Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Banning Conversions


Banning Conversions

-Dr T.H.Chowdary*


The Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly passed a Bill  on 30 Nov 2022 against religious conversion.  This is not the first time that such bill / acts were passed  in several states of India.  In the 1950s, the then   government of  Central Provinces (CP) appointed  the Js. Niyogi Committee to inquire into  the large -scale  conversions  of tribals  and other  vulnerable sections of Hindu society  by by different Christian missionaries by fraud, enticement,  false propaganda against Hinduism  and such questionable  activities.   In consequence of the Niyogi Committee report,  the Congress government  in Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh), Orissa and some other states enacted legislation  against  religious conversion.   Now  the Karnataka government is also  contemplating such legislation.  The problem however is  in the implementation of the  laws already made  against conversions.  For eg:  in the tribal areas of  Orissa about 40% of the tribals have been  converted. By  those that were converted  according to the procedure  prescribed in the anti-conversion law  can be  counted on fingers . Which means the laws are not being  enforced.   By now conversions to Christianity  have reached menacing  proportions  in AP, Tamilnadu, Chhattisgarh, Orissa , Jharkhand and some other states despite anti-conversion  laws  earlier enacted.


2. In AP  in some districts the conversion  has been to such an extent that the converted are demanding  for a separate  Christian  district just as in Kerala,  Haryana and  Punjab where Muslim majority districts are carved out of existing  composite districts -  Malappuram out of Malabar; Mewat out of Guwahati and Malerkotla in Punjab.


3. The fraud involved in conversion has  reached   menacing proportion threatening  the interests  of unconverted SCs .  For eg:  before the division , in composite state of  AP,  the proportion of Christian  population as recorded in census bears  out one of the aspects of   fraud .



Christian Population in Andhra Pradesh (undivided)









Total population  mln






Christians  mln






% of Christian population






Source:  Census of India

4.  The fraud is: the converted  were told  not to disclose the fact of conversion for any government record including  the   census  so that even after conversion, they can get the  reservations and other  benefits  meant  for Hindu, Buddhist and  Sikh SCs.   Now in AP with the  Chief Minister,  a committed  Christian   who has  initiated the  practice of  paying salaries to Pastors  as for government officials out of government funds   and is constructing churches  through the   government’s Public Works  Department (PWD).The Christianization is out in the open.


5. Mahatma Gandhi,  who like Dr Ambedkar is quoted  with admiration for most of his views   was  openly  critical and denunciatory of   conversion by Christian missionaries . Here are some quotes:


Mahatma Gandhi on Missionaries


Presented below are some views of Mahatma Gandhi on Christians’ proselytization activities. For more, one may refer to Chapter 14: “Encounters with Mahatma Gandhi” (Pages 124 to 238) in the book, “ History of Hindu-Christian Encounters”  (A D 304 to 1996) by Sitaram Goel, a Voice of India publication.


“I should stop Proselytising:


The Harijan dated May 11, 1935, published an interview given by Gandhiji to a missionary nurse before that date.  The nurse asked him, “would you prevent missionaries coming to India in order to baptise?


Gandhiji replied, “If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all Proselytising.


It is the cause of much avoidable conflict between class and  unnecessary heart burning among the missionaries .In Hindu  households the advent of a missionary had meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of  change of dress, manners, language , food and drink.           




Ø  Mahatma Gandhi advised the missionaries to serve the spirit of Christianity better by dropping the goal of proselytizing but continuing their philanthropic work.

Ø  …” Although the missionary  went to the foreign fields to win souls for Jesus, the results of his labours  also meant the extension of commerce.  Trade would follow the banner of the Cross, as readily as it would the Union Jack, the Stars and Stripes, or any of the other national emblems and usually it cost a good deal less.”…. (Young India of February 8, 1923)

Ø  “I am sorry to have to record my opinion that it (Christian missionary work) has been disastrous.  It pains me to have to say that the Christian missionaries as a body, with honourable exceptions, have actively supported a system which has impoverished, enervated and demoralised a people considered to be among the gentlest and the most civilized on earth.”. (Young India Feb 8, 1923)


Mahatma Gandhi further wrote: “…it (the missionary’s work) is not unusual to find Christianity synonymous with denationalization and Europianisation….”



Ø  “In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink”.  The nurse commented, “Is it not the old conception you are referring to? No such is now associated with proselytisation”.  Gandhiji was well-informed about the missionary methods.  He said, “The outward condition has perhaps changed but the inward mostly remains the same.  Vilification of Hindu religion, though subdued, is there……”


Ø  About the humanitarian work Gandhiji  had this to say. , “ the other day a missionary descended  on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine-stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple and demolished it.  This is outrageous.  The temple could not belong to the converted, and it could not belong to the Christian missionary.  But this friend goes and gets it demolished at the hands of the very men who only a little while ago believed that God was there.”


6. Dr Ambedkar was also   against conversion of Dalits not only to Christianity but also to Islam. In his  final act of  quitting from Sanatan Hindu Dharma  in 1956, he exhorted  the Dalits  not to convert to  Christianity or Islam as in either  case they would lose the great  and glorious heritage  of India  and get de-nationalized .

7. So what is necessary is not merely these laws which will not be and perhaps  cannot be implemented in the  face of   determined fraud and  political parties’ to get   block votes of minorities going  easy on their  fraudulent actions.

8. Article-25 of the Constitution : “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of  religion”.

(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and ……..all  persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.


It is necessary to remove the word “propagate  in Art- 25 of the Constitution.


This word,  propagate drew bitter criticism and denunciation from two eminent members of the Constituent Assembly Loknath Misra & K T Shah:


While speaking on this provision,  Sri Loknath Misra, an eminent  parliamentarian and scholar observed, “….to my mind  article 19 (which became Art-25 in the   final version  of the   constitution) is a Charter for Hindu enslavement. I do really feel that this is the   most disgraceful article, the blackest part of the draft constitution. I beg to submit that I  have considered and studied all the constitutional precedents and have not  found anywhere,  any mention of the  word propaganda (propagate)  as a fundamental right relating to religions…propagation of religion brought India into this  unfortunate state and India  had to be divided into Pakistan and  India. If  Islam  had not come to impose its will on this land, India would have been  a perfectly secular  state and a homogeneous state. …if you accept  religion, you must accept  Hinduism as it is practised by an overwhelming   majority of the  people of India….”


Prof  K T Shah was another  eminent member of the Consembly. He too was opposed to have this fundamental right to propagate  religion  put in our constitution.   While opposing this  provision,  he moved an amendment  which  ran, “ provided that no propaganda in favour of any one religion which is calculated to  result in change of  faith by the induvial affected shall be allowed in any schools or colleges  or other  educational institutions;  in any hospital or asylum or in any other place or institution where persons  of a tender age or of unsound mind or body are eligible to be exposed to  undue influence from their teachers, nurses or physicians, keepers or guardian or any other person set in authority above them and which is  maintained fully or partially from public revenues or is  in any way aided or protected by the  government of the  Union or of any state or public authority  therein”.


9. Besides amendment to delete the word, propagate a law should be made to make propagation of religion with a view to convert, either by individuals or groups or associations or missions, a criminal offence. (1,437 words)