Sunday, February 05, 2012

#113 NEED FOR ANTI-CONVERSION LAW - Continuation of Reply to Shri 'RAJ'

Blogger raj said...
Atheist can make fun of any religion/scripture as almost all religions are based on belief that GOD exists.There is no end of logic,as true devotee of GOD Ram can justify all his actions and people like you can do vice-versa. If you do not believe in God , you are not hindu by religion.So you have equal right to comment on other religions by which atleast it will be proved that you are not coward.

Reply to the part: So you have equal right to comment on other religions by which atleast it will be proved that you are not coward.

Commenting on other religions needs expertise, and balance of mind. As a Marxist, my priority is Marxism or some other 'ism' whereby we can re-divide the income, wealth and opportunities available in India, independent of religion, caste, and above all INHERITANCE.

Your desire for commenting on other religions may be an offshoot of your concern for the future of Hinduism which is suffering severe damage in the hands of imported religions.

Your concerns are reasonable, considering that citizens of every country wish, that the native religion of their country should survive.

I feel that the right solution for your problem, is : The Government of India (Indian Parliament) should enact an anti-conversion law. There is no need to ban the conversions altogether, as such law will infringe into personal freedoms of citizens. We can, instead have a law which makes conversion of ignorant, innocent, semi-literate and gullible persons by unscrupulous missionaries (of all religions), DIFFICULT. Changing religion should not be like changing dress. Every change of religion, must undergo sufficient discussion of the pros and cons. Long term effects on children and grand children cannot be overlooked.

Changing beliefs and convictions go through generations. It is like a country signing a Nuclear Agreement with another country. The effect of such agreements will last for several decades and bind the future Governments also. This Government which is elected for five years, cannot enter into an agreement which will be valid for Centuries. In the same manner, head of a family may not change his-her religion for the whole family.

The problem with religion is it is being inherited by birth. For example, if I become an atheist, that should remain only with me personally. It cannot bind my family members, whether they are minors or majors. Actually, selecting a religion, should be a decision to be taken after a person attains an age of 40 when he-she would have undergone numerous interactions with his occupation, the society, law, Government, village, State, country, and the World.

Conversions in India have become business. Service to the poor through schools and hospitals is only a guise. This applies even to so called Saints like Mother Teresa. Would she have done the same service without a motive of converting people?

Nature of Law which the Govt. of India should enact
A person who wants to convert his birth religion, must be made to apply to a special court established for the purpose or at least the local District Court. The Court will have to invite objections from the public. The Court should allow arguments, and cross-examinations to take place. Objective is to satisfy that the person desiring to convert has the required mental ability to distinguish between different philosophies of different religions and evaluate their merits and demerits. He-she should not convert because somebody is promising some benefit. He-she should not convert with a hope that diseases will be cured. He-she should not convert because some neighbor has converted. The Judge should apply his mind in ascertaining the truth about the motive of the missionary who is propagating the conversion. The Judge should verify whether the missionary is being paid for the conversion work on per-head basis overtly or covertly (in the guise of feeding orphans on per head basis). The Judge should verify the correspondence which is exchanged between the foreign sponsor and the propagating Indian missionary. The Judge should verify whether there are any targets. The Judge can also ask some questions and ascertain from the missionary how his religion is superior to the religion of the person whom the missionary wants to change.

High Courts and Supreme Courts may have to allow more Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the subject of conversions which take place with inadequate awareness of pros and cons.

But the anti-conversion law should not be one-sided. Attempt should be to close loop-holes and prevent exploitation of innocent persons. A person who is conversant with different philosophies of different religions, their evolutions, their performance-records, will not like to change his birth religion, because he-she gains nothing intellectually by that change. It is like changing one dirty dress and wearing another dirty dress. There is no question of this dress is more dirty or that dress is less dirty. In fact, dresses have some functions like protecting us from vagaries of heat and cold, protecting us from direct injuries, protecting our parts which invite public attention and make us targets of sexual assaults, enhancing our handsomeness, etc. Religions do not have such utilitarian functions. Even if they have, they are discharging them NEGATIVELY. Instead of protecting, they are promoting hatred.

SOCIAL ostrichisation of the lowest castes by the upper castes is one reason for people changing their religion. Hindu militant organisations like VHP, RSS, BJP have to do some solid work on this front to bring greater harmony. They are unfortunately wasting their time on stone temples. It should not be just tokenism. The problem is more serious than what appears on the surface.

Owing to fear of losing the benefits of reservations in Government jobs and educational institutions, millions of people have not declared their new religion into official records of the Government.

SOCIAL STATUS of people in India NO LONGER depends just on BIRTH. It depends on the MONEY POWER and ADMINISTRATIVE POWER of the individual. Those, whose financial status did not change even after conversion, are facing the same stigma which they faced prior to their conversion. STIGMA comes with POVERTY. A person becomes useless, when he has no money to spend. Nobody will marry his children. He-she will be driven out of shops and hotels. Nobody will take him-her cognisance of, if clothes are torn, hair is unkempt. Reception will be better if he-she comes in an expensive car. You take for example: TTD EO, Chief Priest, and Chairman of the Trust Board, will welcome Mukhesh Ambani or Amitabh Bachan or Vijay Malya with a 'pUrNa kumbham', though they are like ordinary citizens. The same TTD Adminisration will make the commonman to wait in queues for several hours and push him out in a second before he-she could see the idol.

The role of money, real estate, land, gold, power and numerous other things are influencing the behavior of not only the Citizens, Governments, but also the religious preachers.

Removal of the role of money and inherited property is possible only through establishment of a Marxist society and economy.

SO, if there are any cowards, it is not I. It is the bureaucrats and the politicians who rule this country. After all, people get the Governments they deserve.

continued in the next post.

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