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Eastern Mind
20 April 2012, 01:42 PM
Vannakkam: I would really like to see the National Government pass such laws as the state laws in Gujarat, Orissa, and elsewhere.


http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/08/stories/2011050860200400.htm (http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/08/stories/2011050860200400.htms)

History has taught us that without such laws, we lose cultures. Some 200 or more indigenous cultures in North America alone, (not to mention in Africa, Asia, South America) have been lost due to aggressive cultures with an imperialism mindset.

In America local places like airports, private institutions can put rules in place like "No proseltysing" signs. So I see no reason why a state can't do it.

It would be nice to see such rational laws passed all over the place. If not, the non-aggressive cultures are all in danger of disappearing, even if it's slowly over time. It won't be Sanatana dharma, it'll be Siyanara, Dharma.

Aum Namasivaya

wundermonk
20 April 2012, 02:21 PM
Hello EM:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/08/stories/2011050860200400.htm is the correct link. [your link had an extra "s" at the end.]

The issue is a complicated one. India has the twin evil of poverty and illiteracy. Not many people in India realize just how fragile the country is given the fact that we have vulture-like evangelicals trying to break the millenia old culture of the country and replace it by a culture that is based out of Mecca or Jerusalem.

We anyway know what happens to a country where Abrahamic religions are given a free rein - we will have a division of the country along religious lines as happened in 1947 where the ABRAHAMIC side gets to declare itself an Abrahamic country [note: Pakistan and Bangladesh] while the other side has to labour under the weight of carrying the extra burden of Abrahamics who enjoy all benefits of an open, free, fair and secular country. How is this fair?

What we can and SHOULD do is to continue to highlight human rights violation and crimes against humanity which is what conversions are. Conversions are a form of psychological/intellectual terrorism.

The problem is that not many people in India are ready and willing to even acknowledge that religious proselytization is a monumental problem.

Jainarayan
20 April 2012, 02:26 PM
Namaste.

"Over here" we have the First Amendment to the US Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The US Supreme Court has categorically upheld that to include state laws, not only federal laws. The only place that religious proselytization can be prohibited is on federal, state or private property. Private property for public access (an airport, public park) is "iffy". Federal and state property includes courthouses, schools and any facility funded by public (i.e. taxpayer) funds. However, it does not preclude "free exercise of religion".

When I began to display images of deities on my desk at work, I expected some sort of comment. I was ready with "Are we going to have a constitutional issue here?"; there is no company policy against religious displays. As an aside, half of our employees are Indian and half are Hispanic, so we get all kinds of food and festivities :D (my company is highly rated as all-inclusive and welcoming).

We are waging a battle against the fundamentalist Christians who want to lobby Congress and pass legislation based on their religious beliefs. We cannot have that. Congress knows this, but it is a waste of time and taxpayer money when a bill, proposed in the House or Senate by a "lobbied" senator or congress(wo)man, has to be debated.

The First Amendment is indeed a double edged sword. It gives us rights that can be taken too far.

Jainarayan
20 April 2012, 02:36 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Moore#Federal_lawsuit

India needs judges like Myron Thompson and the 11th Circuit Court.

You see, we have our own battles... a state supreme court chief justice defying the US Constitution, necessitating his removal from office. This is unheard of.

Eastern Mind
20 April 2012, 03:49 PM
Vannakkam: I don't think the two countries are comparable at all. In India, proseltysing with the intent of conversion is done very sneakily against children, against the impoverished, against people unable to listen, with bribes, with candy. Its considered harvesting of souls, something akin to killing rats.

Here in the US or Canada we have hate crime laws, privacy laws, and freedom of religion.

If someone comes to my door, I might be irritated, but I can just shut the door, effectively ending it. But if my son or daughter was enticed to go on some sports outing, or over to a neighbour's house, or into any other situation, without a clear definition of intent, then a few weeks later I discovered they'd been fed meat, lectured to about how evil I was, and that I was going to hell, effectively destroying any hope of a continued harmoniously relationship, you're darned right I'd be hopping mad!:)


And that's the difference. Comparing India to the US doesn't cut it, on many many levels, just as life in Iran, or Saudi, isn't comparable to life in India or in the US.

Edited to add: This is the law people in India can use, and do use. Article 153 of the Indian Penal Code, "Promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion."

Not strong enough, in my opinion.

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
20 April 2012, 06:13 PM
Namaste EM.


Vannakkam: I don't think the two countries are comparable at all. In India, proseltysing with the intent of conversion is done very sneakily against children, against the impoverished, against people unable to listen, with bribes, with candy. Its considered harvesting of souls, something akin to killing rats.

Yes, I understand that. I didn't mean to make light of it. I wasn't aware of Article 153 of the Indian Penal Code, "Promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion." I'll bet it's not enforced as it should be, unfortunately.

I can only imagine how difficult it is in India, or in any other country that has a large rural and poor population, to enforce these laws. The people probably don't even know the laws exist. And the proselytizers and evangelizers can get away with it.

In the US and Canada, Australia, and western Europe, the victims of any kind of offense are quick to seek legal redress, as should be. I'd further wager that the Indians who can afford to seek legal redress and know the laws are not the ones who need them! Sad irony.

pure.aryan866
17 May 2012, 05:09 PM
More important than any anti-conversion law is the grassroot level awareness of our culture and the importance of a strong national and cultural identity. In absence of this awareness, no law will be able to prevent anyone from leaving the hindu fold.

Regards