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In Modi’s Gujarat, Muslims assume Hindu names

A shocking revelation by a leading English daily says that in Gujarat, Muslims are assuming Hindu names in order to find a job. The front-paged report narrated how Mehboob Pathan took the name “Jayenti Bhatti” in order to get a job in Surat. It was only when he was killed over a monetary dispute that his family members revealed that he was actually a  Muslim.

According to the report, Pathan’s story came to be known after his body was found in a farm at Antroli with the head smashed. The police registered a case and kept the unclaimed body in the Palsana Primary Health Centre mortuary. Then they arranged to give Pathan alias Bhatti a Hindu funeral.

His family, who had been looking for Pathan, had filed a missing complaint. Then, seeing news stories in local newspapers about an unclaimed body, Mehboob’s brother-in-law Iqbal Pathan decided to check. By that time, Pathan had been cremated, but the brother-in-law identified him from a photo of the body. Indian Express report further says, the family terms Pathan as a pious Muslim and the change of name was just so that he and his children could find and keep a job.

“We are too poor to do anything, but how could the police dispose of his body the Hindu way?” asked son Mushtaq. “A genital examination would have shown he was a Muslim.”

Sub-Inspector of Kadodara police V R Malhotra said they had kept the body in mortuary hoping someone would turn up. “We disposed it of according to Hindu rites not knowing he was a Muslim. The family turned up too late and we are now helpless,” Indian Express quoted the sub inspector as saying.

The report says, in the ledgers of Surat’s diamond units, there are many leading a double life like Pathan. His son Mushtaq is registered as Mukesh and daughter Samina as Sharmila, and both are afraid of losing their jobs if the fact was known.

The report further says, diamond industry sources and workers say many Muslims assume Hindu names to find work in the city’s lucrative diamond business. Though the report quoted Rohit Mehta, president of the Surat Diamond Association as denying knowledge of Muslims passing themselves off as Hindus for jobs.

Terming the day as a sad day for secular India, Mumbai-based commentator Ghulam Mohammad says, “I  will blame Congress, Nehru, Indira, Rajiv and now Sonia for this state of affair. It is they who had indulged in double game and systematically reduced 150-200 million Indian Muslims to such a level of desperation that  their very survival as Muslims at grassroots level has been so thoroughly become impossible.”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2011 on page no. 20

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