New Delhi, Dec 3: Government today said it is open to a detailed discussion in Parliament on the issue of alleged forced reconversion and if all parties agree it could even bring a legislation to ban conversions. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu said that the NDA government is keen on discussing all issues.
“With regard to conversion and reconversion, if the Opposition wants to have a discussion, we are ready to have a detailed discussion in the House. We are also willing, if at all there is all party support, let there be a legislation also to ban conversion because this has been the wish of Mahatama Gandhi,” he said.
In case of conversion or reconversion, there are often allegations that inducement were offered to people, Naidu said. “That being the case, let the Parliament of India discuss the issue threadbare and then come to a conclusion together. Let all the states and Centre together tackle this task about conversions and reconversions,” the Minister said.
Hitting out at the Opposition, Naidu said it is not befitting for them to find an issue everyday to create “political hungama” to attack the government. “If you are really sincere, give a notice, take permission from the Speaker and have a discussion,” Naidu advised the Opposition parties. He reminded that Mahatama Gandhi had said proselytising is an enemy of the nation.
“If the House agrees, the government will have no problem in bringing an anti-conversion bill,” he said. BJP MP Kirti Azad said that there cannot be forceful conversions and in India people have been converting and reconverting for hundreds of years. “What I have heard happened in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Government should take action on it if anything wrong is going on. Why should it be made an issue to bring the nation to a standstill,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann said that ours is a multi-cultural country and different people follow different ways of life. “If a particular party does such a thing that all of us have to convert to one religion then this is very bad and we oppose it. Religion is a personal matter, if someone gets satisfaction by worshipping a neem tree, it is his wish. It is wrong to force anyone,” Mann said.
Asked about Naidu’s suggestion that an anti-conversion legislation be brought to the Parliament, Mann said that such a move would be supported.