Bengaluru – The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka has chosen to repeal the law prohibiting religious conversion, keeping its vow to review and, if necessary, repeal all laws passed by the previous BJP administration. According to HK Patil, the state’s minister of law and parliamentary affairs, the reforms adopted by the state cabinet today also included a legislation on agricultural markets and the history curriculum in schools.
The law prohibiting forced, false, or enticing conversion to another religion was implemented in Karnataka by an ordinance or executive order in May of last year and has since been adopted by numerous BJP-ruled states. Later, in September, a bill to replace it was presented in the state assembly.
The law turned into a subject of contention between the BJP and the Congress It was claimed by the opposition party that it was a weapon for harassing minorities.
“Our law has the power to prevent forced conversion that is motivated by rewards and threats. So why is a new legislation necessary? The only motivation, according to Mr. Siddaramaiah, is to harass and threaten minorities.
Even in court, Christian organisations contended that the new law infringed the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
The chapters on VD Savarkar and KB Hedgewar, one of the founders of the BJP’s ideological forebear Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, have been decided to be removed from school history books, according to Mr. Patil. Last year, the chapters were added.