Basavaraj Bommai
Outgoing Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. File photo

Anti-conversion bill likely to be accepted, not aimed at Christians: Bommai

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai seemed to be laying the ground for the introduction of the controversial Anti-Conversion Law in the state when he not only hinted that the state government may pass the Bill in the winter session of Assembly but also that it was not intended to target any community.

Talking to the media on Sunday (December 12), Bommai, who did some plain-talking said that religious conversion is not good for society. “It (religious conversion) leaves behind a bad taste among the individual’s family and also the society,” he stated, adding that the law is being introduced exclusively to prevent forced conversion and to stop people from luring people to convert, said media reports.

The CM blamed some individuals of taking advantage of the “downtrodden” status of poor people and Dalits and get them to conert. The downtrodden people should not succumb to these people and convert, he said.

According to the CM, a majority of people want to ban religion conversion and revealed that the law department is currently reviewing the draft bill. Once the review is completed, the bill will be cleared in the cabinet, which is expected to meet during the Belagavi Assembly session, which begins on Monday (December 13), reported Deccan Herald.

Also read: Attacks on Christians have increased in Karnataka: Report

The CM went on to state that in all probability the subject will be placed before the winter session of the Assembly. “Let there be a discussion on the subject,” he declared.

However, Bommai also made it clear that people of all religious communities need not panic with respect to the anti-conversion law. “Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs are the faiths recognised by the Constitution and there is no problem for people to pray or or follow their respective religions,” he said. But he drove the message home that now there is no scope for misusing someone’s poverty to lure them to change their faith.

Especially addressing the fears of the Christian community, the CM said that the proposed law will not affect their practices and traditions that are guaranteed under the Constitution. “I have assured the same to Christians who met me recently,” he said.

Religious conversions have always been a subject of debate from the time of India’s  Independence, said Bommai, adding that several states have introduced anti-conversion laws. Meanwhile, many Christian organisations, including the Archdiocese of Bangalore, have opposed the proposed anti-conversion bill.

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