We were misled into conversion in a Bajrang Dal exercise: Muslim families

Representatives of the Bajrang Dal however said the conversion programme had happened “out in the open”.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Agra | Updated: December 10, 2014 11:11 am
Students at a madrasa. Students at a madrasa.

The 57 Muslim families, who were “converted” to Hinduism in a Bajrang Dal exercise in Agra, said Tuesday they were misled into believing that the programme was for registering them as BPL families, and not for religious conversion. While the families admitted that they had told “pujaris” at the conversion programme Monday that they were “changing their religion” of their own volition, they said they did so out of fear of violence.

Representatives of the Bajrang Dal however said the conversion programme had happened “out in the open”, and the families had changed tack under duress.

Ismail Khan, the ‘pradhan’ of the of the 57 families, comprising more than 200 people, said he had first been approached by a man 15 days ago. “All of us live here in kuccha houses, and pick rags for a living. We came and settled here 12 years ago, and hail from Bihar and Bengal. Fifteen days ago, a man from the locality came to me and asked if we had ration cards, to which I replied in the affirmative. He then asked me if all of us had BPL cards, but when I said no, he told me he would arrange them for us,” he said.

Khan said the man he identified as Kishan Lal said once the families had BPL cards, they would be eligible for a host of sops, including subsidised schooling and medical arrangements. “He said on the day our names were registered, big people would come to our basti, and even the media. I saw no danger in this, and agreed immediately. It was decided, that the event would be held on Monday,” he said.

Murshida Begum, another resident of the slum cluster, said on Monday afternoon, men arrived in “big cars with tilaks on their foreheads accompanied by the media.” They put some idols in one corner, and spread a sheet. “We began to get worried, but could say nothing for fear of the powerful people. They asked our men to wear their skull caps, read some text, and throw some things into a fire. They asked them if they were happy being Hindus now. Everyone was inside the basti, and there could have been trouble. We are poor people with nowhere to go, and if our landlord tells us to leave, we will have nowhere to go. What could the men have said but yes?” she said.

Ajju Chauhan of the Bajrang Dal said, “It was not a conversion but a ghar vapsi, because the previous generations of these families had been converted from Hinduism to Islam. It was done with their consent, and not secretively, but for everyone to see. There was no issues raised on Monday, and we had only assured the families of some assistance from our organisations. They are only saying this out of pressure from vested interests.”

Senior police officers said that they had not received a complaint so far, and if they did a matter would be investigated. Ismail Khan however said that the families did not want to approach the police, but hoped things would “return to the way they were”.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. K
    khaleeq chandio
    Feb 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm
    Islam is very much clear that there is no compulsion in religion Quran says "LA ikrah fe seen" meaning no compulsion in religion . no any pious Muslim would convert any non Muslim by force. Islam is religion of peace and free will and natural and true religion by Almighty God. Please understand this. Muslims actions can not determine Islam truthfulness it is independent of any action by any individual.
  2. K
    khaleeq chandio
    Feb 26, 2015 at 5:34 pm
    If some Muslim kings forcibly converted Indian Hindus to Islam then Islam can not be blamed for this further if this is true how come majority today is Hindu in india
  3. K
    Kaleemulla Ibn Mohamed Ali
    Jan 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm
    Faith is embedded in heart and mind. Flowers fire & words are oral and physical presumtion. In Hinduism no one can be converted to high caste BRAHMAN, they are converted as low cast SHUDRA. MMRITI says:The tongue of Shudra who spoke evil about Brahman should be cut off (Apastamba Dharma Sutra II/10-26.Those who are with stinking conduct they will enter a stinking womb, either the womb of a dog or the womb of a swine or womb of Shudra (Chandogya Upanishad 5-10-7)Shudra must be prohibited from hearing, studying Vedas (Brahma Sutras on Google Why Dr.Ambedkar burnt Mmriti.Due to Brahmans discrimination of Shudras, In 850Bc SHUDRA HINDUS converted to Jainism, in 500Bc to Budhism, 711-1700Ad. in Muslim rule to Muslims, from 1900 British rule till today SHUDRAS are converting to Christianity. Budhism was born in India but stamped out of India by Brahmans. Due to this discrimination Hinduism was confined to India only. Sri Lanka to an in entire East Asia there are more Buddhists than Hindus.
  4. A
    Dec 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    Because in Arabic and Persian all who live beyond Sindhu river are Hindu. Common sense :)
  5. A
    Aamil Keeyan
    Dec 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm
    what an . read the story again. he said he had ration card. the guy then asked if he had BPL card lol
  6. A
    Dec 11, 2014 at 10:56 am
    This is the biggest joke about islamic conversions that i have read in recent times...
  7. M
    Moideen Engapuzha
    Dec 11, 2014 at 7:51 am
    I am proud to say The Indian Express the Custodian of the Indian Consutions which foundation laid on the secularism and Pluralism other English Print medias became the leaflets of Sang-parivar Indian Express stands as non-partial and reliable newspaper.
  8. A
    Dec 10, 2014 at 8:40 am
    Indian Express is fair and balanced. During the emergency too, it reported fearlessly. Never bothered to cozy up to the powerful .
  9. Load More Comments