Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar on Tuesday said that the proposed anti-conversion bill is going to be a black mark on the state. He further stated that, if the proposed bill is introduced it will affect the foreign investments in the state.
Speaking to reporters at Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi, Shivakumar said that children of all top BJP leaders are studying in Christian institutes. “I have also studied in a Christian institute. Is there any instance of forceful conversions?” he asked.
The Christians are running academic and medical institutions which are service oriented and Hindu religious organisations are also running charities. “We are not forcing anyone to convert to Hinduism,” he stated.
“We have been opposing the anti-conversion bill since the beginning. The bill is against the constitution and it has to be opposed. The bill is being introduced to create unrest in the society for political reasons. There has been an attempt to shift the focus of the people from real issues,” he stated.’
There is no scope for forceful conversions and presently the issue of religious freedom is being addressed by existing laws. Many foreign nationals who come to ISKCON, Mata Amrutanandamayi centres chant Hindu bhajans. When this is the scenario, this bill is going to create an uneasy atmosphere for all, he explained.
This is a secular country and peaceful land. The foreigners have great respect towards the country as they think people of all faiths are living in harmony here. The bill is targeting Christians and it is a ploy to disturb peace, he reiterated.
This nation has been ruled by the Moghuls, Portuguese and Britishers in the past. Their population has not increased, so where is the question of conversion in a Hindu nation, he asked. “Forceful conversions have not taken place all these years and suddenly how did they discover religious conversions? Muslims are still 11 to 12 per cent in the country,” he maintained.
When questioned about ‘Love Jihad’, Shivakumar responded that, if two persons are in love and if two hearts are united, does it become ‘Love Jihad’.
C.M. Ibrahim, Congress MLC said that BJP should think about the safety of Kannadigas in foreign nations if they are planning to bring anti-conversion law in the state. “It is shameful on the part of BJP leaders who get their children educated at Christian institutes, avail health services at Christian hospitals and later blame Christians for conversions. If the bill is presented in the Legislative Council, it is going to be opposed,” he said. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is on exit mode already, let him not make this mistake,” he underlined.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion bill has already been cleared by the Karnataka cabinet and is likely to be tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday.