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, April 11, 2006

Conversion in the name of service will not be allowed: BJP


Asserting that BJP stood for secularism, party president Rajnath Singh tonight said all the BJP ruled states have been asked to bring stringent anti-conversion law to protect demograpic balance in the country.

''India is a secular state, and BJP never hates human beings,'' Singh said, alleging the Congress-led UPA government was not concerned with Muslims as human beings, but was treating the community as a vote bank.

''This reflects in its minority reservation policy. We are not opposed to reservation on economic and social backwardness, but we are opposed to appeasement politics which the Congress is embarked on,'' the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said.

As the Bharat Surkhsha rath rolled on a stretch of 250 km from Gumla to Ranchi where presence of missionaries are substantial, Singh quoted a private survey report that claimed there was a threat of demographic change by 2060 if steps were not taken against 'forced conversion'.

''We don't object missionaries serving the poor, but let there not be any business in the name of service. The BJP governments have been asked to move bills outlining stringent punishment in the event of forced conversion.... Rajasthan has made the opening with such a law recently, and other states will soon follow suit,'' he added.

Singh accused the Manmohan Singh regime of not taking any concrete step to protect the borders from intrusion by Bangladeshi nationals to maintain demographic balance. ''BJP will not allow the country lose its identification through intrusions and conversions. We are ready to meet any challenge to retain the nation's identity,'' he added.

The yatra, he said, would also seek public opinion as to why india lagged behind and could not break into the league of developed countries though the Congress ruled the country for over four decades.

Expressing concern over the naxalite problem, Singh said the Centre should not leave the problem for the states to solve. ''It should convene a chief ministers' meeting and take the states into confidence to draw out an integrated plan.'' The Prime Minister has already called such a meeting on April 13 in New Delhi. Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who was sitting on the dias while Singh was addressing to a sparse crowd at the Zilla School ground here, would attend the meeting.


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