Anti-conversion law: For a long time, conversion has been an unacknowledged reality of the Indian society and mostly Hindus were on the suffering side of it. The caste division in the religion made it easy for missionary forces to fringe their religion. The politicians too let it go unnoticed just for their vote bank as they wanted to appease the minorities. However, in past decade the strong governments at the center and a few states (to put it precisely BJP governed states) are trying their best to change the narrative. There are several laws made by the governments to curb these forceful conversions. As a result, many mischievous activities and those so-called activists are facing occupational issues.
According to recent reports, Jamiat Ulama-i-hind has sought Supreme Court against the constitutional legality of Anti-conversion laws in five states. The laws that are challenged are-
UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021
Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018
HP Freedom Of Religion Act, 2019
MP Freedom Of Religion Act, 2021
Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021.
In the opinion of these fringe activists and their cabals, the ‘undue influence’ stated under the law is wide and vague and can be misused by the police. More shockingly, its coming from organisations that have always been pampered by the previous government for vote bank politics.
In the month of November last year, the Supreme Court directed the government to take steps on forced conversion which is a threat to national security. The concern of the Apex Court itself depicts the sensitivity the issue.
According to the NDTV report, since Novemeber 2020, 507 people got arrested in 291 cases of forced conversion in UP. The UP ATS too exposed the conversion racket which allegedly converted 5 lakh people to Islam. The network got funded from the Gulf and operated in almost 24 states.
News of Hindu girls being converted to Islam has been the prime concern lately which are termed as ‘love-jihad’. The main motive behind the forceful conversion is to change the demography of the particular region. The modus operandi of the forced conversion is to lure the people in need of money and influence them to join the other religion. Hence, the down trodden are always the easiest target by filling in them the animosity against the rest of the Hindus.
Legality of the laws
As far as the above laws are concerned, the Anti-Conversion law clearly fulfills 2 functions. Primarily, it restricts forceful conversion and in later stage, the law empowers the women to fight any conversion bluff. However, in the application of the law neither conversion nor the inter-faith marriage is questioned. But forced conversion and propaganda rackets to glorify one religion over another are dealt with very seriously. The Law is made by keeping Article 25 of Indian constitution in the key sphere. In addition to it there is also a provision that makes it mandatory to notify the legal conversion to District Magistrate.
So, clearly if the provisions regarding the lawful conversions are present, then there is obviously no need to fear the anti-conversion law.
The laws should be upheld
The radical Islamists and missionary forces are always busy in forcefully converting the people of other religions. They actually don’t pay respect to the constitution and its so ironical that when their reality is exposed, they seek refuge of the very constitutional provisions. But now, the time has come where they should wake up to the reality and accept the facts as they are.
The state governments addressing the issue with law must become an example for the rest of the states for implementing Anti-conversion law. The matter of fact is that, the ‘New India’ that is touching new heights should have no space for the radical Islamist and missionary forces.
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