Saturday, October 14, 2006

Converts Breaking The Law

I would urge everyone to watch Canada's entry for the Oscars, Water, an excellent film about injustices faced by widows in India due to religious fundamentalists. Another negative aspect to emerge from religion in India is the caste system, and today thousands of lower case Hindus converted to Christianity and Buddhism to escape the discrimination faced by lower-caste Hindus. However they will now face troubles from the law, as several Indian states have outlawed "conversion".
Thousands of people have been attending mass ceremonies in India at which hundreds of low-caste Hindus (Dalits) converted to Buddhism and Christianity.
Udit Raj, a Dalit leader, told the BBC that around 2,500 people converted to Christianity and Buddhism.
Similar mass conversions are taking place this month in many other parts of India.

Several states governed by the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, have introduced laws to make such conversions more difficult.
Hinduism teaches that most humans were created from parts of the body of the divinity Purusha.

According to which body parts they were created from, humans fall into four basic castes which define their social standing, who they can marry, and what jobs they can do.

But Dalits fall outside this system and are traditionally prevented from doing all but the most menial jobs or even drinking from the same water sources as other castes. [BBC]


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