Gujarat Conversion Law Amended To Suit Jains!

Gujarat government has passed the amended anti-conversion law as per which Buddhists & Jains will now be treated as Hindus. It is aimed simply to please the prosperous Jains whose missionaries are converting tribals & other Hindus to Jain-fold.

Saffronites don’t like conversion to Buddhism either but they have been added along with Jains to avoid further controversy as people could realise the deeper design then. Reality is that Jains dominate the VHP (Pravin Togadia is a Jain) that gets funds from Gujarati Jains and can’t afford to displease them.

And the fact is that number of Hindu converts to all religions including Islam & Christianity are nothing compared to Jainism. From 1981-1991 growth of Jains was a mere 4.6% & it exploded to 26% in 1991-2001, which even census officials found strange.

In Panchmahal disrict of Gujarat thousands of tribals have been converted. Similar conversion is going on in rest of Gujarat. In Malwa (MP), an entire community of Dharampals have been converted and in Bihar, the whole Sarak community spread over four states (Bihar, WB, Jharkhand and Orissa) that was for years told by Jains to be the lost ‘Shravaks’ have been converted. The VHP-BJP can’t afford to lose the prosperous Jain merchants in India, East Africa, Europe and USA who send enormous funds to the Saffron organisations.

So no matter how many Hindus get converted to Jainism, it will not be illegal in Gujarat. Of course, the same VHP would not let the Dhamma Sammelan to occur (for mass conversion to Buddhism) and surely any such function would be disrupted by the Bajrangis–take my word.

In the census report of 2001, growth rate of Muslims had gone down from 33% to 29% and also the Hindu growth rate had declined markedly but Jains not only increased but surprised everybody as it was an exponential growth. Numerous reasons were given like that Agarwals many of whom follow Jain religion earlier registering themselves under Hindus but the fact is known to everybody.

I am least concerned if a person converts of his will but the hypocrisy of these politicians and Saffron organisations need to be exposed. Interestingly, for the saffron organisations who are against conversion, a change from Hinduism to Jainism never matters. As Jains are concentrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Marwar (Rajasthan) and Madhya Pradesh, people are not aware of the ground realities but Jains are undoubtedly the biggest proselytisers in India. And not an eyebrow is raised!


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Adnan has been blogging about Indian Muslims at his blog, Indscribe.

14 thoughts on “Gujarat Conversion Law Amended To Suit Jains!”

  1. Pingback: IndianPad
  2. sai,

    The post is trying to say that political machinery is being unceremoniously used to further the agenda of the Hindu right. First, there is a law against “conversion,” ostensibly introduced merely to guard against unwilling, coerced conversions. Then that law is tweaked to allow certain kinds of conversions that suit those people. This post posits that the real agenda is limited to preventing people from embracing Islam and Christianity at all costs. They are scared that in an atmosphere promoting freedom of belief, people may adopt these faiths in large numbers, and they can’t stomach that happening.
    The point is that these organizations are misusing and deforming a noble idea to further their own petty selfish agenda.

  3. It’s simple. If RSS-BJP feels conversion from Hinduism to Christianity or any other religion is wrong (as it has implemented laws in MP, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and other state), why eyes are closed to conversions from Tribals and Hindus to Jainism.

    And if Jainism is part of Hinduism, then what’s the need for conversion at all? Further, not only the need, government is trying to facilitate it. As far as Buddhists are concerned, they are just 18,000 in entire Gujarat as their addition is simply a ploy to go ahead with this law.

  4. sandokan
    thanks. from what i gather, the amendment allows conversions among hindu, sikh, buddhist, jain religions — in other words, Indic religions — and allows intra-religion conversions in Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
    i am not sure one can have a black and white opinion on this, and will always be coloured by one’s own experiences. let me share some of mine:
    interestingly, one of my close friends is a christian couple, a catholic married to a protestant. if you know any such couple, find out if it was simple for them to marry. i know what troubles my friends had. the catholic side wanted the protestant to “convert” to catholicism (and both were christians!), to produce a letter from the vatican saying such a union was ok etc!
    and, i don’t know about the rest here, but i know so many shia muslims who truly look down upon sunnis as inferior and consider themselves the brahmins among muslims!
    i guess there are divisions in every faith.
    and finally, here’s what the indian constitution says under Freedom to manage religious affairs, though this only pertains to one clause:
    the reference to hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the sikh, jaina or buddhist religion. this is the url:

  5. The amendment is not about Sikhs. It does not include them in this. Only Buddhist and Jains. Buddhists are a mere 18,000 (almost negligible) while Jains were 6-7 lakh as per the last census.

  6. The post is confused – the law was amended to please Jains? The Jains are protesting as they do not want to be called Hindus, whether Pravin Togadia is a Jain or not.

    The law was amended to bring them under the so-called Hindu religious umbrella – perhaps it makes Modi feel safe when he can say they are Hindus too, and there is strength in numbers!

    About political machinery, etc, yes, obviously right.

  7. Not confusing but one probably needs some more awareness about Jain issues and their inner politics before understanding the problem. No major Jain organisation has protested just some solitary voices from Delhi and Norther India and just one monk. Did you hear any all-India organisation like Bhartiya Jan Sangathana etc on this issue.
    There are always a few voices of dissent also. Persons with stake in old trusts, properties and institutes where being a minority give them much more rights and freedom, would not be happy being a part of Hinduism.
    I am not saying about Jains alone but of all groups it is always a question of interests. Like if you get benefit being a minority avail it else if you are getting prominence being part of majority then t hat’s better. But you can’t have the cake and eat it too. The population of Jains dwindled over the centuries and most Agarwals who were earlier Jains are now Vaishnavas. So naturally they want proselytising and bringing others to their fold rather than facing Parsi like situation. In this context Jains in Gujarat and some other states where their monks are active in aggressive conversion would not like newspaper reports to appear every year suggesting that say…100 converted from Hindu to Muslim and 10,000 from Hindu to Jains as it naturally will bring their work in spotlight and cause tensions. The issue over Girnar in Gujarat had caused considerable tension between Hindus and Jains that the latter now regret.
    Santhara or Sallekahana is practiced all over India and just one incident came to news because it happened in a big city Jaipur. Now if there more pressure on Jains on the issue, they might have to resort that it is a minority’s tradition and it should not be termed as a social evil at par with Sati.

  8. Here, I would like to point out a post from Sharique on another part of this blog, in which we were debating (amongst many other things) whether or not it is OK for Islamic countries to ban conversion and/or proselytizing by other faiths:

    “Any other country doesn’t take actions against them because they respect an individual’s freedom of practice any religion. With regard to government taking steps to stop this, well I think any government is perfectly justified to do as it pleases. Who is stopping them? If other countries don’t do then it reflects their non-pious nature.

  9. i do not know why adnan brother is geting confused. first of all, the bill was saying jains and buddhists are sect of hindu.and there can be inter conversion without any legal steps. so jains and buddhists protested to avoid forced conversion of them to hindu. as far as census is concerned before 2001 jains were considered part of hinduism. but in bombay high court it was declared jains. during earlier census there was no separate option jains. brother go thru for more details. gaurav, wjdes foundation

  10. see the progress jains have made n dn open ur good for the nation n dn speak about others.u nd some education

  11. Dear Adnan,

    You should aware the truth so I am blogging here. The gotra of Jain and Hindu are same in many areas of India. Earlier we write “Hindu” as cast in Indian population counting. So earlier all Jains were treated as Hindus. Now as due to cheap and community based politics, politicians and government of India don’t consider the Jains problems. So now some Jains started writing “Jain” as cast rather than hindu. Even in high school’s board form, I had written “Hindu” as cast. But Now I always Jain as cast. This is the main reason.

  12. It does not mean, I started hate with Hindus. I just start written Jain to raise voice to get my rights. Which muslims are finding at the name of minority. even the population of muslim in India is more than 15 crore. And government don’t want to give to Jains even we are less than 50 Lac as per government.

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