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FREEDOM OF RELIGION

THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION


Enact“the Freedom of Religion (Protection of Native Cultural and Religious Traditions, and Prohibition of Institutionalized Religious Conversion Activity) Act” by the Central Government:

Currently our freedom to practice our traditions and pass them on to our succeeding generations is being threatened in two ways. One, by a large-scale institutional foreign-funded conversion war being waged upon us. Two, by an increasing encroachment by the Indian State and the Courts (often via foreign-funded PILs) on our religious, traditional, cultural, and folk practices.Our Constitution gives to every citizen, the right to profess, practice and propagate freely their religion and traditions. However, such an individual choice is entirely different from an institutional conversion war where there is a huge paid sales force being incentivized to inducepeople to change their religion, which is nothing but an aggression on our culture, religion, and civilization.History is replete with scores of examples all over the globe of native religions, cultures and civilizations getting wiped out due to such institutional conversion aggressions. As we are the only oldest surviving civilization that is based on Sanatana Dharma, we have been targetedby all sorts of religious conversion forces. The best way to balance individual religious freedom and the civilizational responsibility of the Indian State to protect, preserve and nurture our glorious civilization that is based on Sanatana Dharma, is by ensuring religious freedom to all citizens to practice or even change their religion, but make illegal allinstitutional conversion efforts aimed at destroyingour religion, culture, traditions, and civilization.Our country has an enormous diversity of religious, spiritual, and cultural practices among Hindu communities that are being challenged in the Courts, often at the behest of foreign funded/inspired individuals/entities who have no skin in the game and are complete outsiders to these practices.Unlike religions of the Book, the diversity of native Hindu traditions is practiced by means of varied celebrations, observances, and performances by different sections of people in different ways seamlessly combining spiritual and temporal aspects of life. These practices, evolved over centuries, do not require, or find justification in any book or scripture, but form the lifeblood of popular Hinduism. These traditions continue over centuries because they are valuable to the community and their merits do not need to be evaluated through an external lens. It has often been the case, such as in dietarypractices, thatwhich‘science’ deems backward often reverts a few years later to acclaiming the value of thatpractice. A colonized mindset, using a limited skewed lens,oftenlabels through orchestrated media campaign these practices as ‘ignorance’, ‘superstition’, ‘barbarism’, etc. in the typical manner of, give a dog a bad name and hang himby filing PILs etc. Traditions need no other justification than themselves, and our society has enough capacity and capable reformers to reform traditions as needed, and it is certainly not the job of Courts. Judicial interference in our age old religious, cultural, and folk practices has been causing enormous religious and cultural damage giving a death blow to our unique cultural practices that have organically developed making up the beautiful diversity of our country.Such unwarranted interference in ourcenturies old customs generate avoidable social resistance and upheaval such as in the cases of Jallikattu, Dahi Handi, Sabarimala,Shani Mandir, Kambala,among others.As result of these two deadly threats, the very survival of our oldestcivilization is at stake now. The irony is that our forefathers kept our civilization alive under extreme adversities of barbaric invasions and foreign rule and passed it on to us, but we, the Hindus of free India are allowing it to be destroyed. We have no right to diminish the value or destroy our inheritance be it tangible assets or intangible religious and cultural heritage. It is our bounden obligation to pass on the inheritance to our next generation at least in the condition we have received if not by making value addition to it. If we don’t get rid of our collective lemming complex, we and our civilization would soon meet the same fate as that of all other Pagan civilizations such as the Mesopotamia, Rome, Greek, Zoroastrian-Persian, Inca, Maya, Aztec, etc.United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples-2007 (UNDRIP) to which India is a signatory, imposes certain obligations on Member-States to protect, preserve, nurture, and promote indigenous religious, spiritual, cultural, traditional and knowledge systems by suitable legislative, governance and public policy interventions. Article 253 of our Constitution enables Parliament to make laws for the whole of India on any subject to implement international conventions etc. As such, the Central Government is also under an international obligation to protect, preserve, nurture, and promote Sanatana Dharma – the fountainhead of our civilization – expressed in all its myriad forms and expressions.

The following excerpt from the preface to Election Manifesto-2014 of the BJP clearly demonstrates its unswerving commitment to build India on a firm civilizational foundation:

“BJP recognizes that no nation could chart out its domestic or foreign policies unless it has a clear understanding about itself, its history, its roots, its strengths and failings. In a highly mobile and globalized world, it is imperative for a nation to know its roots that provide sustenance to its people.”

“Indian freedom struggle, which was inspired by Tilak, Gandhi, Aurobindo, Patel, Bose and others, had a clear vision of the civilizational consciousness of India. These leaders had directed the freedom movement, keeping the Indian ways and thoughts in the centre of their action. They had a vision to reconstruct the political and economic institutions of India as a continuum of civilizational consciousness, which made India one country, one people, and one Nation.”

“After achieving independence, the leaders at the helm of affairs lost the spirit and the vision, which the freedom movement had evoked. ………. It is unfortunate that these leaders could not comprehend India's inner vitality, which was the main force responsible for India's survival despite several attacks and prolonged foreign rule and thus, failed to rekindle the spirit of India.”

“Even after nearly seven decades of our independence, the country has not been able to discover its innate vitality, the sense of time and the will to act. As a result, in spite of being the oldest civilization and a young republic, we are engulfed by a multi-dimensional crisis. ……………………. The tragedy is further heightened by their failure to diagnose the malady and find the remedy.”

Therefore,in pursuance of the commitment given by the BJP in its Election Manifesto-2014, and to give effect to international obligation under United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples-2007,the Central Government is requested toimmediately enact “The Freedom of Religion (Protection of Native Cultural and Religious Traditions, and Prohibition of Institutionalized Religious Conversion Activity) Act”for the whole of India, in the forthcoming session of the current Parliament itself.

Alternatively, an Ordinance may be promulgated immediately pending enactment by the Parliament.

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