The woke section of Hindus in Karnataka have risen, with ample support from the conversion brigade comprising Christians and Muslims, against the proposed law to check induced and forced conversions in the state. The Karnataka bill says no person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by any of these means or by the promise of marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire such conversion, and the woke hate this obstruction to the invasive cultures’ attempt to obliterate the indigenous civilisation.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, also known as the anti-conversion bill, has categorised as allurements the promise of marriage, free education, free medical treatment and jobs. They are termed ‘unlawful reasons’ for religious conversion. The controversial bill is expected to be taken up for debate on Thursday, during the winter session of the state legislature in Belagavi.
Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado said, “Karnataka is a progressive state in the country and has to give out a message to others that it is open to privacy, dignity and human rights.”
The archbishop said, “Now that the contents of the Bill have been read by all, it has been found that it is not only affecting the Christians. It is affecting the larger society. It is a question of privacy, the question of marriage, the question of women, Dalits and Muslims.”
“Karnataka is a progressive state in the country and has to give out a message to others that it is open to privacy, dignity and human rights,” the conversion apologist said.
Rajendra, a woke activist among protesters, said, “It is an absolutely unconstitutional bill, it is against the fundamental rights of freedom and liberty. The bill is not only against Christians and other religious minorities, it is against each and every one of us.”
On the provisions of the Bill, the Archbishop said, “Any help or concession provided by any of our Christian institutions working in the fields of education, health, senior citizen care and orphanages, to any member not from the Christian community, can be construed as an inducement for conversion as per the Bill.”
Hundreds of usual suspects from at least 40 self-styled civil society groups took out a protest march yesterday in Bengaluru against the Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion bill. The march began from Mysore Bank Circle and ended at Freedom Park.
The bill was introduced in the state Legislative Assembly Tuesday during the ongoing winter session in Belagavi. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra tabled the bill while INC leaders objected to the manner in which it was introduced. The Karnataka cabinet had cleared the bill on 20 December, but no official information was shared about introducing it in the house.
Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021
The proposed law against unethical conversions says:
- One who desires to convert his/her religion should give a declaration at least 30 days in advance to the deputy commissioner (DC) or the additional DC of his hometown or birthplace.
- The declaration should contain personal details of the converted person — date of birth, permanent address, present place of residence, father’s/husband’s name, the religion to which the converted person originally belonged and the religion to which he/she has converted, the date and place of conversion and the nature of the conversion process, along with copies of ID cards or Aadhaar card.
- The religious converter who performs the ceremony for converting any person of one religion to another, should also give 30-day advance notice to the deputy commissioner or ADC.
- The proposed religious conversion should be notfied on the notice board of the office of DC and tahsildar.
- If any objections are received within 30 days, the DC shall get an inquiry conducted through officials of revenue or social welfare department.
- Based on the inquiry of the commission, if DC/ADC finds an offence under this Act, the case will be transferred to the police for criminal action.
- Against love jihad: A person planning to convert, or a ‘convertor’ has to give a 30-day prior notice to the district magistrate l A declaration is to be given even after the conversion.
- The religious convertor includes priest, purohit, pandit, moulvi or mulla.
- The court with jurisdiction will try such a case on a petition filed by either party thereto against the other party to marriage.
- Such marriage will be legally recognised only if the conversion was notified twice to a deputy commissioner (district magistrate) 30 days before and 30 days after conversion.
People organising “mass conversions” are also liable to be punished.
- Individuals converting others via unlawful means will attract punishment of three to five years in jail and a fine of Rs 25,000.
- If the converted person is a minor, woman, a person belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe or “of unsound mind”, the punishment will be three to 10 years in prison, with a fine of Rs 50,000.
- Those organising mass conversions “unlawfully” face three to 10 years in jail, with a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
- The court shall ask the ‘accused’ to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the victim of a forced conversion, excluding the fine imposed by courts l Repeat offences will attract punishment of five years in jail and a fine of Rs 2 lakh.
- All government aid and grants to institutions involved in “unlawful conversions” will be stopped, apart from punishing their heads.
The bill provides an exemption in the case of a person who “reconverts to his immediate previous religion” as “the same shall not be deemed to be a conversion under this Act”.
Although a debate on the bill was to be held yesterday, it was postponed and is now being held.