Threatened and boycotted, Muslim family that converted to Hinduism goes back to Islam

AGRA: The Muslim family that had embraced Hinduism during the much publicized “Ghar Wapasi” program last year has now gone back to being Muslims after they received threats and were boycotted by the local Muslim society.

A family of 17 members in Davli village headed by 70-year-old Rahmat had embraced Hinduism on December 25 last year, but they were reported to have stopped following Hindu rituals after they received threats from anti-social elements.

It has now come to light that the family was also boycotted by their caste members, most of whom are Muslims. The family belongs to “nat” caste, which is identified as a dalit caste.

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Re-conversion to Islam in Agra
The family accepting Islam again (BBC photo)

On Friday, Rahmat’s family was reportedly denied admission into a wedding ceremony of someone from the same caste. Local people told them that unless they accept Islam again, they will not be accepted by the society and no one will allow them to join public functions.

Disowned by their community, the family claims that they didn’t receive any benefits, such as a piece of land, or social support from people who converted them to Hinduism during the Gharwapasi event.

Coupled with such social boycott, apart from threats that they received earlier, the family thought it was better if they accepted Islam again to lead a normal life.

As a result, on Friday itself the family became Muslims again. Their “reconversion” was solemnized by a local Mufti and an official of Tanzeem Ulema, as reported by Dainik Jagran newspaper.

Apart from reading qalma to become Muslims again, the married members of the family were asked to marry again as their earlier marriage was deemed null and void due to their conversion to Hinduism.

The family will be formally announced assimilated into the society in a panchayat that has been called on 14th May by the nat community.

The incident has once again highlighted the politics behind conversions and reconversions, where religious conversions among the poor appears to be happening mostly due to financial reasons. Earlier some dalits in Rampur had claimed to embrace Islam to save their houses. This family too has been changing their religion to have such support.

It also shows how Hindu groups have been mostly ham-handed in organizing events like “ghar wapasi”. Without any social support, such programs are just made-for-media-and-made-for-outrage events.

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