Pursuit of dignity driving religious conversions: Minister

Pursuit of dignity driving religious conversions: Minister

Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya said on Thursday that people belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes were embracing other religions for the sake of dignity.

“These people (SCs, STs and backward classes) are treated worse than dogs. A Madiga is subjected to humiliation and looked down upon in society. Such people are converting as they want dignity in society and to lead a respectful life,” he told reporters following the BJP leaders’ accusation that the proposed caste census would promote conversions.

BJP leaders should understand the reason why SCs, STs and backward classes are getting converted. Drawbacks in a particular dharma is driving them to religious conversion. The caste census will not promote conversion. It will only act as an aid to provide justice to the oppressed classes, he said.

Earlier, Anjaneya, who held a meeting with various associations of backward classes as part of the preparations for conducting the census, said words like Madiga and Holeya cannot be done away with as they are included in the list of scheduled castes. He, however, said he had directed the State Backward Classes Commission to not use derogatory words like ‘hajama’, ‘darvesi’ and ‘kallavadda’.

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