US-based Hindu organisation has accused the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad (VHP) of "casteist practices" at a mass conversion
campaign in Etah in Uttar Pradesh last month.
Shastra, the organisation which boasts of scholars and priests
"dedicated to fostering the spiritual equality of all Hindus"
among its followers, said the VHP, which claimed to have
converted 5,000 Christians to Hinduism at Etah, had classified
them as Dalits in their new religion.
applaud all efforts to spread the Hindu religion through
peaceful and legitimate means, we are utterly baffled that the
VHP would insist that the new converts be labelled as
untouchables," it said in a statement here.
"This is a
bizarre act of conceptual dehumanisation," the statement
quoted Navya Shastra co-chairperson Jaishree Gopal as saying.
The statement urged all Hindu organisations involved
in proselytising activities to do away with attaching cast
labels to new converts. "Surely all modern Hindu reformers
agree that there is no spiritual merit attached to any caste
affiliation," the statement added.
the VHP, which envisions a caste-free society, should follow
their own advice, it maintained.