On March 4, Thursday, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) welcomed Harayana Government’s decision to enact legislation to prevent unlawful religious conversions.
In a press release, Dr Surendra Jain, Central Joint General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, said that the organisation heartily welcomes the decision of the Haryana Government to introduce a bill in the Vidhan Sabha to stop illegal conversions in the state.
#हरियाणा विधानसभा में अवैध #मतांतरण विरोधी बिल लाने के लिए हार्दिक अभिनंदन! विश्वास है कि अवैध मतांतरण के साथ #लवजिहाद और आतंकवाद पर भी लगाम लगेगी। मुल्ला मौलवी और पादरियों की अवैध गतिविधियां रुकेंगी। हरियाणा में शांति और सौहार्द होगा।@mlkhattar @HMOIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/GgEWvJZIrv— Dr.Surendra Jain (@drskj01) March 4, 2022
Jain praised Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar for demonstrating his resolve by giving a nod to the draft of the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Bill, 2022, which makes it illegal to convert religiously through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, compulsion, allurement, or any other fraudulent means, or by marriage or for marriage.
This law, according to Jain, will undoubtedly eliminate unlawful conversion, Love Jihad, and elements that use them to promote anti-national conspiracies.
Haryana, he claimed, has always been a Dharma Kshetra. Human civilization has always thrived here. However, illegal conversions have unfortunately resulted in the deaths of many Hindus in the state, especially in Mewat. Many people involved in anti-national actions have been apprehended in these locations on numerous occasions. Mullah-Maulvi is not only promoting these acts but also plotting to drag their Muslim culture down the dark alleys of hate, he added.
Deception or greed has often been used by Christian missionaries also to convert the native population of Haryana. These anti-national groups clashed frequently with Haryana’s religious community. Many times, these elements have dared to threaten Haryana’s law and order situation.
Dr Surendra Jain stated that all of these complexities must now be put to an end as a result of this law. Haryana will be transformed into a place of mutual harmony and peace, and the state will accelerate its growth.
Haryana government promises a new anti-conversion law
On February 8, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in a video posted on Twitter said that the Bill is being brought to stop illegal and forced religious conversions. He said that the Bill also has provisions for people to convert. For this, he said, those who want to convert will have to declare that they are changing their religion willfully and file an application.
प्रदेश में गैर कानूनी तरीके से या जबरन धर्मांतरण पर रोक लगाने के लिए आज ‘गैरकानूनी धर्मांतरण निषेध बिल-2022’ को मंजूरी दे दी गई है। pic.twitter.com/Lef3D7cugI— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) February 8, 2022
“If he does not notify about conversion and forcefully marries, converts under fraud or allurement, it [the conversion] will be illegal,” Khattar said. “For stopping this, this law is being brought before the Vidhan Sabha.”
Notably, last month, taking the cue from the other BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the Haryana cabinet chaired by state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had also approved the draft Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022.
The bill aimed at prohibiting religious conversions through threat, coercion, fraud, allurement, misrepresentation and by marriage or for marriage will be tabled in the ongoing budget session of the state Legislative Assembly that began from March 2.
Notably, the Haryana government had been considering enacting this law for almost a year now. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij announced in November that his administration has constituted a three-person committee to draught a law on “love jihad.” In the same month, Khattar stated his government was investigating the constitutionality of a law to combat “love jihad” in the state.
Mewat in Haryana has a history of atrocities being committed against Hindus
For years on end, many Hindu organisations have been raising their voices against the rampant atrocities committed against Hindus, especially Dalits in various regions of Haryana, especially Mewat. Not only the RSS and VHP activists, but other institutions have also raised their concerns against the rising number of criminal incidents happening in Mewat.
In 2020, an investigation report by a 4-member team headed by former Justice Pawan Kumar asserted that Mewat is gradually turning into a graveyard for Hindus, especially Dalits. The report said that the rapes of girls, the kidnapping of women, thrashing and killing of Dalit residents with impunity and forced religious conversions have become par for the course.
Kumar had observed that the plight of Hindus, especially Dalits left in Mewat might be worse than the minorities living in Pakistan. OpIndia had also tried to bring to the fore the inequities faced by the Dalits in Mewat. We listed some of the many instances of atrocities on Hindus going on for decades in Mewat.