Tackling the hydra-headed monster of religious conversions

Dr. G. Shreekumar Menon

The deadly scourge of religious conversions has been hounding India continuously for many centuries. Multi-racial foreign invaders from Middle-East, Central Asia and Europe, have inflicted untold misery and agony on hapless Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains for multitude of centuries.

Medieval history of India is replete with chilling accounts of brutal savagery, rapes, abductions, tortures, maiming and mass killings all perpetrated for ensuring religious conversions to West Asian religions.

Apart from the savagery and butchery inflicted on lakhs of men, women and children, Hindu Temples were singled out for loot, plunder and destruction, as also Sikh Gurudwaras, Buddhist monasteries and Jain Temples, on an unprecedented scale in World History.

From 712 CE to 1947, the Indian Sub-Continent was continuously resonating with the horrified screams and agonised cries of millions of brutalised Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. From Sindh to Kamrup and Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the same was the signature-tune.

This holocaust was happening in every village, town and city 24×7. While one foreign religion was rampaging at the point of sword, another was lighting the Inquisition fires in Gomantaka (Goa).

The tyrannical tirade of violence and orgy of killings of the West Asian religions on the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains is unparalleled and without comparison. While one set of marauders were pillaging and killing claiming that their founder was the exclusive plenipotentiary of God, the other one was forcibly converting claiming that their saviour enjoyed a monopolistic filial relationship with God.

The violent zeal of both these religions were based on the simple premise that those who shared their belief systems were one among them and those who did not subscribe to their dogmas were to be slaughtered and killed ruthlessly, their Temples destroyed, objects of worship disparagingly called ‘idols’ broken and shattered, and all wealth looted and carried away. They justified their violent barbarity by relying on the exhortations prescribed in their books of worship which prescribed killing for idolators and the other that ordained that those who do not believe need to be cast out of the vineyard like a branch to wither and thereafter burnt. The interminable ordeal of the Hindus and other communities from savagery, butchery and barbarity eased with the advent of the British.

British rule laid the foundation for a completely different conversion strategy. There was a clear shift from violence and killings to cleverly camouflaged and covert proselytization. For this purpose, schools, colleges and hospitals became convenient smokescreens. Enterprising foreign clergy and foreign trained converts, resorted to inducement, lure and charity to gain neophytes. British political, economic and military expansion were suitably tweaked to encourage conversions. British military cantonments served also as nodal centres of conversion. This model was more efficient and fruitful than the killing model and the inquisition-burning model, that was in vogue.

The British forged English Education into a new conversion weapon to disparage Oriental religions. Concomitantly, detrimental economic policies, agrarian policies and trade policies ensured systematic impoverishment and penury of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain masses. Charity and social service was intelligently branded as the motto of the West Asian religion and channelled through deceptive converters lurking behind fundamentalist religious organizations, targeting the Hindus and other communities.

All these policies guaranteed the steady rise of the West Asian religion across the Indian Sub-Continent.

English education created an elite, boasting Western orientation in thinking, living and beliefs. English education had subtly inveigled the minds of the Hindu elite into believing that Hindu holy scriptures were all mythology, Temple customs, rituals and traditions were all superstitions, and Hindu social order was iniquitous.

The Portuguese had cleverly devised a term ‘Casta’ to describe the Hindu social order, while cleverly suppressing that the White man’s religion had a more elaborate system of ‘denominations’ into which their believers were segregated and compartmentalised.

The other West Asian religion which had brutalised the Hindus for centuries, also had innumerable classifications in their social order, as also widely differing beliefs within their religion. Yet, they defamed and vilified Hinduism as polytheism and idol worship to secure converts into their fold.Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism were branded as idol worship, while the West Asian religions suppressed the fact that while one worshipped a stone, the other had a plethora of idols (called as ‘statues’) made of rock, clay, plaster of Paris, and marble.

The sudden grant of Independence in 1947 was a rude jolt for converters of the West Asian religions. There were fears as to how the erstwhile foreign rulers and their converted flock would be treated by the suddenly empowered Hindus and other communities, who were regaining power after a long interregnum of centuries.

An instantaneous reaction of followers of one West Asian religion was the seeking of a separate homeland for their religious followers. Unfortunately, the Indian leadership was hijacked by two individuals, who effectively portrayed the attainment of Independence as the outcome of their personal efforts. Their dictatorial ways plunged the Sub-Continent into a quagmire of horrific violence and bloodshed, lakhs of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains were uprooted from their homes, countless women raped and abducted, and several thousands butchered. Yet, the duo continued to be at the helm of affairs, refusing to accept any kind of responsibility for their reckless decisions and actions. Amidst the chaos of violent intolerance, the duo continued to sing their contrived paeans of equality of religions.

Most unfortunately, in the committee that framed the Constitution, there was no internal security expert nor a strategic expert. Consequently, many provisions crept in, which enabled the West Asian religions to continue their conversion agenda unhindered. Those who professed foreign faiths got the unrestricted right to “propagate”, they were given special status of “Minorities” and given exclusive rights and privileges which were denied to the Hindus. Nowhere in the world did a section of people wedded to a foreign ideology and belief get exclusive rights and privileges which were legally denied to the majority.

The West Asian religions with great perspicacity laid claim to the Education sector which would enable them to control and direct the thoughts of posterity for all times to come. This was given on a platter and has given birth to the present-day spectre of foreign funded ‘Religious Conversions’, happening all over the country with aggressive bellicosity.

Article 30 of the Constitution states “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.” It was a carte blanche, given to the West Asian religions – do as you please! This threw wide open for conscious, pre-planned and targeted conversion assaults in different parts of the country. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains became sitting ducks for conversion maniacs and fanatics. No politician, political party, police, or courts, could prevent conversions, the evil practice had been conferred a legal status for its rampant misuse by gangs of foreign funded converters, masquerading behind schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and supported by a formidable network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). The makers of the Constitution had created a Frankenstein unwittingly and unknowingly.

Today, religious conversions have evolved into a hydra-headed monster, capable of inflicting far-reaching damages in every fibre of the nation’s fabric. It has permeated into every segment, using the Constitutional mandate to gain unrestricted entry into wherever they wish to invade. A brief damage assessment report caused by conversions on a few critical sectors would be a real eye-opener:

Education sector: Prolific advantage was taken by the West Asian religions of the Constitutional right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. This clause was indeed a force-multiplier for forging ahead with their conversion agenda. Lavish foreign funds were invested in setting up schools and colleges, which in turn became self-financing institutions by collecting capitation fees in cash, thereby evading all taxes. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains were compelled to pay handsome capitation fees which in turn got utilised for buying land and buying new converts. One West Asian religion has in the process become the biggest landowner in India. Apart from this land grabbing, simultaneously many impoverished people have been purchased and converted.

Schools and colleges denigrate the Hindu religion in every possible way. It is dinned into the ears of the students that Hinduism is ‘mythology’, whereas their angels, fairies, witches and devils are pure and genuine history. Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain festivals are not celebrated, holidays are not given or it is very restricted, prayers, cultural activities, social activities and every event is calibrated to promote the West Asian religion. Hindu girls cannot have Bindi on their forehead nor can boys sport Tilak, Rakhi’s cannot be worn on the hand, nor can the colours of Holi be permitted. The effects are visible. Educated Hindus, writers, administrators, politicians and journalists keep repeating mindlessly that Hinduism is mythology, most are ignorant of Hindu religious practices, have an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the West Asian religions, and have a sharp Western bias in thinking and action. The warped education has made a formidable impact on the political scenario.

Political scenario: Conversion manipulates the setting up of exclusive enclaves that will vote as a single entity for a pre-determined candidate, to be decided by their religious head. The religious head becomes a dictator deciding who will get the community’s votes, in return, he will demand and continuously bargain for new facilities, job reservations, concessions, financial benefits, setting up of welfare boards, commissions, free land for new religious structures and graveyards, for the converted. It is a common sight, during elections, many candidates rush to the local religious head, kneel before him, kiss his hand and beg for votes. This is the power of consolidated block voting that can critically decide the winning candidate. This pattern is replicated in every constituency and many successful seats mean more bargaining power for acquiring ministerial berths and powerful portfolios like Home, Education, PWD, Town planning and industries.

Another West Asian religion, by way of deliberate and planned population growth is growing exponentially all over the country. Refugees from Bangladesh and Rohingya refugees have been cleverly absorbed into the local population of many areas by corrupt officials and cunning politicians. Just for a few extra votes, and temporary power, short-sighted politicians, are on a calamitous course.

The ugly monster of separatism is raising its head in several parts of the country where the population is tilting in favour of the West Asian religion. For example, in a Southern State, followers of one West Asian religion have systematically carved out a State within a State. 95% of the population follow the West Asian religion, vote blindly only for their political party and candidate. Everybody is watching helplessly convinced that a new State is bound to come up sooner or later, comprising of followers of the West Asian religion. Demands are also being raised that the proposed State should be administered using their Personal Law. They are systematically following a deliberate population expansion policy, and relocating themselves in every Constituency, in order to ensure that 1/3rd of the voters is from their community. This will enable them to determine which candidate should be elected from which Constituency, who should be made the Chief Minister, who all should get ministerial berths and more important who should occupy top civil administration posts.

This is how secularism, lack of population policy, and lack of anti-conversion policy, is endangering the nation and existence of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists.

An important fall out of this strategy is that, presently, no decision can be taken which will affect, the future game-plan, of followers of the West Asian religion. All politicians and political parties are fully aware of the grim future that awaits them and their progeny, if the reign of the converts is not checked. Therefore, some State governments have passed feeble anti-conversion laws to check the clandestine conversions going on unabated, by foreign funded entities. However, the Constitutional provisions are now proving to be a millstone around the neck of the country, the judiciary is totally helpless and no political party has the requisite numbers in Parliament to amend the Constitution.

Remedial measure: The nomenclature Anti-Conversion Bill, is what rattles the West Asian religions, they think it is their birth right to convert everybody on this planet. Because of their deep-rooted links and financial support from foreign countries, they are able to create an international ruckus in the media claiming infringement of their religious rights. Again, the Constitution is at fault, as it mentions a loosely defined term “propagate” which is mischievously interpreted as right to convert. The problem can be intelligently overcome by renaming the Anti-Conversion Bill as ‘Protection of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Dalits and Tribals from Corrupt Conversion Practices Bill’. Once the scope for conversions gets circumscribed, many ills plaguing the country can be controlled to a great extent.

Another fallout of the vice like grip on education by adherents of West Asian religions, is that, the Fourth Estate has fallen into their hands. Sizeable sections of the print and visual media are controlled by them, thus enabling dissemination of doctored news, promoting their agenda, creating media hype and running down those who do not fall in line. Sizeable number of journalists are adherents of West Asian faiths; hence an anti-Hindu bias is a prominent and common trait. This imbalance needs to be rectified, as the West Asian religions are able to twist and distort any event in the country, in whatever way they desire.

Remedial measure:
Fortunately, newspaper reading habit is on the decline around the globe, especially by the younger generation. The rise and popularity of social media ensures that truthful news can be aired without editing and distortion by any vested interests. Government needs to start a social media of its own to disseminate correct news. A campaign titled ‘Don’t Change Your Ancestral Religion’, to counteract the conversion agenda, needs to be launched to preserve the identity, culture and heritage of this country.

Another avenue for conversion is luring and trapping young girls into marriages of convenience. The vast network of schools and colleges provide a convenient platform to entice gullible young girls, convert and marry them. They are thereafter sent to hardcore religious learning institutions, where they are literally brainwashed to believe in fundamentalist foreign beliefs and dogmas. Many girls are clandestinely sent to militant war zones in West Asia to work as sex workers or participate in battles there. These kind of secret love marriages are disrupting families, communities and also the nation. In fact, one West Asian religion is also affected by these contrived ‘Love marriages’, and a religious head made a sensational statement, recently, about the need to control such rising enticed, love marriages. He also stressed that narcotics was being used in a big way to facilitate enticing gullible young girls.

In all inter-religious marriages, prior public notice should be made mandatory, only a Civil marriage function should be permitted. Conversion to either party’s religion should be permitted only after five years of marriage after due legal process. The girl should be legally enabled to retain her maiden name in all public documents for five years. No change of name or addition of husband’s name should be permitted for five years.Any offspring born cannot be made to undergo any religious ceremony for five years. These measures will not only protect but act as a deterrent for those who plan to use marriages for quick conversions.

Next, all institutions imparting religious training, teachers employed therein, and students need to be registered with the Police department. The curriculum taught should be vetted by the State Education Department and made public so that inflammatory beliefs are not taught. Periodic inspections and examination of students by student counsellors and psychiatrists should be made mandatory. No financial aid of any kind should be given by the Government to such religious-educational institutions. Local language and English education should be made compulsory. This is because one particular West Asian religion teaches only a foreign language in their religious education institutes. This would create a piquant situation in future wherein the local population will know only a foreign language. The local language, culture and knowledge will totally vanish. It can lead to very dangerous consequences in future for national unity.

Another urgently needed measure is for the government to prescribe a uniform national holiday list for all educational institutions in India. Most West Asian run educational institutions do not give holidays on Hindu, Sikh, Buddhis and Jain festivals, keep examinations when Hindu festivals occur, and do not allow any Hindu festival to be celebrated on the campus. In this way young minds are poisoned from the school level itself, that followers of West Asian faiths are a different class.

Another disastrous fallout of education being monopolised by West Asian religions, is the use of narcotics to lure young boys and girls. A religious head of one West Asian religion made a sensational allegation against the other West Asian religion, recently, of deliberately using narcotics to trap young girls, in schools and colleges, into the web of addiction and conversion. All these are indications of deliberate, pre-planned conversion agenda being plotted against one section of the population.

Remedial Measures:
Government is extensively fighting the narcotics menace. However, the latest revelation that it is being used as an accessory to facilitate conversions needs to be nipped in the bud. Use of narcotics against girls, in schools and colleges should invite mandatory life imprisonment, irrespective of the quantity.

The vice like grip on the educational sector has another undesireable fallout. One particular West Asian religion has been assiduously imposing a claustrophobic dress code on their females. It is vigorously enforced by coercive measures. This habit is nowadays being extended to the workplace also.

Remedial measures:
Within the school and college premises, workplaces whether government or private, wearing any kind of headgear or face and body coverings need to be totally banned. All these practices can be and should be done only in the privacy of their homes.

Another fast-growing trend is using of public spaces for conducting prayers. Open playgrounds, roads and highways, public spaces, all are being forcibly occupied, ostensibly to display numerical strength and threaten other communities. In many towns and cities this practice leads to regular riots. Prayers using public spaces should be totally banned.

Another intimidatory practice is the use of high-decibel loudspeakers in worship places. Though apparently used for prayers, the fact that it keeps emphasising that there is only one true religion and the founder is the only representative of God, only serves to instill fear in other communities. Though many Courts have forbidden the use of loudspeakers, the implementation is tardy as politicians fearing vote erosion are not keen to enforce legal orders.

All these kinds of practices need to be effectively curbed by appropriate legislations. The Courts need to take a broad view as also have a futuristic vision, as to how such derogatory practices can ruin the country. We cannot be citing the Constitution to derail safety measures.

Another unwanted West Asian imposition is the certification and branding of foodstuffs using a specific religious term. In a particular southern State, there was an uproar of disapproval, recently, when this term was used by a housing firm for advertising their residential flats. All these are part of a multi-pronged agenda to foster conversion to a particular West Asian religion.

Another matter of grave concern is the use of NGOs by West Asian religions to destabilize the nation’s growth. Intelligently stage-managed protests and violence were organised by a West Asian religion, in a Southern State, to disrupt functioning of a nuclear power plant and a Copper plant, at the behest of foreign entities. Agitations in the capital and many States are being funded by foreign entities. The Government has brought in a few measures to curb the funding of NGOs, and many conversion outfits.

Another trend adopted by one of the West Asian religions is copying and imitating Hindu Temple customs, rituals and traditions. Names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are used for foreign gods, to create confusion in the minds of people. Many Temple rituals are being imitated as also Temple symbols. The Sikhs are now facing a similar problem as many elements of the Sikh religion and their religious terms are being copied and used freely for foreign gods, to destabilize the Sikh religion. There needs to be a law to protect the religious traditions and rituals of every community from being appropriated and used by West Asian religions.

As the tentacles of religious conversions keep growing unchecked, internal security, communal harmony, demographic changes, industrial growth, all get severely impacted. National politics itself gets sabotaged as foreign entities get unhindered access to dictate policies, determine what kind of growth can take place, how much it can grow, and what should not be permitted. Many security establishments in the country are completely encircled by population enclaves of followers of a particular West Asian religion. One dreads to think as to what will happen during war time? Will the forces fight the external invader or battle the internal obstructing abettor?

Now that elections have been announced in 5 States, the BJP should adopt a strict anti-narcotic policy and use every strategy to counter religious conversions. Every family, man, woman and child, social organizations, government officials should be made to come out on the street and participate in anti-narcotics movement. This will pay handsome dividends in creating drug awareness, identifying affected people and giving them treatment, traffickers were publicly exposed and made to repent. This strategy needs to be adopted to tackle the scourge of religious conversions going on unabated across India.

Almost all nations have a proclaimed national religion in their Constitution, which is meant as a safeguard to preserve their national integrity and identity. India is one of the very few countries that chose an undefined term ‘secular’ to describe its religious orientation, which has been exploited, misused and misapplied, extensively, thereby making the country into a playground for two West Asian religions to run amuck. Let us all intelligently cooperate to enact a ‘Protection of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Dalits and Tribals from Corrupt Conversion Practices Bill’, and conduct mass movements and rallies against religious conversions, to save this nation, its geography, religion, culture, heritage and traditions.

The author Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS (Rtd) Ph. D (Narcotics), is

  • Former Director General National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, and Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence India
  • Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, USA.
  • Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA 
  • Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A.
  • AOTS Scholar, Japan

Dr G Shreekumar Menon can be contacted at shreemenon48@gmail.com

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