State government in Southern India prepares to introduce anti-conversion law
According to media reports in India, the state government of Karnataka will soon introduce a controversial bill to enact an anti-conversion law. The introduction of the bill follows months of public debate over the issue of religious conversions which seems set to conclude with the enactment of another anti-conversion law in the coming weeks.
On the 20th of December the Basavaraj Bommai led government of Karnataka cleared the “Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021”. The proposed law would regulate religious conversions taking place in Karnataka and punish those involved in fraudulent religious conversions.
According to the bill, an individual seeking to change their religion must apply to the competent government authority two months in advance. The process of the conversion would then be regulated by the state government to ensure no illegal methods were used to convert the individual.
The bill also makes forced or fraudulent religious conversions a criminal offense. According to the bill, individuals could face 10 years imprisonment and a penalty of 100,000 rupees if convicted of engaging in forced conversions.