Conversions in India - A Plain Retelling of Facts

In the 14th century, a Buddhist from Tibet named Rentchen Shah became the King of Kashmir. He wanted to become a Hindu. He requested permission from brahmins to help him convert to Hinduism but they didn’t help Rentchen Shah. He converted to Islam and so did many of his subjects!

Pope Paul II instituted the Roman Inquisition in 1542. More than 550 Hindu temples in the Portuguese territories were razed to the ground. There was a complete massacre of Hindus unleashed in full fury. Alphonso Albuquerque conquered Diu. He ordered mass conversion of the Muslims to Christianity. Some 3000 Muslims were massacred.

Mass conversion in India started in the South. About 1000 Hindus including 180 Hindu Harijans converted to Islam in Meenakshipuram in Tamilnadu. Meenakshipuram became Rahmat Nagar.

In 1981, about 200 Hindus and 50 Christians of Kurayoor village, 40 kms away from Madurai converted to Islam.

There was also a mass conversion of several thousand harijans of villages in Ramanathapuram in Tamilnadu to Islam.

At the Ramakrishna Mission convention held at Belur Math, Calcutta in 1926, Swami Nikhilananda said, ‘The great danger that threatens us at present is the right apprehension of the gradual disappearance of our race by the steady dwindling of a number of Hindus through conversions to other religions due to a greater extent to the working of some of our own iniquitous social laws. Our first and foremost duty is to put an immediate stop to this work of conversion.’

Gandhiji has said, ‘The object of Christian missionary efforts in India is to uproot Hindus from the very foundation and replace it by another faith. If I had the power and could legislate, I would certainly stop all proselytising.’

Thus, it is to be understood that although Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives the right to profess, practice and propagate religion, Mass Conversions are not justifiable. If an individual wants to change his/her religion because of interest in a certain religion, it is all right but mass conversions through coercion or enticement is not justifiable.


More by :  Dr. Padmapriya S

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