It has already been well established that India is an embodiment of plurality and this uniqueness has been preserved in the constitution. The constitution has made it crystal clear that every one is equal before the law and it disallows any form of religious discrimination by declaring India as a secular state. This is affirmation is consolidated in the preamble, article pertaining to citizenship, fundamental rights, directive principles and fundamental duties. Also there are, in the constitution, many safe guards specifically to the religious minorities.
Unfortunately the Hindutva proponents have opposed all these necessary and just aspects of the constitution. After lamenting over the religious freedom guaranteed in the constitution, they have come up with strange nationalisms to denigrate freedom of religion to religious minorities. In the process they are against secular nationalism, which is based on territorial nationalism, which does not discriminate any one. Their own brands of nationalisms are quite disastrous and aimed at dividing people on religious basis and gaining political power by accusing the honest citizens of this land as disloyal to the nation and affirming that the Hindus alone are the real patriots.
Not satisfied with all these false and deceptive propagandas, the Hindutva forces are on the look out for many other ways to perpetuate communal disharmony and hatred among religious groups to the extent of grabbing political power. These can be analyzed as follows.

5.1 Religious Discrimination
 Since India houses variety of faith-traditions she needs a broader definition of religion. This concern is expressed from the point of the Indian constitution as “of course, religion is a matter of faith but it is not necessary theistic and there are well-known religions in India like Buddhism and Jainism which do not believe in God.”[1] There are other propagation-oriented religions as well. One thing is clear that no single religion can claim to be the sole religion of India.
Therefore the time has come that we change our attitudes towards other religions. We cannot dream of attributing everything to one religion. One religion alone cannot be the key player in the center stage. It implies that no longer can we use religions as tools of cessation. They are to be used for the purpose of unity and total well being of the universe. This has been stated as “what men of all religious persuasions need to learn is that it is by working together on the basis of agreed political programmes and not by emphasizing religious differences that they can best achieve the ideal of a united Indian nation.”[2] But unfortunately, among other discriminations, religious discrimination is drawing serious consideration. For example,  ‘one of the worst crimes modern times still faces is discrimination based on race, sex, religion and belief’.[3] India is already forced into such unwarranted situation. Religious discrimination is worst of all discriminations because it leads to religious fundamentalism whose consequences all of us know very well and it leads to communalism whose consequences are still fresh in many of our memory who knew about Ayadhya and Gujarat to name a few.
The religious discrimination prevalent in this country cannot be denied. For example from the early part of Christian era, during the time of the budding of Buddhism and Jainism, there had been struggle between Shivaites and Vaishnavites on the one hand and also these two together were trying to annihilate Buddhism and Jainism on the other. But the communal forces and fundamental forces deny it rather than finding a solution.  There denial is highly calculative. For example, “the glaring fact inscribed on every page of our history and testified by even foreign historians and travelers, is that we never discriminated against any one on the score of religion in any sphere of our national life.”[4] This is an absolute denial of an issue that warrants a delicate handling and amicable solution.
The divisive communal politics of the Sang Parivar is dangerous as it hides the fact and aims at attaining political power to execute communal and fundamental agendas. Fooling people and willfully distorting the people take place in the midst of enormous constitutional protections people of minority religious community are guaranteed. Thus the Hindutva agenda is against consciousness and against the constitution of this land.
For example constitution protects every citizen without any discrimination whatsoever. Article fourteen guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the law to all persons.[5]   The constitution also checks the state so as to avoid any form of discrimination. Article fifteen directs the State not to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, etc.[6]
 Article sxteen confers equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. The simple fact is that religious discrimination of any short is not acceptable to India as per her constitution. It is worth remembering in the context of the Hindutva forces trying to manipulate the majority psyche to subdue the interests of the religious minorities that “Article 16 provides for equality of opportunity in public employment for all citizens. Article 16 also has a special provision for reservation of posts in government jobs in favour of any backward classes of citizens.”[7] All these positive and good will gestures are negatively understood by the Parivar to be against the interests of the majority community. It is quite strange the Hindutva forces are not committed to any form of social upliftment. Anything done towards that end is criticized by this force as threat to the national security.
It is again worth noting in the context of communal forces planning for a caste nationalism that “Article 17 provides for abolition of untouchability. In pursuance of this article the government has enacted the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 to make the law more stringent in removing untouchability from society.”[8]
 Another crucial aspect is that “Article 19 (1) guarantees six fundamental freedoms that are applicable throughout the territory India.”[9] They are:
Freedom of speech and expression.
Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.
Freedom to form associations and unions.
Freedom of movement
Freedom to reside and settle in any part of India.
Freedom to practice any profession or carry on any occupation, trade or business.[10]
Against these fundamental rights or freedoms the communal forces of this nation propose that only the majority will enjoy all the benefits and the minority religious communities will have to live at the mercy of this numerically dominant group. The constitution is not giving a blanket freedom, as espoused by the Hindutva forces. It is crucial to remember “none of the rights are absolute, and are subject to ‘reasonable restrictions’ in the larger interest of the community as well as of the State.”[11]  To this end every citizen of this land is committed and sincere. No religion or religious community can become traitors. When such incidents are identified they can be dealt with according to the constitutional provisions. But it is not prudent that on false assumptions and perceptions the earnest citizens of this nation are accused of betraying the interest of the nation. It is more offensive that such allegation is forced on the adherents of minority religious communities.
In other words the constitution disallows anyone to divide people on religious grounds. But, rather than allowing people to have their choice some state governments, for political mileages, are arbitrarily trying to dictate what the individual has to do in matters of choosing a religion. It is disallowing the conscience to have freedom. Some of the state organized such efforts come in the form of freedom of religion bills, a deceptive nomenclature.

5.2 Freedom of Religion Bills
The freedom to choose a person’s preferential religion and maintain the required acts of religiosity is emphatically stated in the constitution. For example Article twenty-five to twenty-eight of the Constitution guarantee the Right to Freedom of Religion.
Article 25 guarantees to every person the basic right to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practices, and propagate religion freely. This is an individual right. However, one cannot commit acts that endanger public health, morality, and order in the name of religious freedom. This right is also subject   to any provisions or law that the State might make to regulate or restrict any activity associated with a religious practice, be in economic, political, financial or secular in nature. The State also holds the power to introduce social reform and social welfare in Hindu religious institution like a temple to all classes of Hindus. Article 26 declares that all religious denominations have the right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, and have the freedom to manage their own religious affairs. They also have the right to acquire and own moveable and immoveable property. These activities are subject to the restriction that they must be carried out in accordance with law. According to article 27, no individual or organization should pay tax for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion. Article 28 prohibits religious instruction in State-aided educational institutions. However, an educational institution that is administered by the State but established under a trust or endowment that requires religious instruction is permitted. Clause (3) of this article states that such instruction must not be compulsory.”[12]
In admiration to article twenty seven it is maintained that, “a further right of an important nature which has been accorded to all persons in this country is that they cannot be compelled to pay any tax for the promotion of any particular religion.”[13] In nutshell the constitution is firm against any form of religious discrimination.
All the above said Articles of the Indian constitution guarantee to all the citizens of India the freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion and also to maintain institutions. More interesting is that there cannot be any religious tax to promote the interests of any particular religion. Unfortunately these fundamental rights have been challenged in many forms by governments, organizations, parties and even individuals. The matter of paramount concern here is that often the state governments are legislating laws to curtail the basic freedom of religion, particularly to Christianity. These legislations are brought to effect through the manipulative accusation that there are many forced conversions. Added to this allegation is that fraud and inducement are used to convert people from one religion to other. The fact that till date there is not even a single proof to this effect is often ignored for political gains.

5.2.1 Private Bills in the Parliament
According to P.L. John Panikker, “in 1954, 1960, 1970, 1978, 1979 there had been efforts in the parliament to pass the anti-conversion bill.”[14] In detailing the concern he finds that there was no serious threat to the contemptuous issue of propagation, which of course some think authorize a person to convert a person from one religion to another. In his own words “in the post-Independence period two private members’ bills sought to regulate conversion activities. The Indian Converts (Regulation and Registration) Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1954 by Jethalal Joshi (Congress) and the Backward Communities (Religious Protection) Bill moved by Prakash Vir Shastri (Swatantra) in 1960 were expressions of the same old concern over the mass-scale conversion activities by foreign missionaries conducted on war footing among the vulnerable section of the society, and aimed at only regulating the trappings of conversion activities. None ever adversely touched the fundamental right to propagate religion.”[15] But the missionary oriented religions are always of the view if conversion is controlled that tantamount to curbing the freedom of religion, which is against the constitutional guarantees. From the point of vulnerable section of the people it is maintained that conversion from their traditional oppressive religion to another is the way of liberation or salvation.
All the claim of the religious minorities is to allow the free flow of conversion without any restriction of whatsoever.  Sunita Gangwal states “the freedom of Religion Bill, 1978, introduced in Parliament by Shri O.P. Tyagi caused strong resentment in the Christian community. The Minority commission received several representations alleging that certain provisions of the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act and the freedom of Religion Bill placed before the Parliament by Shri O.P. Tyagi put unwarranted restrictions on the freedom guaranteed under Article 25.”[16] The opposition is right, but one thing needs to be remembered is that constitution does not allow a person to convert another person. Rather conversion is the matter of the individual choice. Although there is no evidence of forced conversion this point needs to be maintained intact.
The allegation and request of the presenter of the bill are stated as “the statement of objects and reasons appended to Shri Tyagi’s Bill referred to the need for protecting people particularly those belonging to the Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribes from conversion allurement or wrongful inducement.”[17] There is no evidence that there was allurement and inducement. But often the humanitarian assistance provided to the underprivileged section of the society is wrongly interpreted. It is also intolerable to people who have been perpetually practicing inequality in the society. Such people could not tolerate the least ones coming up in life with dignity and status.

5.2.2 State Legislations- Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh,
Tamil Nadu, Gujarat & Rajestan
            Besides the efforts taken at the national level to curb freedom of religion in India, there are many such attempts at state level. For example “the three states, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, enacted laws in 1967, 1968 and 1978 respectively….”[18]
            The State of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa enacted legislation in 1968 controlling certain ‘objectionable’ practices of conversion.[19] About the Orissa legislation it is maintained, “the Orissa Dharma Swantantrya Adhiniyam, 1968 (The Orissa Freedom of Religion Act) was the first to be a subject of litigation. The act defined conversion as “renouncing one religion and adopting another. The Act penalized any conversion brought about as a result of force, fraud or inducement. Force ‘included’ threat of divine displeasure of social excommunication.”[20] The Madhya Pradesh Act ‘made it a penal offence to convert or to attempt to convert a person by means of force, fraud or allurement’. The Christians in India have legally opposed these Acts on the ground that it affects their fundamental right to profess, practice and propagate religion. As the result “both the Acts were taken up together by the Supreme Court and the contentions of the Christian community were rejected in toto, by the Supreme Court, laying down the following propositions of law which are, under the Constitution, binding upon all Courts in India:
(i) The right to ‘propagate’, in Art. 25(1), gives to each member of every religion the right to spread or disseminate the tenets of his religion (say, by advocacy or preaching), but it would not include the right to convert another, because each man has the same freedom of ‘conscience’ guaranteed by that very provision [Art. 25(1)]. On which the Christians relied.
(ii) The equal freedom of conscience, belonging to each man, under Art. 25(1), means that he has the freedom to choose and hold any faith of his choice and not to be converted into another religion by means of force, fraud, inducement or allurement, he can, of course, voluntarily adopt another religion, but ‘force, fraud, inducement or allurement’ takes away the free consent from the would-be convert.
(iii) Even assuming that a particular religion had the right to propagate its tenets by any means, including conversion,- the State has the right and duty to intervene if such activity of conversion offended against ‘public order, morality or health’, because the guarantee of freedom religion in Art.25 (1) is subject to the limitations of ‘public order, morality, or health’ as follows: …
(vi) If any such right to convert be conceded, such right would belong to every religion, so that there would inevitably be a breach of the public peace if every religious community carried on a campaign to convert people belonging to other faiths, by the use of force, fraud, inducement or allurement. The State was, therefore, constitutionally authorized, nay, enjoined- to maintain public order by prohibiting and penalizing conversion (including attempt to convert) if force, fraud, inducement or allurement was used by the person or persons advocating conversion in any particular case. This is exactly what had been done by the M.P. and Orissa Acts.”[21]
The judgment of the Supreme Court is comprehensive and nonpartisan. Nobody has the right to convert a person from one religion to another but everyone is free to choose a religion of his or her choice. Upholding the solemnity of this verdict is helpful to a nation like India.
Such bill was passed in Arunachal Pradesh in (1978). [22]  The opinion of the courts on these bills including Arunachal and O.P.Tyagi was that the bills were not leveled against the Christians
Similar bill was passed in Tamil Nadu in 2002.[23] The Tamil Nadu freedom of religion bill also maintained the preceding arguments. It adopted the previous bills in reiterating that it prohibits forced conversion. James Massey writes, “similar position has been taken in the recently enacted state law by the Tamil Nadu government on 31 October 2002 on the prohibition of forcible conversions.”[24] It needs to be remembered that the Tamil Nadu freedom of religion bill was repealed soon after the massive debacle in the immediate next general election.
Parallel bill was passed in Gujarat in 2003. The BJP government in Gujarath has circulated a bill to punish conversion through “allurement” by a minimum of three years of Jail.  The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Gujarat State Assembly on Wednesday 26 March 2003.
The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Bill is modeled after anti-conversion legislation adopted in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in October 2002. The language in the Bill's "Statement of Object and Reason" is highly provocative. It contains the usual reference to "force, allurement and fraudulent means", however, terms such as "anti-social", "subversive", "vested interest groups" and "exploiting innocent people" also demonstrate the deep contempt that proponents of Hindutva have for Christian workers and witness.
The intensity of the legislation is stated as “throughout the Bill, Orwellian Newspeak has scaled dizziest of heights and leaves one stunned at the sheer audacity of language used so criminally. While seeking to oppress the minorities and keep them in servitude and bondage in perpetuity, the Bill professes to “protect” them against assumptively “forced conversion”. It characterizes conversion as an “offence” (obviously to Hindutva), and an “atrocity” upon the converted! That it is so solicitous about the Scheduled Castes and Tribes would have been really very touching had it been true. But in the circumstances prevailing it is the fox’s concern for the chickens. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been able to conceal its motives, both ugly and ulterior.”[25] The hidden purpose of the legislation is further identified as  “Converting “from one religion to another”, assumes this Bill, is induced by force, fraud, and allurement. Tribals forcibly converted and reconverted to Hindutwa pigeonhole of iniquity and infamy are not within the ambit of the Bill! It is aimed at Christian conversion alone.”[26] The ambiguity of the legislation is that it allows the Sang Parivar to continue any form of conversion.
About the vehemence of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Bill it is stated that “for record, this crude Bill will go down in history as remarkably imprudent and gratuitously insulting to millions of tribal, and SC and ST men, women, and children.”[27] Again it is affirmed “it leaves the impression that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are terribly happy with their plight of destitution and degradation and don’t want to consign it to flames and its perpetrators to hell. Rather, they seek to wallow in their misery forever, ordained for them by an unethical and inhuman system of perpetual deprivation and indignity. That is, the author of the Bill, pretends that the SC and ST would not countenance, let alone make a bid for, riddance and redemption from this bestially deterministic dispensation called caste system or more grandiosely, ‘Varna Vyavastha’, which is singularly violative of human rights besides being abysmally anachronistic and humanistically abhorrent.”[28]
Likewise, the Bill's suggestion that banning conversions will "enable people to practice their own religion freely" is totally misleading. The reality is that this "Freedom of Religion Bill" will actually rob the people of their religious freedom. This is a direct violation of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.
 The Rajasthan Assembly on Friday the 17th April 2006 passed an Anti-conversion Bill, even as the entire Opposition stayed away. The “Rajasthan Dharma Swatantraya Bill 2006” (Religious Freedom Bill) has a provision for re-conversion to Hinduism.”[29] It is evident that the purpose of this bill is to encourage conversion to Hinduism and to denounce conversion to any other religion. This also supports that all attempts to nip freedom of religion to the minorities are the direct outcome of a well-conceived communal agenda in India. Some Observations on these Bills
On the basis of the Orissa, MP and Arunachal freedom of religion legislations the Christians made the following remarks. According to Mathai Zachariah “the crux of the issue is that the constitutional guarantees given to us to “profess, practice and propagate” the religion of one’s choice has been abrogated indirectly by these Acts.”[30] This is the perception about the direct and immediate implication of such a bill/ Act. The feeling that Christians are losing the fundamental freedom because article twenty-five envisages freedom to convert a person from one religion to another is not well accepted. No one has the right to convert a person from one religion to another and of course it is the choice of the individual.
The deceptive nature of the bill is also highlighted, as “the purpose is to regulate and curtail freedom of religion and not to guarantee or enhance it.”[31] This is a very serious concern. In the name of protecting the freedom of religion trying to place impasse on the individual’s freedom to choose a religion is wrong. It is true that the bills claim to protect the religion of all. But in fact these bills are preventing the freedom of others.
Mathai Zachariah questions the very false and fabricated allegation behind the maneuvering of the bills, as “the Acts prohibit conversion by the use of “force, fraud or inducement.”[32] Who can accept it? There has never been any case reported on these grounds. It is also true that no one can be forced to follow any religion. If a person changes his or her religion for monitory or material benefit or for social status that cannot be stopped.  The simple fear of the so-called religious majority groups is that if the freedom to choose a religion is unchecked they might lose the number or they might lose the votes.
Mathai Zachariah also expresses the fear that “the Acts have given unlimited power to officials of allsorts and it may be misused resulting in the harassment of people who genuinely want to change their faith.”[33] This aspect is quite stark in revealing the inherent agendas of these bills. Once the process is complicated and cumbersome, it become unaffordable to the least in the society. 
In connection with the main focus of the research in considering the freedom of religion issue as a human right issue, Mathai Zachariah highlights another remarkably worrisome effect that “these Acts and their implementation also contravene the Charter of Human Rights to which the Government of India is a signatory.”[34] The connection of freedom of religion and human rights can be elaborately discussed at a later stage. But here it is enough to underline that freedom of religion is a human rights issue as well. The UNS’ human rights declaration absolutely condemns any form of discrimination on religious grounds.
Mathai Zachariah raises another pertinent spiritual concern, as “in conversion, human being choose their ultimate ends. So freedom for conversion is the most important of freedoms.”[35] Rather than assuming mystical spiritual ground to argue in favour of freedom of religion, it will be appropriate if it is established that freedom to choose a religious persuasion of an individual’s choice for spiritual, material, social, etc. advantage should be allowed without any hurdles. At the same time all need to remember that the interest of the State and the nation prevail over the individual interests. That is no one can use religious freedom or religious resources against the sovereignty of the nation.
Freedom to choose a religion or to convert to a religion according to one’s conscience is the spirit that has to be constitutionally maintained. Christians cannot claim that they have the right to convert other people to Christianity. If such a claim is made, that amounts to unconstitutional nature.
Mathai Zachariah has also found reasons for the emergence of such freedom of religion bills. For example “the Hindu view is that all religions lead to the Ultimate Reality and conversion is unnecessary.”[36] Of course this is the predominant Indian viewpoint from the perspective of many religions. But this argument makes things stagnated and the process of dynamism is lost. Since all religions claim finality one need to have the freedom to follow any faith tradition, which seem to be promising or convenient.
On the basis of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh freedom of religion acts James Massey asks the following significant questions, “for example, does the ‘conversion’ in these laws include only one or two particular religions (Christianity and Islam) or does it also include Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and others. Is Hindu or Arya Samajists Suddhi Karan (reconversion) also covered by these laws?”[37] This is an earnest concern because those who oppose conversion practice it with different nomenclatures. What the communal forces are saying is against the truth. They claim their method of conversion is really not religious conversion, but purifying a person or welcoming a person to his or her original religion. This cannot be accepted. Freedom to choose religion is universal. One can swing between religions under any nomenclature but any change from one religion to another is conversion.
Any legislation to stop forced conversion is a welcome act in a civilized society. On the contrary if in the name of freedom of religion bills people are made to suffer so many procedural difficulties when they wanted to change from one religion to another for religious convenience or otherwise is against individual convictions.
From the entire discussions it is clear that the freedom of religion bills are not for the benefit of the mass. They are politically motivated and communally targeted. It is only to gain political points through religious sentiments. In other words it is the unveiling of the parochial interests of the majority complexed people to control and hinder the development and freedom of the minorities.
But the painful truth is that in spite of the failure in curtailing the freedom of religions to the religious minorities in India through the freedom of religion bills, the inconveniences caused to the ordinary citizens are numerous and they affect the individual freedom of many people.

5. 3 Religious Institutions

Having found legislating freedom of religions as one way of denying freedom of religion to the minorities in India, another exploitative trend is to try fraudulently against the special privileges given to the minority institutions in view of protecting them and helping them to grow.
For example, “religious denominations have a right under clause (d) of Article 26 to administer their property in accordance with law.”[38] The Article reads “Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right –(a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes; (b) to manage it own affairs in matters of religion; (c) to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and (d) to administer such property in accordance with law.”[39] The crux of this Article is stated as “Article 26 makes religious denominations including their sections the beneficiaries of the right to manage all religious affairs.”[40] P.N. Sapru writes, “the point to emphasize is that freedom to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, to manage its own affairs in matters of religion and to own, acquire movable and immovable property and administer such property in accordance with law has been clearly guaranteed by Article 26.”[41]
It is significant again like the previous considerations, even in matters of maintaining the internal affairs of the minority establishments the interest of the state prevails. This is emphatically stated as, “the state cannot interfere with the right of a religious denomination to manage its domestic affairs provided those affairs are connected only with religion and the right is exercised as not to interfere with public order, morality or health.”[42]
A very important point that should not miss the attention of any thinking person is that the minority establishments need to take utmost care to protect the rights and privileges of the individuals. This is negatively stated as, “of course, this protection cannot extend to cases where a religious denomination seeks, in the name managing its religious affairs, to deprive a member of his legal rights and privileges.”[43] This is a crucial remark. How well Indian minority organizations support human rights and fundamental rights of the individuals in relation to employees and their settlement is an appropriate introspective interrogative.
Regarding freedom as to attend at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions Article twenty eight  confers that “1.No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.
2.Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.
3.No person attending any educational institution recognized by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given consent thereto.”[44]
The article is clear and affirmative still its substance can be clearly grasped from the following analysis as: “Clause (i) of this Article prohibits the imparting of religious instruction in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.”[45] Again “Clause (ii) and (iii) of this Article make it clear, however, that religious denominations can run their schools and receive aid from the State, provided, however, that the religious instruction given in such institutions is not made compulsory for children whose parents or guardians have an objection to their so receiving it. Where, of course, the guardian assents to such education being imparted or where the person, being a major, is willing to receive such education, this prohibition does not apply.”[46]
In this connection it needs to be kept in mind that these provisions do not apply for institutions that do not receive State fund. Another point to remember in this connection is that moral education stands on a different footing. Moral education cannot be equated with religious education. Unfortunately, today there is a trend to imbibe moral education by selecting provocative, intimidating and incriminating religious accounts. This cannot be the case at all because it is dangerous to the harmony and unity of the nation.
Having unaccepted the efforts to improve the status of the religious minorities in India the Hindu majority makes the following remarks: “members of the majority Hindu community can have no religious education with state aid under Art 28(1), but can have such education only in endowment and Trust institutions under Art 28(2)…. But the state encourages religious instruction with state aid to member of the minorities.”[47] This is another expression of intolerance towards the development and well being of the numerically less religious communities. The majority community interprets their own intolerant attitude as partial attitude of the governments.
The purpose of such special arrangement is to bring the entire religious communities on par with others. By ascribing a faulty nationalism the earnest cause is diluted. For example it is maintained, “national integration becomes the casualty of such education.”[48] It looks the communal forces will be happy if one section of the society is always under undeveloped situation and do not rise against the oppressive structures.
Second part of article twenty-nine reads “No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.”[49] It is another indication of the egalitarian vision of the constitution.
In spite of all the provisions and good will there is also a legitimate fear that  “the overall effect of the judicial reconstruction of the educational and cultural rights provisions of the Constitution has been, in our respectful submission, the elevation of constitutionally defined autonomy of the minority educational institutions into quasi autocracy of their management bodies.”[50] Here the minority institutions are cautioned as to the maintenance of the institutions. The management and the maintenance of the institutions should be in commensurate with the constitutional law of the land and in keeping with the human rights of the individuals. In the name of religious institutions no crime or injustice shall be rendered to any individual. Any violation of the above concerns is against the constitutional provisions. 

Article 30 is about the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions. The article goes as follow: “(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. (1A) In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause. (2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.”[51]

            It is clear that the article thirty expects the state to protect the educational interests of the minorities and expects the states not to discriminate any educational institution on religious ground. Of course the constitution has recognized only two minorities namely, religious and linguistic. The benevolent spirit and the goodness of the constitution is often twisted to match the interest of the communal forces and the so-called numerically majority communities. For example it is maintained, “Article 30 of the Indian Constitution has conferred on them (Muslims) and other minority groups rights and privileges which are denied to the Hindus the national group of country.”[52] This is in fact an attempt to communalize the constitutional safeguards guaranteed to the minorities in India.
            The above observation contravenes the letter and spirit of article thirty.[53] What is done for the promotion of an underprivileged and numerically minority community is interpreted on par with the status of the socially well-placed and numerically majority communities. It is surprising that the same privileges given to the minorities keeping their backward condition in consideration, are forcefully asked by the socially well-placed and advantageous groups as well. This is an indirect attempt to deny freedom of religion to others. 
Rather than accepting and helping the minority groups the majority always deny their rights in many clever ways. One such way is, the majority communities find a discrimination against them in the matter of compensation accorded to the property in the event of government acquisition of the same.   It is claimed,  “in the matter of state acquisition of educational property there is discrimination. . The discrimination lies because after the deletion of Art 31 by the Constitution Amendment Act 1978, no Hindu or Hindu institution has any fundamental right of compensation in the event of state acquisition of its property.”[54] This is exaggerating the issue beyond proportion.
Not satisfied with the above crafty denial of freedom of religion, the majority communities try to gain mileage in sympathetic grounds. For example it is asked “is education more important to the children of minority communities and is of less importance to Hindu children?”[55] This is again a willful and determined effort to conceal the main agenda and to subvert the interests of the socially, economically, politically and educationally disadvantaged communities. For centuries together these groups were kept under ignorance. Their right to education and knowledge were suppressed by several means including religious. Now when the opportunities are blooming for the underprivileged the erstwhile masters are alarmed.

5.4 Religious Tolerance
The communal forces are uncomfortable with all the constitutional provisions to improve the status of the religious minorities in India. They pretentiously vow to guarantee religious freedom to all the minority religious groups. They are also on a false propagation mission that other religions do not have tolerance and only Hinduism does have. About Christianity it is alleged,  “Semitic religion was Judaism-an intolerant faith. It was this intolerance that nailed Christ on the Cross. Then came Christianity, the child of the former. That too was equally intolerant.”[56]
 While accusing Christianity as an intolerant faith tradition, the Hindu tradition is projected as the national tradition and tolerant one. For example it is maintained, “as far as the national tradition of this land is concerned, it never considers that with a change in the method of worship, an individual ceases to be the son of the soil and should be treated as an alien. Here, in this land, there can be no objection to God being called by any name whatever. Ingrained in this soil is love and respect for all faiths and religious beliefs. He cannot be a son of this soil at all who is intolerant of other faiths.”[57] If this is true what about the Hindu fundamental forces that ask all other religious communities to leave this country.
How do we account for all the hate ideologies? Are they practicing an alien tradition here or are they willfully violating and damaging the plurality of Indian society.
In spite of such possible questions the fundamentals maintain that their tolerance is the best one. It is said, “in fact, Hindu tradition goes far beyond the Western concept of mere tolerance; it respects all faiths as equally sacred.”[58] This is more dangerous way of religious assimilation and denying possibilities to the growth of other religions. This is also the plot to overturn the religious tolerance worked out in the Indian constitution.
            Religious tolerance in India is not an option but necessity. It cannot be caricatured. Again India’s commitment for religious tolerance is an essential and hard-earned objective in the constitution. In the words of Soli J. Sorabjee “our founding fathers were not swayed by narrow-mindedness and prejudices against certain religious minorities. They displayed broad-mindedness and the spirit of tolerance in keeping with our tradition which is most heartening. The crying need of the hour is to preserve that spirit of tolerance in all religious communities which is a must for creating an atmosphere conducive to mutual trust and understanding so essential to the welfare of our multi-religious, multi-cultural nation.”[59]
            The risk of overemphasizing the merit of one religious value is also perceived.  For example each religion defines religious freedom in the light of its own religious needs and dogmas. The difficulty is “ but when Hindu philosophers and religious leaders interpret the idea of religious liberty in terms of the Hindu concept of religious tolerance, and seek to make it the official interpretation of the State, it seriously limits the conception of the fundamental right to religious liberty.”[60] The Hindu Right’s intention is exposed clearly as “their message that only Hindus are truly tolerant-since they alone do not proselytize- is not a message based on respect for people who belong to other religions. On the contrary the sub-text is that these other religions (read Islam and Christianity) are simply inferior to Hinduism, and therefore, not equally deserving of respect.”[61]
The false claim for a superficial tolerance is loaded with attributed meaning and substances towards denying freedom of religion to other minority religious communities. Besides projecting the communal brand of tolerance as the best, the forces have embarked on Hindutva brand of freedom in the place of freedom of religion.

5.5 Hindutva Freedom in the Place of Freedom of Religion
In this context of discussion on freedom of religion in India it is important to appreciate the greatness of Indian ideals. At the same time one needs to be critical about some well-acclaimed ideals. In this case Hinduism accords highest value to life here in the world and it understands freedom as freeing from rebirth. Such a freedom is important to perceive matters from the perspective of religious spirituality. When such ideals overtake the mundane realities and necessities it needs to be suspected.
We all accept the fact that “in every religious faith, life is considered sacred.”[62] Particularly “in Hinduism there is a clear understanding that life should not be desecrated or destroyed.”[63] In line with respect for nonviolence in India it is maintained, “the tradition of ahimsa is venerated in the Indian tradition.”[64] These are the charitable reflections of Christian thinkers about the Hindu view of life and freedom.
Yet the fact remains that those higher ideals are not tangible. Rather they are falsified or perverted for some other purposes. It is said  “the mark of all civilizations is the respect they accord to human dignity and freedom.  All religions and cultural traditions celebrate these ideals. Yet throughout history they have been violated.” [65] This is in reality the way the Hindu fundamentalists are presenting themselves.
The Hindu conception of freedom of religion is quite philosophical and of course appealing. It often conceals the practical reality in the context of many religions. It looks as if freedom of religion is flatly denied through the offer of spiritual freedom. It is an attempt to nurture what is in vogue in spite of its inapplicability. For example “freedom is the goal of all life, at least human life; this has been the earliest conception of Hindu religion.”[66] The denial of religious freedom to people adhering to other faiths is very obvious in all the formulations of Sang Parivar.
Placing the burden on the internal self averts the need for human freedom to practice any religion of his or her choice. This notion is concealed as “the conception of freedom as an end in itself involves the subordination, the sublimation or transvaluation of all other values and ends. The ancient thinkers in India never subscribed to the concept of barren freedom, for freedom is never barren, since it is the nature of the Self itself.”[67] The spiritual freedom also requires varied form of expressions. When freedom of religion is disturbed those expressions will suffer.
In reality some at least of the Hindu thinkers are bent on refuting real religious freedom to the religious minorities in India. For them all other freedoms are subordinate to the spiritual freedom. Although the scope of the laws is well comprehended the spiritual layer tend to dominate the affair. For example it is admitted, “in a social world the reign of law (dharma) is the best guarantee of freedom of every individual as well as the good or the welfare of the entire people or State.”[68] Nevertheless it is upheld that “real freedom therefore is not harnessed to social freedoms, however worthy.  It is the freedom of the transcendental or the Deity.”[69]
The real issue is each religion defines spiritual freedom in the light of its own religious needs and dogmas. The risk is when Hindu philosophers and religious leaders interpret the idea of religious liberty in terms of the Hindu concepts of religious tolerance, and seek to make it the official interpretation of the State. At such times it seriously limits the conception of the fundamental right to religious liberty.[70] The implicit connotation of over emphasizing otherworldly freedom in the place of real religious freedom in Hinduism is that  ‘the State should be based on Hindu religion’.[71] Another subservient design of such thinking about freedom of life in the place of freedom of religion is to continue with the oppressive social system, which is source of all forms of discrimination in India.

 5.6 Quest for Religious Discrimination through Scholarship

            It is awful that even the intellect of the learned scholars is also used to impede freedom of religion. Some of the advocates of Hindu fundamentalism and communalism like Pannalal Dhar interpret Nehru’s secularism as minority appeasement and BJP’s as positive secularism. The fact is that the appeal for the minorities to live under the good will of the majority, supporting sati and proposing for a Hindu nation are more dangerous. He is opposed to the inclusion of the word secular in the constitution of India through an amendment.  His biased scholarship is tangible in using small letters for other religions and communities and capital for Hindu and Hinduism. He and people like him suffer majoritarian psychological complex. They are mainly thriving by creating anti-Muslim provocations.
The arguments of Golwalkar are flimsy as amply exposed in the previous pages. It is asking others to respect the religion and culture of the Hindus and unwilling to respect other faiths. Is it not a defeated psyche over acting beyond proportions? Is it not betraying their tendency to dominate and humiliate others?

5.7 Religious Discrimination through Politics
            Although religion is only an instrument in the hands of the political organizations, “religion, needless to say, plays a very prominent role in exacerbating communal relationship.”[72] The hypersensitivity of religious matters is often cleverly applied to mobilize people for political purposes. This powerful dimension of religion is identified as “religion on account of its powerful emotional appeal has often sought to be dragged into political and social arenas by various interest groups.”[73]  The specific use of religious sentiments for political goals is clearly indicated as “in political arena religion was no longer oriented towards faith, rational or irrational, but towards evolving a religious identity, a primordial consciousness, for its political unity.”[74] That is why politicization of religion is one of the greatest challenges to a secular state.
One of the highly calculative religious interpretations of the historical event is that “the conflict between Muslim and Hindu rulers is usually projected as the fight between Hinduism and Islam. The Hindus, it is sought to be proved, were supplanted by the fanatic Muslim rulers and the latter fought back in defense.”[75] It is painful even the minority religious communities also exploit such electrifying religious sentiments. For example “the Muslim elite now could manipulate to their advantage the social insecurity of the less privileged without giving up their exclusiveness.”[76] It is a warning to the minority communities as well not to be carried away with communal designs.
Whether it is Hindus or Muslims or anyone who uses religion for political purposes is contravening the constitutional provisions of secularism in India. And this directly has bearing on the genuine quest for freedom of religion for the religious minorities in India, because in this risky venture the numerically powerful has the bright possibility of oppressing the numerically less powerful religious groups.

5.7.1 Communal Politics
The fact that the religious identities are grossly misused cannot be denied. It is established that “the potentialities of “Hindu” identity and “Muslim” identity have been exploited by the educated elite of both the communities.”[77] In the context of the Hindu Right- BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena “the central ideology of political movement is Hindutva – literally translated as ‘Hinduness’ –which seeks to establish the political, cultural and religious supremacy of Hinduism, and the Hindu nation.”[78] Often the overarching communal vision to disintegrate people on the basis of religious sentiments is not properly identified.
This aspect has escaped the attention of the judiciary as well. Brenda Cossman and Ratna Kapur argues against one of the judgments of the Supreme court that, “by concluding that the term ‘Hindutva’ was not in and of itself an appeal to religion, nor an expression of enmity or hatred towards other religious groups, but simply the way of life of Indian people, the Supreme Court has obscured the historical background as well as the contemporary political context within which the term has acquired meaning.”[79]
Communalizing politics amounts to constant tension and threat to peaceful and harmonious living. A form of provocative declaration of the Hindutva in connection with reclaiming the places where other religious structures are erected after destroying the original Hindu ones is that “the mosques standing at these sites are an insult to national honour. They should have been removed from there in the same way as statuses of British rulers were removed after freedom. Restoration of these places to the national society is mainly and(sic) political question and not a legal or religious question.”[80] The simple objective of the Hindu communal organizations is that only Hinduism among the religions deserves honour and all other religions are subject to ridicule and lawless and unconstitutional measures.
Another inciting appeal is that “by treating the invader Baber as a hero and denigrating Shri Rama, the God incarnate, the Muslim leadership has totally exposed the Muslim psyche.”[81] In other words the communal political Hindu organization is committed to grab political power through instigating the majority community against the minority religious communities in India.
The former prime minister of India, P.V. Narasimha Rao’s inferences in this direction are candidly presented, as “it’s not only some of his cabinet colleagues that P.V. Narasimha Rao accuses of duplicity before and after the Babri Masjid demolition. In his book Ayodhya, set to be released on December 6, the late Prime Minister obliquely suggests that the BJP may have scuppered a possible solution to the temple dispute to keep the Ayodhya pot boiling….After arguing that a political group’s “majority communal orientation” and its need to keep Ayodhya as a “permanent, evergreen issue” led it to scuttle the talks, Rao, makes an interesting point. He points out that the demand was not for just one temple-more had been lined up, so that the agitation could be kept alive even if the issues of one or two specific temples were settled.”[82]
The view of the prime minister is again strengthened through other confrontational agendas of the Hindu communal groups. For example “the same is the story of other Hindu shrines and movements expropriated by the Muslim invaders and rulers. For instance it is accepted at all hands that the so called Qutub Minar is a pre-Islamic victory tower built by king Vishal Dev. The so called Taj Mahal is a temple palace built long before Shah Jahan came to power. But instead of accepting the historical, architectural and scientific evidences Muslims have been persisting in calling them, Muslims monuments with the concurrence of a government which is afraid of accepting the truth for fear of losing Muslim votes.”[83] It is a telling fact that the Sang Parivar have in their store communal program calculated for a long range of time.
Due to such communal political orientations the minority religious communities, particularly the Muslims, are irritated and frustrated. This situation will have adverse effect in the polity of India. The risk is underlined as “the country is facing various problems of national integration. But the most important and urgent problem is how Indian Muslims can be prevented from drifting away from the mainstream of national life, which is likely to do great harm to Muslims themselves as well as to the progress and welfare and the power and prestige of the country.”[84] And hence there is an urgent need for healing process particularly from the malady of communal politics. A suggestion to this effect is offered as “whichever is the real cause, it is a matter of grave concern and effort should be made to create an atmosphere of communal harmony which prevents purely private incidents from escalating into communal riots.”[85] Of course this is the vision envisaged in the constitution, particularly under fundamental duties.
Preserving the religious communities irrespective of their numerical advantages or disadvantages and promoting religious unity is a crucial task of the nation or state. It is said “the absolute religious neutrality of the state can be preserved if in state institutions, what is good and great in every religion is presented, and what is more essential, the unity of all religions.”[86] The importance of guaranteeing cultural and religious freedom to the minorities is again emphatically presented as “if we are committed to a society where all human beings realize the fullness of their being, we have to see that vulnerable groups are not denied of their religion and culture. We have to further see that the current phase of majoritarianism is countered systematically, as I have sought to do in this work.”[87] Implementing and preserving the constitutional provisions in connection with freedom of religion shall put to rest many of the contemptuous issues in India. When political interests overshadow these provisions the nation succumbs to the tactfulness of communalists and fundamentalists.

            No doubt, communal politics under the guise of majority culture and religion cannot be accepted and it is unfit for the health and prosperity of the nation which is the house of many religious traditions. The amount of religious freedom prevailing in a nation is the yardstick to measure its civilization.

[1] Durga Das Basu, Introduction to the Constitution of India, 19th ed. Reprint (Nagpur: Wadhwa and Company, Law Publishers, 2003), 116.
[2] P.N. Sapru, “Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties,” in Religious Freedom, edited by J.R. Chandran, and M. M. Thomas, (Bangalore: The Committee for Literature on Social Concerns, 1956),5.
[3] B.S. Bisht, “Human Rights: An Overview,” in Perspectives on Human Rights, edited by M. B. Dube and Neeta Bora (New Delhi: Anamika Publishers & Distributors
(P) LTD., 2000), 46.
[4] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), 160.
[5] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview  Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law ( New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006), 69.
[6] Ibid., 70.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.,
[10] Ibid., 71.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid., 79.
[13] P.N. Sapru, “Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties,” in Religious Freedom, 5-6.
[14] P.L. John Panicker, “Marginalization of Minorities: Anti-conversion Bill,” in Inter-Play of Religion,  Politics and Communalism, edited by Samson Prabhakar (Bangalore: BTESSC/SATHRI, 2004),  60-61.
[15] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights
( Jaipur: Arihant Publishing House, 1995), 132-133.
[16] Ibid., 140.
[17] Ibid.
[18] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy (New Delhi: Manohar
Publishers& Distributors, 2003) 90.
[19] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights, 134.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Durga Das Basu, Introduction to the Constitution of India, 117-118.
[22] P.L. John Panicker, “Marginalization of Minorities: Anti-conversion Bill,” in Inter-Play of Religion, Politics and Communalism, 60-61.
[23] Ibid.
[24] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy, 82.
[25] I.K. Shukla, “Demolishing Religious Freedom,” Indian Currents XI/48
(13-19 December, 1999): 43.
[26] Ibid., 44.
[27] Ibid.
[28]  Ibid., 43.
[29] “Rajasthan Passes Anti-conversion Bill,”The Hindu (Vijayawada), 18 April 2006, 12.
[30] Mathai Zachariah, “Introduction,” in. Freedom of Religion in India, edited by Mathai Zacharia
            (Nagpur: NCCI, 1979), 5.
[31] Ibid.
[33] Ibid.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Ibid. 6.
[37] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion, Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, edited by Howell, Richard (New Delhi: Evangelical Fellowship of India, 2002), 128.
[38] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
[39] P.M. Bakshi, The Constitution of India with Selective Comments (New Delhi: Universal Law  Publishing CO. PVT. LTD., 1998), 49.
[40] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights, 147.
[41] P.N. Sapru, “Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties,” in Religious Freedom, 6. 
[42] Ibid.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Arjun Dev, Indira Arjun Dev and Supta Das, compiled and edited,  Human Rights: A Source Book (New Delhi: National Council Of Educational Research And
Training, 1996),140-141.
[45] P.N. Sapru, “Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties,” in Religious Freedom, 7. 
[46] Ibid.,7.
[47] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism
 (Calcutta: Punthi- Pustak, 1993), 84-85.
[48] Ibid., 85.
[49] Arjun Dev, Indira Arjun Dev and Supta Das, compiled and edited, Human Rights: A Source Book, 141.
[50] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
            Rights , 182.
[51] P.M. Bakshi, The Constitution of India with Selective Comments, 52.
[52] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 189.
[53] Arjun Dev, Indira Arjun Dev and Supta Das, compiled and edited, Human Rights: A Source  Book,141 142.
[54] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism , 70.
[55] Ibid., 71.
[56] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu
Prakashan, 2000), 159.
[57] Ibid., 158.
[58] Ibid., 337.
[59] Soli J. Sorabjee, “So Long as Religion is religion,” The New Indian Express
 (Vijayawada), 17 February 2006, 8.
[60] E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, edited by J.R. Chandran, and M. M. Thomas, (Bangalore: The Committee for Literature on Social Concerns, 1956), 78.
[61] Brenda Cossman and Ratna Kapur, Secularism’s Last Sigh: Hindutva and the (Mis) Rule of  Law (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999) 133-134.

[62] K.C.Abraham, “Human Rights: Some Theological Reflections,” in Struggle for Human Rights: Towards a New Humanity, edited by I. John Mohan Razu ( Nagpur: National Council of Churches in India, 2001),17.
[63] K.C.Abraham, “Human Rights: Some Theological Reflections,” in Struggle for Human Rights: Towards a New Humanity, edited by I. John Mohan Razu ( Nagpur: National Council of Churches in India, 2001),17.
[64] Ibid.
[65] No Author, “Human Rights and Human Development-For Freedom and Solidarity,” “Religious Rights as Part of Human Rights when the Lives of the Minorities are at Stake,” in Struggle for Human Rights: Towards a New Humanity, edited by I. John Mohan Razu 
( Nagpur: National Council of Churches in India, 2001),204.                                                      
[66]  K.C. Varadachari, “The Hindu Conception of Religious Freedom,” in Religious Freedom,
edited by J.R. Chandran, and M. M. Thomas, (Bangalore: The Committee for Literature on Social Concerns, 1956), 26.
[67] Ibid., 28.  
[68] Ibid., 29.
[70] E. C. Bhatty,  “Religious Minorities and the Secular State,” in Religious Freedom, 78.
[71] Ibid., 79.
[72] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights , 187.
[73] Ibid.
[74] Ibid.
[75] Ibid., 201.
[76] Ibid., 188.
[77] Ibid., 201.
[78] Brenda Cossman and Ratna Kapur, Secularism’s Last Sigh: Hindutva and the (Mis) Rule of  Law, 6-7.
[79] Ibid., 34.
[80] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 199.
[81] Ibid.
[82] Rasheed Kidwai, “BJP Aborted Ayodhya Solution,Hints Rao,”The Telegraph (Calcutta), 2 November 2005, 11.
[83] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 199-200.
[84] Ibid., 207.
[85] Ibid., 227.
[86] Ibid., 233.
[87] Neera Chandhoke, Beyond Secularism, the rights of Religious Minorities (New Delhi:
Oxford University Press, 1999), 303.


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