Law should be made against religious conversions: Kejriwal in Punjab

Punjab will go to polls in a single phase on February 20, Kejriwal has projected Aam Aadmi Party as the alternative to Punjab’s incumbent Congress-led government

Religious Conversion

Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, echoed right-wing politicians and said that an “anti religious conversion” law must be made. Kejriwal was speaking in poll bound Punjab’s Jalandhar and said, “Religion is a private matter. Everybody has the right to worship a God. A law should definitely be made against religious conversions but nobody should be wrongly harassed through this. Conversion done by scaring them is wrong,” in Punjab’s Jalandhar. 

Punjab will go to polls in a single phase on February 20 and the counting of votes will be done on March 10. Kejriwal has projected AAP as the alternative to Punjab’s incumbent Congress-led government. However, his statement is similar to what political leaders of BJP-ruled states make, when it comes to religious conversions. The BJP-governed states of Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have brought such a law in place and other BJP-ruled states, including Haryana and Assam, have also voiced their desire to enact similar laws to prevent conversions. 

Arvind Kejriwal is one of the few CMs who has also led his cabinet colleagues and performed a “public” a.k.a government’s Diwali puja for the past two years. It is the only religious festival celebrated publicly by the Delhi government using public funds. In 2020 RTI activist and TMC member Saket Gokhale, had cited an RTI reply to claim that  Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had spent ₹ 6 crore on its Laxmi Puja event in November that year. The event was telecast live on November 14, 2020. In 2021, Kehriwal’s ‘sarkari’ or Government Diwali, as it were, was celebrated against a backdrop of Ayodhya’s Ram temple set up at Thyagaraj Sports Complex as part of its ‘Dilli ki Diwali’ celebrations.

However during his Goa campaign Arvind Kejriwal who is also AAP national convener had already promised the people of Goa “free pilgrimage” to various religious centres, including Ayodhya and Ajmer Sharif, if his party is voted to power. All for free. Free as in on Taxpayers money.  Wooing Goans he had said, “If AAP comes to power, we will arrange for free darshan of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Christian brothers and sisters will be taken to Velankanni and Muslims to Ajmer Sharif. Many people also have faith in Sai Baba, and will arrange trips for Shirdi for them.” 

In Punjab, as reported in The Wire, the Bharatiya Janata Party is also trying to “polarise the Hindus of Punjab and try and include them in its larger Hindutva project.” 


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