THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, April 2, 2021 (New India Express): While the BJP, in its election manifesto, has promised an Uttar Pradesh model law against forceful religious conversion and love jihad in Kerala to woo Hindu and Christian voters, the data sourced by TNIE from the government gazettes paint an altogether different picture. According to official figures for the year 2020, the biggest gainer – in terms of new converts – was Hinduism. People who embraced Hinduism constituted 47 per cent of religious conversions in Kerala during the one-year period under reference.

Of the total 506 people who registered their change of religion with the government, 241 were those who converted from Christianity or Islam to Hinduism. As per the rule, people who officially change their religion, including minors, have to advertise it in the gazette. 72% of the new converts to Hinduism were Dalit Christians, mostly Christian Cheramars, Christian Sambavas and Christian Pulayas. It was evident that lack of reservation benefits forced many Dalit Christians to re-embrace Hinduism. Also, 32 people left Islam to join Hinduism.