Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Ramadan / Shawwal 1423 H
December 2002
Volume 15-12 No : 192
Camps \ Workshops

News| Community Roundup| Editorial| Readers Comments| Men, Machines and Methods| Globe Watch| Political Diary| Issues
Breaking News| Indian Muslims Abroad| Book Review| In Focus| Face To Face| Reflections| Children's Corner| Quran Speaks to You
Hadith| Our Dialogue| Religion| Ramadan Mubarak| Living Islam| Spot Light| Women In Islam| Soul Talk| From Darkness To Light Matrimonial| Jobs| Archives| Feedback| Subscription| Links| Calendar| Contact Us

Political Diary


An Anti-Muslim, Anti-Dalit, Anti-Christian Law!


An Anti-Muslim, Anti-Dalit, Anti-Christian Law!

The Anti-Conversion Law passed by the government of Tamil Nadu has triggered
a movement for the coming together of Muslims, Christians and Dalits
By K. Malikul Azeez

Protest Meetings Jayalalithaa,the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had stirred a hornet’s nest by passing out an Act, in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, banning the forcible conversion of religions either by force or allurements or by fraud. The bill was passed hastily on 31st October 2002, replacing an ordinance promulgated on 5th October 2002, despite the fact that there had been no large-scale conversions in the recent past or even a single complaint of conversion either by force or allurement. Surprisingly, Jayalalithaa has chosen to promulgate the ordinance, when the next Assembly session was only three weeks away. As is the practice, the ordinances are issued only if there is an emergency and the session of the Parliament or the Assembly is far ahead. But in this case, neither there was an extingency nor the Assembly session was far off. The ordinance has evoked a widespread protest not only from the Christian and Muslim organisations, but also from some of the leading Dalit organisations, who have dubbed the ordinance as anti-Dalit. Moreover, many political parties who are opposed to the ruling AIADMK, have also raised their voice of dissent, though for political reasons.

A protest meeting was organised at Vellore town recently by ‘The Federation of All Muslim Parties’, a representative body of Muslim political parties, religious and social organisations and some prominent individuals, which include, the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Indian Union Muslim League, the Indian National League and the All India Milli Council. The meeting expressed its concern over the possible misuse of the law. A resolution was passed urging the state government to withdraw the ordinance.

On 24th October, 2002, a mammoth hunger-strike-cum-public meeting was organised at St. Andrew’s Church, Egmore, in Chennai, by the Christian groups duly supported by many Muslim and Dalit organisations and many political parties. Many leading political leaders including the DMK chief, M.Karunanidhi, TNCC chief, E.V.K.S.Elangovan, PMK leader Ramdoss and other leaders from all parties, except AIADMK and BJP, lambasted the ruling party and dubbed the ordinance as anti-Dalit and against the fundamental rights of freedom of professing and preaching religion, as enshrined in the Constitution of the country.

But the government did not yield a bit and came up with a bill in the Assembly and its approval was only a formality as the ruling party has a comfortable majority. The move has triggered a movement for coming together of Muslims, Christians and Dalits on one hand and on the other side, it has provided for re-alignment of political parties.

But one question that can be posed before the Sangh Parivar is , if allurements and coercion can be effective means of conversion, why the Muslim and Christian populations are stagnated at 13% and 3% respectively at the national level and it is only around 6% each in Tamil Nadu.

It may be recalled that the famous Meenakshipuram incident of conversions to Islam by about 2000 families in 1981, was a strong proof that the under-privileged Dalits opted for Islam only to get rid of the caste-system of Hinduism and their liking for the humane touch of Islam and equality and dignity accorded to a human being in it. They refused to come back to Hindu fold despite the placatory tactics and efforts by the leaders of the Sangh Parivar including Vajpayee. A group of Muslim, Christians and Dalit leaders had a meeting with the Governor of Tamilnadu P.S.Ram Mohan Rao and urged him not to give assent to the bill passed by the Tamil Nadu government

A question does rise in the minds of many, whether the saffron brigade has reached a point where they require a “forcible law” to keep their flock intact?

Top



News| Community Roundup| Editorial| Readers Comments| Men, Machines and Methods| Globe Watch| Political Diary| Issues
Breaking News| Indian Muslims Abroad| Book Review| In Focus| Face To Face| Reflections| Children's Corner| Quran Speaks to You
Hadith| Our Dialogue| Religion| Ramadan Mubarak| Living Islam| Spot Light| Women In Islam| Soul Talk| From Darkness To Light Matrimonial| Jobs| Archives| Feedback| Subscription| Links| Calendar| Contact Us

Al-Nasr Exports