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Conversion for convenience is an insincere act

There is lot of politics going on over conversions and reconversions. Conversions of Muslims into Hindus, Mahadalits converting into Christianity in Bihar and VHP forcefully converting Christians in Kerala, these sorts of conversion news are coming almost every day from every corner of India. Every politician is creating his share of controversy and making headlines by passing divisive statements.

Anyway, conversion and reconversion are the biggest mockery in human civilisation. India should ban such thing and leave adoption of any philosophical or spiritual ideas on individuals. Sushma Swaraj in Bhopal made a controversial statement that if you want to stop conversion then every political party should support and pass anti-conversion bill in parliament. However, such move again will be deemed as communal. RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal want to convert everybody to Hinduism, whereas missionaries are converting poor people to Christianity. The problem is that these organisations are converting them on their will but by bribing them. The problem is that, organisations are still living in the past. Their ideologies and practices are still based on what happened 400 or 500 years ago. These organisations are not happy to just practice their own faith but want to convert everyone till a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ is established.

Religious conversion has a long past. History shows that people had to adopt the religion of their rulers. That’s how, Buddhism spread during the time of Ashoka, and Islam during the Mughal sovereigns. Those who are converting back to Hinduism would go back to Islam at the right time. We are still living in history; nothing has changed but the agendas. Reconversion of Muslims to Hinduism has actually shocked Muslims and Christians. Hindu activists have shown that they can act in the same way and repay in the same coin. If these reconversions are continued, their number would be reduced to a large extent.

An insight into Hinduism will shed light on its absolute endorsement of freedom of choice. Mythology and Puranas never held your hands to prevent you from what you wanted to do. If there were any fast rules, one would not have seen Buddha. It always guides you to choose your destiny and it allows you to tread your path. What an Islamic extremist is intended to do is no different from Ghar vaapsi event. Let us not be egoistic or driven by emotions. There is no reason to panic or no one should jeopardise the victory march of our youth by disturbing the tranquility. Everyone should realise that our defence forces consist of people from all faiths and we are not disintegrated only because of their neutral nature. Every religion needs a review which none of the vested interests will allow to happen.

Some Hindutva outfits facilitated a “conversion” of about 200 people, mostly Muslim slum dwellers, through a Hindu ritual. These groups have also claimed that a large number of such persons were expected to reconvert in several other districts of western Uttar Pradesh as well. They are shaking the confidence in the true secularist credentials of the nation, and the irony is that they are not serious about their cause either. If they are indeed serious, they would do things in a manner in which publicity is not the sole focus. Also, there is no existing process wherein they would ease the transition of the so called re-converts into their new religion. Thus, these are nothing but rabble rousers who are clamouring for some quick publicity and their time in the media limelight even it means that it harms their own PM and the party. It’s high time; one must maintain the true secular fabric of India at all cost to stop people from spreading extremism.

Poor Hindu tribes were converted to Christianity and during Mughal regime, Hindus were converted to Islam. Christian missionaries often convert people by offering incentives of job, money, housing and education. Many uneducated parents are promised great futures for their children if they convert and send their children to missionary schools. Sexual / physical abuse by these missionaries is well known and internationally documented.

India has been divided into three pieces because a foreign religion (Islam) proved to be a point of contention played upon by foreign invaders (British). Now for modern India to be strong, it must be collectively rooted in only the traditions of this ancient civilisation. Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others.

Every citizen of India has the right to practice and promote their religion peacefully. However, there have been a number of incidents of religious intolerance that resulted in riots and violence. These incidents have been condemned by the government administration, private businesses, and judicial system. Conversion or reaffiliation for convenience is an insincere act. Forced conversion is adoption under duress of a different religion. The converted may secretly retain the previous beliefs and continue, covertly, the practices of the original religion, while outwardly maintaining the norms of the new religion. Over generations, a family forced against their will to convert may wholeheartedly adopt the new religion. Proselytism is the act of attempting to convert by persuasion another individual from a different religion or belief system.

Freedom of faith in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by the country’s Constitution. Modern India came into existence in 1947 as a secular nation and the Indian Constitution’s preamble states that India is a secular state. Freedom of religion is established in tradition as Hinduism does not recognise labels of distinct religions and has no concept of blasphemy or heresy.

To stop this further, there is one solution and that is, all the law makers consistently have to agree for Anti Conversion Law and pass it unanimously. People who are complaining about this are the same ones who were against the banning of conversion activities in India. Conversion should depend on their own will and faith and not for any benefit. One concrete conclusion should be drawn here.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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