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ICC Note:

Hindu nationalists in India have announced their plan to introduce a private member bill that would ban religious conversions in India. Claiming the the government has to stop religious conversions to “safeguard” Hinduism in India, the nationalists went on to claim that religious conversions in India are currently caused by international conspiracies attempting to sow disunity in India as a nation. Shortly after claiming all religious conversions must be ban, the nationalists went on to say that mass “re-conversions” programs must be held to convert religious minorities in India to Hinduism. Clearly, religious freedom in India is under assault. 

10/7/2015 India (The Indian Express) – Yogi Adityanath in Lok Sabha and Tarun Vijay in Rajya Sabha — will introduce private member bills in their respective Houses to stop religious conversions and go for a debate on the issue in next session of the Parliament.

The MPs made this announcement on Friday during a conference on ‘Dharmantaran Rashtranataran Hai’, organized at the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, to observe the death anniversaries of former chief priests of temple — Mahant Digvijay Nath and Mahant Avaidyanath.

Speaking to The Sunday Express, Tarun Vijay said: “While I will present the Bill in Rajya Sabha, Yogi Adityanath will do the same in the Lok Sabha. Debates will be held on the issue in the Parliament on the lines of Thomas Jefferson’s famous Freedom of Religion Act-1786.”

He claimed that it was essential to put a stop to conversions of Hindus and raise a voice to safeguard their existence as faithful Hindus. “I plan to introduce a private member Bill with like-minded MPs to stop conversions… Many MPs from other parties have shown interest. I am trying to build an all-party consensus by holding discussions with them,” Vijay said while refusing to reveal names of the “like-minded” MPs.

“My line of argument is that religion must remain a matter of personal choice. But in India, it has become a political tool in the hands of foreign powers, who are targeting Hindus to fragment our nation again on communal lines. This has to be resisted in national interest and in the interest of all minorities in India,” he added.

Claiming that in India, religious conversion is a planned conspiracy, Vijay said: “Such areas get cut off from the country and Hindus are reduced to a minority… Jammu & Kashmir is an example where Hindus were forced to leave their houses… anti-national and separatists forces are active there…” Hindu majority is an essential guarantee for the flowering of democracy, constitutionalism and pluralism, he claimed.

While addressing the conference, Yogi Adityanath said religious conversion was an “anti-national act” and it must be stopped. “An aggressive campaign is required for ghar wapsi of those Hindus, who had converted to other religions in the past,” he added.

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