Right to Freedom of Religion and Forceful Conversions
Why in news :
- The ministry of Home Affairs told the Supreme Court that the right to religion does not include the right to convert other people to a particular religion, especially though fraud, deception coercion, allurement and other means.
- The apex court observed that fraudulent religious conversions “ultimately affect the security of the nation and freedom of religion and conscience of citizens.”
- Right to freedom of religion : Article 25 to 28 deals with the right to freedom of religion.
Article 25 : Freedom of Conscience and Free Profession, Practice and Propagation of Religion
- Freedom of conscience : Inner freedom of an individual to express or moulds his relation with God in whatever way he desires.
- Right to profess : Declaration of one’s religious beliefs and faith openly and freely.
- Right to practice : Performance of religious worship, rituals etc.
- Right to propogate : Transmission and dissemination of one’s religious beliefs to others. But, it does not include a right to convert.
But, these rights are not absolute they are subjected to public order, morality, health and other provisions relating to fundamental rights.
The Government based on the above exceptions said that “fraudulent or induced conversion impinge upon the right to freedom of conscience of an individual.”
It also hampers public order, so therefore the state is well within its power to regulate or restrict the forceful conversions.
Syllabus : prelims + mains; GS-2; Governance- various laws