NEW DELHI, After a hate campaign launched by print, electronic and digital media against Muslims in the wake of the coronavirus spread that resulted in mob attacks on Muslims and their trade boycott, Muslims are now being forced to convert to Hinduism in several villages of Haryana as also in villages in Bawana area of Delhi, bordering Haryana’s Sonepat district.
The latest example of the forced conversion has come from Harevali village in Bawana area where all the 12 Muslim families with about 60 members, were forcibly converted to Hinduism on May 5.
This is the same village where a Muslim youth Dilshad, who is also known as Mahboob, was beaten mercilessly by youths from the Hindu Jat community on April 6 after he had returned from the Tablighi Jamaat mission in Bhopal.
The accused, who prepared a video of the assault and circulated it on social media, are now forcing Dilshad to withdraw the police case. A case against the accused have been filed by Dilshad through his advocated Anwar Siddiqui.
Siddiqui says that after severely beating Dilshad, the villagers are now trying to convert them to Hinduism. “This is very serious as it is violation of fundamental rights of citizens”, says Siddiqui.
A resident of the village on conditions of anonymity told to a local Newspaper that five elders of the Muslim families were forcibly taken to the village temple where they were subjected to “shuddhikaran” ( purification) or conversion by making them drink water with drops of “gau mutra”(cow urine) in presence of entire village.
“After these rituals in the temple, Muslim elders were told that they and their family members were Hindus from now onwards and would not practice Islam like performing ‘namaz’ or Salat, observing fast or burying their dead. We were told that we will now cremate or burn the bodies the way the Hindus do in the village”, said a villager.
The villager alleged that the Hindus had asked the village Muslim graveyard into a “gaushala” (cow shed). The Muslims used to bury their dead in the graveyard which is one ‘kila’or five bighas in area, a big property worth several crores of rupees.
The villager said that they did not oppose the “shuddhikaran” because of fear of atrocities from the Hindu villagers. “Though we went through the rituals in the temple, we in our hearts remained committed that we will continue and die as Muslims”, said the villager.
Asked if the Muslims were observing the Ramzan, he said, “We are observing fast and performing ‘namaz’ also inside our houses secretly, without our Hindu neighbours coming to know of it”. He said that the Muslims would take up the issue with the police after the Ramzan and lockdown were over.
Harevali has no mosque. The nearest mosque is at Bawana, six kilometres away from the village.
“We used to go to Bawana for performing Friday congregational prayers. But with lockdown in force and congregational prayers not allowed to maintain social distancing, we don’t go to Bawana mosque now”, said the villager.
He said, “We have been living in the village since generations. But this has had never happened in the memorable history. During partition days in 1947, a few Muslims had changed their names to Hindu-sounding names for fear. But nobody had asked our elders for conversion. The atmosphere of hate has been created by media giving publicity to fabricated anti-Muslim news stories.
The feeling of hate in Hindus against Muslim community has deepened following negative coverage of media to Markaz Tablighi Jamat and holding it responsible for spread of coronavirus.”
Asked if the Muslims of the village would decide to leave the village if the Hindus bring further pressure and don’t allow them to pray in their houses, another villager said, “We have our agriculture and other landed properties in the village which is coming in the way of migration.
We are discussing it among ourselves and some advocates what to do under the circumstances. Migration is the last option. We will use it when all other options fail”.
According to another Harevali villager, Hindus in Nagal village, about three kilometres from Harevali, were forcing half a dozen Muslim families to convert to Hinduism. “Though the Muslim are resisting, the Hindu youths are building pressure on them and threatening that they would not be allowed to live in the village if they don’t convert”.
The villagers said that his relatives in Jinjoli village, about six kilometres from Harevali, in Sonepat district in Haryana told him that the local Hindus were also asking them to convert and threatening them of serious consequences in the event of not complying with the diktat.
Incidents of conversion have been reported from several other villages in Haryana. According to reports, 260 members of 40 Muslims families in Bidhmira village of Hissar converted to Hinduism on May 8.
Reports say that the Muslim-convert-Hindus performed the last rites of an 80-year-old Muslim woman as per Hindu religious customs. Earlier, 35 members of six families living in Dhanoda Kalan village in Jind district converted to Hinduism after the death of one of their elders.
25,000 Muslims and Christians converted to Hinduism in 2018
In November last year, A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader informed that the Hindu cultural organisation has managed to reconvert 25,000 Muslims and Christians back to Hinduism in 2018. Speaking to media, VHP’s secretary-general stated that the organisation had conducted drives for reconversion across the country. Such events are called ‘Ghar-Wapsi’, meaning coming back to the original faith.