International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Review

Dynamics of religious conversion in Himachal Pradesh (HP) paradox of manufactured uncertainties

Prem R. Bhardwaj
Department of Political Science, Government Degree College, Paonta Sahib, HPU, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 31 May 2011
  •  Published: 31 August 2011

Abstract

 

The meaning of the term conversion cannot be derived in static framework rather is based mainly on the contextualisation of social realities determined in terms of religious beliefs or affiliations. The complexities in defining the process are in fact inflicted by the various ‘Methodist missionaries’ who kept on experimenting with the popular belief system in one way or the other. The fundamental meaning of conversion originates from religious change or change in faith. Besides providing the succinct theoretical explanation of the process, this paper deals with the dynamics of religious conversion in state of Himachal Pradesh. The roles of various forces that are operating in political and social arena and are pivotal in determining the course of religious composition of the society in the region are put under evaluation. The paper argues that it is not simply the humane instinct to reach at the higher horizons of spirituality responsible for conversion of people from one belief system to other rather it has been accused that the well designed missionary activities pointedly organised against the other religions make religious conversion a strategic derive. It appears that unless the free upward mobility of the lower castes groups is permitted the society cannot be modernised and democratised and it would be difficult to manage conversion conflicts in the society in times to come.

 

Key words: Conversion, religious conversion, reconversion, manufactured uncertainties, religious orientation, religious hierarchies, religious authoritarianism, deities, Shuddhi system, Ghar Wapsi.