45 Adopt Buddhism in Gujarat, VHP Says not Averse to This Conversion

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VADODARA – The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) here said on Thursday that it was not averse to the group of 45 people adopting Buddhism in Balasinor Taluka of Gujarat’s Mahisagar district. The group had converted even before their applications were approved by the district collector.The conversion took place on Tuesday.

Reacting to this, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) state spokesman Hitendrasinh Rajput said, “Buddhism is a wing of Hinduism, it is mentioned in the Darshan Shastra, but we are against abusing Hindu deities. People are being lured to convert on some promises. It is like bribing them.”

The VHP reaction came after the news was reported in regional dailies.

According to reports, 45 persons from three districts converted to Buddhism without prior permission of the district magistrate as per the rule of the Gujarat Freedom Religion Act, 2003. Under this Act, any person who wants to quit the religion in which one is born and adopt another religion, will have to take prior permission from the district magistrate or collector.

“There is no violation of the law,” defended by Kamlesh Mayavanshi, who too has adopted Buddhism along with 44 others. His defense was, “All those, who wanted to quit Hindu religion, had applied to the district collector a month ago, according to norms. The district collector has to approve the application within 30 days from the filing of the application, if not approved, it is deemed to be approved, and so we believe we are granted permission to adopt Buddhism.”

Mahisagar District Collector Bhavin Pandya told IANS that he has received applications seeking permission for the conversion, “which are under process, as those who wished to quit from three districts, from respective taluka Deputy Collectors opinions were sought and so it took time”. -IANS

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