Not conversion, but saving the girl child: Tapan Ghosh’s mission
by Arpita Maitra on 19 Feb 2018 5 Comments

On February 14, in Kolkata, an unique event happened, with far reaching consequences that journalists throughout the country noted with deep astonishment. Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, known for 34 years of Communist rule, pseudo-secularism, appeasement of Islamists by the political class, was shaken out of its political inertia. The unimaginable – a ghar Wapsi in full public glare – happened at a public rally in support of Israel.


Media decried it as a public conversion. Some journalists even questioned if allurements were offered to the 14 members of the family who made their intentions to embrace Hindu Sanatana Dharma very publicly. Hosein Ali and his family grabbed headlines throughout the country and became celebrities overnight.


But beyond the headlines lies a different mission, something I have seen from very close quarters. What is this mission? If one looks at the pictures of the event, one can see a little girl holding the a saffron (Bhagwa) flag. This girl child represents the core, the essence, of the efforts of Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh, called Tapan da, out of respect. It is for her that he has dedicated his life as a monk for society.


Welcome this little girl, who is holding the saffron flag in her hand. This little girl is coming back with her family to Hindu Dharma, the faith of her forefathers, from the creed of foreign origin that did not allow her to bloom. From now onwards, she won’t have to fear triple talaq (instant divorce) that could come in a thrice, even without any provocation.


From now onwards, she is free of the fear of being a second or even a fourth wife (polygamy or multiple wives being legal in Islam in India). No longer will she be viewed as “fertile land” (something often quoted by Islamists to justify atrocities against women). Thank you, Tapan da, for your stupendous efforts to provide opportunity to this girl to be a full-fledged part of Hindu society, which has always given girls a value beyond mere physical entity.


Through the ages, Hindu society has produced great women sages, such as Gargi, Maitreyi, Apala, Lopamudra and countless others, who were known for their intellectual prowess. Rani Durgavati, Rani Jhansi, Rani Chennamma were warriors who made tremendous sacrifices in the service of dharma, including fighting for their subjects against assaults that were as much military as they were civilisational. These great ladies were the epitome of valour, traditional Indian education, and culture. Their actions inspire us to this day and they are like lodestars to our coming generations.


India’s civilisational ethos provides the greatest security to the rights of women. In West Bengal, where women and girls have been suffering daily challenges to their personal dignity and security, and those of our gods and temples, Tapan da has stood up like a beacon of hope and encouraged and inspired citizens to come back to the faith and traditions of their forefathers and enjoy their real and original identities. For girls in particular, this is an especially liberating movement, as they acquire agency to live according to their own free will and not under the diktat of ideology and compulsion regarding what they can and cannot do. Above all, they are not compelled to live under a veil – something women in societies dominated by Islamic clerics are beginning to rebel against openly.


Tapan Ghosh is not against any non-Hindu faith but against values or rules that are not compatible with dharma. He held one of the largest pro-Israel rallies with Hindus as well as Buddhists, which was deeply resented by the Communists and Islamists. Tapan da represents courage, resistance to values detrimental to human civilisation, dignity of women and equal rights of women.


Today, countless women in rural India feel blessed and protected to have Tapan da to call upon in their hour of need. Their dignity is ensured by his courage and sacrifice. And on February 15, he went smilingly to prison, where he will remain till February 22, when one hopes he will be granted bail, only so that the little girl child is not subjected to a life of unbearable misery tomorrow.


The author is an expert in information technologies and a member of the central committee of Hindu Samhati

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