HISAR: About 250 members of 40 Muslim families from Bidhmira village in Haryana’s Hisar
district embraced Hinduism on Friday and performed the last rites of a 80-yearold woman according to Hindu customs. Earlier, about 35 members of six Muslim families also embraced Hinduism at Jind’s Danoda Kalan village on April 18.
According to villager, these families of Bithmada used to live at Danoda Kalan village before Independence.
Satbir, the new convert, said his mother Phooli Devi died a natural death on Friday and the Muslim families of the village decided that since they lead the Hindu way of life, they should declare themselves to be Hindus and decided to do the cremation as per Hindu rituals. Earlier, the dead were cremated according to Muslim customs, he said.
Satbir claimed that he was from Doom caste and has heard of his Hindu ancestors embracing Muslim under pressure during the time Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. Their entire village celebrates Hindu festivals but the last rites of the dead are done according to Muslim religion, he said. Asked whether there was pressure on them to convert, he denied it, saying no villager had misbehaved with anyone.
Attempts to reach the village sarpanch remained futile as his phone was switched off. However, a village youth, Majid claimed that as earlier the people of his society were not educated, they did not know the old things. “Now many people are educated and they have convinced everyone to do this (change religion),” he said. “It is only when we bury our dead, that the villagers looked at us differently. Therefore, looking at the future of children, we decided to convert,” he said.
Muslim Welfare Organization state president Harfool Khan Bhatti said he knew about the Danoda Kalan incident village but did not have much information about Bithmara village. “The conversion of Danoda Kalan village happened to avail the benefit of the scheduled caste category as they belong to the Doom caste,” he said.
Doom caste has been kept in SC category, but according to a 1951 notification, Muslims and Christians citizens of Doom caste cannot avail the reservation benefit, he said.
When the case of Mohammad Saddiq, who became an MLA on Congress ticket from a reserved seat in Ludhiana, went to Supreme Court, he won the case by saying that he was Mazhabi Sikh and not a Muslim, Bhatti pointed out.