Home News Reports Is an anti-conversion bill along the lines of Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act on the way?

Is an anti-conversion bill along the lines of Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act on the way?

During their time in Gujarat, in 2003, the Modi-Shah duo passed the Freedom of Religion Act through the Assembly.

The Modi government may bring forward a bill to prevent fraudulent religious conversions in the country, Zee News has reported. While the media outlet has quoted unnamed sources in their report, there is a precedent for such a law given the history of Prime Minister Modi and his right-hand man Home Minister Amit Shah.

During their time in Gujarat, as early as 2003, the duo managed to pass the Freedom of Religion Act through the Assembly. The objective of the Act is “to provide for freedom of religion by the prohibition of conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means and for the matters incidental thereto.”

The Act states clearly, “No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religion to another by use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means nor shall any person abet such conversion.” It also mandates that anyone found to be in violation of this provision will be liable to a fine of Rs. 50,000 and imprisonment of up to 3 years.

- Ad - - article resumes -

If the said provision is violated with respect to a woman, minor or a person from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, then the punishment is more stringent. The person would be liable to a fine of Rs. 1 lakh and imprisonment of up to 4 years.

According to provisions of the Act, it was also made mandatory for people to seek permission for conversion from the District Magistrate. After the conversion has taken place, the District Magistrate needs to be informed of the same. Failure to do so without adequate reason carries punishment as well.

An amendment was proposed 3 years later which withdrawn in 2008. The proposed amendment considered Jainism and Buddhism to be denominations of the Hindu faith in the same manner as Protestantism and Catholicism are sects of Christianity and Sunnis and Shias are Islamic sects. If the Assembly had passed the said amendment, then government permission would not have been required for conversion between denominations of the same faith.

Unsurprisingly, Christian missionaries weren’t very pleased with the implementation of the Act. Sajan George, President of the Bangalore-based Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews in 2007: “The Gujarat Government must withdraw this draconian freedom of religion act. This Bill -in its original form as it was passed on March 26, 2003 – violates the constitutional rights of citizens and is very divisive in nature. Article 25 of the Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, guarantee to every single individual the right to preach, propagate and practise one’s religion and to choose the religion of one’s conscience.”

in 2015, Archbishop of Gandhinagar Stanislaus Fernandes and others sought to amend a 2009 petition challenging the Act as they wanted to challenge a rule which requires disclosure of ‘reason’ for conversion. The petition challenged the Act on the basis of freedom of religion.

With India entering a phase of a de-facto one party-state with the Bharatiya Janata Party at the helm, it appears extremely likely that a version of the Act will be implemented at the national level. The Zee News report appears to confirm that discussions are underway for the same.

It has been a longstanding demand of Hindus for the Indian state to curb the menace of Christian evangelism that threatens to destabilize the demography of the country. As is known, unstable demography is a recipe for chaos. In addition to Christian evangelism, if such an Act is passed at the national level, it could also help curb the menace of Love Jihad. The conversion of Non-Muslim girls to Islam through fraudulent means will be considered criminal as well if the national Bill is in consonance with the Act engineered by the Modi-Shah duo in Gujarat.

The criminalization of Triple Talaq but more importantly, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, has demonstrated that the BJP is willing to upend the Nehruvian order. An anti-conversion bill along the lines of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act will be another nail in the coffin for Nehruvian Secularism.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.

Big Story

Strange rumours are coming out of Kashmir. Shah Faesal, supposedly, is Doval's stooge.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Pakistan takes a cue from Congress yet again, asks ‘what happened to Rafale investigation’

In case Chaudhry missed out, the first Rafale jet is expected to be delivered next month.

NDTV’s Interim CEO Suparna Singh resigns with immediate effect

NDTV interim CEO Suparna Singh, whose appointment as CEO was not approved by I&B ministry, has stepped down
Hartosh Singh Bal resorts to factually incorrect details to target Amit Shah

Fact-Check: Unlike Chidambaram who tried to escape from law, Amit Shah resolutely faced trial and was acquitted

Hartosh Singh Bal equated P Chidambaram's disgraceful escape with Amit Shah's tenacity to face the law

Political Editor of The Hindu condones violence by Congress workers who beat up a man who shouted ‘Chidambaram Chor Hai’

Congress worker beats up a man for shouting 'Chidambaram Chor Hai', The Hindu Political Editor Nistula Hebbar shows excitement at the unruly behaviour.

P Chidambaram finally arrested by CBI after officers scale wall of his residence as the gates were locked

Chidambaram arrested from his residence after he addressed a press conference at Congress office

Former Pakistan army chief says Pakistan will use Kartarpur corridor to revive Khalistani terrorism in India

Gen Mirza Aslam Beg has said Pakistan army and the government should create trouble for India through Khalistan movement

Read about the P Chidambaram link in the new FIR filed against NDTV by the CBI

It appears that the INX Media case, the new FIR against NDTV and arrest of P Chidambaram are all interconnected.
Imran Khan has defended terrorists on Twitter

Imran ‘Taliban’ Khan goes on a bizarre defense of terrorists who may have infiltrated India disguised as Hindus

If harbouring, nourishing and sending terrorists to India was not enough, Pakistan has now shed all pretence and has been officially using terrorism as its state policy.

Is Shah Faesal Ajit Doval’s asset? Unlikely, Swati Chaturvedi may be unwittingly helping the central government

Strange rumours are coming out of Kashmir. Shah Faesal, supposedly, is Doval's stooge.
Rajiv Gandhi's tenure saw justice, freedom and institutions compromised at every level

No Sonia Gandhi, your husband did not stand for democracy or liberty

Rajiv Gandhi had infamously justified the Sikh massacre by saying, "When a big tree falls, the earth shakes."
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post