Calling for equality in conversions

anthony

Anthony Mathew Jacob | January 5, 2015



The past couple of weeks have made me very sad. Since the news of conversion of 200 people in Agra, the media has gone crazy criticizing the organizations responsible for it, calling it inhuman and unjust.

Does the constitution not guarantee the right to practice one's faith freely?
Doesn't every citizen of India have the right to practice and promote their religion peacefully?
Why criticize those who convert people to Hinduism, when article 25 of the constitution of India grants "Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion."

While I criticize the media for its biased views on the Agra conversion, I also acknowledge that the organizations behind the conversions have been unjust in their practices. I am greatly disturbed by the fact that the Muslims are offered 5 lakhs and the Christians are offered only 2 lakhs, inspite of the fact that articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India grant "Equality before law" and "Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth."

Why this injustice and inequality towards the Christians?
Why this discrimination?
Are they not the citizens of our country?

In fact, after this news broke out, many of my Hindu friends have decided to become Muslims. They are doing this to earn Rs. 5 lakhs when they re-convert to Hinduism in the future. They feel that 5 lakhs can fetch them a small piece of land or a small shop in their native place and help them settle in their villages, away from the uneasy, restless and breathless lives we lead in metro cities. Also, we have nothing interesting in a city life anymore. There is no time to fight over religion, no time to discriminate according to caste, creed,  culture and most importantly, no time to convert and re-convert people.

When I spoke to my Christian friends, I realized that they feel dejected at being offered only Rs. 2 lakhs as against the 5 lakhs for the Muslims, what is our fault they ask?
Are we not equal citizens of India?

No doubt Muslim freedom fighters like Ashfaqullah Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan aka frontier Gandhi, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Maulana Hussain, Ahmed Madani and Maulana Hifzur Rehman and many more participated in India's freedom struggles along with our Hindu brothers. But there were also Christians who were a part of our nation's freedom struggle, stalwarts like Joachim Alva, Barrister George Joseph, Felix Albuquerque Pai, Thomas and Helen Alvares, Cyprian and Alice Alvares, Violet Alva, John Francis Pinto and others played a key role in creating awareness and mobilization against the British.
If the Muslims participated in India's freedom, even the Christians did.

Then why this injustice?
Are we not Indians?
Do we not contribute to India's development and growth?

When we say that India is our country and all Indians are our brothers and sisters...
why are we discriminated?
Despite Equality before law and equal citizenship, we are offered a good 3 lakhs less than our Muslim brothers..............Why?
 

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