Karnataka cabinet: Decides to repeal anti-conversion law; Hedgewar's chapter will also be removed from textbooks

Pankaj Prasad
anti conversion law discussion
anti conversion law discussion

Karnataka Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa has decided to remove the chapter on RSS founder KB Hedgewar and others from school textbooks in the state.

With the change of regime in Karnataka, the work of overturning the old laws has also started. As soon as the month passes, the Congress government has not only made a complete plan to repeal the conversion law brought by the previous BJP government, but the Karnataka cabinet has also approved it. Soon this proposal will be brought in the assembly. Along with this, the cabinet has also unanimously decided to remove the chapter related to RSS founder Hedgewar from the school syllabus.

Hedgewar's chapter was removed

Karnataka Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa has decided to remove the chapter on RSS founder KB Hedgewar and others from school textbooks in the state. Along with him, minister HK Patil has informed that the state cabinet has decided to make it mandatory to read the Preamble of the Constitution with prayer in schools and colleges. Along with this, a decision has also been taken to amend the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act in the cabinet meeting. The move is aimed at restoring the old law. He also said that the revision of textbooks was also discussed in the cabinet meeting today. The Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister further said that the resolution regarding repeal of the conversion law will be tabled during the session beginning July 3.

The former BJP-led government had brought the conversion law

Significantly, last year, the previous government had brought the conversion law in Karnataka. Even then Congress and JDS had lodged a protest against the law brought by the BJP government. The BJP government had passed the 'Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill' from the assembly in December last year. Due to lack of majority in the Legislative Council at that time, this bill was stuck. Because of this, the government had to bring an ordinance in May to give effect to the bill.

Then the then Home Minister had argued that the incidents of religious conversion by allurement and forcible conversion have become common in the state. This law has been brought to prevent such incidents. He also said that this bill does not take away anyone's religious freedom. Any person can choose religion according to himself, but not under any pressure or temptation.

This act protects the right to freedom of religion. Also provides for prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by means of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, inducement or any fraud. Under this, there is a provision of imprisonment of three to five years with a fine of Rs 25,000. At the same time, in relation to minors, women, SC/ST people, there is a provision of imprisonment of three to 10 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 for the offenders.