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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Indian Political Party Voices Opposition To Religious Discrimination

CHENNAI
Friday October 21 2005 00:00 IST
newindpress.com

The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come out strongly against reservation for minorities, stating that casteism, the only basis of reservation, existed only in Hinduism.

Talking to the journalists here on Thursday, State president C P Radhakrishnan said that reservation based on religion should never be pursued by the governments. It was the Dalits and other backward castes who had faced oppression over centuries and thus deserved reservation and not other religions which openly claimed that casteism did not exist among them.

‘‘It is against the principles of the Constitution, as even the father of Indian Constitution, B R Ambedkar, had opposed reservation based on religion,’’ he added.

This move would split the country on religious lines, Radhakrishnan warned, drawing attention to the partition of India.

On Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s statement on the issue, the state president strongly urged, ‘‘under no circumstances Tamil Nadu should encourage reservation.’’ He also charged DMK president K Karunanidhi with playing for the minority vote bank, with the Assembly election just round the corner.

When pointed out that minorities, especilly Muslims were economically backward, he said that economic backwardness existed in all religions and when there was a move earlier to introduce reservation on this basis, both DMK and Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) had opposed it.

Meanwhile, Hindu Munnani convenor Rama Gopalan, in a statement issued here, said that the reservation for minorities would only encourage religious conversion.

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