By Ali Sukhanver
Life is going to prove hazardously disastrous for the Muslims and Christians of India in general and particularly for those who are unfortunately poor and destitute. The Hindu extremists are doing all their best to compel the poor Muslims and the Christians to embrace Hinduism and say good-bye to their forefather’s religion. These poor Muslims and Christians are being offered a lot of benefits including food, clothes, medicines, jobs and even their own houses if they convert to Hinduism.
According to the Washington Post, earlier this week, more than 50 impoverished Muslim families in a slum in the northern Indian city of Agra attended a simple but controversial ceremony at which they were asked by a Hindu priest to chant and throw offerings into the holy fire in front of some Hindu idols.
The priest then welcomed the Muslims into the Hindu fold. Some Muslims in the neighborhood of trash collectors told local reporters that it was all a fraud. They said that a Hindu activist had assured them that by attending the ceremony, they will get the government’s coveted ‘below-poverty-line’ identity card and access to state welfare assistance in health and education.’ Rama Lakshmi, the Bureau Chief of the Washington Post in India says in her recent report, ‘The Indian constitution grants religious freedom to its citizens. But five Indian states have enacted stringent laws against conversions that are carried out by force or allurement.’ She further says, ‘An affiliate of the BJP has asked for donations this week to fund an event in the northern city of Aligarh to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism this Christmas.’
According to the Charisma News, ‘Hindu radicals in India are intensifying their religious purification practices, amping up cleansing, re-conversion and converting Christian churches in the state of Uttar Pradesh to turn it into a Christian-free zone. The brutal religious cleansing attacks that have engulfed the Christian community have left many Christians feeling like they are facing a life and death struggle in the world’s largest democracy.’ The movement of conversion of the Muslims and the Christians to Hindus in India is known as the Religious Awakening Movement. Rajeshwar Singh is a well known leader of this movement.
A few days back he said talking to a newspaper, “23rd Dec is the martyrdom day of Swami Shraddhanand, the leader of the 19th century re-conversion movement. We will convert maximum number of the Muslims to Hinduism in at least 50 locations in west UP.” He further said, “Every year on 25th December, the Christians extremists in India convert countless Hindus to Christianity but this year we shall do the reverse by converting them back to Hinduism. In two to three years, the rural hinterland will be free of Christians.” According to various media reports the Religious Awakening Movement is running under the supervision and guidance of Mr. Modi and his party.
The members of opposition in India Parliament have serious reservations over this issue of forced conversion. They are accusing Hindu hard-liners of undermining India’s unity and secular nature. They are of the opinion that the Hindu hard-liners are flexing their muscles under the Bharatiya Janata Party government, led by Mr. Modi. They are demanding explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
The recent statement of a BJP minister Niranjan Jyoti has added a lot of salt to the situation. According to the media details, Niranjan Jyoti used an abusive term to refer to non-Hindus, by asking people at a public rally to choose between Ramzada (children of the Hindu God Ram) and Haramzada (bastards). Though Prime Minister Modi had expressed his disliking over the statement of Niranjan Jyoti by disapproving her language but flatly refused to sack her. The Hindu extremists claim that the Modi government is their real representative and this claim has made them a serious security threat to the Muslim and Christian minorities. They are dreaming of an India with no Muslim and no Christian.
The Hindu extremists recently expressed their traditional narrow mindedness by mistreating the Pakistani Hockey Team members after their brilliant victory against India in the qualifying match of the Champion’s Trophy. The situation would become really painful and agonizing for the Hindus if the Muslims and the Christians decide to pay them in the same coin in the countries like America, England, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Pakistan and above all in Afghanistan.