Laws on Religious Conversions
#GS 02 Governance
Right to Freedom of Religion:
- Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
- Freedom to manage religious affairs.
- Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.
- Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational
R. Bommai v. Union of India:
The 9-judge bench, in this case, ruled that Secularism is the basic feature of the Constitution of India.
- Secularism in India means that India a secular country with no state religion.
- In the Western model, secularism connotates complete separation of the State from the Church.
- This originated from the French Revolution where the revolution sought to establish a ‘secular’ government, one which did not influence the church or the clergy.
- However, in India, secularism means that there is equal respect for all religions and faiths.
- Even though the State has to maintain equal distance from all religions, the influence of the government does extend to religious affairs, albeit in a limited fashion.
States laws on conversions:
- The Central Government has not imposed any anti-conversion laws in India.
- The states have phrased laws against forceful religious conversion or anti-conversion laws.
These states, in order of enactment, are,
- Odisha in 1967
- Madhya Pradesh in 1968
- Arunachal Pradesh in 1978
- Chhattisgarh in 2000 and 2006
- Gujarat in 2003
- Himachal Pradesh in 2006 and 2019
- Jharkhand in 2017
- Uttarakhand in 2018
- Uttar Pradesh (2021)
- Haryana (2022)