Social activist Swami Agnivesh today advocated strict action against political leaders who allegedly enter into "arrangements" with self-styled godmen in order to garner votes from their followers.
He also announced a conference on the Vedas to be held in Delhi from December 15-17 which, he said, would be attended by scholars from across the world and inaugurated by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
"These politicians cutting across party lines shower the self-styled godmen with money and promises to protect them. They do it as they expect votes in return by godmen's followers. There is definitely a quid pro quo arrangement at work," Agnivesh told reporters.
A judicial inquiry should be held to find out how some of these godmen exploit the whole system, he said.
Replying to questions, he said some kind of authority should be set up whose task should be to see that these godmen do not exploit the people and also checks any such arrangement or nexus.
On 25-year-old Hadiya, a Kerala woman at the centre of an alleged 'love jihad' case, Agnivesh said that any adult should have right to exercise her choice.
"I'm against forced conversions. I'm not saying this in context of any particular case, but generally speaking. Those who willingly convert or reconvert, why should anyone have any objection to this. In Hadiya's case, I feel that she should have full freedom to make her choices," he said.
On a row involving Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmavati", Agnivesh said he was against people hitting the roads in protest without even knowing the contents of the movie.
"There is a way to protest. If someone feels it is hurting their sentiments, they can raise their voice at proper platforms, including the courts. We are not a banana republic that bounties are being put on the head of Bhansali and open threats are being given," he said.
Agnivesh claimed the prime minister wanted the country's embassies to "keep English translation of the four Vedas and thereby promote the universal values as enshrined in the Vedas".
He also claimed that a vedic portal was goping to be launched soon.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)