Game of religious conversion

In India, where on one side government is talking about development of all irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion, on the other hand, conversion game is going on, which is religion specific only. It seems that religion is nothing but a puppet in the hand of few like RSS ( Rashtriyta Swayamsevak Sangh),VHP ( Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and Muslims & christian organisation. All these religious organisation are propagating their religion in different ways like conversion or reconversion or” Ghar Vapsi”. Being a democratic country, India abides by constitution wherein everybody has equal rights in all circumstances irrespective of caste, creed, sex, and religion. And it is individual choice of all citizens to follow any religion as per their own conscience. In constitution there are so many limitations as far as conversion is concern and conversion through inducement, allurement is strictly prohibited. Despite of this, why government is not taking any judicious decision regarding this issue? Why these religious organisations are deviously engaged in conversion process, which is unconstitutional as well as anti human? No doubt that they have their own self seeking religious interest which is nothing to do with the development of people at large.

Therefore, there is continuous tug of war is going on throughout country between all these religious organisation. Muslim organisations says that organisation like RSS and VHP which believes in Hinduism and wants to make India as “Hindurastra” only and therefore, wants everybody in India to follow the Hinduism. They also argued current government also helps RSS and VHP to propagate their religion because current government is headed by a person who is itself believes in Hinduism. On other side, all Hindu religious organisations are busy in blaming other religious organisation for luring their countrymen into other religion. They also saying that these Muslim and Christian organisation getting fund from some international organisation to get people convert into their religion. This is something is happening around the country where religious organization are engaged in blaming each other. But the real question arise here is that, conversion of whom? Who are those people, which are becoming victim of war of conversion?

Throughout the country only poor’s, socially and economically backwards classes and underprivileged people of all religion are being converted. All religious organisations are focusing only poor SC/STs and underprivileged people. Only reason of this is, they have lower and backward status in the society, which they wants to changed and wants to get equality in status. And taking advantage of it, these people are being converted on the false promises by religious organisations. There have been various instances throughout the country, where conversion is affecting only poor and underprivileged people. In Bihar, few Dalits families of village were converted by Christian missionaries into Christianity on the promises that they will be given all economical and social help. After few months they realised that nothing has changed even after adopting Christianity. Even condition became more worse when other villagers get to know about conversion. They were discarded by villager from the benefits which were available to them earlier. Finally, they had to reconvert into their earlier religion by members of VHP through the process of purification. This was nothing but coercive conversion Dalits.

Another most interesting incident is of Agra, where so many underprivileged people like rag pickers mainly from Muslim community were converted into Hinduism by RSS and VHP member through the process of purification. Where people like RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and MP Yogi Adityanath claimed that it is not conversion at all rather it is reconversion. In this way, they misinterpretated constitution law of India. Yogi Adityanath went on to say that the people who have been reconvert today and people who will be reconvert into Hinduism in future will have their own choice to choose any caste and level under four fold Varna system. Where yogis argument has given a new and modernist dimension of Hindu religion where it will be easy to pierce the ancient and rigid Varna system on Hindu religion. Therefore, by using his argument now all Muslim organisations is claiming that this is white lie and impossible. They are saying that if it is true than why Hindu Dalit is still on last level of Varna system and discriminate by caste on higher religion. Muslims organisation claiming now Hinduism is religion of unequal where Islam considers everybody equal. In this way all these religious organisation is busy in propagating the pros and cons of each other religion. But it is lower level people like SC/ST, economically and socially backward class hanging in religious tug of war.

Hence, they are experiencing the two ways of development. One, religious development and second, is governmental development. Where on religious development is the development of people through conversion by inducement, allurement and sometimes coercively. Which is unacceptable and undesirable at every cost in the secular country like India, where each and everybody has right to profess their religion under constitution. And any kind of coercive religious propagation is strictly prohibited. There is nothing wrong to say that religious development is narrow in perspective but focussed in functioning. Where at it follows the principal of development of few rather development of all, so conversion being a part of religious development is narrow and people specific. Therefore one thing need to be ensured that conversion will not last long until unless all other needs will not be fulfilled. Mere promises will not provide any solution to problem of Dalits and underprivileged people of all religion. And people will be converted and reconverted again and again and conversion game will never end.

On the other hand, governmental development is entirely different in perspective, approaches, and ways and completely detached from religion. Therefore, government should work in the wholesome development of SC/STs, and underprivileged people of all religion, which are the only victim of conversion or reconversion. The country like India, where various religion share their genesis like Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, which is also consider as the one the democratic and the secular country of the world, If timely action will not be taken by government than surely situation will arise, when India will become the conversion ground and all other worldly religion will also come to play the game of conversion. Therefore, government of India should look into the problem comprehensively by solving the problem legally, socially, economically as well as psychologically.

(Contributed by Ajay Kumar Gautam,Reasearch Scholar, Centre for Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University – New Delhi)