The Tamil Nadu government has told the Supreme Court that there are no such conversions in the state, in an attempt to dismiss a petition seeking action against forceful and fraudulent religious conversions across the country.
“There have been no incidents of forcible religious conversion in recent years,” the state stated in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court. It stated that the petitioner’s — attorney Ashwini Upadhyay’s — assertions about such conversions are “without any basis or proof.”
“The petitioner claims that incidents of religious conversion are reported every week throughout the country by intimidating, threatening, deceiving, luring through gifts, and also by using black magic and superstition.” “Because the petitioner does not rely on statistics for this grave allegation, it cannot be accepted,” it said.
“However, it is submitted that there have been no incidents of forceful religious conversion in the State of Tamil Nadu in the last few years,” the document stated.
Accepting that “religious conversion by intimidating, threatening, deceiving, luring through gifts, and also by using black magic and superstition is an injustice and exploitation,” the state government stated in the affidavit that “these factors depend on how an individual perceives it, and it is always open to that individual to return to his original denomination.” However, any person has the right to propagate and preach his belief system to others without using intimidation, threatening, deception, luring through gifts, or any superstitious methods.”
“The people also have a choice to change their beliefs,” the state insisted. It claimed that “conversion of poor people to other religions through intimidating, threatening, deceiving, luring through gifts, and also through the use of black magic and superstition are not reported in Tamil Nadu.”
Concerning Christian missionary conversions, the state stated that “Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to propagate his religion” and that “therefore, the acts of missionaries spreading Christianity by themselves cannot be viewed as something against the law.” However, it stated that “if their act of spreading their religion is contrary to public order, morality, and health, as well as other provisions of Part III of the Constitution, it must be taken seriously.” In Tamil Nadu, no incidences of forced conversion have been documented in recent years… “There is no deception in religious conversion here.”
In his petition, Upadhyay also requested that the CBI investigate the murder of a Class XII student at a school in Thanjavur district on January 19, 2022.
The girl’s death provoked outrage after her parents and the BJP claimed she committed herself because she was pressured to convert to Christianity.
In its affidavit, the government stated that the case had already been turned over to the CBI in response to the Madras High Court’s ruling. It said that the petitioner is a member of the BJP and has “attempted to turn the court proceeding into a political fight by interjecting ideological politics into the matter.” All of the allegations levelled against the Tamil Nadu government are politically motivated. There have been no reports of forced religious conversions in Tamil Nadu, and the State has done nothing in Lavanya’s case, as the petitioner claims.”