UN Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir warned that communal divisions seem to have increased in India during the past decade. There have been at least 142 religiously-motivated attacks on Christian in the year 2007 as recorded by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) though the actual incidents are much higher. Amidst of all this, instead of Rajasthan BJP government’s reintroduce the anti-conversion bill and passes the bill. Sakshi Research Team looks at the bare facts.
There has been a lot of accusation of conversion to Christianity through allurement and force. Rajasthan government has passed anti-conversion law based on this charge. But those who accuse has never provided any data to support their charge. Let us look at the available data and see whether there is any substance in this. Sakshi invites anyone to provide authentic data which supports or disproves the following facts.
Religion-wise Population in Rajasthan
According to the census released by the Government of India, Christians constitute a microscopic minority of 0.1% population in Rajasthan. Please see the table below:
|All Religious Communities||56,507,188||29,420,011||27,087,177|
|Other Religious Communities||5,253||2,895||2,358|
Source: http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/Census_data_finder/C_Series/Population_by_religious_communities.htm Therefore, we would like to reject the argum
ent that 0.1% can force anyone to convert to their religion. It is ridiculous to say the least.
Foreign Donations to India: Is Rajasthan Receiving More?
Among the charitable institutions receiving foreign donations, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the biggest receiver followed by World Vision. Except bigots no one else would charge World Vision with conversion through allurement. Similarly, the government of India notes that there is no misuse of foreign donations by the charitable funds. Among the states and union territories that received foreign donations, Delhi reported the largest amount — Rs 763.05 crore (Rs 7.63 billion), followed by Tamil Nadu — Rs 649.45 crore (Rs 6.494 billion), Andhra Pradesh — Rs 589.52 crore (Rs 5.895 billion), and Kerala — Rs 360.31 crore (Rs 3.603 billion). (Source: http://search.rediff.com/money/2003/aug/16donations.htm)
Let the Rajasthan government release a white-sheet on foreign donations to Christian missionary work in Rajasthan instead of making empty allegations. However, we would like to pose a question to the BJP government. Mentioned below are the reported (many more must have gone unreported) incidents of violence against this microscopic minority in Rajasthan in the Year 2007. What is the government doing to prevent that?
Reported incidents of violence against Christians in 2007 in Rajasthan
Nanpuri Bazar, Jaipur 29 April, 2007:
Christian preacher attacked by masked Hindu extremists in televised attack. A group of masked intruders attacked a Christian preacher, Walter Massey, in Jaipur. They used sticks and whatever else they could find, to attack him in front of his wife and child. His wife, Joyce, later reported that three persons coming to meet him, almost immediately started assaulting him after the door was opened. More men, covering their faces, joined in the attack. They also broke utensils and furniture. They dragged Massey, who was seriously bleeding, out of the house and a neighbour, who witnessed this, rushed to the Sodala Police Station. Massey was admitted to the emergency ward of the Sawai Man Singh Medical College Hospital. The attack was filmed, and some TV channels broadcast it. A case was registered but no known arrests were made. Veerendra Singh, the main assailant and an employee of the state government and Sangh Parivar supporter, was suspended.
Chavand, Sarada, Udaipur district, 4 August, 2007:
At around 2am, around 200 masked men suspected to belong to the VHP demolished a priest’s house which was under construction. Fr Paul Ninama was away and was therefore unharmed; however, the attackers assaulted two watchmen on duty, injuring them. This was the second attack in which the priest was targeted. No arrests are known to have been made.
Vardha village, Dungarpur district, 7 August, 2007:
Christians accused of ‘forcible conversions’ RSS extremists stormed the showing of a Christian film, ‘Daya Sagar’ in Vardha village; they forced Believers Church workers to stop the screening, summoned local police and accused the Christians of ‘forcible conversions’. The police detained Akash Kumar, Shantilal Kalasua, Pastor Ruplal Nathat and Pastor Iswarlal Kasota, and allegedly beat the Christians. They also confiscated film equipment. The four were released the following day. Police relinquished the equipment on 13 August and apologised to the Christians. (No forced conversion except that Christians have been beaten up).
Rohanwadi village, Banswara district, 30 November, 2007:
Pastor attacked by alleged Hindu extremists; police initially refused to register case Hindu extremists beat a Pastor Ramlal Gracia while he was standing by a shop in Rohanwadi village, Banswara district. Three young men, believed to be Hindu extremists, arrived bymotorcycle and started verbally abusing him for his faith. When he defended his right to choose his faith, they beat him and ran away. The incident was reported to Sallow Part Police Station but the police duty officer refused to register an FIR. The police station claimed that the investigation continued without the registration of an FIR. Additional Deputy Superintendent Gangra Meena said that he would take the complaint lodged by the victim and take action accordingly.
Source: http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=report&id=91&rnd=0.6810877 (This site has recorded state-wise violence against Christians though not an exhaustive one).
Note: There is not a SINGLE forcible conversion reported in the entire state again.
What should we, as citizens of democratic India expect from our government under the above mentioned circumstances? Naturally, we would expect our government to stand and defend the principle of freedom and be firm against those use violence to silence the freedom of others. (Note: Freedom is to convert and not to convert. But to use violence to stop one from using freedom to convert is anti-democratic).
Passing of the Anti-conversion Law&nbs
However, ignoring the atrocities against Christian the BJP government in Rajasthan Assembly passed the Anti-Conversion Bill by voice vote on Thursday to hound the already persecuted Christians. The bill makes conversion a non-bailable offence subject to immediate arrest and up to five years in jail.
What more should a Christian ask from our democratic governments???