TAMIL NADU

Religion not personal

Sir, — Your Editorial, "Attack on personal freedom" (Nov. 4) is a contradiction in itself. In India, religion is not personal. By making religious freedom a fundamental right, we have made a "personal'' matter a state matter. So when the Jayalalithaa Government makes a law banning "forcible'' conversions, why should we regard it as an attack on personal freedom?

Your apprehension about the misuse of political power may be correct. But if there is any dispute, religious or otherwise, and if it affects governance, the state has every right to deal with it constitutionally. That is what the Constitution, the judiciary and the executive are meant for.

Sambit Pal, Dhenkanal, Orissa

Sir, — This is with reference to "Conversion politics — I" (Nov. 6.) The author's opinion on the distribution of "prasadam" in temples is not correct. "Prasadam" is sacred and distributed in small quantities. This practice is not aimed at luring the devotees or others as cited by the author.

R. Rajesh, Warangal, A.P.

Sir, — The situation which brings down the matter of faith and religious conversions to the realm of politics is unfortunate. Conversion was brought in by medieval conquerers as a means of expansionism. The political bosses also seem to have been wedged to the same putrid mental framework.

Our democratic system heeds no longer to the dictum of bahujana hitaya bahujana sukhaya. Religion is viewed as a mundane vote-fetching device. Perhaps our system of governance, lacking effort to bring in prosperity, is poisoning the spirit and spiritual joy.

R. K. Divakara, Bangalore

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