FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND ANTI-CONVERSION LAWS IN INDIA:
Author : Yuthika Agrawal
Institution: Assistant Professor
Indore Institute of Law, Indore ( MP)
Almost all nations in the world grant freedom of faith in one from or other. In a multi-religious country like India, which owes its religious plurality to tradition rather than any recent or contemporary phenomenon, such a guarantee assumes special significance. Religion has become the way of life today and foundation of every society, similarly India owes its transition to democratic nation to religion itself. This is not hidden that India has been the home to many diverse religions in the world that became its parts now. These religions and their practices have a great role to play in development of modern secular nation, which India is today, where there is freedom of religion. Each individual is entitled to constitutional freedom to propagate and practice any religion of his choice which is necessary for social welfare and reform. The right of freedom to profess religion freely like any other right is subject to public order, morality and health, this shows the vision of harmony between different groups as seen by our forefathers. The concept of freedom and religion are exhibited in our Constitution to safeguard larger interest of society.
Therefore in larger interest, many states have come up with their own laws to govern conversion form one religion to another and to regulate illegal or unlawful conversion. This is done to maintain public order in the society and to keep illegal activities related to religion under check. Thus, the present research discuss whether or not these local laws are in consonance with the freedom of religion as given under Article 25 of the Constitution. These laws are be judged in the light of their constitutional validity in terms of reasonability and to see to it that they are not unnecessarily encroaching upon the right to freedom of religion. The scope and ambit of Article 25 of the Constitution of India in light of relevant judicial pronouncements and other provisions of the Constitution is discussed. The aim is to understand the right in broader scope of its application and features. The questions related to right to conversion as included in the right along with who has the competence to formulate legislations on it are being discussed in it. To understand it in better sense, some reliance has been placed on Constituent Assembly Debates as well......
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