Religious hostility is not new to India, with her bloody history of 'communal' violence continuing since Independence in 1947, particularly between Hindus and Muslims. However, Christian groups are increasingly reviled by Hindu extremists for their alleged 'conversion activities', which are seen to undermine the Hindu-based caste system. Although the caste system exists to some extent within every religious group, conversions are traditionally seen by Dalits (formerly 'untouchables') as a means of emancipation from the identity imposed upon them by their caste. Religious conversions are increasingly obstructed by legislation, and widespread attacks are perpetrated against Christians at the hands of Hindu extremists in many states across the country.
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