BJP’s Giriraj Singh favours anti-conversion law, Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha seeks ‘global minority’ status for Hindus

The BJP leader, who is also considered a detractor of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, expressed his views days after the latter had ruled out the need for any such legislation in the State

Updated - June 10, 2022 09:29 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2022 09:03 pm IST - Muzaffarpur/Patna

Giriraj Singh in the Lok Sabha during Budget Session of Parliament, on February 11.

Giriraj Singh in the Lok Sabha during Budget Session of Parliament, on February 11. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union minister Giriraj Singh on June 10 asserted that there was a need for an anti-conversion law that was applicable to the entire country.

The firebrand BJP leader, who is also considered a detractor of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, expressed his views barely a couple of days after the latter had ruled out the need for any such legislation in the State.

“There should be a law against dharmantaran (religious proselytisation) across the country,” quipped Mr. Singh when he was approached by journalists with a query on the need for an anti-conversion legislation.

The Union minister, who represents Begusarai in the Lok Sabha, was in the north Bihar town of Muzaffarpur in connection with a case filed against him way back in 2014, before the BJP had come to power at the Centre.

During a ‘Bharat bandh’ called by the BJP, Mr. Singh, in addition to many BJP leaders, was booked for blocking railway traffic.

“The false case has been transferred from the railway court to the MP/MLA court. I have come here to give my statement,” said Mr. Singh who was accompanied by a number of party colleagues, including state minister Ram Surat Rai, Vaishali MP Veena Devi and former state minister Suresh Sharma.

Altogether 23 BJP leaders, named in the case, appeared before the court of judge Vikas Mishra.

Notably, on June 8, Mr. Kumar was asked about his views on a religious conversion law, which the BJP has been in favor of.

The chief minister, whose JD(U) is currently the largest ally of the BJP in the country, had asserted that such a law was not required in Bihar where people of all religious communities co-existed in peace.

Mr. Singh’s views, diametrically opposite to that of the Bihar CM who has remained true to his socialist roots notwithstanding decades-old ties with the BJP, were echoed by Rakesh Sinha, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP and RSS thinker who was asked about religious conversions in Patna.

“There is no doubt that people get pressurised, financially and psychologically, to give up their faith and convert to another religion. This goes against the constitutional right to freedom of religion. The Narendra Modi government must not let this go on and bring in an anti-proselytisation law,” Mr. Sinha told reporters.

The academic-turned-politician also said that Hindus be declared a “global minority” by the United Nations, since the community was not in a majority anywhere except India and Nepal.

“If the UN does not agree to do so, it will be construed that the international body has double standards,” said Mr. Sinha, alluding to the resolution on Islamophobia Day passed earlier this year which was opposed by India.

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