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Monday, September 27, 2021

No Messrs Raina and Tharoor, religious conversion can’t be compared with changing a political party

Recently, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor shared an article about “the vexed question of religious conversion”. The article, written by well known communist leaning author, Badri Raina, compares “political conversion” or changing of parties by politicians with religious conversions and muses why political conversions are legal and religious conversions are frowned upon.

The central question of the whole article in his own words is :-

If the political choice exercised by an adult citizen, however annoying to political adversaries, is kosher, why is a religious choice, which is entirely private, not?

This question and the whole analysis of the issue, tells us more about the intellectual capabilities of Badri Raina and his admirers than anything else. The old professor is, as they say, wrong on so many levels.

Political parties are a recent creation and started to emerge around 250 years ago. It could be argued that many religions, like Mormonism, are also recent. In that case, would be pertinent to point out that political parties can be made by a simple process within a few weeks in Bharat. One cannot say the same about religion. But again, it could be said that in other countries, one can start a religion as easily as one can start a political party. In that case, the locus of debate shifts from Bharat to other countries and is not germane to the article in question.

However, it must be pointed out that only a person who is unaware of the cultural, social and psychological impact of religion can make such a superficial comparison. The impact of religion is so deep on a person that Swami Vivekananda said  “Every man going out of the Hindu pale is not only a man less, but an enemy the more.” This is not a bigoted take, but a considered opinion of the great thinker. One can see many instances regularly where immediately upon conversion, a person becomes an enemy of his/her family and former coreligionists.

The animosity in case of political conversion is much less as people from other political parties are not condemned to jahannam or hell, or declared fit to be slaughtered. The only exception to this are communist parties, which have a record of conducting genocide on a similar scale to Christianity or Islam. The most probable reason is that the Abrahamic bigotry is seeded in the communist ideology from the very beginning.

Raina also raises a constitutional issue in his article. He mentions the right to propagate and also dutifully mentions the landmark case of Stanislaus vs Madhya Pradesh, which held that the right to propagate does not include the right to convert. However, he skips two important details inconvenient to his ideology. Firstly, the religious conversion in Bharat is not always by free will. There are elements of coercion, allurement and deception in the whole process. The Niyogi Committee Report on Christian Missionary Activities, submitted in 1956 to the government of Madhya Pradesh, records missionary activities in the following manner.

“There was a general complaint from the non-Christian side that the schools and hospitals were being used as means of securing converts.”

“Reference was also made to the practice of the Roman Catholic priests or preachers visiting newborn babies to give ‘ashish’ (blessings) in the name of Jesus, taking sides in litigation or domestic quarrels, kidnapping of minor children and abduction of women and recruitment of labour for plantations in Assam or Andaman as a means of propagating the Christian faith among the ignorant and illiterate people.” 

The report writes that especially Roman Catholic missions used money-lending as a device for proselytisation. They gave loans which were later written off if the debtor became a Christian. The issues remain the same since then and due to foreign money flowing in the coffers of Christian missionaries, they lack neither the resources, nor the clout to continue their activities.

The second detail omitted by the eminent intellectual in his “analysis” is that according to our constitution, Hindu Dharma is at a distinct disadvantage vis-a-vis other religions in terms of propagation of religion. Most of our large temples are in control of a secular government, which can not be seen to propagate any religion. However, other religious places of worship are free to propagate their religion and do so with generous support of foreign doners.  Similarly, schools owned by Hindus cannot give religious instruction, while minority owned institutions are free to propagate their religion. Can we call this a fair situation? I am certain that even Messrs Tharoor and Raina will say “no” if confronted with the facts on their face.

It was Annie Besant, who said “Without Hinduism there can be no India. Without Hinduism India has no future. Hinduism is the soil into which India’s roots are struck and torn of that she will inevitably wither as a tree torn out of from its place.” However, our leaders and intellectuals deluded us into choosing “secularism” over Hindutva. Incidentally, the beloved United Kingdom  of these leaders and intellectuals, retains its protestant Christian identity. Similarly, there is not a single neighbouring country of Bharat which does not have an official religion or ideology.

The communists would have us believe that religion is positively evil. However, their lackeys in Bharat have clear preferences in case of religions. But even then, they remember a faint echo of their imported doctrine and try to equate religions with political parties. No one knows better than communists about the art of destroying a civilisation. With a similar hate towards Bharatiya civilisation, they have attacked Hindu Dharma since the beginning. This article by Raina, which is endorsed by Tharoor, is another way to attack and weaken Hindu Dharma. It is our responsibility that they do not succeed.


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Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey is an Educator based in Dehradun, currently working as Senior Staff Writer with HinduPost. He is an Engineer by training and a teacher by passion. He teaches for Civil Service Exams as well as for Common Law Admission Test. He has deep interest in politics, economy, culture and all things Bharatiya. He fancies himself to be a loving husband and doting father. His weakness is Bharatiya food, particularly sweets. His hobbies include reading, writing and listening to Bharatiya music.

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