Religious Conversions: Why we mustn’t care

Unless conversions are forced, I see no wrong in it. Be it from Hindu to Islam, Christianity or the other way round.

Every individual has right to choose a religion based on there own reasons as one of the converts said, “Religion doesn’t feed me so it doesn’t matter to me today that I would do Ganesh Vandana from tomorrow as against offering Namaz all my life.”

I couldn’t help but remember the poem ‘Grandfather’ by Jayanta Mahapatra I read while in first year of studying English Literature. It talks about how his grandfather chose Christianity because faith didn’t feed him. As a result of Orissa famine of 1866, the primitive motivation of hunger was strong enough for him to turn his back to Hinduism as Christian missionaries gave him food, shelter, school to kids and a better life.

Faith in God remains for theists but names can change. God is one, all of them say that, so the God which feeds should be chosen and not the one which is a cause for discrimination, hatred or a life that is hated.

That said, one cannot make anyone Hindu. We don’t have one particular religious text and nowhere it is written what makes one Hindu and how to convert someone. Hindus never, anytime in even very recent history, have attempted conversion.

Polytheistic religions like Hinduism always saw monotheists like another God whose existence was possible as any God in their own religion. However monotheists, historically, have been waging wars, imperialistic expansions, with the rigid thought that theirs is the only proper God and others are all false.

And so the problem of conversion. Polytheists (almost) never in recorded history tried to expand in the name of spreading religion. Flexibility is one of the fundamentals of these religions which believed everyone had a right to believe in whatever God they wanted to believe in.

This idea gave birth to many Gods in those religion. Coming to monotheists, they claim to be monotheists but they are quite Polytheists in nature. The concept of prophets (messengers) is nothing but a replica of lesser gods in polytheism. Only difference in the history is monotheism expanded by waging wars and missionary imperialism, however modern their teachings were or are.

But still, that’s a thing of the past when democracy was absent and wars and kingdom expansion were the only ways to advance religious thoughts in absence of proper communication. Now we live in an era where religious tolerance is a fundamental duty of world citizen.

At last we are anatomically equal, homo sapiens. Religion is all about giving space and freedom to practice faith in one’s own right. That right mustn’t be forcefully given or taken away, irrespective of what religion one belongs to.

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2 thoughts on “Religious Conversions: Why we mustn’t care

    1. Very right sir. After all we created religion to live our lives in certain way. In Samskrit we say, “Dharyate iti dharma” which means “that we carry with ourselves is religion”. And all of us must have that freedom to believe in whatever entity or name we like to. Religion is a way of life.

      In some, there are gods, in some there are ideologies. Buddhism is without any God, it is a philosophy where Buddha shows the way to come out of suffering. Similarly, communism, capitalism are all religions without God which allow us to practice many rules to lead our lives.

      But fanatics wouldn’t stop. They will bomb, kill or preach wrong. But sanity wins, almost always. That’s fundamental to humanity.

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