Thursday, March 25, 2010

TALK ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!

While riots have been raging in Orissa, there has been as much less said about it as much as it is going on. While any other rioting situation is overly reported in the news with loads of inconclusive news hours, it seems that one of the most grievous situations in our country at present is being grossly ignored by the biggest players in the media and by the government itself.


One may call this statement that of a ‘crazy’ Indian Christian who stands up for his belief but any one well educated on the topic must know that a whole lot of nonsense happens in opposition to supposed ‘forced’ Christian conversion. Let’s state the case’s facts as they are.

1) One’s religious belief is something that is his or her choice. Even is it the case of him not being allowed to follow whatever religion he would like to because the government system demands that he or she at least follow particular religious practices and rules, it cannot be applied because there is no such provision in laws governing India.

2) By all reasons logical, religion is chosen by one or his/her forefathers for reasons that may not be or which may not have been in their control. But at the end of the day, if it does not benefit from the faith one is a part of, then they by all means one has the right to change it to one that benefits him/her if he/she so wishes

3) One’s faith is a personal matter and in no way does it falls under the government’s purview unless of course it makes one deny himself one his or her human rights forcefully.

4) As Point 3 stipulates, the rights of people of all religions should be the same as long as they are citizens of the nation unless the people in reference to here are people who are of an unprivileged class to whom the Government may give a concession or privilege which they do not give to other citizens. Hence the ‘documentation’ or the ‘record’ of one’s conversion for these purposes shouldn’t serve any purpose as made in this point apart from this exception.

Having made these four points, let’s take up the ‘issue’ VHP (and similarly other groups) has been making claims of forced conversions. First of all, why should there be an issue with forced conversions unless someone was being forced to convert and then violated in some way? The very reason people convert is because the pasture is greener on the other side. If a society or culture (since most in India are religion driven) does not give one the advantages that basic rights (and most often decent conditions of living – social and economic), then surely one will look for greener pastures.

The whole question is the motive of either party – the converting party and the anti conversion party. The anti conversion party says there is voluntary conversion happening. But what does it affect them that conversions are happening? The conversions are not affecting their faith or practice of it. And the converting party are only getting a better deal out of life by converting which is why they are converting.

With the all justified analysis, it’s a just a little bit of jealousy with a whole lot of political intentions that seems to be the driving force. The recent riots are because of the killing of the VHP leader Laxminand Saraswati. While for some strange reason, VHP thinks that the Christian community have killed him who were supposedly against his anti conversion efforts. I don’t take away the reports that earlier attacks may have been by Christians either, which is again a plain assumption.

That apart the larger question for me here is not who killed him but why the whole stigma against Christian conversion in the first place? Let a man choose his own way as long as he does not come in the way of others. It is a privilege that he deserves.

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