Yes it is true that some fundamentalists indulge in unfair means in trying to get others to change their religion. I call it change of religion, not conversion. That includes both Christians and Hindus. I have done research in Orissa for forty years and witnessed both Hindu and Christian fundamentalists indulging in this action in the Khandamal district and elsewhere. However, the main question I have is "how come the discussion on conversions comes up only when there is violence?" Thousands of Christians are in relief camps in Khandamal and are told that they have to become Hindus if they want to return home. Around 40 have been killed, thousands of their houses have been burnt and at least one woman has been raped. But I have not heard any condemnation of these acts committed on the accusation without any proof that they killed Swami Laxmananda. The same happened in 1998 when Christians were under attack in Gujarat. Mr Vajpayee went to Gujarat and said that there should be a debate on conversions but did not say a word against the violence. In reaction to it in an editorial The Times of India said that asking for a debate when people were under attack is like asking after a rape whether the woman's dress provoked the man.
This type of conversions are not acceptable. But they cannot be used as a pretext to justify violence. Nobody, not even the Sangh Parivar, has a right to take the law into his/her own hands. So let us have a debate all right but in a human way and not as a way of hiding or justifying these inhuman acts and atrocities.
Dr Walter Fernandes __._,_.___
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