Only 200 religious conversions a year, yet politically manipulated by law
Why Gujarat’s anti-love jihad law has more punishment than other states
Gandhinagar, 2 April 2021
The Gujarat government has amended the 2003 anti-love jihad law. Then Gujarat has strict laws from other states. The minimum penalty for forcible conversion is three years, while in other states it is 1 year. Gujarat has a law for 18 years. Details have come out that 200 people change every year. Thus a law has been brought for a handful of incidents, which are being used politically. The law has also been a weapon of political propaganda since 2001 in Gujarat.
New amendments indicate that in 18 years, BJP governments in Gujarat have failed to prevent the conversion or marriage of other religions with this law. If the law was successful, new amendments would not be required. The draft of this law was prepared by former Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Which was used as a weapon to get votes to win the election. Now again Rupani will use this law to win the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections.
Rupani announcement in 2018
Regarding the number of converts in the state on September 29, 2018, Jain Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said in the assembly that 1766 applications were received for conversion in 5 years in the state. Of these, 1652 were Hindus, 71 Muslims, 42 Christians and one Sikh. Of these 1766 petitions, 643 people were allowed to convert. That means 120 people every year. Those who convert from one religion to another. Rupani said.
Chief Minister’s announcement in 2019
On July 3, 2019, Jain Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who is in-charge of the state’s home ministry, said in a written reply to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly that a total of 911 people had applied for conversion in the last two years till May 31, 2019, of which 863 Hindus, 36 Muslims, 11 Christians and 1 Islam. Belonged to Buddhism. The government allowed 689 people to convert. Among them, there were 474 Hindus from Surat. Which were Hindu tribes.
How many marriages took place in 18 years?
The details of how many marriages were stopped and who were punished by the Anti-Love Jihad of conversion act 2003 enacted by the BJP Modi government were not presented in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly in 2021.
The first case of forced conversion of a minor was registered on January 23, 2020 at the Petlad Rural Police Station. A case of conversion was filed against a clergyman of the Catholic Church in Amod, Anand.
In the last 5 years of 2019, there were 1895 petitions seeking religious conversion in Gujarat. Out of which 53% applications were from Surat. More than 94 percent of the applicants were Hindus. About 4 percent were Muslim and about one percent were Christian.
The biggest conversion of the tribal of Surat
Between July 2014 and June 2019, 1003 conversion applications were received in Surat. These details were presented by the state government in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly at that time.
In Banaskantha, 196 applicants applied for the second number for conversion. Most of them were Hindus. Subsequently, 161 applications were received from Junagadh, 92 from Anand and around 80 from Surendranagar. Most of the converts were Hindus. After Hinduism, there has been an increase in the number of Muslim conversion requests.
Most of the Muslims who applied for conversion in Gujarat were 20 from Surat, 12 from Vadodara, 10 from Rajkot and 8 from Ahmedabad.
While Christian applicants were mostly residents of Vadodara, Anand and Kheda.
The Gujarat state government, the Hindu litigant of the BJP, had approved 1006 applicants for conversion in 5 years. 67 per cent of which was between July 2018 to June 2019.
After receiving the application for conversion, the applications are sent to the Executive Magistrate and the concerned police officer. They take a statement about a person’s conversion and investigate the issue without any coercion.
10 years ago
Modi enacted the Conversion Act in 2003 but did not implement it. Launched in 2008. Modi did not make any rules until then the law was placed on the floor of his office.
First 5 years of law
There were 9 incidents in 5 years from 2008 to 2012. There are 7 females and 2 males.
Most Hindu women adopted Christianity, not Muslim religion.
2 women and 1 man who are Muslim to Hindu
Hindu 1 woman of Krishin
3 female 1 male from Krishna Hindu
Sikh 1 male from hindu
View of Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Kaushik Mehta, former general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, who was the general secretary at the time, said that if the state government has enacted a law, it should fulfill its responsibility to strictly enforce it and see it when it is implemented.
Highlights of the 2021 Amendment:
The Government of Gujarat has amended the Gujarat Religious Freedom Act, 2003, on 1 April 2021.
New reasons for entertainment were added. Have been added to trap someone. According to him, adopting religions on the pretext of ‘good lifestyle, divine blessings’ would now be an offense punishable under the Act.
These amendments prohibit forcible conversion by marriage or aiding in such marriages.
The Bill also proposes that if someone returns to the religion of their ancestors, the act does not apply to them.
A new section 3A in the bill has been added. The converted person’s parents, brother, sister or relative, married or adopted relative, will have the right to register an FIR in the matter.
If a person helps someone change the pretext of love and marriage, he will be equally guilty.
There is a provision of a minimum sentence of 3 to 5 years if found guilty. If a woman, minor or SC / ST is converted, the convict will face a sentence of 4 to 7 years. If an organization gets involved in this work, its members will be punished for up to 10 years and will be fined Rs 5 lakh each. In addition, the organization will be disqualified for government assistance.
In UP, the minimum sentence is 1 to 5 years, similarly if a woman, minor or SC / ST is converted, the convict can get a sentence of 2 to 10 years. The minimum sentence in MP is 1 to 5 years. For example, in UP, if a woman, minor or SC / ST is converted into MP, then the culprits can be punishable by 2 to 10 years. The minimum sentence in Himachal Pradesh is 1 to 5 years, but in the case of women, minors or SC / ST it is only 2 to 7 years.
Conviction on conversion in 4 states
In the case of women, minors, SC / ST in general cases of the state
Gujarat 3 to 5 years – 4 to 7 years
MP 1 to 5 years – 2 to 10 years
Himachal Pradesh 1 to 5 years – 2 to 7 years
UP 1 to 5 years – 2 to 10 years
Law in 8 out of 38 states
Apart from Gujarat, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have enacted anti-conversion laws. The laws of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand also provide for conversion from marriage.
There is no provision for conversion from marriage in Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand. One year imprisonment in Orissa for conversion, two years imprisonment in Arunachal and Himachal Pradesh, three years imprisonment in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, five years imprisonment in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
4500 incidents in Kerala
In Kerala, 2,667 non-Muslim girls converted to Islam between 2006 and 2014, Chief Minister Oman Chandy said in 2014 on the floor of the assembly. Between 2006 and 2009, there were 4,500 incidents of love jihad. Therefore, many non-Muslim women converted to Islam. The Gujarat government said so in the assembly but did not say how many such crimes were registered in Gujarat in 18 years.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad
At that time, the International General Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Drs. Praveen Togadia said that some people were mobilizing for government help. The government should stop all benefits for conversion.
BJP responsible for conversion
Sociologist Gaurang Jani said at the time that increasing atrocities on Hindu Dalits and Hindu tribal communities were converting from Hindu to other religions due to lack of development opportunities. Most of the Dalits are converting to Buddhism. While the Adivasis are leaving Hindu society and converting to Christianity. The only reason behind this is that Christian missionaries provide good education. Provides healthcare and creates an opportunity to be financially viable. The government has not been successful in bridging the gap between dalits and tribals. It also does not provide basic requirements. This is why people are converting. He said, on that day. (translated from Gujarati)