Weeks after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to the Tiwa population in the Morigaon district of Assam to remain rooted in their culture and identity and maintain a safe distance from the trend of religious conversions, hundreds of members of the community, who had earlier converted to Christianity, did ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and returned to the folds of Hinduism on Monday, February 27.
In an event organised by Jur Singh Borodolai, the general secretary of Goba Deoraja Raj Parishad on Monday (February 27), as many as 43 people from 11 Christian Tiwa families reverted to Hinduism. The event called ‘Bhasha Sanskriti Aru Udyog Parv’ was held in the Jagiroad area in the Morigaon district in Assam. The families reverted to their roots to Hinduism in a traditional ceremony observed at the court of the Gova (Tiwa) king.
Speaking about the event, Jur Singh Borodoloi said that around 142 people returned to the Sanatan Dharma on February 27 at a religious event held in Tiwa Shong village in Jagiroad, Assam.
“We have already conducted Abhiyan and residents of 2 villages in Kamrup have come back to their original Hindu religion. Today Goba Deoraja Raj Parishad has organised a programme named Tiwa Bhasha Sanskriti Aru Udyoga Parva. 11 families (43 people) of Tiwasong who earlier converted to the Christian religion, come back to the Tiwa community (Hindu religion) as per their wish.”
Speaking exclusively to India Today NE, the general secretary of Goba Deoraja Raj Parishad, Jur Singh Bordoloi said, “around 1100 families originally from the Tiwa tribe who have earlier converted to Christianity have decided to return to Sanatan Dharma.”
Further, he said that the people have willfully co-operated with the parishad, adopted the religion, and promised to stay with the Hindu faith, adding, “The people returned to Tiwa culture and tradition leaving their Christian identity behind.”
According to the general sectary, the Tiwa people who have chosen to embrace Hinduism were originally Hindus by birth, but few of their forefathers and fathers converted to Christianity due to economic hardships and a lack of education.
He further said that the state government has provided tremendous support and that Tribal councils have established schools to ensure that children receive a proper education.
70 people revert to Hinduism in a Ghar Wapsi event organised in Anglong, Assam
Similarly, at Keyabat village in West Karbi Anglong’s Hamren subdivision, under the initiative of Hindu Suraksha Samity, 70 Tiwa community members who had converted to Christianity, returned to the folds of Hinduism.
According to Narayan Radu Kakoti, the chief organiser of the Hindu Suraksha Samity, Assam unit, poor tribal people living in Assam’s plains and hills districts have become an easy target for Christian missionaries attempting conversion to Christianity.
“The problem is quite acute in hill districts. Since 1951, Christian Missionaries and other Christian organisations have been working together to convert Hindu tribal people to Christianity. Now many tribal people have been realising their mistake and want to come back to their respective original religious beliefs. We are to protect their original religious beliefs and culture,” said Kakoti.
He added that at the Koyabat village reconversion ceremony yesterday, Karbi Samaj (a socio-economic body of the Karbi tribals in West Karbi Anglong district) claimed that around 100 Karbi Christians would soon switch from Christianity to their original tribal religion belief.
“We have been trying to unite tribal people living in the North Eastern states. We have to foil the Christian Missionaries’ evil design to convert innocent and poor tribal people to Christianity. On March 12, 2023, under the banner of Janajatiyo Suraksha Manch, a mega event will be held at Guwahati, where all the senior leaders will address the gathering. Tribal people from all the states of the NE region will participate in the meet,” Kakoti added.
Meanwhile, the Hindu Suraksha Samity has chosen 2025 as the target year for completing their mission of bringing back Christian tribal converts to their original religious belief of Hinduism in Assam.
It is important to recall here that in the month of January this year, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing people at the historic Jonbeel Mela in Morigaon, appealed to the Tiwa population to remain rooted to their culture and identity and maintain a safe distance from the trend of religious conversion as has been seen in recent times. CM had said that ethnicity cannot thrive for long if it loses touch with its cultural roots.