Issues Of Faith

Check out the bit I’ve italicized in the excerpt below:

The BJP on Monday said the affidavit filed by the government in Supreme Court on Sethusamudram project is “objectionable and unacceptable” as issues of faith cannot be decided by a court.

“The questions of faith do not have a proof to substantiate, may it be the faith in Mother Mary or anything else,” party spokesperson Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a press conference here.

“Government’s stand on Ram Setu is objectionable and unacceptable. It cannot ask for issues of faith to be decided by the court, it is for the elected government to decide,” he said.

Go figure. Only the government can decide it, they say, but not this government.

Meanwhile, in a different context, a BBC report tells us:

Orissa has a law obliging people to ask for police permission before changing religion – thought to be a measure aimed at curbing Christian missionaries.

This is quite ridiculous. A person’s faith is a private matter, and the state has no business interfering. Some argue that such laws are needed because forced conversions take place, but surely you don’t need a law specific to religion to fight coercion. The state should have nothing to do with religion, and should give individual rights precedence over the demands of interest groups playing identity politics.

Individual rights? asks a voice in my head. What’s that? Do the scriptures of any religion mention it?

(Links via email from Joby Joseph and Soumita respectively.)