Bangalore South MP and firebrand leader of the BJP, Tejasvi Surya set social media abuzz as he asked Hindus to “dream big” and “reconvert” Pakistanis to Hinduism.
The BJP politician said that temples and mutts should set a target of converting people of other faiths back to Hinduism.
“There are people who belonged to Hinduism but were converted to Islam or Christianity. It is our duty to bring these people back into the fold of Hinduism. Also, Hindus in Pakistan who were converted to Islam should be brought back into the fold,” the BJP MP, who is also the Yuva Morcha national president, said at a valedictory event at Sri Krishna Mutt.
Speaking at the Vishwarpanam event at Krishna Mutt in Udupi, on Saturday, Tejasvi Surya said, “We should start dreaming big. We should start audaciously dreaming of the impossible and achieve it.”
And “what is dreaming big?”
“It’s not just reconverting those Muslims or Christians near our homes. It should be our priority to convert those Muslims in today’s Pakistan to Hinduism,” Tejasvi Surya said, adding that when it happens “we will have Pakistan back in our geography”.
“This may seem impossible today as abolishing Article 370 and constructing Ram Mandir seemed earlier,” he said.
Such ‘ghar wapsi’ drive, he said, should begin from Karnataka as the state had a history of stopping the “intrusion and invasion from Mughals and other external forces in south India”.
Coming against the backdrop of the Karnataka assembly passing the much-demanded anti-conversion bill, these remarks went viral on social media on Sunday.
Reacting to the remarks, INC MLA Priyank Kharge said: “If everyone has a ghar wapsi as desired by the BJP, where exactly will they fit them in the varna system or will all be considered as Brahmins by default?”
JD(S) IT wing head Prathap Kanagal took a dig at the MP’s remarks, asking whether the Anti-Conversion Bill was not a hindrance to such a move.
“Only option left for #Hindus is re convert all those who left the Hindu faith and that includes #Muslims of #Pakistan. And yearly targets should be given to Mutts and temples to do this job says #BJP South MP Tejasvi Surya. His speech is going viral,” tweeted Times Now correspondent Imran Khan.
Earshot editor Abhijit Majumder quoted the tweet above and wrote: “Anybody can convert Hindus by any means possible. That is secularism. But when Hindus begin to convert and reconvert, alarm bells start ringing.”
“So many are perturbed by mere mention of ghar wapsi, which means Tejasvi is doing it right,” wrote Twitter user Chandra Sirigeri.
“Tejasvi Surya is promising. He just needs to continue his hard work a(n)d gain more administrative skills. He has the possibility of becoming the future PM of India. If he does, it would be great,” wrote Nitin B.
But eventually, Tejasvi Surya was made to retract his statement.
Taking to Twitter, Surya said on Monday morning that he is ‘unconditionally withdrawing the statements’ as they have ‘regrettably created an avoidable controversy’.
“At a program held in Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt two days ago, I spoke on the subject of ‘Hindu Revival in Bharat’. Certain statements from my speech has regrettably created an avoidable controversy. I therefore unconditionally withdraw the statements,” the Karnataka BJP leader tweeted.