These days politics and religion are playing a big role, religious vote banks are a fate changer for many. When a Hindu gets converted to Christianity or Islam there is huge outrage and accusation but when a Muslim gets converted to Hinduism for whatever reason, they become stalwarts. You will see them in every news space. Panellists in prime-time debates, to add more to it, their sins are forgiven and they become political tools too.
We all have the right to choose our religion, we all are born not knowing anything about any God or any Religion. They don’t have any beliefs or any meaningful thoughts for that matter. As we grow up, we become religious by following the family we were born in, language to learn, what nationality to have, where to live, and with whom to live for the rest of our life. For the first few years or so of our lives, we have zero authority over that decision. Well, most of us love where we belong and many don’t find solace and they change their beliefs once they grow up to make that decision.
Nevertheless, people can decide to remain religious or to shun religion later on but if you can’t be loyal to one belief, how can you remain loyal to the one you adopted is a big question. In the recent past many Muslim men got converted to Hinduism for their own reasons, one common factor was that they all were abusing their earlier beliefs they lived for ages. India has a history of Muslims getting converted to Hinduism but none of them slammed Islamic practises or randomly abused the Prophet. They just moved dignifiedly.
Muslim scholar Hassan Palakkode, Aashish Khan, the son of sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Nafisa Ali, former Miss India and leading social activist, Nargis Dutt (Fatima Rashid), famous Bollywood actress, Annapurna Devi (Roshanara Khan), famous musician, Revathi Masoosai, Muslim born Malaysian convert, Haridas Thakura – Prominent Vaishnavite saint born in 1450, instrumental in the early appearance and spread of Hare Krishna movement. He used to chant “Hare Krishna” 300,000 times daily! His Muslim name remains unknown to this day. Khushboo Sundar (born Khushboo Khan)- Tamil movie actress, Asha Gawli (born Aisha)- Wife of Arun Gawli, notorious gangster (dada) turned politician from Mumbai. Harilal Mohandas Gandhi – He was the son of Mahatma Gandhi (father of India) and converted to Islam. He was in Islam for a few months, before reverting back to Hinduism. Mohammad Umer – Bhopal born man whose marriage and conversion to Hinduism was upheld by an Indian High Court. More than 8,000 Muslims in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh converted to Hinduism from July 2014 – December 2014 under the Ghar Wapsi programme. The number of people converting from Islam to Hinduism is rising rapidly but none of them hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma) doesn’t require one to hate or undermine people from other faiths. Muslims & Christians are converting back to HINDUISM as they realise the importance of broad-mindedness and tolerance that they can pursue. Similarly, those elite class women and men converting to Islam, have their reasons. The dangerous trend is making these conversions for communal clashes and controversies. Some conversions have laughable reasons such as Furqan Ahmad, an e-rickshaw driver in Noida, an Uttar Pradesh urban sprawl contiguous to Delhi. After failing to secure an arms license from the district administration at Baghpat, where he is from, despite trying for it for six years, Ahmad tonsured his head, kept a choti, applied a tilak to his forehead, and declared before officials that he was now Hindu and that his new name was Phool Singh. The reason, Ahmad believed he has been denied a licence only because he is Muslim, and that the only way to overcome religious discrimination is to embrace Hinduism.
Shahzad Rana, a Muslim man in the Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh, converted to Hinduism along with his family. He claimed that Lord Ram has been appearing in his dreams, asking him to return to Hinduism. Following his conversion, Shahzad adopted the Hindu name Sanju Rana and approached the office of the district magistrate to make his conversion official. As per the claims made by him, his ancestors were Hindus, who were forced to convert to Islam.
Upset over Muslims Celebrating Gen Rawat’s Death on the Internet, Kerala Filmmaker Ali Akbar converted To Hinduism. Same time Rajasthan police arrested 28-year-old Manish Kumar Meena and 25-year-old Jeevanlal Ninama for allegedly posting “offensive” content on the crash. Many Hindu men were arrested from various places, is any Hindu getting converted? When ‘Love Jihad’ has been making headlines, a Muslim man got converted to Hinduism and married a Hindu girl at an Arya Samaj temple. He recited shlokas and took the seven vows walking around the fire as they got married at Bhopal in April 2016.
Well, Indian media and politics have made religion a top topic in the minds of people. I am not sure if the problem is truly as bad as they make it sound. I think Muslims who convert to Hinduism are accepting it because they feel welcomed. Conversion is not wrong if it’s done with an open mind and heart. Just like Shankaracharya who converted all Jains and Buddhists back to Hinduism. He did it in a very peaceful way through shastrarth (debate). Muslims may want to embrace Hinduism if possible.
But these days most of the Hindus who are pro-saffron parties are dishonest. They will defend the conversion saying Hinduism is a tolerant religion and Muslims who have converted to Hinduism have understood its significance and relevance. But when the vice versa happens, that is. Hindus who convert to Islam or Christianity are forcefully converted and rice-bag converts. This suits their propaganda well and helps in the mass mobilisation against Muslims and Christians. Many a time, Muslim girls convert to Hinduism for marriage but that is not highlighted in media. In such cases, we defend saying those Muslim girls willingly converted to Hinduism but when the vice versa will happen, they will say Hindu girls are ALWAYS forcefully converted. Media and politics are highly venomous to invite religious unrest.
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