Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, passed by UP on 27th November 2020, has set the ball rolling. On one hand many other BJP ruled states like MP and Haryana are activating their machinery to bring in similar law in their states and on the other at social level many interfaith couples are being subjected to harassment, some of the Muslim men in particular
Word ‘anti-National’ has been more in vogue form last few years. Simply put all those who are criticizing the RSS and its progeny are labeled as anti-National. As fountainhead of Hindu Nationalism RSS is becoming stronger, it has been trying to link patriotism and religion. While hailing Hindus for their loyalty to this nation, the subtle hints are being circulated about Muslims in particular that they are more loyal to Pakistan. In cleverly worded articulation, (HT Jan 02, 2020) the chief of RSS, Mohan Bhagwat said that Hindus are patriotic by nature due to their religion. He also twists a sentence of Gandhi to state that Gandhi’s patriotism had its origin in Hindu religion, “All Indians worship motherland. But Gandhi said my patriotism comes from my religion. So if you are a Hindu then you will be an automatic patriot. You may be an unconscious Hindu, you may need awakening, but a Hindu will never be anti-India.”
Indian Constitution gives us the right to practice, preach and propagate our religion. To not to follow any religion is also a matter of right for the individual. Now in our country as we are facing declining GDP, worsening economic situation, rising prices-unemployment-farmers suicides and currently farmer’s agitation, some of our state Governments are more worried about the interfaith marriages and conversions. Some of them are busy putting forth the laws to prevent conversions. As such conversions have been nagging issue since last few decades but currently they are being attributed as the goal behind inter faith marriages. BJP ruled states and particularly UP, are busy formulating the laws to punish those who are involved in the process of conversions. Parallel to the efforts of state Governments, the vigilante groups are having a gala time harassing couples to ‘save their religion’!
In the process of formation of the nation one of the major pillars is the concept of Fraternity. The words, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity are flagship of French revolution, the revolution which overturned the feudal system,
From last three decades or so the debate comes up intermittently as to whether Congress and BJP are two sides of the same coin. Many political parties; time and over again; have been taking up this formulation as a justification for Third front, which is away from BJP and Congress both. In previous Bengal elections Congress-Left coalition did come up but could not muster a victory against Trinmool Congress. Currently such a choice is posed by many dalit parties and lately such a formulation is being proffered by AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi’s party.
Recently binge-watched a six part mini series directed by Mira Nair on Netflix, titled “A Suitable Boy”, an adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel of the same title. And while I am neither a movie critic or reviewer, nor a fan of watching series with a backdrop of the post Independence era, I was still moved to write about it. To lay down my emotions on paper with nothing but words. It isn’t extra-ordinary, or brilliantly amazing, neither the characters are made to grow on you nor the plot is meticulously twisted, then what was it, you may ask.
Allahabad High Court in its recent judgment opposed the conversion to get married to the person of another faith. The logic is that in the Special Marriages act, interfaith marriages are totally acceptable. One Muslim woman had converted to Hinduism to get married to a Hindu man. Talking in this aftermath the UP Chief Minister launched a tirade against Muslim men. As per him many Muslim youth hide their religious identity, lure the Hindu girls and then convert them to Islam. They will be dealt with sternly and their own funeral processions (Ram Naam Satya Hai) will be taken out.
There is news that in UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled (17/10/2020) 50 Pence 'Diversity coin’ to celebrate Britain’s diverse history and recognise the profound contribution minority communities have made to the shared history of the country. The coin carries the message “Diversity Built Britain”. This is in the backdrop of the campaign led by ‘We too built Britain’ group. The release of the coin is the beginning of the series which will honour the country’s ethnic minorities. There can be a detailed elaboration as to how different ethnic minorities have lived and made Britain their home. A significant number of these are from South Asia, including India.
A Year ago, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had stated (October 10, 2019) that Indian Muslims are happiest in the World due to Hindus. Now he goes on to say that most content Muslims are only in India. Not content with that he went on to state that “if there is any example world over wherein a foreign religion that ruled over the people of a country still exists there”, it is here in India. And further “"Our Constitution did not say that only Hindus can stay here; hereafter only Hindus will be heard here; if you want to stay here, then you have to accept the superiority of Hindus. We created a space for them. This is the nature of our nation, and that inherent nature is called Hindu". Wearing the hat of a historian he stated that many a Muslims fought for Rana Pratap against Akbar, exemplifying that people of all faiths stood together whenever there was an attack on India’s culture. He labeled Ram Temple is a symbol of national values and character.
Mr. Satyapal Singh, the BJP MP, while speaking in Lok Sabha on amendments to FCRA went on to support the forthcoming restrictions to the foreign contributions. While making his arguments, to buttress his point, he put forward the case of Pastor Graham Stewart Stains. In the process he poured venom on the late Pastor by saying that the Pastor had raped 30 Tribal women and was involved in the work