Living in a religiously diverse society, such as India, can be challenging. While it is important to maintain the individuality of these diverse groups, it is also imperative to ensure that such groups are able to provide for as well as protect the individual rights of every member within the said group. This paper is written to address the well-known phenomenon called Forceful Conversion, while keeping in mind the various aspects related to it.
In order to ensure acceptance and administration of rights of individuals, various efforts have been taken to recognize as well as introduce international and national legal frameworks, within the Indian Legal System. It is noted that ‘Society’, as a whole, can be considered as a living organism that is constantly changing. Due to this ever-changing nature of the Society, the Nation requires a flexible yet well thought of legal system that ensures that such societal changes are kept abreast with. It is duly stated that this paper has been written while keeping in the sensitivity surrounding the aspect of religion.
The research paper aims to look into the history of Anti-Conversion Laws in India. It is intended to center around the study of the recently passed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance (‘the Ordinance’) of 2020. It identifies various provisions pertaining to the freedom of religion, thought and conscience as provided for within the scope of International Law. The frameworks being referred to here are the UDHR, ICCPR and the General Comments related to the ICCPR. These provisions are thereafter studied to identify its influence on the Indian Anti-Conversion Laws. Additionally, this paper offers the Author’s unbiased observation and comments regarding the new Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.