Odisha MP Pratap Sarangi takes oath as minister. | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Odisha MP Pratap Sarangi takes oath as minister. | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Religious conversions carried out through fraud, force or allure are similar to wanting to “physically enjoy a girl” in return for helping her, first-time Odisha MP and Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Pratap Chandra Sarangi told ThePrint in an interview.

Sarangi, who was the Odisha Bajrang Dal chief when Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burnt alive by Right-wing extremists in 1999, said he is against conversion as it is contrary to the provisions of the Freedom of Religion Act, 1967.

“Conversion has been done throughout the country through fraud, force or allure. This is illegal and subject to punishment under this law,” Sarangi said.

“Suppose somebody helped a girl in a medical or engineering college, and wanted to enjoy the girl physically. That would be treated as a crime, an inhuman act. Similarly, if somebody wants to convert or exploit someone’s belief by giving some service or money, then that should also be treated as a crime — a crime against nature, a crime against humanity.”

The MP from Balasore said many great men had opposed conversion. “From Swami Vivekananda to Mahatma Gandhi, nobody liked conversions,” he said.

Staines’ murder

Sarangi called allegations that he had supported Dara Singh, who has been convicted for killing Staines and his children, a “mad man’s cry”, and said he had condemned the brutal murder as an “inhuman act”.

“Dara Singh had nothing to do with Bajrang Dal. He was an activist and was accused and convicted. As Bajrang Dal chief then, I had condemn that incident,” Sarangi said.

“The Wadhwa Commission, the high court and the home minister — all these three agencies have said that I have nothing to do with it. On that day, I was in Bhograi, speaking at the Netaji Subhas Jayanti… so I can’t say anything on this faltu (nonsensical) talk.”


Also read: Cycle-riding Pratap Sarangi is ‘Odisha’s Modi’ who took New Delhi by storm


‘Godse might be a patriot but I can’t say that’

Sarangi also denied that he had called Nathuram Godse a “patriot”.

“I have never said that Nathuram Godse was a patriot. Godse might be a patriot, but I cannot say that. I have condemned the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. I have never supported the act,” he said.

‘I can serve gau mata

Sarangi, despite being a first-time MP, has been given two portfolios — the newly-created Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Farming, and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He is the only one of the BJP’s eight Odisha MPs to be given a ministerial berth.

Animal husbandry, Sarangi said, is not something he’s a stranger to — in his home state too, he had been at the forefront of the cow protection movement.

“Animal husbandry is an important department. We can not only serve the people but also animal whose life is dedicated to the welfare of human society. I can also serve gau mata and other animals,” he said.

Sarangi said one needs to look at animals, and especially cows, with a lot more sympathy and love. “We have to make them happy. Cows are being slaughtered illegally in cruel and inhuman ways. We have to find a remedy,” he said.

Nehru’s India is now Modi’s India

Sarangi said PM Narendra Modi’s nationalism thrust was one of the main factors behind the BJP’s good show at the hustings.

“This PM is not a paper tiger. He is a real hero. And he cannot accept a single insult to Mother India. When our jawans were killed in Pulwama, Uri and even in reaction to terrorists from Myanmar, Modi ji sent air strikes and surgical strikes. Hundreds of terrorists were killed, even some Pakistani soldiers were killed,” Sarangi said.

“Modi compelled Pakistan to release (Wing Commander) Abhinandan (Varthaman) within a few days. People have now started thinking that India is strong enough,” he added.

“India is not as it was in 1962. Ganga mein bahut paani beh gaya hai (A lot of water has flown in the Ganga), and Nehru’s India has now turned into Modi’s India, which is altogether different.”


Also read: Pratap Sarangi — the new entrant in Modi govt who stands out for his simplicity


On BJP’s ‘divisive politics’

Sarangi also targeted the opposition for insinuating that BJP won the elections by practicing divisive politics.

“Those who are saying ‘Bharat ke tukde tukde karne tak humara jung jaari rahega’ (Our fight will continue till India breaks up into pieces), ‘Pakistan zindabad’, those who are raising slogans in favour of (hanged terrorist) Afzal Guru — that is not divisive politics. But those who work for the unity and integrity of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, they are playing divisive politics,” he said sarcastically.

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49 Comments Share Your Views

49 COMMENTS

  1. I really am shocked at the odious comparison made by Sarangi, equating religious conversion to sexual seduction. One should respect all religions, and see the goodness in each one, while humbly acknowledging that all religions also have major fault lines.
    At the same time one needs to go by facts not conjecture. The Christian population in India has remained static at 2.3% from 1971 onward, as per the official Census of India statistics. The Christian population in Kerala and Goa which are the oldest centres of Christianity in India, has actually dropped. The first anti-conversion law was enacted in M.P. about 60 years ago. There has not been a single conviction.
    Also, at the time of Ashoka India was a Buddhist country. Pray tell me who “converted” it into a Hindu majority country? .Ministers represent the entire country, not just a particular community. Statements like Prasangi’s are unbecoming of the constitutional post that he now holds.

  2. “Suppose somebody helped a girl in a medical or engineering college and wanted to enjoy the girl physically. That would be treated as a crime, an inhuman act”. Firstly, no it’s not because the way the world works is that there is always a value exchange in any interaction you do with something. This is no more a crime than it is for a shopkeeper to charge me for taking a product from their store. Secondly, this is sexist because the same happens the other way around– a majority of women get together with guys for enjoying and having a good time or even making the guy spend on them and the vice versa is also true in many cases where a man makes a girl spend or is there to enjoy her. And there’s even a breed of men and women known as “gold diggers” who exploit wealthy people to spend on them. These are not crimes as the parties in question are aware of what’s happening so if a girl takes help from a guy then she must know that there might be an expectation coz nothing is for free. Even guys who do things without expectation get self-satisfaction from it so there is no such thing as a selfless act. This politician is dumb (which is evident from the career choice) and needs to be schooled how the barter system and the world works in general.

    But yes, I hate when men take advantage of women or when people try to force religion on someone. This doesn’t mean it should be a crime as it’s just a conversation and people tend to project their ideologies or thoughts in every conversation as is the very definition of it. If, however, there is a threat where a person forced someone to convert against their will by breaking the law in terms of maybe physical assaulting them to convert or harassing them, then it would be a crime under harassment or assault which is valid for not just religious conversion attempts but any argument.

  3. He’s the Murderer of humanity.. India is divided because of these causes and only cause….. They easily say they do feel sorry about it.. but what happens next is they turn is to the roit n make blood pool of innocent people because of religious ideology…. You should get burnt alive with your family then you would realise how did Graham felt……
    But do not worry… Karma always follow you for the perfect time… Let Karma show you your correct place….. Pray for the people suffering from disease whom Graham used to take care

    • Stein was burnt as a reaction to murder of Swami Laxmana Nand which was deftly planned by Stein. Key persons in the group that attacked the ashram were Christians.

  4. Haha…Christians want it both ways — oh, religion is a personal choice. Fine, then why so hell-bent on conversions — a very public act.
    Nothing is more repugnant than fraudulently converting the so-called “heathens”. RICE BAG CONVERT term is so apt!!
    With Islamic countries forbidding conversions (on pain of death penalty) and China wary of Christian missionaries where else can you get a billion “non-believers ” for the faith propagators…salivating at the hundreds of millions “souls to harvest”. All of course for the glory of Christ!!
    Abrahamic faiths inherently antithetical to peaceful co-existence: MY GOD IS THE TRUE GOD, ALL OTHERS ARE ‘FALSE’!
    Yeah, right.

  5. How my India going to develop with having this kind of mentally disabled idiots as a minister, they don’t even fit to own a pig ….better check with your mom what does it mean for sex? Even bull shit is better than your shitty mouth…

  6. Just give me an answer is God so coward in Hindu religion that he gets polluted by a dalit and can’t enter his temple. Shamed of such God. You people need to know the true God , but blind guides will lead all to a manhole. Think which God allows people to be murdered in the name of religion. Shameful disgusting. Which God sacrifices himself for others dies a painful death and rises again. Who of u real gaumata bhakts treat lepers , poor sick dying and destitute.

    • True. But the God treats lepers etc well only if they are Christians or convert to Christianity. Not every human. Christians have one God one prophet one book but many denominations. They do not marry one another. They do not visit church of one another! Christians too have social stratification where some are more equal and others are marginalized. within same denomination. A Christian who converted from a cobbler family has to find a spouse in another cobbler convert’s family only. They believe unreal events like a virgin giving birth. They do not realise that Jesus was a West Asian. he is depicted as a white!!! Should I continue………?

  7. I think sarangi can be a religious wing leader .But we cannot paste him knowing Dhara Singh’s plan .The man who arrested Dhara Singh lives near me .
    I wish to Say ,Sarangi should understand that Jesus is not for Americans or Buddhists or Hindus .Its the decision of God ,he loves him too .
    But I think seeing such statements are bit of 18 century. I WANT HIM to do maximum to the poor ,drain as much as schemes for odisha .so that State get elevated .
    Religious conversions ,sarangi should know it was first 4 poojari Hindus of kerala got converted in 1st century.
    Even now kerala has around 50 % Hindus. So no alluring ,no force ,its all political gimmicks,
    Gospel is preached 24×7 world wide .
    So Gospel liberated man eating Nagas to responsible citizens .
    So its inward change which only God can do.
    Anyway I being here in odisha ,love you .Jesus loves you ,even if you are strong Hindu believer .Jesus needs strong people

    • We Hindus Jesus too. He was a spiritual man of very high level. What we hate are conversions which are being engineered thru temptations. I can show you how it is being done in Himachal Pradesh through money and gifts!! The conversion of poojaries in Kerala and arrival of Saint Thomas are historically unproved. The story seems to have been created to attract Hindus. There are so many of them. However, I appreciate your even ness. I have stated what I feel to be facts.

  8. See I don’t know anything or I don’t want to research on it.its simple every human has right to save his religion and culture .If you go to European countries and will try to change christianism to hinduism then I dont think that those people will honour you .I think the Christianity is a business not a religion.They have money to buy people only.

  9. It is amusing to read comments by people about how BJP is “forcing” their will upon the general public. And how the current education system is introducing yoga, Sanskrit, etc. And how other religions are so peace loving and equal unlike divisive Hinduism and Hindus. Then why do churches now have dwajasthambam, why do Christian woman dress in the traditional Hindu attire and apply sindur and flowers in their hair, why are they reciting the bhagawat geetha incorporating the names of their saints… Why are Christian matrimonials have people advertise has SC Christian, Nadar Christian, Brahmin Christian… Why are facets of my religion being used by non believers… About the epidemics and draughts at the time of Moses, we all know of the bloodshed caused during the crusades when the fight was for religious supremacy, which is still continuing…

  10. Does not take much to stoke fragile Hindu sentiments. Wonder how it managed to survive 5000 yrs! India belongs to Stone Age where people still spend whole day discussing religious differences. So called ‘development’ govt is a joke. The million dollar question is with the bogey of conversions how come Christian population has not gone beyond 2%? It is pathetic RSS propaganda to create fear and polarisation in gullible naive Hindu population.

  11. I live in odisha but sarangi says ,people convert by allure means , that’s the vision and teaching of few elites .Pandit Dharm prakash whose father was Pushkar brahma tirth mandi was dead against Christian’s, burned all bibles available in Ajmer Govt collage Library but after 15 years he accepted Jesus christ as his savior and recently died in Pushkar of old age .Why such a learned man ,a cwc member accepted Christ ?
    In Christianity ,we are told to preach the message of Jesus ,all over world, about salvation by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus from Death .
    Once all cycle polo team of Jajpur saw the deliverance in Jesus name
    There is power in the name of jesus and even in few cases dead raise from the death .
    Now if BJP supports Israel ,they need to know who their God is .
    99% Bajrangdal ,RSS,do not know A Jew and Christian’s worship the same God in 2 ways
    So If someone helping some body is good, but we hate alluring
    If christianity came to Kerala in AD 52 ,why was not all kerala became Christian. 55% are still Hindus.
    So Minister should mind helping poor adivasi groups with govt schemes and bring Maximum to the poorest districts of Odisha .its not time to think religion, Its matter of helping people in 5 years.
    I wish Mr sarangi will do the Best .I think it’s good for him being a stunch supporter of Bajrangdal .

  12. Christians means conversion..this is absolute nonsense. Even I am against this forced conversion. But let me ask a question, if someone is being converted by force, money or by helping, It is not real conversion. He can’t be a Christian. Because he believed by taking something. But if anyone truly believes in Jesus, he will not change in any circumstances. That is Christianity. We give life. How many missionaries, pastors, Christians were killed by you. Why they have to sacrifice their life for this religion because they know this faith is more than money or anything. No one can change anyone. Only God can change an individual, and that will be a real change. Stop blaming Christians and try to know atleast why this Christians are in this conversion process. Christians only message in Love. We don’t harm any Hindus, kill any Hindu priest or form any group to threaten Hindus. But we continue to preach Christianity whether you believe or not, we don’t force anyone. Finally you Indian politicians stop using religious politics because religion is once personal.

    • Pray, please tell me where and how many Christian priests and missionaries have been killed. Leave aside Stein. And the recent one from Australia who was trying to sneak in to a Nicobar Island without knowledge of government.

      • Dear sir your name itself is an example of cheating missionaries indulge in for conversion. You are a Christian, obviously, but with a Hindu name. World over Christians use European names. Be it Africa or Timbuktu. But in India, in order to create confusion and chaos among Hindus, missionaries have done this invention. Keep Hindu names, enjoy SC ST benefits and sit among Hindus and at critical moment tell them you are a Christian!!!

  13. It is interesting to see how Sarangiji is comfortable calling one terrorist a terrorist confidently and address another criminal of humanity from the past like a diplomat with weighed words.
    The fight isn’t about conversion but about what we are losing in the bargain: tolerance, equality, fairness, due process, treating people with respect, not boasting of our power, not propagating hate but extending a hand to support all. That is how we build a land that prospers, grows inclusively and walk on a path towards freedom (yes freedom isn’t a place we arrived at on 15 August 1947 but a journey we go on everyday since that day)

    I am with Sarangiji to help build such an India, shoulder to shoulder, supporting the initiatives of our government. But they need to promise to actively stop those who take law into their hands, claim to be the custodians of Indian culture and desecrate the Idea of India!

  14. The main problem is that if conversion occurs out of search for truth then it is okay….but when poor and helpless people gets converted questions are bound to surface because in such cases there is every likelihood of crushing the free consent of such people. And this applies to all people and institutions who do it very cleverly and subtly.
    It must be stopped and stopped for all.
    Two wrongs cannot make a thing right.
    No one should be allowed to take liberty in such matters even if excuses are taken from History , neighbouring countries or global happenings.

  15. Where I strongly oppose & detest forceful & fradulent means of conversion .An individual irrespective of the family history must be given the basic right to explore, choose & excercise his/her religion of preference & ‘seducer’ is a pathfinder.

  16. Religious conversion is an individual choice. A human should atleast have his right whether to believe in God or not and then to believe in which God or religion. Also religious conversions with material benefits is meaning less from either side. But there are many who are converting their religion willingly because they feel that one God is better than the rest. Let their ex-God do the reconversion to the first religion which the person has left. Why there is so much concern if one is changing his religion? It is upon the person’s interest.
    BIP is always on the frontline to mention about religious conversions and one sided opinions against Christians and Muslims but never talks about the fraudulence happening in Hinduism.

    Why BJP is including Yoga(Hinduism related strictly) and Surya namaskars and Shlokas into the school curriculum when there are students from different religions taking the course? This happens particularly in schools. Are you not behaving as how fraud religion conversions happening? You want the student to study forcefully just because to be in school and to get marks.
    I remember a saying, ” When King does sex, it is Romance. When others do the same, it is Prostitution and Crime.”

  17. Mr sarangi you are right. But u helped The culprit burn Mr stains and their two innocent children while his wife forgave the culprit. Sir after that Odisha has become hell poverty. Storms cyclones etc and much more to follow. I agree don’t convey people convert their hearts. That’s what Mr stains was doing and I too do the same. Just for a minute if u think your govt can uplift the lives of these tribal people then 70+ years of governance has failed and so will you. The Bible says if you harm my people the living lord who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses will bring famine in that land just as it happened in the times of Pharoh. U have the right to choose in democracy or then make it Demo crazy just like yourself

    • Stains was burnt because he was the spirit behind murder of Swami Laxmana Nand. Their are missionaries from any number of countries in Odisha. Are you sure that childern of God in their own countries are all happy? Why dont they go and work in their own countries?

  18. True. If you want people to convert by helping them with money, then it is like they are eying someone’s wife. Why can’t Christians help without converting people? Because for them everything is business.

  19. I just want to tell you ,I am going to put this editor and the team behind the bars.

    Because if you don’t know the real fact about him , please don’t start your rubbish blame game.

    Why I am saying we have seen him from our childhood ,how he worked for us ?

    Even the justice committee didn’t find any thing on him.Its the Dara Singh who did with a temple priest. As I am from Odisha I know the truth,but you social media and digital media guys are more poisonous than Snake & Politicians. You can free a victim with your articles & make a person victim by giving some fake alleagations. Just wait & watch soon you are going to face a criminal charges on your media & the editor ,I have taken the screenshot. I will put a case with the copy of verdict. And will ask in petition how The Print.in can manipulate people and inject a wrong thought of this weird relegion thing so minorities will be triggered.

    Just wait & watch soon this article writer and the news editor are coming to my state (Odisha) to give proof if you fails I swear ,I will put you behind bars.

    I started a NGO to put cases on such crap media journalist whose funda is to start blame game so they will get publicity.

    Till now I have caught 5 such people in odisha for making a non-controversial topic to a controversial.

    You guys are going to face same criminal charges and sedition.is it fun to make fun of our leaders,our people.

    It’s our state you northies of India don’t put any blame game on us.you guys are the main culprit for which odisha is still poor. Now a poor leader among us got the ministry you are getting jealous!!!

    That’s why south states of India hates your conflicting journalism where you support only your north & WestBengal guys ,not south,Eastern part & north-east of India

    I will put you guys behind bar.enough is Enough.if such things goes on don’t know everyone will make false allegations against anyone.fake journalist like you guys needs to teach a lesson.

    • Oh Mr. Sahu

      The Print saw so many jokers like you everyday , and we readers also know your kind of Mirchi Baba Bhakts are like ballons once a nail got shown they just ran like mad dogs … Keep your story inside your home. This is internet not your father’s home.

      Aukaat merahe , tere jaise bheed me hi akele ko maar sakte hain. Do thappar pade to 1500 saal ki history yaad ane lag jayegi.

  20. So how many cases are proved of this forceful/fraud conversations? And how many missionaries are jailed for it. He may give the data. Complete nonsense…

  21. This is utter nonsence from BJP. If mother teresa touches a lepper, helps with food and shelter and then the lepper converts to Christianity because he finds God in that act, is that a forced conversion or can someone touching a lepper with compassion can be equalled to sleeping with a girl. If BJP is interested in keeping hindus with them, they need to adress the issues of a common man, poor man on the street, rather than forcibly trying to stop someone chose his own faith.

  22. This man is gold. Bathed in sparkling mutra his aura could only be golden. Golden words he has spoken upon taking the high position.
    Many more like him in high places can and together they can bring back india to its past glory i.e golden era. Lots of freedom n lots of sex talk, kamsutra. Freedom to say anything and get away with it.. How wonderful.
    Simple is the man and simple is his thinking. Conversion equals asking a girl for sexual favour in return for a seat in medical/engg college. Totally in tune with reality. Biju Patnaik should take a note of this and stop such practicess are prevalent in his state.

  23. Mostly males having illegal sex connections out of family life, are they to be called as religion conversion ? Sexual life is different with GOD and religion . Mysterious statement.

    • Mostly males having illegal sex connections out of family life, are they to be called as religion conversion ? No they are called seducers or leachers. So are these people trying to convert others. Actually they are worse.

      Religious conversion is like trying to seduce somebody’s wife. While we accept woman right too choose the best person who meets her requirement, we don’t respect seducer, who goes after one married woman to other. So they are worst type of lechers.

      Why do you need to disturb somebody’s connection to his god?

  24. Hope Mr. Sarangi also does some work rather than playing Sarangi with his mouth. Some valid points but like pragya this man looks vulnerable due to his past. He needs to be educated to talk less and work more.

  25. “Suppose somebody helped a girl in a medical or engineering college, and wanted to enjoy the girl physically.’

    I think Mr. Sarangi is charitable.

    Actually religious conversion is like trying to seduce somebody’s wife. While we accept woman right too choose the best person who meets her requirement, we don’t respect seducer, who goes after one married woman to other.

  26. This Saint looking man was Bhajrangdal Coordinator of the state during burning of Graham Stains and his minor children. Some one in the above message calling him as his Hero.

  27. Great man. Nobody speaks how Graham Staines sowed the seeds of discontent amongst tribals by converting some and making them fight against their brothers who didn’t convert.

  28. I like it. The guy calls a spade a bloody shovel …. well done Mr Sarangi. You are a breath of fresh air….

  29. Mrs Staines was such a saintly woman, she forgave the beasts who burnt her husband and sons alive. If she represents Christian values, that is a testimonial to her religion. I would be proud to have such compassionate people define my religion as well.

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