khan and General Secretary P. Hariprasad also took part in the conference.