At a time when the Karnataka government intends to bring an anti-conversion bill in the ongoing assembly session, Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao asked whether the state government would bring a law to stop people from accepting Hinduism.
"Former President of Uttar Pradesh Shia Board Wasim Rizvi converted to Hinduism. That is their religious freedom. So will there be any law to curtail those who join Hinduism? " asked Gundu Rao.
Stating that the proposed bill is against the Constitution of India, the Congress leader said, "The state BJP government is preparing to bring an anti-conversion law. Conversion is a personal choice. The Constitution gives a person the option to voluntarily choose any religion. Is there no provision in the Constitution for forced conversion? So why the anti-conversion bill? This is nothing but vote politics."
The Congress leader claimed that the Christian population is on the decline irrespective of BJP allegations and this act would destroy social harmony and may lead to attacks on Churches.
"The BJP is accusing Christian missionaries of conversion. According to the 1971 census, the Christian population was 2.6 per cent. In 1981, it was 2.44 per cent, in 1991 was 2.34 per cent, 2.3 per cent in 2001 and in 2011 it was 2.3 per cent," said Gundu Rao.
"The prohibition of conversion would create a divide between religions. The Act would not only destroy social harmony but would also "allow immoral policing". The churches will be at the risk of being attacked. After the passage of the Act, unpleasant incidents will take place," he added.
BJP govt is trying to escape from real issues. It is one of the tactics of the BJP to rake up controversial issues to cover its failures and corruption, according to the Congress leader.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Monday said, "A draft of the bill is ready and is under serious consideration. It was aimed to ensure people of all the religions can profess their faith peacefully and harmoniously."
Earlier, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said the proposed Anti-Conversion Law that the state government intends to introduce in the winter session of Assembly is only to prevent religious conversions by inducements.
"Proposed law will not affect any religion, their practices and traditions that are guaranteed under the Constitution," said Bommai.