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Changing Political Fortunes As Christian Missionaries Expand Footprint

In Rajasthan, both the Congress and BJP have woken up to the stark reality of widespread conversions happening in the tribal regions. And both parties are blaming Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) for this conversion. BTP is a force to reckon with in the tribal dominated regions of Rajasthan including Dungarpur where it won four local panchayat elections recently. Besides, BTP has two MLAs, who supported the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot. Is conversion a new thing? Not really. It has been thriving for decades now thanks to poverty and illiteracy. Currently, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are hot spots of conversion along with Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.  In the last six months, these states have witnessed a spike in conversion with 80% of converts belonging to SC/ ST. The BJP, it is reliably learnt, plans to launch nationwide agitations against conversions. According to an Intelligence Officer, “The impetus (read funds) for conversions has witnessed a spike as India is considered a soft state. However, these missionary movements funded by radical Christian groups based out of the USA and Europe have consciously kept out of most Islamic nations as they fear reprisals from Islamic forces.” One such missionary activist from the USA, who visited India recently, told this correspondent when asked about the residual fallout of her activities (on escalating tensions between denominations of Indian citizens), “Well I have a lot of money and I can give it to anyone I choose, even you.”