A reported plan of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to launch a campaign to ensure that tribals in the country register themselves as Hindus in the upcoming census has created controversy with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath warning of legal action if any such campaign is conducted in Madhya Pradesh.
The chief minister has also warned that no one would be allowed to poison the peaceful life of tribal population in the state.
In a counter attack, leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava alleged that the chief minister is trying to prevent tribals from coming to the mainstream. In a series of tweets, he claimed that Kamal Nath wants to convert tribals to Christianity and he is doing this at the behest of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The controversy erupted after the RSS senior leadership, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat, reportedly asked the cadre during a recently concluded coordination meeting that they should try to remove the misunderstanding and confusion being spread among people regarding CAA-NRC as well as census.
During the meeting, the all India publicity in-charge of the RSS, Arun Kumar, reportedly said that groups are working among tribal population to encourage them to declare their caste/religion other than Hindu in the upcoming census. It was mentioned that the percentage of Hindu population has seen a decline in the past two census and one of the reasons for this was tribals identifying themselves as non-Hindus.
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After the reports on these lines emerged, CM Kamal Nath took a strong stand, saying as chief minister of the state he would not allow anyone in Madhya Pradesh to force the simple tribal people to report their religious affiliation against their wishes. He also said that after failing in its attempts to implement NRC in the country, the RSS wants to enforce its dangerous agenda through other ways. This brings another divisive tactics of RSS to the fore, the CM said on Saturday.
Bhargava also said tribals were part of the Sanatan Dharma since ancient times and there is no need to prove this. The Sanatan (Hindu) religion has always been played with, and Kamal Nath should stop any such attempts, he said, adding, “Conversion should be stopped.”