The Indian central government is planning to block the anti-conversion bills that have been introduced by various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state governments throughout India, but the response is not uniform, reports James Varghese, special correspondent in India for ASSIST News Service.
According to news released by the All India Christian Council (aicc) on their website http://www.christiancouncil.in, P. Chidambaram, the Home Minister of India, has decided to take a firm stand against the controversial anti-religious conversion bill. But the response is different for various state governments.
The website reported that in a state like Rajasthan, where the Congress party is in power, the central government has asked the Rajasthan government whether it plans to drop the bill passed by the earlier BJP government. In Madhya Pradesh where a BJP government is still in place, the government has decided to withhold assent.
According to the news source, the ruling party of Rajasthan has left it to the central government to drop the bill and Madhya Pradesh state has also rejected BJP government’s bill
The news source stated that broadly the bills provisions banned conversion by “force or fraud or inducement” and made it punishable. But all this, the central government says, is a violation of the freedom of religion as laid down in the constitution.
“When I was Chief Minster in those 10 years, there was no case for forcible conversion,” said Dig Vijay Singh, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, to the media.
“This is unacceptable and goes against Supreme Court judgments,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Leader, BJP.
The BJP-led states had proposed laws in response to the increase in conversions by Christian missionaries.
Report from the Christian Telegraph