Anti-conversion law against spirit of Constitution: Archbishop

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by I-G, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Anti-conversion law against spirit of Constitution: Archbishop

    Updated on Thursday, July 23, 2009, 21:30 IST

    Bhubaneswar: Opposing Orissa's anti-conversion law, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Raphael Cheenath today said its provisions amount to denial of freedom of religion and are against the spirit of the Constitution.

    "We are against Orissa Freedom of Religion Act (OFRA) as its provisions are opposed to the spirit of the Constitution," the archbishop told reporters here.

    Describing OFRA as a trick by some people, he said only five states have such laws while no such measure exists in the rest 25 states.

    "If someone wants to convert, why should he inform the government or take its permission," he said adding where is the freedom of religion if procedures like this have to be followed while undergoing conversion.

    A year after the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati, prayers and fasting would be observed across Orissa as well as the whole country by the Christian community on August 23.

    Cheenath said he would speak to the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) on the matter while August 23 would also be observed as a day of peace and harmony.

    Anti conversion news-Anti-conversion law against spirit of Constitution: Archbishop
     
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  3. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Stupid law.

    Apart from the fact that it is indeed unconstitutional to disallow conversion (how do you check whether it is legal or illegal), it is also riddled with holes

    Are conversions done in other states banned too?
    Someone can simply cross over to Bengal, get converted, and cross back.
     
  4. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Great law. We need a federal law of this sort that applies to all the 28 states. The Constitution allows for a change of faith of a person deeply and irrevocably spiritually attracted towards a faith other than his own. That can be the only reason for changing faith, and that was the intent of the founding fathers.

    "Religious Freedom" is not supposed to be a tool in the hands of legions of missionaries or priests to indulge in mass conversion by the use of inducements or "gifts" or other promises. That is what goes against the spirit of the Constitution, not laws governing fraudulent conversions.
     
  5. VayuSena1

    VayuSena1 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    About time we get a loaw of this kind all over the country. The missionaries are wrecking the whole Hindu culture of the country through their rampt corruption using the past ghost of caste system as their excuse and using innocently donated foreign money for their personal gains.

    I say there should be a law where the religious charity money received from abroad should be handed ONLY to the government of the country instead of religious institutions... for those religions that are not of Indian origins. Might sound biased but is one of the ways in which we can ban proselytization of Hindu community into other religions without the use of any violence by conservative agencies at the same time maintain national harmony as well.

    Bottomline: "Don't cross the religious line; you follow yours I follow mine. Don't even think of converting my people and I won't lay hands on yours."
     
  6. fateh71

    fateh71 Regular Member

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    If I'd not seen the missionaries at work, I'd never have supported such laws. I've lived all my life in catholic community, have friends, celebrated their festivals and attended mass. But when I went to my village on a break for a long time and got to see what the missionaries were doing, it was shocking. My village like most in India is poor and has an even poorer tribal population. The main weapon of the missionaries was money, very easy in a poor community to break it. People were given bicycles and rice to convert, i know this personally. Yes i'm being judgemental, but its just ugly. Why the hell foreign money come into india and do this? Freedom of religion, sure, bringing in billions of dollars in a poor country to 'pursuade' people surely is no part of it???
     
  7. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    My servants converted to Christianity for 5k each.
     
  8. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Here's a novel idea:
    Probably the government should concentrate on providing basic services so that these folks are not tilted towards conversion to fulfill their basic needs, rather than enacting stupid laws. I suggest they try it, even the Naxalite problems might vanish.

    What business does the government have in monitoring what people are doing in their private lives anyway?:((
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is why they were called 'Rice Chirstians'.

     
  10. fateh71

    fateh71 Regular Member

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    Remove the root cause and all evil goes away :) yes i've heard that before :)

    Besides, what organisations with foreign money do in india is not private, govt has every right to regulate. I don't care if people do devil worship in their private lives, nobody cares except the missionaries themselves :)
     
  11. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    SORRY if anyone gets hurt in advance.
    in Jihad their is a principle,
    convert all world to Islam for Allah.
    then this conversion is also jihad,
    but with peace and money.
    so both shares same principle.
    convert all world to Christianity for Jesus.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    As they saying goes - Jesus Loves!

    I am against lures for conversion.

    If it is from the heart, nothing wrong!

    But who is to differentiate?
     
  13. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    conversion by a person on his onw terms is ok but converstion by saying that Hinduism is bad etc etc or for that matter any other religion is not god at all
     
  14. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    please kindly excuse me if my language is wrong.
    my personal experience with convertion.
    in my B.tech, some seniors saved me from raging. but every sunday he used take to me church , he used give me money whenever i'm in need.
    but i felt bad on one day, the father of the church told to everyone that, the offering prayers to statues is equal to prostitution, these word hurt me and left going to church again,
    that same senior spoiled his carrier , as he was top student and got free seat in college, but in 1st year his was converted by his seniors. by 3rd yr he become more attracted to prayers , he used to not attend classes or exams, but never failed to attend prayers, but after his final year when i met him, he had almost 20 arrears, when i asked wat r u going to do. he said jesus is with me, wat ever happens he will take careoff things.
    after that wat happen i dont know.
    he was from poor background, he had 1 sister wat happen to his family only jesus knows.!!!
     
  15. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Are you Brutus ?
     
  16. Avinash R

    Avinash R Regular Member

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    Voluntary conversions have not been banned.

    To prevent conversions through allurements and force this law has been enacted.

    And it's about time this was done. One of the cause of kandhamal riots was large scale conversions.

    The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> Kandhamal lies nailed
    Saswat Panigrahi
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Media and ‘secular’ political parties followed the Church in blaming ‘Hindu groups’ for last year’s violence in Kandhamal district of Orissa. The interim report of the Justice Mohapatra Commission of Inquiry nails this and other lies and exposes the role of evangelists

    Remember Kandhamal? And all the brouhaha created by the media blaming ‘Hindu groups’ for the unrest in the tribal district of Orissa after the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati? And the TV cameras never noticing the anguish of the shocked children housed in Jaleshpata hermitage that witnessed the murder of the 84-year-old Swami and his four followers on August 23 last year?

    Well, the truth is almost out; and it’s official. It virtually vindicates an article published on this page last year (November 11): “The other side of the Kandhamal story: Tribals disinherited.” It had laid threadbare the social and cultural divisions between the Kandha and the Pana communities, and how Christian evangelists were fuelling the violence in Kandhamal.

    The Kandhas, who are tribals, were up in arms against the Panas, listed as one of the Scheduled Castes, for trying to usurp their land and corner other benefits with the help of some evangelists.

    Recently, the Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra Commission, whose remit was to probe the Kandhamal violence, has submitted its interim report to the Home Department of the Orissa Government. The commission, headed by Justice Mohapatra, a former Lok Pal, has attributed the socio-economic problems as the prime provocation for the violence. The report says nothing about the much-touted ‘Hindu-groups’.

    “The violence in Kandhamal was the result of concentrated discontentment prevailing among the people since long. They relate to conversion, re-conversion; land-grabbing and non-maintenance of land records; and fake certificate issues,” Justice Mohapatra told this writer. Though he refused to elaborate on who these “discontented” people are, it is obvious that they are the tribals — the Kandhas.

    Putting to rest all debate about rampant religious conversion in Kandhamal, Justice Mohapatra says: “In spite of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, illegal conversions were taking place, which created discontentment.”

    It is important here to get an overview of the social and cultural divisions that are understood to be the main reasons of the violence in Kandhamal. The area has two major inhabitants — the tribal Kandhas constitute 52 per cent of the population while the Schedule Caste Panas account for 19 per cent of the population. The rift between the two is nothing new. The Kandhas have a history of vociferous resistance to religious conversion by evangelists. On the other hand, over the years, a majority of the Panas, forced by the evangelists, has embraced Christianity, leading to an increase in the Christian population of the district from a mere 19,128 in 1951 to 1,17,950 in 2001. Of the total Christian population in the district, 60 per cent are converted Panas.

    After successfully converting a sizeable section of the Panas, evangelists have long been eying the Kandhas for conversion. They have been trying to convert the tribals through inducement, fraud and force and have succeeded to some extent. They continue to destroy the traditional shrines of the Kandhas, thus instigating anti-Hindu sentiments among the Panas. This has repeatedly led to communal polarisation.

    Nine months after it was asked to inquire into last year’s violence and the circumstances leading to the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, the Justice Mohapatra Commission seems to have made some headway.

    It is learned that the 28-page report says land is being grabbed illegally by the Panas. It’s a fact that a section of the Panas has encroached upon vast stretches of land which originally belongs to the Kandhas. As per the land regulation law of Orissa, non-tribals can neither buy nor take possession of land from tribal owners.

    Besides the issues of conversion and land-grab, Justice Mohapatra’s report also mentions the issue of fake certificates as another cause of the conflict. “There are people who are neither SC nor ST but possess fake certificates claiming to be one. These certificates are being freely issued,” says Justice Mohapatra.

    The report has seemingly taken note of harassed Kandhas, whose socio-economic aspirations have been stymied by the politically-backed Panas who also enjoy the backing of evangelists. Sensing the benefits of reservation as well as sops doled out by the evangelists, many Pana Christians, who have lost their SC tag after conversion to Christianity, have managed to secure false caste certificates. Some of the Pana Christians also submit fake tribal certificates for Government jobs and to grab land and reap quota benefits in education.

    Several officials and politicians face allegations of issuing these bogus certificates. Reports suggest that there are as many as 600 such allegations which are being investigated. Prominent among those against whom such have been levelled include Rajya Sabha MP and 1962 batch IAS officer Radhakanta Nayak, former BJD MP from Phulbani Sugrib Singh and former DGP of Orissa John Nayak.

    The three factors suggested by Justice Mohapatra outline how tribals are being deprived of their fundamental rights in their own land.

    Meanwhile, the interim report has triggered differences among Christians. While the evangelists and their followers have rejected the report for its remarks against conversion, the Poor Christian Liberation Movement has said that it considers the reported findings to be serious points of reflection. The PCLM has urged church leaders to study the report carefully rather than rejecting it as “one-sided” and “fictitious”.

    The commission has suggested that the Orissa Government should address the problem by taking remedial measures on issues of religious conversion, land disputes and fake SC/ST certificates. The commission has so far examined five witnesses of the Government, a number of local people and received 320 affidavits.

    “It will take at least two years to complete the inquiry, but the interim report will help the Government to intervene immediately,” Justice Mohapatra says.

    The question remains whether the BJD Government headed by Mr Naveen Patnaik will take the necessary measures.



    No state in India has banned conversions but some states have laws that regulate conversions.

    If you are resident of orissa you can still convert, you dont need to go to bengal.
     
  17. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Though I am leaving at Delhi for last 11 years, I am basically from Orissa. so I will support this anti-conversion law of Orissa govt. This law should have been there a lot earlier. I have been to those parts called the KBK districts( Kalahandi-Bolangir- koraput). We cannot imagine the level of poverty in those parts in our apartments here in metros. The Missionaries took advantages of these poverty for conversion.
    Have you ever thought why BJP has so many tribal MPs? It is equal with that of the congress if not more.
     
  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Who did I kill?
     
  19. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    First of all I do not see conversion as evil. I am agnostic myself, I give 2 hoots for religion.

    Here's another novel idea: stop briging the government in everything. The people of this country are not immature children, they should be decide what is good for themselves in every field (economic, social, you name it) without the nanny state or some moral police chipping in.

    I have no problem in government regulating (in most cases) public life, it is the regulation of private life and intervention that I am worried about, and this law reeks of that
     
  20. fateh71

    fateh71 Regular Member

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    The law does not stop you from converting, it only requires you to register. Personal yes, just like one registering weddings. Why are you coming up with novel ideas where the issue is a simple one of foreign money influencing indian society...

    You realise now US AID money can come through religious orgs into India, for example?
     
  21. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    yes this christian missionaries are like h1n1 virus it should be treated to save our society ,i have seen this men used to come in tv and tell that they cure from aids to swine flu through prayer but if they get heart attack they will rush to Apollo hospital ,what a crazy cheaters??:blum3:
    conversion should be voluntary but one should not criticize,bribe or brainwash
    even some of them have gone one step ahead as they are pinpointing gun on head on those who educate about ill effects of conversion
     

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