Conundrums of Religious Conversion in Tribal Areas of India

AuthorMridula Thakur
Published date01 December 2022
Date01 December 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Conundrums of
Religious Conversion in
Tribal Areas of India
Mridula Thakur1
India is a land of multiple religions, faiths and beliefs where every individual
has the freedom of choice to practice, profess and propagate the religion of
their choice. However, the coerced form of conversion has been the subject
matter for a long period of time. Recently, there have been different instances
of conversion that have been marked by enticements, deception and dishonesty,
which is a grave matter of concern in the country. Various state governments
have proposed to enact laws and have made amendments and passed ordinances
to check conversion in their respective States.
This author seeks to draw an overview of the recent issues related to
religious conversion, and it looks into the various legislations that have been
passed by different states of India to curb it. Emphasis has been laid on changing
paradigms and judicial interpretations with respect to religious conversion.
Freedom, conversion, coercion, legislation, judicial interpretation
Religious conversion has been a subject of debate for a long period of time in
India. However, it became a disturbing trend in our country when foreign invaders
started settling in India and imposing their own religions over the common masses
by coercion and force (Huff, 2009). Majority of the Indian population practices
Hinduism as their religion, and India has also been a land of some of the primitive
tribes who are settled here from the time immemorial. During the period of the
Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire and the British Raj (Copland, 2006), conver-
sion of the marginalised and Indigenous communities in India was allowed.
Additionally, religious conversion became a tool to disturb India’s social harmony.
Indian Journal of Public
68(4) 657–664, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221109210
1 Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Mridula Thakur, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Chhatra Marg, New Delhi 110007, India.

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