The discourse on conversion has taken an interesting turn. An incident of homecoming ceremony in Agra has triggered the discussion and the whole secular space, including their representatives in the Parliament sneaked the opportunity of targeting the BJP led government on the Hindutva plank. Without recognising the difference between religious conversion and homecoming to the traditional way of life, these supporters of Semitic religions did not understand that they are trapped into their own argument against any anti-conversion law in India. Thankfully this incident has brought the debate on right track and created the possibility for universal anti-conversion law.
Conversion of any sort is foreign to Indian psyche. With multiplicity of faiths and ways of worships, there was neither the philosophical basis nor the intent to convert anybody to any of the Indian faiths. Unfortunately, many invasions based on monolithic religious intent turned this inherent strength of Hindu way of life into its weakness. While Islam used force and violent methods that led to conversions of Hindu masses, the Christianity was more subtle with the method of alluring.
Of course, caste inequalities and poverty served as nurturing ground for conversions. But strong financial resources, fanatic religious thinking and aggressive support from Papal or Mullah Clans provided significant impetus for these anti-national projects. The Joshua evangelical project considers World's 7,000 plus groups as unreached groups, who lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people. Out of these, 2033 groups are identified in India with around 90% of the total population. On the other hand, pumping of petro money is done in India to fund Madarassas from Kerala to Nepal border of Uttar Pradesh to ensure the numerical presence through religious conversions. These are the reasons why Hindu population including the tribal population in India is decreasing every decade.
Interestingly, the same voices who are opposing re-conversion to Hinduism have also been opposing anti-conversion laws that are enacted in states like Madhya Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. But unfortunately, they did not consider it important to raise their voice when mass Islamic conversion took place in Meenakshipuram of Tamil Nadu, or when poor tribals of the Northeast India were converted to Christianity. Way back in 1956, Justice Niyogi Commission Report had analysed the activities of Christian Missionaries and recommended policies against proselytisation and use of professional or service activities for the purpose of conversion. Why had no secular party accepted these recommendations?
In a truly liberal society like India where way of worship is individual but way of life is social, conviction and not conversion can be the basis of choice of religion. Once individuals are convinced and society is ready to accept such people into a religious fold, such homecoming should be welcomed. Shivaji Maharaj had set the precedence by reconverting Netaji Palkar who had earlier converted into Islam into Hinduism.
By proposing the pan India anti-conversion law, the centre has given golden opportunity to all the ‘seculars’ to prove their credentials on the conversion issue. Let conviction for the nation supersede considerations for vote bank politics, otherwise there will be many more homecomings in the coming days.