Karnataka: Christian Federation Opposes Anti-Conversion Law

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The Logical Indian Crew

Karnataka: Christian Federation Opposes Anti-Conversion Law

The Federation of Indian Christians opposed the law saying that they would explore legal remedies if the government moves ahead with the proposed law.

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The Anti-Conversion bill introduced by the BJP- led government in Karnataka has spiked controversies from the Federation of Indian Christians and the opposition party, Congress. Harry Dsouza, a community leader, suggested a systematic study of the issue of conversions and see whether the problem is indeed prevalent in the state, before arriving at such laws with stringent clauses, according to a report by The Hindu.

What Does The Anti-Conversion Bill Imply?

The proposed bill has a provision for imprisonment of those who indulge in mass conversion from three to ten years and a fine of Rs one lakh. The draft also says that the 'religious converter' shall give one month's prior notice in 'form-II of such conversion' to the district magistrate or any other officer not below the rank of the additional district magistrate.

Also, the marriages done for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa will be declared void, as per the draft copy of 'The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill-2021'.

"Provided that if any person reconverts to his immediate previous religion, the same shall not be deemed to a conversion under this Act," section-3 of the act reads as per Money Control report.

Congress Backing The Federation's Call To Protest

Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders joined the protest by the Federation of Indian Christians. While addressing the protesters, he said Congress would strongly oppose the bill whenever it was tabled in the house.

"The Government wants to create problems for the Christian community. We will not let it happen," he said. "We want to assure the community that we are with you," he added. Christian organisations were running schools, hospitals, and other institutions where people of all faiths are admitted. Not all of them have been converted. There are no forced conversions," he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Is Anti-Conversion Law Actually That Important?

If we look at the constitutionality of this bill, the Indian Constitution gives its citizens the fundamental right to choose their faith and practice and preach. Therefore any law that takes away this right would be unconstitutional. Moreover, one question that hits our minds is why the state is trying to encroach on people's religious freedom. Is it justifiable? Mahatma Gandhi had emphasised the separation of religion and politics, and it cannot be denied that since the right-wing group came to power, politics and religion "implies" the same thing. Is there anyone who talks about more important issues like climate change, industrial development, infrastructure, unemployment, better education reforms?

Attacks on minorities are normalised. Rather than bringing laws to criminalise lynching, laws are being introduced to stop people from following their faith. Religion has never been a compulsion, and it comes from the spirit of the soul and what it accepts. It can never be forceful if it is forceful; the person is not said to be converted. The state needs to ponder that these laws have a high tendency to be misused and can raise the incidents of oppression and lynchings.

Also Read: UP CM Yogi Adityanath Says India Needs Ram Rajya, Socialism Is 'Biggest Superstition'

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Writer : Rafia Tasleem
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