Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Thousand members of the Dalit Christian community officially get reconverted into Hinduism

Watch the above video here

1,000 Dalit Christians to reconvert to Hinduism in TN

CHENNAI: Thousand members who belong to Dalit Christian community will
officially get reconverted into Hinduism on Monday in Tirunelveli town in a
colourful function being organized by Hindu Monks Tamil Nadu Council.
This event gains significance in the backdrop March 9 police shootout in
which two people were killed when clashes broke out between the members of
upper caste Catholics and Dalit Catholics.

Speaking to TOI, Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) president Arjun Sampath said: "185
families of Dalit Christians will formally return to Hinduism. All of them
hail from the interior villages of Tirunelveli district. This event is being
organized on the occasion of Ambedkar's birthday."

HMK had earlier tried to hold the event at Nellayappar temple in Tirunelveli.
However, the HR&CE department which governs the temple refused permission
saying that the temple premises could not be used for such purposes.
"So, we're now holding the function at Nellai Sangeetha Sabha - which is a
private hall", Arjun said. It's learnt the function will start with a
ganapathi homam and would be followed by prayaschitha yagam (atonement
ritual) and sudhi chadangu (purification rite)
"We'll purify all those who return to Hinduism by sprinkling 'ganga theertha'
and 'sethu theertha.' We've specially brought waters from Rameshwaram sea and
the Ganges for this purpose", Arjun said and added all of them would also be
bestowed with holy Hindu names.

Further, those who want to follow Saiva cult would be given bhasmam (sacred
ash) and a string of rudraksha while the vaishnavite converts would be given
namam (tilak) and a string of tulsi. The Dalit Christians who return to Hindu
fold would also be given a mantra deeksha (formal initiation) both in
Sanskrit and Tamil.

HMK has also engaged the services of several notaries who would be present
during the re-conversion function. "The members who return to Hindu fold will
take an oath before them and sign affidavits. Later, we'll get the conversion
certificates from Arya Samaj to get their names changed in the gazette",
Arjun said.

Depending on the success of this re-conversion, HMK also plans to re-convert
20,000 Christians in Villupuram district. "We'll take it up in August", Arjun

India has a total 24 million Christian population. Of this Dalit Christians
constitute 15 million while tribal Christians account for 3 million.
In Tamil Nadu, Dalit Christians complain of discrimination at the hands of
upper caste Christians. They have separate burial grounds and seating
Steve Hayes
E-mail: shayes@dunelm.org.uk
Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
Web: http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm


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