Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

SC offers to find solution to ‘deceitful conversions’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Article 25

Mains level: Religious conversions

The Supreme Court said that- acts of charity or good work to help a community or the poor should not cloak an intention to religiously convert them as payback.

What did the SC say?

  • Conversion on the basis of a voluntarily felt belief in the deity of a different faith is different from belief gained through allurement.
  • The court said it would examine such veiled intentions behind religious conversions through allurement by offering food, medicines, treatment, etc.

What is Religious Conversions?

  • Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others.
  • It is one of the most heated issues in the society and politics which can be defined as the adoption of any other religion or of a set of beliefs by the exclusion of other i.e. renouncing one religion and adopting another.
  • There are various reasons for which people do convert their religion like:
  1. Voluntary Conversions i.e. conversions by free choice or because of change of beliefs.
  2. Forceful Conversions i.e. conversions by coercion, undue influence or inducement.
  3. Marital Conversions i.e. conversions due to marriage.
  4. Conversion for convenience i.e. social mobility

Constitutional ambiguity over conversions

  • The question whether ‘right to convert’ comes under the ambit of ‘right to propagate any religion’ holds fundamental importance to determine the constitutionality of anti-conversion laws.
  • Article 25 talks about the term “propagate” which means to promote or transmit or merely a freedom of expression.

Why is this getting prominence in India?

Selective persecution and religious marginalization is often debated in India due to religious conversions for:

  1. Ghar Wapsi
  2. Inter-faith Marriages (often termed as Love Jihad)

What about Incentivised Conversions?

  • There are many cases of incentivized conversions for the poor sections of society in exchange for a dignified social life.

For them, the solution lies in addressing the root issues:

  1. Ending discrimination
  2. Providing high-quality and free education to the poor and disenfranchised
  3. Improving access and quality of free health facilities and medicines
  4. Improving nourishment and
  5. Providing adequate employment opportunities to all

How has Parliament handled anti-conversion bills?

After independence, Parliament introduced a number of anti-conversion bills which were not enacted for want of majority approval.

  • In post-Independent India, the first Indian Conversion (Regulation and Registration) Bill, 1954, which sought to enforce “licensing of missionaries and the registration of conversion.”
  • This was followed by the introduction of the Backward Communities (Religious Protection) Bill, 1960, “which aimed at checking conversion of Hindus to ‘non-Indian religions’.
  • Non-India religions included Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism,.
  • The Freedom of Religion Bill in 1979, which sought “official curbs on inter-religious conversion.”


  • Religious conversion gives new identity to the communities converted which in turn leads to social mobility.
  • Hence, anti-conversion amount to discrimination and a violation of the right to equality.
  • However, inter-faith marriages should not be pre-conditioned with religious conversion.
  • This certainly raises concerns for the majority of society.
  • Also mass conversions for the sake of revivalism should also not be promoted in any ways.



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