Saturday December 20, 2014 0:03 AM, & Agencies

 What actually happened in Agra in the name of ‘conversion’ is no more a secret. The details of how the entire incident backfired are all in the public domain. The incident also stalled the parliament proceedings for almost the entire week thus wasting millions of rupees and also pushing the Modi-led BJP government in New Delhi to back foot. Even then if the Hindutva outfits remain undeterred, then here is some more for them.

Agra Muslims
[80-year-old women Sofeya at Ved Nagar Colony: Around 300 Muslims from this area were reported to have been converted to Hindusim. They now claim that they were Muslims and will remain so. (Photo: Qamar Sibtain)]

As these outfits go ahead with organizing more such ‘dramas’ elsewhere in the country with the nearest one scheduled to take place in Aligarh on Christmas Day, latest reports coming from Agra reveal that the poor Muslims who were lured, rather deceived, to the ‘conversion’ ceremony, far from embracing Hinduism, have actually become more staunch followers of Islam.

“Till the unfortunate incident, we were ignorant of Islamic tenets. But, the conversion drama has opened our eyes. Now, we are more adherent to our faith”, Mohd. Ismael (40) said.

Mohd Ramzan (30), Noor Mohammad (35) and Mohd Humayon (40) nod in agreement.

“Earlier, we were not regular in our prayers. But, now we are offering daily prayers five times in a day, that too in congregation”, they said.

A controversy erupted in India on December 08 when newspapers reported that about 300 Muslims of some 56 families have been converted to Hinduism by Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag, an offshoot of the RSS, and Bajrang Dal.

The incident resulted in nationwide outrage even as the Hindutva elements were celebrating their ‘success’. The celebrations however proved short lived as the Muslims who were claimed to have been converted to Hinduism were shown by the electronic media revealing how they were lured to the event.

“We were taken to a place where a fire ceremony was on,” Munira told ABP news channel. “We were made to sit there. We became panicky…

“We were told to pray to Hindu gods. We did whatever they told us”, Munira, one of the 300, said alleging that they were lured to the event on the promise of giving them a plot of land and ration cards.

“But now we are again reading the Holy Quran and our family members offered namaz today,” she added.

The Muslims who were reported to have been converted to Hinduism live in a slum on the outskirts of the Taj city — and are miserably poor. Most of them had lived near Madhu Nagar on Gwalior Road for 17 long years after migrating either from West Bengal or Bangladesh.

Ever since the incident, Muslim NGOs from different parts of the country are visiting Agras Ved Nagar Colony. The area does not have a mosque, and few who were used to offer prayers were doing so inside their homes. But after the solidarity they have received, they have reserved a ground for prayers and are offering daily prayers in congregation.

Though failed in converting the Muslims to Hinduism, the incident has in fact exposed the differences within the Hindutva outfits with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal openly opposing the move.

A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, Premendra Jain, wondered if Bangladeshis could be allowed to live in India if they give up Islam.

“We have been demanding the expulsion of all Bangladeshis living illegally in India,” Jain told IANS.

“Now these people have been converted to Hinduism. Does it mean all those staying in India illegally will be allowed to stay here if they convert?”

Shiv Sena is more vocal in its opposition to the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign launched by Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag and Bajrang Dal.

“Hindus have always had a calm nature and have always respected other religions but Muslims are fanatics and revolting in nature. If Muslims convert or reconvert to Hinduism and then marry Hindus, it will lead to genetic abnormalities in the Hindu community”, Shiv Sena Uttar Pradesh head Anil Singh said while talking to a news channel.

Singh also said that actual ‘Ghar Wapsi’ of Muslims is to send them off to Pakistan.

“We welcome ghar wapasi (homecoming) only if it means that they (Muslims) are sent to Pakistan, because (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah has already created a home for them. It is time both nations exchange Hindus and Muslims, it is the only solution to this problem,” he said.

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