Chapter

Boundaries of Faith

Ronojoy Sen

in Articles of Faith

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198063803
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080168 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063803.003.0005
Boundaries of Faith

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The issue of religious conversion remains contentious in independent India and has frequently come up before the courts. There is an urgency to this question as it figures prominently in the discussion on secularism, as well as the debate on caste-based quotas in the country. This chapter examines the Supreme Court's rulings on conversion which remain controversial. Though the word ‘propagate’ is very much a part of Article 25, the Court famously ruled in Rev Stanislaus v. State of M.P. that there was no such thing as a fundamental right to convert any person. If Stanislaus struck at one of the basic tenets of missionary religions, the Court has consistently refused to allow any challenges to the legality of the government order that bars scheduled castes who convert from Hinduism to get the benefits of reservation in different spheres. However, in some cases, the Court has allowed reconversion to Hinduism as a ground to claim reservation benefits.

Keywords: India; Supreme Court; religious conversion; secularism; Hinduism; religion; scheduled castes; reservation

Chapter.  7295 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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