Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday that people in the state need to be vigilant of religious conversions.
“Once again religion is being attacked. I am not telling lies. We have seen that in various parts of Goa, people are moving forward towards religious conversion. Taking advantage of different things – someone is poor, someone is a numerical minority, somebody is backward, someone who does not have food or a job – such people are being taken (in) in this manner. We say that by mistake, in such circumstances, there should be no religious conversion,” he said at the establishment ceremony (sthapana) of the Kudnem Temple at Jalmi Wada in Kudnem.
“The government will never allow religious conversions, but even then I feel, people need to be vigilant… the temple trusts in villages need to be vigilant, families need to be vigilant,” he added.
In his budget speech on March 31, Sawant said the state government had allocated Rs 20 crore for the restoration of temples destroyed in Goa during Portuguese rule.
Sawant said on Friday, “Sixty years ago (under Portuguese rule in Goa), we had said Dev, Dharm ani Desh (God, religion and country) and moved ahead with this sentiment. If our God is protected, our religion is protected and if our religion is protected, our country is protected. That is why people had fled with their deities in this Goa. But in the last 60 years, many families try to go to the places they were displaced from, they tried to find their family deities. Those families tried to once again re-establish their God and culture that was destroyed during Portuguese rule.”