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Tribals reconverted to Hinduism in Tripura

Tribals reconverted to Hinduism in Tripura

Author: Our Correspondent
Publication: The Sentinel
Date: May 10, 2002

Twenty-nine Jamatia tribal families, who earlier embarrassed Christianity has recently reconverted to Hinduism in West Tripura district. Jamatia Hoda, the apex body of the Jamatia community, which for the last two years was fighting against the forcible conversion of the tribals to Christianity by the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants, has supervised the reconversion. All the family members were accepted to the Hindu society after they went through some rituals performed by a local priest.

The reconversion of the families were done in three villages under Teliamura block on different dates during the last one week. The Hoda Akra (head of the community) Bikram Bahudar Jamatia himself was present in the last, one held at Hadrai on May 6. Earlier, two reconversion ceremony was performed at Mohorchara and Hrangkhal Para. It is learnt that the local administration were aware of the reconversion but did not interfere with it.

Talking to the correspondent, Mr Jamatia admitted that 29 families of their community had returned to their original faith after they realized the mistake they have done either at gun point or for some laurel. He said many more families are expressing their willingness to return to their original faith. But the Hoda has asked them to go through some process and to perform certain religious rites to clean their heart as a preparation for reconversion. "Some boys who earlier joined to extremism and converted to Christianity also wanted to return," he said.

Jamatias, a devout Hindu community, remained unaffected till the early nineties though several other tribal communities embressed Christianity. In 1998, the Hoda first decided to stand against conversions and launched a movement against the insurgents. Later, leaders of several other communities joined them when the RSS and the VHP came to their aid. They have already formed a forum called the Tribal Culture Protection Forum.

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