In 1993, the then Congress Government, in Centre, introduced the Religion Bill in Parliament to stop the use of religion in politics. Apparently, the purpose of Congress Government was to stop the temple movement of the BJP. But the opposite happened. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar had promoted the atmosphere of the entire nation with Hindutva by projecting the bill as a blow to Hinduism. They took out eleven thousand kilometres long Hindutva-yatra. Hindu newspapers spurred the issue further, many-many articles and stories were written, and the amazing definitions of Hinduism were given. At the same time, the Supreme Court also gave a historic verdict, defining Hinduism as desirable to the RSS. That bill was dropped. In 1999, the RSS and BJP attacked Christians and their churches in protest against the conversion of the whole country on the pretext of Sonia Gandhi. They raised huge falsehoods against Christians. In the same way, false propaganda was constantly carried out against Muslim madrasas, they were described as bases of terrorism. Behind this lie, the RSS and BJP had only one aim to keep Dalit castes as Dalits.
The real question is why the RSS and BJP are feeling chillies on conversion, for which the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh has passed the Prohibition of Conversion Ordinance 2020 against the conversion? It has become a law after the signature of the Governor, and conversion has become illegal in Uttar Pradesh. When Article 25 of the Constitution of India gives the freedom that a person can choose any religion as he wishes, then how did the owl sit against the conversion in the mind of the saffron chief minister of Uttar Pradesh? How did the cabinet pass this anti-constitution ordinance by swearing in the constitution? Article 25 also states that the state will not establish any religion of its own, nor will it encourage any specific religion. Then why is Yogi Adityanath, who is sitting on a chair swearing in the Indian Constitution, not of Manusmriti, looting the government treasury to encourage Hinduism by making it a state-religion? In fact, Yogi and his entire government should be sacked for this grossly anti-constitutional work, but who will sack when Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal? Yogi has the full support of the RSS and the Modi government at the Centre. The Governor is also a BJP member, she cannot be expected to reject the ordinance. This can now be stopped by the court only. If not stopped by the court, it will be very unfortunate, because the secular structure of the state created by the constitution will be destroyed. And in its place Hindutva will become the religion of the state, which will be disastrous for other religious minority communities and those who are Hindutva-affected communities.
There is a wave of happiness in the Uttar Pradesh BJP about the Yogi’s anti-conversion ordinance. Yogi is being congratulated as if Yogi has won the battle of Pakistan. And on the face of Yogi, the mirror of defeating the Constitution is visible. But the truth is that the soul of Guru Gorakhnath is sending lakhs of curses to him, who shouted :
उत्पति हिंदू जरणा जोगी अकलि परि मुसलमांदी .
हिन्दू ध्यावै देहुरा मुसलमान मसीत.
जोगी ध्यावै परमपद जहाँ देहुरा न मसीत.
It means Jogi is a Hindu by birth, but a Muslim by wisdom. The Hindu meditates in the temple, and the Muslim worships in the mosque. But the jogi is the one who meditates on the Divine, where there is neither a mosque, nor a temple.
Yogi, the Chief Minister, says in praise of his anti-law Ordinance that those who convert will now face a sentence of up to ten years. He did not think at all, saying that religion is a personal matter of man. And personally, Brahmins and Thakurs have done the most religious conversion in history. Now why are the Brahmins and Thakurs not converting, because now they themselves are the ruling class in India. When they were not the ruling class, they entered every religion. And the religions they went in, took their caste system with them, and also corrupted them. If the Brahmins and Thakurs had not converted, they would have done a great favour to humanity.
Just as there is a provision in Manusmriti to give the lowest in the case of Dwijs and more punishment to the Shudras, similarly the ordinance of the Yogi Government provides for a punishment of up to five years in the case of conversion of the general class and a fine of Rs 15,000. But in the case of conversion related to the Dalit castes, a provision of 10 years sentence and fine of 25 thousand rupees has been made. It seems that the Yogi government has also taken this punishment from Manusmriti. This feature is of the Hindu varna system itself that it does not like equality in any area. This principle of inequality was actually created by Manu to oppress the Shudras. Yogi has also approved unequal punishments for suppressing Dalits on the same basis. After all, what trouble does the yogi have with the conversion of Dalits? The problem is what Manu had. The reason why Manu wanted to suppress the Shudras, for that reason the Yogi’s Hindu government also wants to suppress the Dalits. In other words, because of which Manu did not want to give freedom to the Shudras, for that very reason also the Yogi’s Hindutva does not want to give freedom to the Dalits. Like Manu, Yogis also want to take away the freedom of Dalits and keep them as Dalits.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has cited ‘Love-Jihad’ as the reason behind bringing the ordinance against conversion, while the truth is that Love-Jihad is a myth; No existence of this has been found yet. All the incidents of love marriage between a Hindu young man and a Muslim woman or between a Muslim young man and a Hindu woman are all common human love incidents. No investigative agency found evidence of Muslim jihad being involved in them. However, most of the incidents of love and marriage of Hindu-Muslim women have taken place in the BJP and RSS camp. Families of veteran BJP leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, LK Advani, Praveen Togadia, Ashok Singhal, Ram Lal have marred in Muslim families. Why did the BJP and RSS not raise the question of love jihad there? Why does the RSS and BJP see love-jihad only in the case of Dalit castes only?
Actually, jihad is a pretext, the real purpose is to stop the conversion of Dalits. If this was not the case, then why did the Yogi ban the mass conversion in the ordinance, under which there is a provision of 10 years jail and a fine of Rs 50,000? I think the reason for this is that after the recently Hathras incident, some Dalits in Ghaziabad left Hinduism and adopted Buddhism. When this incident of Buddhist conversion was published in newspapers, the converted Dalits, who belonged to the Balmiki community, were greatly harassed by the officials of the district administration. In the past too, RSS organizations had forced their return to Balmikis who had adopted Christianity. Now when they want to adopt Buddhism, then the Yogi government of RSS and BJP made a provision to stop it in the ordinance. This clearly means that the Hindutva forces do not accept the conversion of Dalits to Buddhism. It means they do not want spiritual upliftment of Dalits. These forces want the poor people of the Dalit castes to remain Dalits all their lives, and rot in the hell in which they are living. It is not only against the Constitution, but it is also a fascist dictatorship blocking the spiritual development of a particular class. Now this ordinance has become law, it will be the most dangerous, ugly and hateful law to suppress the freedom of Dalits.
BJP and RSS have already separated the Balmiki community from Ambedkarite Dalits in the name of Mahadalit. However, in spite of this, the teachings of Dr. Ambedkar are going on, and educated Balmikis are getting influenced by him and are getting out of the Brahminical structure of Hindutva. The Buddhist conversion in Ghaziabad was the result of the same, which scared the Hindutva ruling class into thinking that if the Balmiki community became equipped with Dr. Ambedkar’s consciousness, and became Buddhist, who would clean the gutters, and who would clean filth. It is for this reason that BJP governments neither want their higher education nor their rehabilitation. Does the Yogi government only want that the physical and social development of the Dalit castes should not happen, and only the upper castes continue to develop everywhere, and that they are entitled to all the freedoms?
The ordinance states that a person or persons desirous of conversion will have to inform the District Magistrate two months in advance and obtain his permission to change his religion. Is it conceivable that a magistrate would risk offending the government by giving permission? He will never give permission, but will only send the applicant to jail.
Kanwal Bharti is an author