The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Arunachal Buddhists allege Christian Militants' Harassment

January 27, 2005, 11:46 am

The Buddhist community of the north-east region has expressed deep concern over the rising incidents of harassment and persecution of Buddhist tribals by militants and security forces alike in the remote locations of Arunachal Pradesh. The twin militant outfits, NSCN(IM) and NSCN(K) have demanded annexation of land from the Buddhist and other indigenous faith followers of Rima Putak, Thikhak Putak, Motongsa and Longchong villages in Tirap – Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and issued a decree for their conversion to Christianity. The militant outfits have left the villagers with two options – embrace Christianity or face capital punishment. With death staring at their face, most of the adult members have fled the villages to escape torture from both sides, resulting in disruption of agricultural activities.

The outlawed organisations have persecuted several villagers for their alleged role in passing vital information to the Assam Rifles. On the other hand, the Army too allegedly harasses the villagers on the pretext of providing food and shelter, but not reporting and keeping tabs on the militants' activities. In a recently held joint Buddhist session of the Purvanchal Buddhist Bhikkhu Sangha and Purvanchal Buddhist Association at Namphakey near Naharkatia in Dibrugarh district of Assam, frontline Buddhist leaders of both the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have strongly condemned the heinous atrocities committed by the militants on the peace-loving Buddhists and tribal cult followers and sought the immediate intervention of the Centre and the state to ensure the security of lives and properties of the affected people.

They opined that India being a secular nation with composite culture, every citizen or individual has the inherent right to profess and practice his religion. The leaders said that what is happening in Arunachal Pradesh is a glaring example of violation of human rights. This was stated in a press release.


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