‘Congress opposed to anti-conversion Bill’

Updated - May 23, 2016 04:33 pm IST

Published - December 24, 2014 12:56 am IST - BENGALURU:BENGALURU:

The State government has opposed the proposed ‘Anti-conversion Bill’, which has created a storm during the Winter Session of Parliament. Citing the Constitution, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said no one should take away from people the right to choose a religion.

Speaking during a Christmas get-together organised by the Archdiocese of Bengaluru on Tuesday, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the Congress party is completely opposed to the proposed Bill. “We have been given the right to choose a religion by the Constitution. No one should take that right away. Whichever government it is, we have taken the oath to govern according to the principles of the Constitution. The Constitution respects all religions equally,” he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah also said the Hindu religion, which he was born into, preaches the need to respect other religions. “But some people, for their own selfish motives, create walls between religions and people to instigate communal violence,” he added.

Earlier, Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bengaluru, accused the Central government and a few other States of trying to pass the Anti-conversion Bill, in turn “desecrating the Constitution and usurping the constitutional rights of the citizens.”

“All of us are against forceful conversion. But if persons, on their own will, wish to embrace any religion of their choice, how can we label it as fraudulent conversion? The Central government clearly mentioned in the election manifesto that they would preserve the secular nature of our nation. Why are they making a U-turn now? The government wants to create communal tension and polarise the country,” he alleged.

“Is December 25 the only day we need good governance?”

The Centre’s proposal to observe December 25 – Christmas – as ‘Good Governance Day’ received flak from the Archbishop of Bengaluru Bernard Moras, who, while terming it a “good move,” asked why that particular day was chosen. Christmas is a day of “peace, joy and love,” he pointed out.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also ridiculed the proposal. Addressing a Christmas get-together on Tuesday, he said, “Is that (December 25) the only day there should be for good governance? It should be all 365 days in the five years (term), not some day when people of a particular religion are celebrating…by hurting them. Anyone can understand the ill-intention behind this. It is not possible (for us) to agree on this issue.”

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