In a communally volatile situation in India where cow vigilantism, lynching, nationalism debate has taken the keynote in the country, a news from Bihar is making the headline. A Muslim man, who was in his full sense, wants to change its religion to Hinduism. A bold move, considering the communal situation in the country.
The man accuses his Muslim neighbours of “harassing” him, a 46-year-old Muslim lawyer has converted to Hinduism in Bihar’s Begusarai district. Mohammad Anwar converted amid Vedic mantras on Tuesday along with his sons- Mohammad Amir, 11, and Mohammed Shabir, 9. He has been renamed Anand Bharti, and his sons have taken the names Aman Bharti and Suman Bharti. Anand said that his wife, Shabnam, would convert later.
“Though I have been living in Pokharia, Begusarai, for over 18 years amid 12 Muslim households in a Muslim-dominated area, a Syed family, which thinks itself as contractor of Islam, has been harassing me for last seven months, sometimes by saying that I hardly offer namaz and at times by leaving bones outside my house,’’ Anand said. “I consider myself a humanist. I have given donation for construction of temples… Such things would irritate Muslim neighbours, who often asked why I do not eat beef and put my sons in a madrasa.’’
Anand said he was forced to convert after about 40 Muslims allegedly threatened him with consequences if he did not follow “basic norms of Islam” on July 2. He said he was not influenced or wooed to convert. “At 46, no one can be able to influence my decision. I had been feeling suffocated by jibes. I have given an affidavit making it clear that I have taken my decision out of my will.’’ Bajrang Dal’s Begusarai district convenor Subham Bhardwaj said Anand announced that he would “renounce Islam” after he called him to protect his life. He added that their “social service’’ has pleased people like Anand.