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“Ghar Wapasi” Campaign: Attacks of the RSS on Freedom and Welfare

Newsclick interviewed Prof. Gopal Guru on the so-called “ghar wapasi” or “reconversion” campaigns organised by the RSS and its affiliates like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Dharm Jagriti Samiti. Prof. Guru points out that these campaigns have received a major boost with the ascendancy of the current BJP government. The increasing visibility of these “reconversion” drives is a part of the ongoing rightward shift in the Indian polity. He argues that the historical legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar shows that conversion is a matter of individual normative choice, and both the “ghar wapasi” campaigns and anti-conversion laws are an assault on this right.  Further, the use of allurements like BPL cards, ration cards etc. highlights that the government is intent on shifting the question of welfare from the domain of universal citizenship to the realm of religion. Finally, he sees “ghar wapasi” as a part of the larger RSS project of social conservativism and reaction, which opposes science, rationality and critical thinking. This project aims to ride roughshod over questions of individual moral agency, and social and religious reform.


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