DURBAN: A Hindu religious leader in South Africa has caused a storm within the Indian community by saying that those who convert to Christianity will “lose their right to be Indian”.
Thillayvel Naidoo, an executive member of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha and a Tamil linguist, made the remarks after a Christian convert and a former Hindu priest, Deena Muthen, urged people to maintain their language and culture even if they convert.
Muthen, who is now a pastor practising in the large Indiandominated residential township of Chatsworth in Durban, told his congregation that they should be proud of their rich language and culture. But Naidoo said Muthen’s comments were “tricks” to entice gullible people to convert to Christianity.
“Those who reject their religion lose the right to be completely Indian. Muthen is distracting people with his Tamil-preaching and hymns. Just because he preaches in Tamil does not mean anything, and I condemn it,” he said. However, Muthen rejected the assertion.