Religious freedom in contest: Enforcing religion through anti-conversion laws in India

Bhat, M. Mohsin Alam (2021) Religious freedom in contest: Enforcing religion through anti-conversion laws in India. Journal of Law, Religion and State, 9 (2-3). pp. 178-211. ISSN 22124810

[thumbnail of JLRS2021.pdf] Text
JLRS2021.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (276kB) | Request a copy


Legal regulation of religious conversion has become one of the central human rights issues worldwide. Numerous countries, especially in South Asia, have enacted laws that prohibit proselytizating on the grounds of force, allurement, and misrepresentation. Critics have consistently relied on freedom of religion to oppose these laws, but courts in these jurisdictions have upheld them on the very grounds of religious freedom. The present Article explains the historical and ideological bases of this counterintuitive approach to religious freedom by focusing on the case of India. It argues that this approach is based on a historically evolving conception of religion associated with modern Hinduism, according to which all religions have an equal claim to spiritual truth. This precept of religious equality has come to constitute the political and judicial approach to religious freedom and religious conversion laws. The Article uses this interpretive insight to renew the normative critique of such laws

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Caste | Discrimination | Hinduism | India | Religious conversion | Religious freedom | Tolerance
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > Religious studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 14:24
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 14:24
Official URL:


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item