India: The Limits on Religious Freedom ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ•‹โ›ช๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ FAHMID ALAM, History 8F (GARRISON)

The complex question states, "What actions are taken to limit the religious freedom of others in India?". Elaborating on this, the question was able to raise other questions that need to be answered, such as how these limits began. The limit on religious freedom illustrates that the culprits of arson to non-Hindu religious institutions did not realize how non-Hindu symbols were as sacred to non-Hindus as Hindu symbols like the Bhagavad Gita and Sanskrit were to Hindus, and likely did not want the non-Hindus in India to receive bad karma, so they persuaded them to resort to Hinduism (by force). There are three main causes to blame for the legacy of religious inequality present today. First of all, is the violence against non-Hindus and certain aspects of their religion, as well as political powers hesitating to stop those who are limiting the religious freedom of others. Finally, the last thing that limits religious freedom in India is the prohibition of certain religious practices by law.

India has, for a long amount of time, has had an issue with religious inequality and limits on religious freedom, as India is predominantly Hindu. As mentioned, three things are to blame for this religious inequality, and the motives of the people or who have ignited the causes or the events that caused this can be elaborated on much further. "The High Court also held that Santhara, or any practice involving taking oneโ€™s life, is not an allowable religious freedom protected under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution." (Rathi, 1) This shows that some actions to limit religious freedom are done by law. The Jaipur High Court holds that Santhara, a religious practice which approves of a person to end their life. Under Article 25 in the Indian Constitution, Santhara is banned. "At least five Catholic churches in and around Delhi have reported various attacks, including suspected arson, burglary, vandalism and stone-throwing. The latest was discovered on Monday morning at St. Alphonsaโ€™s Church in New Delhi, where a parish employee found the churchโ€™s front door broken open, ceremonial vessels missing, and communion wafers strewn about." (Najar, 1) This proves that some actions to limit religious freedom in India, result in destroying the symbols of other religions, which is a way of silencing the other religions other than Hinduism physically.

My Individual Drawing for Elaborating on the Following Paragraph

"Narendra Modi of India said on Tuesday that his government would not โ€œaccept violence against any religion, on any pretext,โ€ and that it would take forceful steps if such crimes occurred, in a speech widely interpreted as a response to a series of attacks on Roman Catholic churches in and around New Delhi; 'I think heโ€™s been wanting to do it, but has not been able to gather courage to do it,' said Shekhar Gupta, a journalist and television host. 'One, because he is, deep down, an R.S.S. man. He does, deep down, share the same beliefs and concerns. And second, he was really shy about taking on his spiritual and ideological establishment.' " (Barry, 1 ) And the final way in which religious freedom has been limited is through not gaining the courage to speak out against it, for those who have the political power to do so. India's president, Narendra Modi, definitely had the power to shut down and punish religious violence, but he did not for a while because he came from a place where the same mindset was shared with the culprits of religious violence. And this is why it took him a while to build up the courage to put an end to this.

Also Drawn By Me: Designed to Help Symbolize the Comparison between India's ancient legacy and modern life.

In conclusion, this evidence is able to connect to the legacy of Hinduism, because in the ancient legacy of India, Hinduism was the ultimate religion. Similar to today, there are people who have the goal to return to this legacy by destroying other religions that are growing in India such as Christianity. Although the issue of what actions are taken to limit the religious freedom of others is now done researching, there is still much more to the idea of limits to religious freedom, and more questions to be researched. One new question that can now be researched on this concern is what actions to take to prevent this from happening in the future.

Bibliography (Full Citations):

  • "Modi Promises to Punish Religious Violence in India". New York Times, Ellen Barry http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/world/asia/india-narendra-modi-religious-violence.html
  • "Catholics Fear Campaign of Church Attacks in India". The New York Times, Nida Najar http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/world/asia/catholics-fear-campaign-of-church-attacks-in-india.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share
  • "On Santhara, Religious Freedoms, and Equality in India". International Policy Digest, Avanish Rathi https://intpolicydigest.org/2015/09/16/on-santhara-religious-freedoms-and-equality-in-india/

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