Indian Parliament
Indian Parliament.Reuters File

Two Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) members have announced that they will introduce the anti-religion conversion bill in the houses of parliament so as to criminalise religious conversion without the government's consent.

"The bill will advocate for a non-bailable warrant to be issued against the person found engaged in the act of conversion, along with a ten-year jail sentence," said MP Tarun Vijaya, Kractivism reported.

The MP is all set to introduce the anti-conversion law in the Upper House of Parliament this month.
Another MP Yogi Adityanath has similar views. He termed religious conversion as 'anti-national' and said he would introduce a similar law in the lower house.

Six Indian states already regulate religion conversion. People seeking to convert their religion are required to obtain a local magistrate's approval before converting, Kractivism reported.

BJP's senior leader Amit Shah, who is also an adviser to the Prime Minister, supported the move.
"The government is ready to bring about a law against forced conversion. If you feel the state government's laws are not effective, there is a need for an all-India law," Shah said as reported by the website.

Adityanath, who is framing the introductory bill in Lok Sabha, had been in news in the past for leading various groups of minorities to mass-conversion into Hinduism, which is known as 'ghar-wapsi' (homecoming).

In October 2005, Adityanath led a purification drive, converting 1,800 Christians into Hindus in District Etah of Uttar Pradesh, according to Kractivism.

The report further stated that some people who had earlier participated in the ghar-wapsi conversion programme alleged that, they were threatened. They were told they would lose government benefits if they did not convert to Hinduism.


The move to introduce the new bill in parliament has received a lot of flak and criticism.

"These laws are biased against India's religious minorities. They prevent people from leaving Hinduism by free choice but empower violent Hindu nationalist to covert minorities into Hinduism against their will," warns Singh, who is founding director of US-based human rights group Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI), as reported by Kractivism.

While some are worried that the BJP wants to convert India into a Hindu-state, while others think the law is anti-democracy.

"Passing a national anti-conversion law in India is an attempt to democratically eliminate the most basic human rights of a democratic society. India stands on the verge of criminalizing religious liberty," says Pieter Friedrich, a South African analyst, the website further stated.