Dalit openly become Christians, Buddhists to protest conversion law
Scores of low-caste people in southern India have converted to Christianity and Buddhism during a public event that organisers say was designed to protest a new law restricting religious conversion.
Fifty Hindu dalit (former untouchables) embraced Christianity, and another 36 became Buddhists on Friday at a public meeting in Solaiyur near the Tamil Nadu state capital of Chennai.
A confederation of low-caste groups planned the event with the All India Christian Council, an ecumenical lay association.
A law that penalises anyone who converts a dalit, tribal, woman or child through force or allurement took effect last Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu Bishops object to conversions ordinance (10/10/02)
Indian Bishops defend mass conversion of Dalit to Buddhism (6/11/01)
11 Dec 2002