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24 Dec, 2014

Debating India’s conversion conundrum – Shiv Visvanathan, The Hindu

What one is facing is a tinderbox of emotions where each group lights its own matchstick. I am personally against conversion. I feel it should be restricted to real changes and beliefs. To use it as a political act, to rectify history or the inequities of caste creates deep violence. When the Bajrang Dal threatens mass conversion, it is playing out a majoritarian tactic of threatening minority being.

There is need for dialogue, debate and its adjustment judgement where our religion must debate belief within a constitutional framework. One has to move with the assumption that every citizen has two critical texts to follow — his own religious code and the Constitution of India. Second, one has to dispense with ugly stereotypes. One has to realise that Muslims are not a democratic threat. Injustice can be restored by rectifying history. Instead of seeing reconversion as homecoming, the majority community needs to make the minority feel at home. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence affects his credibility as a head of the nation loyal to the Constitution.

Read the rest: Debating the conversion conundrum – The Hindu.