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Thoughts on religious conversions in India

Religious conversions are a major cause of tension among the various religious communities in India. In India, the main religious conversions are taking place from Hinduism to Christianity and Buddhism. It must be noted here that people do not convert because they have found a better religious teaching. Most of them convert due to oppression and economic reasons.

The main reason for people converting to Buddhism is the caste system in Hinduism. It is high time that the Hindu society got rid of the evil caste system. Lot has been said about this subject but there has been no change even in the mindset of educated Hindus. The oppressed castes will look for ways to express their anger against Hinduism. One method is converting to Buddhism.

The conversion of Hindus to Christianity is mainly for material gains. Poor and uneducated people are lured to their fold with money by several missionaries. The missionaries are paid for increasing the number of followers. Numerous young people are recruited by several Christian sects to help in conversion. Education and philanthropy are used as a mask by Christian missionaries to indulge in conversion activities.

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Christian missionaries are only interested in poor Hindus, Adivasis and lower caste Hindus. It must be noted here that Christian missionaries never preach gospel of Christ among the Indian Muslims. The reason can be easily understood. Muslims will never tolerate some of the methods used by the missionaries.

A major weakness in Hinduism is its caste system and it is the chief reason for religious
conversions. There is no point in giving speeches against conversions. The Hindu society needs to reform. Especially, it should find ways to alleviate the evil of caste system.

Another point to be noted is the economic status of rural Hindus. Hindu community has closed its eyes towards the pathetic state of agriculture and traditional industries. Everything is left in the hands of the governments. There is no combined effort from the prosperous Hindus to alleviate the suffering of their poor brothers.

We are ready for heated arguments against conversions. But none of us are ready to find the reasons for people converting. Why blame the missionaries? If people are converting to other religions, it is due to neglect and ill-treatment meted out in the name of caste.