ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hindutva vs Ambedkarism

Both the hindutva forces and the dalit leaders understand the liberating effects of the work of Christian missionaries, including conversions. For Ambedkar and his followers, conversion was a device of protest to gain social acceptance. Hindutva forces see missionary work as subversive - one that would provide equality to those marginalised in Hinduism.

With the Sangh parivar forces communalising the whole discourse on conversions, there has not been an attempt to look at the entire debate on conversions from the perspective of the subalterns. There are questions asked, objections raised and propaganda carried on against the minuscule Christian minority community that the community is aggressively involved in acts of proselytisation through bribery, coercion, force and inducements.

A community that was 2.7 per cent according to the census of 1981 has declined to 2.4 per cent. This is the government statistics. If people doubt it, then one has to doubt the state itself. The simple query then is, if the Christian population has declined, what has happened to those large-scale conversions Sangh parivar is talking about? Whether people can be bribed or induced to accept another religion is also a question worth examining. Politicians try to bribe people especially the poor, during elections. Do people vote for individuals and parties because they have been bribed or provided with liquor? If ordinary people cannot be bought by politicians in spite of large bundles of currency notes, how would Christianity induce or bribe? The dominant caste groups have always undermined the abilities of the poor to make their own decisions.

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