Karnataka: Religious converts risk losing government benefits and quotas | Hubballi news


BELAGAVI: People from backward communities and scheduled castes may lose the benefits of government welfare programs and education and employment reserves if they convert to Christianity or Islam if the anti- conversion takes effect in Karnataka. The bill would contemplate treating converts as religious minorities.
Currently Hindus belonging to backward classes and SC are eligible for booking even after converting to another religion and also benefit from social assistance schemes. This could change if the anti-conversion bill is passed by the assembly and council during the current winter season in Belagavi.
“There are laws to combat coercive religious conversion, but they do not specify the penalties. In addition, the government believes that it is necessary to have strict clauses. We will examine these issues while examining the bill.” Justice Minister JC Madhuswamy said.
CM Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday the cabinet would approve the bill once the legal department completes its review and it is tabled in both chambers. “There will be different views on a new law. But, we have to protect the interests of the people despite resistance from some sections,” he said.
Officials involved in drafting the bill said it drew heavily on the illegal religious conversion law promulgated by UP last year. While the law prescribes strict clauses such as 10 years’ imprisonment to compel people to convert to a religion, its main features include the denial of benefit quotas to converted Christians.
If someone wants to convert to another religion, he has to give up the benefits of the previous religion, ”said KS Eshwarappa, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj.
Some BJP officials have reportedly suggested a policy that the convert’s caste certificate should be changed and he would be mandated to declare his new religious status. Officials, however, said talks were still in their infancy.
“According to various Supreme Court rulings, a person’s original caste will not change through religious conversion. Although the government cannot withhold benefits, their children may not be eligible because they acquire a new religion. at birth. These issues are under discussion, “an official said.
They said the new law requires the person seeking to convert to declare that they are taking the step on their own and that the declaration must be ratified by the deputy commissioner.
“All religious conversions will be recorded as the marriage registration. The list of those seeking to convert will be published and objections from relatives and other stakeholders will be invited before approving requests,” an official said.


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