4. The futility of religious conversions

Articles on Hinduism

Horrible and brutal lynching of five dalit Hindus in Duliana, Jhajhar (Haryana) in Oct. 02, 2002 and simmering tensions in Chakwara near Jaipur on use of a village pond attracted a number of articles either lamenting or accusing someone.

In wake of these, articles justifying conversions of dalit Hindus also appeared and group conversions into Islam, Christianity and Buddhism were organised at Jhajhar and at Selaiyur (Chennai, 6th Dec., 2002). On 28th Nov., 2002, SC/ST Commission reported that Duliana lynching was not based on caste considerations demolishing main plank of conversion lobby. Religion and conversion should be private matters like right to choose partners where State has no role but only so far as these private rights are exercised privately at private places.

Group conversions organised with fanfare at public places are not sanctioned by Constitution and are subject to IPC provisions on apprehensions of breach of public order.

First generation social reforms in Hinduism (abolitions of untouchability and caste based disabilities) were successfully led by Swami Dayanand, Swami Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sant Phule, Sri Narain Guru (SNDP), Basaveshwar, Varkari, etc. and have been codified in the Constitution and various Acts. Second generation social reforms in Hinduism from within for wider social acceptability of Vedic norms of equality by birth is the real solution to contemporary problems of the Hindu Samaj, not the gimmicks of conversions, nor the caste wars.

Root cause of conversions as rightly pointed out by N. Varadrajan, State Secretary of CPM(TN) are social ostracism and humiliations of dalits which this article attempts to remove. Late Shri Mohit Sen wrote in the Indian Express that what has aggravated the caste problem is the almost complete lack of any campaign against caste system – that decisive impediment to modernisation of Hindustan – to paraphrase the remarks of Karl Marx written in 1835. Read More…

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