Ahmedabad, May 8: Conversion of tribal people to Christianity in Dangs district has “stopped because of intervention” by the Gujarat government, state minister Mangubhai Patel said here today. Speaking at a function here after an RSS-affiliated body released a ‘vision document’ for uplift of the community, the Minister said Christian missionaries were “carrying out religious conversion” several years ago because of poverty in the region but that has stopped now.
“In Dangs, they distributed sugar and wheat as a lure to convert poor tribal people to Christianity, (but) we led a revolution and today we can say for sure that conversion has stopped because of government’s intervention,” said Patel, who holds Forest, Environment and Tribal Development portfolios. Patel, also BJP in-charge for Dangs, said the government’s move to provide easy loans and special coaching classes for competitive exams have helped tribal youths. “As many as 140 tribal youths have been given Rs 15 lakh as easy loan by government. (ALSO READ: Gujarat: Man gets three years imprisonment for possessing beef)
There are four women and 15 men (among them) who have become pilots. Last year, 558 tribal youths made it to GUJCET (a combined test for entrance to medical and engineering colleges) because of special coaching classes for tribals started by the government,” he said. The vision document of the RSS-affiliated ‘Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram’ suggests policy intervention by administration for the development of tribals. The document was first unveiled in New Delhi and is being released in different states. The organisers said they had invited state Governor O P Kohli for the event but he could not come because of prior commitments.