Indian state Chattisgarh is planning to ban conversion, FLASH From Sajan K George, President, Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC)
19 May 2006
New age groups in India wants ban of convertion to Christianity but want to swell their fold with converts from Christianity
After Orissa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, now Chhattisgarh is readying to bring in a bill banning religious conversion. As far as provisions in the Constitution are concerned, there is freedom of religion included in basic human rights. A person may follow religion of his choice. Following a religion is a personal matter but this is also true that conversion by luring the gullible people is illegal. Such conversions are mainly taking place with the downtrodden, poor and the adivasis.
The biggest religion for such a class is satisfying its hunger pangs. The people who feel ignored by their own religious class of people, find solace in embracing other religions. There is no doubt in the fact that the poor and scheduled caste/scheduled tribe people are seen to be converting into other religions. The missionaries are working in many far flung, backward areas of the country and they win the hearts of the downtrodden people. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party views it differently. It sees dangers in conversion. The party has its own reasoning. For example the increase in Christian population in the North east and Muslims in Assam may pose danger to the unity and integrity of the country. Hindu organisations have been frequently expressing fears over one more division of the country on religious grounds.
The charge of employing pressure and allurements for attaining religious conversion is hollow. The political influence besides social, resulting from conversions cannot be overlooked. The end result of this conversion is visible social change The state governments which are contemplating to enforce ban on religious conversion have a social responsibility before them that they pay due attention towards the all-round development of backward classes and the poor adivasis.
The questions that arise are to be answered not by us, but by the governments of the day at the Centre and in the states -- Why do
governments have two faced, double-standard policy on issues ofcultural and religious sensitivity.Da vinci Code is cleared at break neck speed but converting at free will is a threat to the society.Hakki kath a rebuttal to bunch of thoughts of Glowalker is banned and even orphans are threatened for having found few copies of the book in the Emmanuel book shelves. Padmashree arch Bishop Thomas was hunted like a terrorist on this account.Shabd,was banned because it was hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs.world Hindu council wanted the right to keep cow in the court yard of Hindus in USA.
Government now have an opportunity to prove that India has the same set of standards - in all spheres of governance including censorship for all communities and equal respect for their sentiments.