Fraudulent Conversion a Non-Secular Act
In this column I have written many a time about the strange, often fascist, behaviours or stands of the Khan Market Gang(KMG) that is invariably supported by select politicians who are zeroes on the ground( evident from their series of electoral defeats) but “heroes “ in or for our the mainstream media, controlled firmly by this very gang. Their behavioural pattern is the typical fascist pattern of inventing a scenario which is based on sheer lies and far from the reality, repeating this lie as the gospel of truth and then branding the government to be non-responsive to their “truth” and suppressing dissent and killing democracy. We saw it in the -Citizenship Amendment, which had nothing against the Muslims of the country (after it was passed, some erstwhile Pakistani Muslims were granted Indian citizenship; the Amendment only allowed to those non-Muslims who were in India until 2014 after fleeing Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh because of religious persecution to become Indian citizens just two years earlier than Muslims from these countries who had applied to become Indians). Similarly, now we are seeing the orchestrated protests by the famers from Punjab and Haryana saying that the government “will” do away with the MSP, even though the government has not only assured that it will not be done but also, and this is important, increased the MSP amount.
This time I will deal with another myth that the KMG is hyper about. It says that the BJP governments in various states have brought out or are about to bring absolutely communal or anti-Muslim laws in the name of combating the so-called Love-Jihad. However, the fact is that what the Uttar Pradesh government has done (or Madhya Pradesh government and Haryana government have announced to do) is the promulgation of a ‘Vidhi Virudh Dharmantaran Bill 2020(the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill)” that seeks to bar “forceful religious conversions”, including for marriage. It mandates that those willingly wanting to convert for marriage need to inform the district magistrate two months in advance.
Thus, nowhere is it said that the law is specific to the Muslims; it equally applies to a Hindu or a Christian or any other follower of any other religion. A Hindu or a Christian also cannot “forcibly” convert a Muslim to his or her fold.
Secondly, such laws are not being passed by different state governments for the first time. Several states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh( it now wants to further amend the existing one) , Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand already have in place “anti-conversion laws” that regulate religious conversion forcibly. And not all of them are ruled by the BJP.
Of course, it will be wrong to deny the factor of Love-Jihad behind the consideration to bring such laws, but, and this is my third point, even if as the critics say there is neither any organised endeavour nor is there any outside force to guide the Muslims to entice the Hindu girls to the marriage under false identities and then converting them to Islam, the fact remains that anybody at individual level is trying to convert somebody forcibly or under false pretexts is not acceptable in a democratic and secular country. And that is, as pointed out above, irrespective of what that religion is. In that sense, the laws brought out by some states now, or those prevailing already in some states, are strictly secular.
It may be noted that the term “Love Jihad” came into currency after WikiLeaks released on August 30, 2011, a report titled “Alleged Love Jihad heats Religious Tensions in South India”. The report was from the American Consulate at Chennai to the Secretary of State at Washington and had been sent on February 26, 2010. It said how Islamist aggression was spreading with hatred for the infidel and non-believers. The Love Jihadis’ modus operandi involved a strategy of luring vulnerable girls and young women into converting to Islam by feigned love and promises of marriage. But instead of marital bliss, the girls unwittingly got trapped in their deceitful web usually woven by Muslim fundamentalist and terrorist organisations. And all this was happening, the report said, in a larger number in the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where the parents suffered from extreme anxiety and fear for their young daughters who left home for school or college, irrespective of the fact whether they stayed in hostels or were day scholars.
So much so that in July 2010, the then Kerala Chief Minister VS Achutanandan charged that the Popular Front of India (PFI), which allegedly masterminded the Taliban-style attack on a college lecturer, had plans to Islamise Kerala in 20 years using “money and marriages”. In a press conference in New Delhi and later on the floor of the State Assembly, Achutanandan admitted that certain elements were trying to multiply Muslim numbers in the state “by influencing youth of other religions and converting them by giving money, marrying them to Muslim women and thus producing kids for the community”. In a way, the Chief Minister was endorsing the concerns expressed by the Kerala High Court, which in August 2009, asked the state police to probe if there was an organised racket working to lure youth for conversion using love and money.
I will not like to go further into the history. But such type of incidents has happened over the years. Let me few such instances below that were in news in the last one year. I am quoting from the reports that appeared in established and credible newspapers and websites
- In Haryana, a married Muslim and father of three describe him became Hindu to trap a Hindu girl. He got married to her and then revealed his true identity. When girl decided to leave, he raped her with his friends and tried to burn her live (Aaj Tak).
- Rahim alias Arjun marriage a Hindu girl in Jharkhand but after marriage asked her to change religion (Dainik Bhaskar).
- In Kanpur, Danish became John Saluja and Raj Upadhyay to marry a Hindu girl. Later he revealed his identity and forced her to convert. He used to show her videos of Zakir Naik and IS Chief Baghdadi. He beat her up and forced to abort her pregnancy. (Times of India).
- In Ludhiana, Mohammed Shaqib pretended to be a “devout Hindu”, Aman, loved a Hindu girl Jaswal. The girl left her family with 25 Lakhs rupees to live with ‘Aman’. Later Shaqib’s family killed her (NDTV).
- In Punjab, Shamshad became Amit Gurjar to trap a single mother, Priya. He brought Priya and her daughter home and was living together. Shamshad killed Priya and her daughter both when she got know Shamshad’s real identity. (Indian Express).
- In West Bengal, Sheikh Sultan hides his identify to trap a Hindu named Subhologna. Girl’s family was ready for marriage but they called it off when they came to know that Sheikh Sultan was pretending to be a H. Sultan killed her.
- In Maharashtra, Ajmal became Ashish to trap a minor Hindu girl. He raped her saying that he will marry her. When victim’s family filed complaint against Ashish, then only they found that he is not Ashish but Ajmal (NDTV India).
- In Uttar Pradesh, Abdullah creates a facebook ID with name of Aman Chaudhary. Abdullah uses a wig to trap a minor girl. He kidnapped her and raped her. When police caught him, they found that he already had 3 wives and 4 kids ( India.com)
- In Uttar Pradesh, Priya married Ejaz Khan against the wish of her family. Ejaz was pressuring her to convert when she refused to convert, Ejaz and his friend Shoaib took her to the forest and killed her. (India Today).
- Sajan Shaikh from Mumbai created a facebook profile names Rohit Das to trap Hindu girl. 6 months later they met. They fled to Chennai where he was working as a waiter. He threatened her with suicide if she would not marry him. He asked her to wear Burqa to hide her face. She reached to police after knowing his real identity and saved herself (Mumbai Mirror).
- In Gujarat, Samir hides his real identity and posed as a Dalit to trap a Hindu girl. When the girl got to know her real identity she broke up with her. Samir started harassing her. Out of frustration, girl decided to suicide and hanged herself (Times of India).
- In UP, a Muslim doctor hides his marital status and makes physical relations with nurse. When the latter gets pregnant, he asked her to convert her religion to marry him. Later police found that the doctor was already married and had two kids.(Times of India)
- In Rajasthan, a girl fell in love with a guy. Later she got to know that his name was fake, but she was ok with it. During marriage she got to know that Aamir lied about his religion too. But blind in love, she ignored and chose to convert. Later she was harassed and beaten by the family.(Rajasthan Patrika)
- Rizwan, an electrician in Jabalpur from Bihar, became Guddu Patel to marry a Hindu girl. Girl’s family was ready for their marriage but saved the girl when they got to know his real identity (Rajasthan Patrika).
- In UP, Wasim made a facebook Id as Dinesh Ravat. He also made a fake Aadhaar with his fake name. He trapped a Hindu girl and raped her for years. He made videos of her made them viral( (Amar Ujala)
- In UP, Safraj Hussain became Raj Vishnoi to trap a Hindu girl. To win her heart he went to temple and did Puja. They got married. One day she got to know his real identity but agreed to live with her. His family tortured her to convert. She was even raped by her brother-in-law. (DNA).
- In Jharkhand, Arif Hussain became Chhotu Singh, befriended a Hindu girl and raped her. They got married at Shiv temple but when she got to know his real identity, he got Nikaah done. Later she got to know that he was already married. He forced her kids to eat beef. Later gave Triple Talaq (, Prabhat Khabar).
I must admit these reports were sent to me by a friend of impeccable integrity. Each one of these cases may be an individual act. But does not that need to be stopped? The UP government has precisely done that. It is equally applicable to a Hindu if he does the same to a Muslim girl.
Then what is the fuss all about?
By Prakash Nanda