Anti-conversion bill stirs row in Karnataka: All you need to know

The bill aims to prevent conversion from one religion to another using force, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage. The opposition has clearly said that it will oppose the bill in the House and asserted  that it will be a challenge for the  BJP government to get the bill passed. BJP has a majority in the legislative assembly but lacks the numbers in the Legislative Council. 3 other BJP-ruled states- UP, MP and Himachal Pradesh- have already passed the anti-conversion law bill. 

The Karnataka cabinet on Monday passed the anti conversion bill and it was introduced in the  Assembly amid massive uproar. The bill aims to prevent conversion from one religion to another using force, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage. The opposition has clearly said that it will oppose the bill in the House and asserted  that it will be a challenge for the  BJP government to get the bill passed. BJP has a majority in the legislative assembly but lacks the numbers in the Legislative Council. 3 other BJP-ruled states- UP, MP and Himachal Pradesh- have already passed the anti-conversion law bill. 

Key points |


1. The controversial Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021, after receiving a nod from the cabinet, was on Tuesday introducedin the Karnataka Assembly. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is confident about the bill as the ruling BJP party enjoys majority in the lower house and expects smooth clearance of the bill in the upper house as well.  

2. The opposition, however,  has taken a firm stand against  the bill and said  they will not let the bill to get passed in Karnataka. The former CMs Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy have  said they 'wouldn’t allow passage of the bill'

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3. Before the cabinet meeting, CM Bommai, at an event organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad said: “Innocent people are being converted. They are lured by money and financial assistance. Hindus were often invaded leading to large scale religious conversions from time to time. There is a religious invasion too.”

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4. The draft bill aims to stop conversion in the state and says, “No person shall convert or attempt to convert either directly or otherwise any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire for conversions.”

5. According to the proposed draft, complaints in the matter of conversion can be filed by any family member or any person related to one who is getting converted. After the draft becomes a bill, the offense will be counted as a cognizable and non-bailable offense. The draft proposes a maximum of 3-10 years of imprisonment with a minimum Rs 25,000 fine and maximum 50,000 fine.

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