It is official now. There is rampant Christian religious conversions in Andhra Pradesh. No, this is not an accusation by the BJP leaders. In an explosive admission on Times Now News Hour debate on auctioning of temple assets by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), YSRCP MP Raju Ramakrishna confessed that Christian missionaries in Andhra Pradesh are pumping in large sums of money to carry out widespread religious conversions in the state.
Christian missionaries are getting forieng funding to carry out mass conversions in India, he said. This is a very big confession made by the YSRCP MP.
While admitting that large-scale conversion are happening in Andhra Pradesh, the YSRCP MP defended that the phenemenon was not unique to Andhra Pradesh and that widespread conversions are happening across the country.
Participating in a debate on May 25 on the proposed auction of temple properties by the TTD, Raju Ramakrishna said, “It is been there even earlier. It is being projected now. While I agree to the fact that conversions are happening in a big way, but our government is not at all invovled in conversions. Conversions are not only happening in Andhra Pradesh, it is happening across India. It is the money power of the Christian missionaries. Through the money power and money pumped from abroad the Christian missionaries are carrying out large scale conversions. It is happening througout the country, what are we supposed to do. India is a secular country as per our constitution. I am not getting into the nitty-gritty if the conversions are through inducements by way of money or through preachings, but conversions are happening. The government is not supporting.”
The use of money or any kind of inducement or allurement for conversions is illegal and criminal. Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh had made special laws to ban conversions by force, fraud, marriage or allurement. To a question ‘where in Andhra Pradesh the conversions are happening’ and ‘what is the action taken by the YSRCP government against it’, the YSRCP MP said, “Silently some people are going into colonies in the dead of night and undertaking preachings and converting people. Some people are going to villages. Preaching is happening. They say if you convert into Chrsitianty good will happen. This is how they are doing it. I do not know if conversions are happening through inducements by way of money or through preaching, but they are happening.
When the anchor said this is shocking and surprising, the YSRCP MP said, “There is nothing to get surprised. Don’t be surprised. These are naked truths and you should not be surprised. Our CM is not involved in it.
Padmasree awardee, former Infosys director and current chairman of Manipal Global Education Mohandas Pai, who was the other panelist on Times Hour News Hour debate, said while Chrisitan conversions are happening across the country, it was rampant in Andhra Pradesh. Without referring to anyone in particular, Mohandas Pai pointed out that a close member of Jagan’s family is a big evagelist. Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his family hailing from Kadapa district of Rayalaseema are followers of Christianity for generations.Jagan’s brother-in-law Brother Anil Kumar is a known evagelist and frequents coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh to carry out Christian activities.
In the past, several videos went viral on social media showing evangelical activities being carried out in village/ward secretariat buildings inaugurated by the YSRCP government.
There is no reliable data on Christian population in Andhra Pradesh. As per 2011 Census, Andhra Pradesh has seven lakh Christians, constituting about 1.4 per cent of the total population. However, the numbers could be higher in the state. Experts believe that those who have recently converted were asked not to reveal their new faith in order ensure that conversions can proceed in a clandestine manner. Further, there is also a fear that the converts could lose reservation privileges
The YSRCP MP’s explosive confession comes a day after BJP president Kanna Laxminarayana pointed out that ever since YSRCP under Jagan Mohan Reddy rode to power in Andhra Pradesh, evangelists are converting Hindus into Christianity with renewed vigour. He alleged that ever since Jagan Mohan Reddy has become the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he has opened the treasury of the state to the Christian community, with an eye on encouraging conversion activities.
Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar took to his Twitter handle to take on both the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments. He said the Jagan government was trying to turn Andhra Pradesh into the fiefdom of Christianity while the KCR government was turning Telangana into Muslim kingdom.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy recently took to his Twitter handle to vent his anger against auctioning of temple assets. Subramanian Swamy in his tweet alleged that the AP CM wants to make Andhra Pradesh into a Christian state. “If a Christian CM can be responsive to Hindus’ vociferous demand on Tirupati land auction but a Hindu CM takes over all the temples in the State and appoints himself as Chairman, has Hindutva gone off the rails,” Subramanian Swamy.