India is being betrayed by the government, by the courts, and most importantly, by its people. What sets India apart from its neighbors – is freedom enshrined in the Constitution. Freedom of thought. Freedom of speech. And yes – freedom of religion. Because religion is nothing but an extension of thought.
As a citizen, I’m embarrassed that 5 states have banned religious conversion. In my opinion, the people who created these laws as well as those who support them need to leave India. Clearly, these people do not know that what we created in 1947 is something special that needs to be protected. But no, they want to throw away the idea of India – which is a place where people can live their lives free from harassment as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.
Why are you living in a country whose ideals you do not believe in? By staying here under the Indian Constitution enjoying its benefits, you’re a hypocrite. No one can force you to leave, but come on – do the right thing and settle someplace else where the founding principles are more in line with your tastes. Like China, Iran, Afghanistan or whatever. What defines India is the Constitution and freedom, not some random set of boundaries created hundreds of years ago. If you don’t believe in the Constitution’s values, you have no business remaining here.
Incentive to Convert? No Problem!
Many people have a problem with Christian missionaries for example, offering starving people food as an incentive to convert. But so what? I think by offering starving people food, Christian missionaries are doing something awesome. They’re giving a person a way out of their misery. And no one is forcing the recipient to accept. At any point of time, they can refuse and not be any worse off than they were before.
That last sentence is the key to all of this. By merely making the offer, does the Christian (or Mulsim) missionary take something away from the person to whom they make the offer? Tomorrow if I approach a person in need and offer them money if they do something for me, is that wrong? Are they not at liberty to refuse my money and my help?
From a purely logical and practical standpoint, I think missionaries of all kinds are doing everyone a favor. They’re giving people choice and opening up more avenues of action. More choice is never a bad thing. “Forced conversions” in today’s world is a misnomer. You can no more “force” someone to convert, than you can force them to have a certain thought.
Let me put it in another way. If I’m starving and some dude offers me help if I subscribe to their newsletter, sign up on their website, or agree to carry some membership card of their organization, will I be happy or sad? Will I be upset that the option is presented to me? I can always say “no” and return to how I was before. Does merely providing a choice harm me?
And yet, a lot of Hindutva types will spout some bullshit about “cultural imperialism”, pretending that they know what is good for others. Theek hai bhai, no one is forcing you to convert, so what is your problem? If you’re so hung up on Christian missionaries making an offer to others, who is stopping you from making a counter offer? Go ahead and sell your product man!
But don’t sit around bitching that your customers are being stolen away by the competition who offers better benefits than you. If you want your club to retain its membership, then compete or shut the fuck up.
P.S: I’m an atheist, so I have no skin in this game. But it’s the principle that matters.