Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Monday, December 15, 2014, Poush 1, 1421, Safar 21, 1436 Hijr

Letters to the Editor
India's religious tilt
Published : Monday, 15 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 15
Religion is a means to draw people towards peace and harmony. It teaches its followers to reconcile with other human beings no matter what their religion leaning. No religion allows forced conversion, because it will then become not a source of love but of hatred and violence. I wonder to what direction India is heading for the last couple of months, having put aside its credentials as a tolerant and secular society. The conversion of around 1,000 Muslims and 4,000 Christians from Bengal/Agra to Hinduism has come as a surprise. These conversions are being termed 'Homecoming', meaning the people are getting back to their ancestors' religion.
Allegedly, the poor people are being given monetary incentives such as BPL (below poverty line) funds and ration cards etc to accept the offer of conversion. One wonders where these new converts will be placed in the intertwined and complex Hindu caste system. In fact, the ancestors of many Indian Muslims had converted from Hinduism to other religions to get rid of the perpetual poverty the Hindu caste system had inflicted upon them. According to the converts from Bengal, they attended the conversion ceremony to prevent eviction to Bangladesh. Such conversions will stoke communal sentiments, as these are politically motivated
This drama does not seem to be ending here. A central government minister has recently said that India has to make a choice if it wants to be ruled by the Children of Ram (an avatar of Hindu God Vishnu), or by bastards (the illegitimates). Though she has apologised, the message has been conveyed, by the way. Is this the shining India, moving forward in the 21st century? To me it has taken a U-turn towards medieval times.

Rafiq Azad
Kalaroa, Satkhira

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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