An Open Letter to BJP supporters urging them to convince Modi-Amit Shah on Anti-Conversion law

Dear BJP Supporters,

   There was a news report on 30 June 2018 that the BJP Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu said that the Arunachal Government will repeal the anti-conversion law which is in place there in the next Assembly session.

   “Mr. Khandu, who heads the BJP government in the frontier State, had on Thursday said the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act framed in 1978 would be repealed in the next Assembly session. The law undermines secularism and is probably targeted at Christians, Mr. Khandu said at a function organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association (APCA)…(some local) organisations believe the growth of Christianity in the State — from none in 1951 to being the largest religious group at 30.26% in 2011 — has been at the expense of the followers of indigenous faiths….The Arunachal Christian Forum and APCA welcomed Mr. Khandu’s announcement.”

      Even under Sonia Gandhi as the UPA chief and Congress president, this law was not repealed by Congress Governments in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a fact that Pema Khandu is a former Congress man who left Congress only in 2016. He is no real BJP man and certainly not an RSS man. But the BJP’s Central leadership of PM Modi & Amit Shah must intervene here and stop the Arunachal Government from doing this. There were such laws in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha since 1967-68 which even subsequent Congress Governments did not repeal there.
                                                                                                                                                        It is my humble request to all BJP supporters to as a minimum, convince the Central leadership of the BJP to stop this law’s repeal at any cost, even at the cost of losing a state government. The social media should be used to pressurize the Central leadership of the BJP to intervene. On Twitter, there should be a trend saying “#WeNeedAntiConversionLaw” or something, and the office bearers of BJP must be tagged. PM Modi & Amit Shah specially.
                                                                                                                                                       The CM Khandu must be threatened by the national leadership of the BJP that he will be expelled from the party if he repeals this law, and actually expelled from the party if he does repeal or even tries to repeal this law. Even the Congress Government of Himachal Pradesh passed this law in 2007, though that was perhaps due to its CM Virbhadra Singh and inspite of Sonia Gandhi. The Governor who gave assent to this law was V S Kokje, now the President of the VHP.
                                                                                                                                                       This occasion will result in the anti-conversion law again getting attention. In this regard, I will repeat what I said in the past. Gujarat passed this law in March 2003. In December 2003, the BJP won Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Rajasthan did not pass this law until 2006, but after conversion controversies arouse in 2006 it passed such a Bill, which was not given assent by the then Governor Pratibha Patil of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) who later became President of India.

                                                                                                                                                     Later this law reached the Union Government, which being of the UPA kept it pending. Chhattisgarh, which was also ruled by BJP also passed such a law in 2006 whose assent was denied. The UPA kept them pending, but when the BJP Government took over, the Union Home Ministry returned both these Bills back to the state Governments in December 2015. “After getting a response from all the Ministries concerned, we have sent back the Bills to Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and have sought clarifications. It does not mean that the Bills have been rejected by the Centre, the process is still on,” said a senior official.

   The then BJP General Secretary Rajnath Singh had tried to pass such a law in Jharkhand as early as 2005, when he had said in an interview to Organiser before Jharkhand Assembly polls that the BJP would pass such a law in Jharkhand if it gets a majority. Finally BJP won a full majority in Jharkhand (when JVM MLAs merged in BJP) and passed this law in 2017. This law was also passed by Uttarakhand in March 2018 after BJP won a majority in 2017.

   It is quite likely that the BJP will lose Rajasthan Assembly polls in December 2018. Till that time, it must immediately pass this anti-conversion law which will now get assent from the Governor as soon as possible, and also Presidential assent. Chhattisgarh Government too must do so immediately in case BJP loses in December 2018. 

   Other BJP Governments must immediately pass this law, like in Jharkhand and Uttarakhand in all states where they have a full majority, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra (majority with Shiv Sena which cannot oppose this law), Assam, Tripura, Haryana. This is also needed in Arunachal Pradesh. Large parts of the country would be free from the danger of illicit conversions by missionaries if this is done.

   Now with Governors also of BJP, this law must be passed as soon as possible in every state with a BJP Government. This must be done before 2019; else UPA or UPA-minded Governors will try to stall such laws even with BJP Governments, if they win in 2019.

Regards,

Knowledgeable Scholar (A Voice for Hindus)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi

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