From using Bhagwad Gita to local rowdies, Christian missionaries are on overdrive mode in Karnataka
"The missionaries are selling a book 'Geetheye Ninna Jnana Amruta'. The book, written in Kannada, states that Baba Adam is equal to Brahma, Mahadev and that Adinath has taken birth as Baba Adam."
New Delhi, Nov 16: Amidst the rise in the number of forced conversions in India, the Supreme Court on Monday said that these are dangerous and affect national security.
"This is a very serious matter. It is seriously against interest of nation. Everybody has right to choose religion but not by force or by giving some temptation. It is a very dangerous thing," a Bench comprising Justices M R Shah and Hina Koli said while giving the Centre a week's time to finalise its stand on forced conversions.
The observations of the Supreme Court are important considering the rise in the number of forced conversions that are taking place in the country. Karnataka is one such state which has been hard hit by this problem. On Tuesday, the Karnataka police registered a case against 15 persons following a complaint alleging forced conversions in Hubbali city.
The incident came to light following a quarrel between a couple. The husband alleged that the wife is forcing him to convert to Christianity and refusing to live with him.
He brought the matter to the notice of the Shikkaligaara community members when he was unable to bear the pressure any longer. The community members staged a protest before the local police station and demanded that conversion bids be stopped.
The community members alleged that they in particular were being targeted by the Christian missionaries who were making efforts to convert the entire society. They also alleged that the missionaries are taking the support of a local rowdy sheeter Mudan Bugadi to pressurise the people to leave Hindu religion and convert to Christianity.
Using the Bhagwad Gita:
This comes in the backdrop of the Bajrang Dal last month filing a complaint with the Tumakuru police alleging that the Christian missionaries are distributing books similar to the Bhagwad Gita with an intention of religious conversion. The police had said the missionaries had taken up a huge drive in Tumakuru aimed at converting Hindus to Christianity.
The complaint alleged that the missionaries are selling the book 'Geetheye Ninna Jnana Amruta' in Kannada language. In the book, Hindu Gods and Goddesses are insulted. It says that Baba Adam is equal to Brahma, Mahadev and that Adinath has taken birth as Baba Adam.
The book also claims that Baba Adam came from the planet of Brahma and is the reincarnation of Lord Brahma.
Targeting the Lambani community:
Earlier this month, the Ramanagara police registered cases against 8 persons following a complaint by the Sri Rama Sene alleging conversion. The accused had travelled to Bengaluru to attend a mass prayer event held at the Palace Grounds, the police said.
The Sri Rama Sene said that under the Kanakapura police station limits, a couple Mohan and Baby were attempting to convert people from the Lambani community. "When our workers visited the location, we found that the couple had brought people from nearby areas to their house and tried taking them to Bengaluru for religious conversions," Sri Ram Sene Ramanagara district president Nagarjun said.
The Anti-Conversion Bill:
The Karnataka Assembly had in September passed the 'Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill.' The Bill which was opposed by a section of the Christian community provides for protection of right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversions from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means.
The Bill proposed an imprisonment from three to five years with a fine of Rs 25,000. The Bill also made a provision for the accused to pay up to Rs 5 lakh as compensation to those who were forced to covert. In cases of mass conversion, the offender would face a jail term of 3 to 10years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Further, the Bill also states that any marriage which has happened for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa by the man of one religion with the woman of another, either by converting himself before or after marriage or by converting the woman before or after marriage, shall be declared null and void by the family court.
The Bill mandates that persons who wish to convert to another faith shall file a declaration in a prescribed format 30 days in advance to the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate.