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Published in the 16-30 Nov 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Injustice pushes family to apostasy

By Shamim Tariq

On September 16 The Pioneer daily carried a news item about a Unani Muslim physician, Hasan, hailiing from Allahabadís Gohnia village who converted to Hinduism along with his whole 12-member family.

Hasan and his family members

Hasan and his family members

Hasanís medical practice was a failure so he left it and found work as a chowkidar in the factory of a Muslim industrialist. He had not been paid his salary for the last three months. According to the report, one day he demanded his salary and insisted for it. As a result he was badly beaten up.

Hasanís clinic was forcibly occupied and attempts were made to occupy his house also. He asked for help from his Muslim neighbours, but no one came to his rescue. Disappointed and heart-broken, he sought the help of his Hindu neighbours who generously helped him. Seeing the oppressive and unfriendly attitude of Muslims and the cooperative and friendly attitude of Hindus, he deserted Islam and embraced Hinduism along with his whole family.

Hasan has said in his affidavit submitted to the district magistrate that his conversion to Hinduism was voluntary. His new name is Ram Chandra, Hasanís conversion was motivated by the physical and mental torture by his own fellowmen.

The VHP welcomed his conversion to Hinduism and took his family in a procession organised by it. They have built a small temple for him in front of his house.

Muslims should introspect about the sorry state of affairs prevailing in our society. Teachings of Islam about equality of human beings, non-discrimination between rich and poor, and helping the neighbours and poor, and justice to all, appear to have been totally discarded. Religious leaders do not acknowledge the fact that the Islamic society is decaying and they have failed in preventing the degeneration. 

Hasan changed his religion in revolt against the injustice and oppression of the rich and powerful. People forsake Islam, the right path, only because of the unfair attitude and behaviour of their own people. If social injustice, oppression and exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful continues people will keep abandoning Islam. If conversions like Gohnia village continue, time will come when it will become difficult to arrest the trend. (Translated from Urdu)

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