Indian Supreme Court rejects ‘monitoring’ missionaries
Justices dismiss anti-conversion petition by Hindu nationalists, calling it a propaganda initiative that undermines communal harmony. India’s highest court allows Hindus to be granted minority rights in the 10 states where other religious groups are the majority.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Supreme Court of India has rejected a petition presented by the Hindu Dharma Parishad (HDP), which called for the creation of a supervisory committee to monitor the activities of Christian missionaries in India.
The petition by one of India’s largest Hindu nationalist organisations was rejected last year by the Madras High Court, which did not stop it from taking its case to the Supreme Court of India.
The petition argued that “antisocial and anti-national elements” were forcibly converting people from Hinduism to other religions, most notably Christianity.
The “Petitioner submits that to strengthen India’s unity and sovereignty and stability, all the Christian missionaries should be checked and their income should be monitored,” read the petition.
Justices Indira Banerjee and AS Bopanna replied saying that such initiatives are more of a publicity stunt and not in the public interest, and were “actually disturbing the harmony” between communities.
In a another ruling in a separate case brought by a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Court ruled that Hindus can be granted minority protection in those Indian states where the majority belongs to other religious groups.
It will be up to each local assembly to define which group is a minority.
Hindus are a minority in six Indian states – Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Punjab – and in three Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Lakshadweep.