Vishwanath opposes anti-conversion Bill

Former Minister and BJP MLC A.H.Vishwanath has expressed his opposition to the anti-conversion Bill tabled in the Assembly and said that it violated the provisions of the Constitution.

Addressing mediapersons here on Thursday he said the Constitution provides freedom to pursue religion of one’s choice and religious leaders have always preached harmony in society. The 12th century reformer-saint Basavanna preached universal human values and did not espouse any division but Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is set to change the status quo which will not win him any admirers or get societal approval.

He said inter-community marriages were common and one could not be jailed for that. Restrictions were being imposed on freedom to pursue the religion of one’s choice. Wondering whether the bill would in any way help the State make progress, Mr.Vishwanath questioned the need for such hasty introduction of the bill even without a debate.

He also lashed out at the mathadipathis and religious leaders of the backward classes apart from the litterateurs and wondered whether the latter were content with Rajyothsava awards. He said a widespread discussion and debate on the issue, involving the religious leaders of all communities and intellectuals, was imperative. Discussion and debate were a must before introducing a law of this nature, said Mr.Vishwanath who also suspected that the opposition by the Congress could be a drama. “The Congress should oppose the issue on legal grounds instead of enacting a drama’’, he added.

On the vandalism of the statue of Sangoli Rayanna in Belagavi, Mr.Vishwanath called for a ban on Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti. Referring to the controversy surrounding Rangayana and the protests by a section of theatre artistes, he said Rangayana had as many as 10 directors in the past and none tried to impose any particular ideology or view. He said Adannda Cariappa should exercise discretion while wielding his power as the director and take everyone into confidence.

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