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No need for religious conversions in India as Hindus are free to read Quran or Bible, says Uma Bharti

Uma Bharti. File   | Photo Credit: A.M.Faruqui

Senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Uma Bharti has said there is no need for religious conversions in the country, when asked about the proposed law to criminalise forcible religious conversions in Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking with reporters in Maihar, Ms. Bharti said, “There is no need for religious conversions in India because here Hindus are free to read the Quran or the Bible and visit mosques or churches.” She made the remark in reference to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020, which the State’s BJP government has planned to table in the coming Assembly session.

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The statement is being viewed as her opposition to the proposed law, with the Congress welcoming it. “The identity of indomitable courage in politics Uma Bharti has yet again uttered the truth by saying the law on religious conversions was not required,” said K.K. Mishra, Congress media incharge for the Gwalior-Chambal region.

Clarifying the proposed law was meant to tackle ‘love jihad’, a derogatory term used by fringe groups to refer to inter-faith relationships involving a Muslim man, BJP State spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal said, “The Bill proposes to protect girls from the phenomenon of love jihad, therefore we welcome it.”

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“The Congress should make it clear whether it would support the Bill in the Assembly. Why aren’t they saying anything on this,” asked Narottam Mishra, while talking to reporters.

Earlier, Mr. Mishra had told reporters that marriages to enable forcible religious conversions would invite an imprisonment of up to 10 years. Further, priests solemnising such marriages would face imprisonment of five years and the registration of organisations enabling such marriages would be cancelled.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:04:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-need-for-religious-conversions-in-india-as-hindus-are-free-to-read-quran-or-bible-says-uma-bharti/article33204617.ece

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