ALIGARH – Exploiting their poverty, Hindu right wing organizations have allegedly lured scores of Muslims to abandon their faith in Agra with a promise to offer them ration and financial assistance, the action which has sparked condemnations from Muslims across India.
“The Sangh Parivar [ultra- nationalist Hindu group] has long shouted from the rooftop that Christians and Muslims are converting poor Hindus to Christianity and Islam respectively, with the allurement of money and other benefits. Their charges were rarely or never proved,” Prof. M H Jawahirullah, Chennai-based politician and Muslim community leader, told OnIslam.net.
“In this case of Agra, the allurement is conspicuous behind the conversion. Now the Sangh Parivar has been caught red-handed in an illegal act.”
The uproar got sparked last Tuesday after Hindu right-wing organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), known as the ideological mentor of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claimed that about 300 Muslims from 60 families in a slum in Agra had converted to Hinduism.
The news was refuted by many of the Muslims who took part in the Hindu conversion ceremony organized by Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhagh (DJSV) and Bajrang Dal, two offshoots of RSS.
According to some of the attendants, they had been forced to go through the Hindu rituals against their wishes and that they were all following Islam indeed.
“We do not have ration and BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards. With a promise to help us get those documents from the government a Hindu group called us,” one unidentified person, who was in the group of those Muslims, said to India’s national ABP News TV channel.