The Jharkhand government is likely to move an anti-conversion bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the state assembly, which starts in August. According to sources, the state government has directed the officials to prepare the draft legislation. In Jharkhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishva Hindu Parishad have for long time been demanding a law to ban religious conversion. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das had raised the issue last year. The BJP and right-wing leaders claim that Christian missionaries active in Jharkhand are indulging in conversion of innocent tribal people.
A large number of tribal people have been converted to Christianity, they allege. The tribals constitute around 27 per cent of Jharkhand’s population. Earlier, the figure stood at 32 per cent. Experts blame arrival of “outsiders”, the non-Jharkhandis, and conversion for the decline in the percentage of tribals in the population.
According to sources, once the draft legislation is prepared, it will be placed before the state cabinet for approval. In India, seven states have formulated anti-conversion law. The sources said the state government was studying the draft bills of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other states before taking the final decision.