The statements by Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the religious conversion issue exhibits the strong resolution of the Sangh Parivar to implement one of their key agendas at any cost.
The Minister was speaking at a conference of state minority commission on Monday at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi and comes in the wake of the hardline Hindu groups attempting to ‘reconvert’ the people belonging to minority communities into Hinduism, a Sangh Parivar agenda titled Ghar Vapasi. The venue he chose to comment on the issue also gains significance. The groups has also expressed their annoyance at the fast paced growth of the Muslim population in the country and urged the Hindus to procreate more to tackle the problem. Singh said that conversions were unnecessary and that the government was seeking to have anti-conversion laws that curb religious conversion. He said that as the government won’t be able to do much in the matter, the cooperation of the society is required to curb the issue. Singh raised questions on the much debated issue before the audience. He posed questions like "Why do we do conversions?”, “why do service be done for the purpose of religious conversion”?, “Can a religion be enriched without encouraging conversions?” adding that no country would want to change its identity or the basic character.
Singh’s statement plainly points fingers at the minorities attempting to hold them responsible for the religious conversions in the country and creating an impression of the Hindu majority who was against the move. The Minister made efforts to dub the two minority communities trying to augment the respective religions under the name of social service. While the reaction of the minority outfits, religious leaders and scholars would only be known through their responses, some groups have expressed their annoyance. In a democratic, secular and socialist republic like India, the freedom to believe and practice any religion is enshrined in the constitution. But the Sangh Parivar has demanded to take away the provision. It is absolutely illogical and unreasonable to expect a person to continue following a religion till his death only because he was born into a Muslim or a Hindu household. It is not yet clear how the religious beliefs of Islam and Christianity would affect the development of the country and social and communal peace.
It would be pathetic to think that religion is a threat to the unity of the country when most part of the criminal laws and about 99 percent of civil laws are applicable to all religions equally. Prime Minister Modi soon after assuming office had said that Muslims were loyal towards their nation and that the terrorist organizations wouldn’t be able to find a base in India by influencing them. The skepticism behind treating a religion that encourages peace and equality, in a particular way has to be provided. If the hardline Hindu groups are proud of their religion and have a deep faith in it, they should present and propagandize the religion in a way believable and acceptable to all the fellow countrymen as they have the complete freedom, power and resources to carry it out. Those who strictly believe in Hinduism would not abandon their faith and shift to other religions. Many have abandoned Hinduism due to the unwise beliefs, caste system, social evils and untouchability that have been existing for decades in the religion. Recently VHP leader Praveen Togadia also came forward against untouchability. Instead of trying to curb the conversions and stop people shifting faiths to other religions that proclaim equality, social justice and brotherhood, they should be rectifying their own mistakes.