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Jharkhand Christian outfits oppose anti-conversion Bill

A JMM leader said that the party was clear from the first day that such a bill was only to create divisions between the tribal people and the party would oppose it all levels. BJP also said that it's confident that it wouldn't meet the same fate as that with CNT/SPT amendments

Written by Prashant Pandey | Ranchi | Updated: August 19, 2017 5:38 am
The opposition to these two Bills, especially the one against conversion, comes in the wake of Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu returning the proposed amendments to Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act.

SIX DAYS after the anti-conversion Bill was passed in the Jharkhand Assembly, Christian organisations under the banner of Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh (RIM) on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Governor against the Bill, alleging that the proposed law is “aimed at harassing the church and missionaries”.

Questioning the need for such a Bill, RIM asked in its memorandum, “If there is large-scale conversion going on, why did the government not invoke Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with the same thing? Also, what is the basis of the government’s claim about information about large-scale conversion?”

IPC Section 295(A) deals with “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings”, and entails imprisonment of up to four years, or a fine, or both.

The RIM memorandum pointed out that Section 5 of the Bill makes it mandatory to get permission from the deputy commissioner in advance before performing any conversion. The Christian organisations said this was against Constitutional provisions of the right to privacy and right to practise one’s religion.

“It appears that the Bill is aimed at harassing the Church and missionaries,” the memorandum said. Misleading advertisements have been brought out targeting Christian missionaries, it added.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the main Opposition party in the BJP-administered state, and the Congress have already submitted memorandums in this regard. The Opposition parties have also argued against the proposed amendments in the land acquisition Act, 2013, which was passed alongside the anti-conversion Bill on August 12.

The opposition to these two Bills, especially the one against conversion, comes in the wake of Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu returning the proposed amendments to Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act. The move forced the Raghubar Das government to withdraw these in the just-concluded monsoon session of the Assembly.

Among others, the Governor had raised objections on the lack of clarity on objective of the CNT/SPT amendments, and failure to explain how they would benefit the tribal people.

A JMM leader said the party is clear on its stand that a proposed law such as the anti-conversion Bill was meant only to create divisions between tribal people, and that the party would oppose it. The Congress has also alleged that the Bill will spark off communal disharmony.

BJP leaders maintained that they are confident the anti-conversion Bill will get the Governor’s approval. “If we feel the need, the party would also petition the Governor this time. However, we are confident this would not be required. The Bill puts things in perspective and is not aimed to target any section,” a BJP leader said.

State BJP spokesperson Deen Dayal Barnwal said: “The matter is now with the Governor. We are clear that both Bills (anti-conversion, and amendments to land acquisition Act) have been introduced with a clear vision.”troduced with a clear vision.”

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  1. V
    Dec 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm
    Funny when Christians say right to practice one's religion.. Why are Abrahamic such hypocrites!
    1. P
      Sep 3, 2017 at 12:03 am
      It's not secularism when bill passed against christians. Save christians
      1. U
        Utpal Tudu
        Aug 26, 2017 at 9:55 pm
        India is a secular country, Let it remain the same. Don't bring division among people on the basis of Christianity and non-Christianity.
        1. S
          Aug 21, 2017 at 9:17 am
          If BJP Govt forces anti Conversion bill in Indian states which is ONLY misused by the RSS and Sangh to blame the poor people, Then it do not have any right to talk against Pakistan, Bangladesh or other countries for "Blasphemy " Law. Every muslim countries do for Tat against poor hindus of that country. You short sighted people, what will happen if America and EU make such law against Hindus and Sikhs there? Just for some politics you are putting Indian image in all over the world as fanatics and endanger the lives of hindu minority in that countries. Indian cons ution is already having enough rules to protect conversion.
          1. D
            Sep 7, 2017 at 11:48 am
            Hindus and sikhs in US or Europe do not convert people there . You talk of image but hindus are fighting for existence now. Anti conversion bill is the need of the time.
            1. Sam G
              Jan 29, 2018 at 10:11 am
              Diyva...Do you see the plight of these tribal people in our caste dominated society? First fix that and nobody will feel like changing their religion. When somebody give these people a helping hand, they are automatically gravitated towards the benevolent. And who said Hindu's and Sikh's don't covert in other countries? Issue here is to give every human being equal right and opportunity which unfortunately we still haven't achieved since our freedom.
          2. M
            Aug 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm
            Opposition from missionary outfits is understandable.They consider conversion as their birthright something they had been doing for centuries with nobody opposing. Without conversion there is no justification for their existence
            1. R
              Aug 20, 2017 at 7:10 am
              Yes, I agree with you these Christian are shocked because of law halted their Illegal conversion which was on from centuries .
              1. Vijayakumar Samuel
                Aug 21, 2017 at 10:52 am
                What BJP is doing is nothing but Hindutva politics.Nobody converts any body either by threat or by bribe. The role of missions has only been to show that there is a way to salvation through Jesus Christ and that is by love.The end question has always been if you want you take it or else dump it nobody begs you to become a christian. without proper understanding of the scriptures and functioning of missions please don't condemn it As it will show how short sighted and ignorant you are.
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