Sunday, September 04, 2005

Plans of bill against religious conversion in Rajasthan

From our correspondent

4 September 2005

JAIPUR — The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Rajasthan plans to bring a bill to check "forcible religious conversions".

According to Rajasthan Home (interior) Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, the bill to be introduced in the coming session of Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly will ban religious conversions induced by fear tactics, allurement or any other kind of coercion.

It may be mentioned here that since the BJP government came to power in Rajasthan, the RSS and other hardline Hindu groups have turned up the heat on Christian charity organisations accusing them of forcibly converting poor people to Christianity.

State Social Welfare Minister Madan Dilwar, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) supporter, has always accused a Kota-based Emanuel Mission International, which runs an orphanage, of converting poor children. Last year, the Hindu hardliners disrupted a function being held at Emanuel Mission saying that a large-scale conversion was taking place on the premises of the mission.

The State Government has become more vocal of activities of the Christian churches since a Vatican-appointed bishop arrived in Jaipur.