4 Men Who Converted To Islam Arrested In India

Four members of a family who have converted to Islam were arrested last night in Madhya Pradesh, hours after they told a court that they had not been forced into adopting another religion. Seven others have been held for questioning.

Tularam Jatav, his son Keshav and relatives Manikram and Makhubhai Jatav were arrested on Wednesday under the state’s Freedom of Religion Act, which allows conversions only if the district administration has verified that they are not forced. Those wanting to change their religion have to seek the state’s permission.

All four, if found guilty, face two years in jail.

On Tuesday, when the Jatav family went to a district magistrate with affidavits affirming that they were converting willingly, a large group of activists from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal arrived too, and started protesting and chanting slogans. 

Later, an FIR was filed against the Jatavs and a team was sent to their house.

The VHP and Bajrang Dal are both part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-led pro-Hindu conglomerate that includes the state’s ruling BJP. 

Officials say the Jatavs appear to have violated the law, as the probe team had learnt that they had switched to Islam months ago without informing the government.

Others in their village went to the police on August 28 and alleged that forced conversions were taking place in the family. The Jatavs denied it twice, but yesterday, shortly after they tried to submit affidavits in a court, they were held.

“We have not been forced to convert; we were inspired by the teachings of Islam. This is an unnecessary controversy,” said Keshav Jatav, before being taken into custody.

A police team will now investigate the villagers’ allegation.

Source: NDTV

The Great Mogul

The Great Mogul

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, fell to the superior mobility and firepower of the Mughals. The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralized, and uniform rule. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status. The Mughal state’s economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets.

The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India’s economic expansion, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India. As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to control their own affairs.

The Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turko-Mongols from modern-day Uzbekistan, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled much of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul & Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million (quarter of the world’s population), over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).

The “classic period” of the empire started in 1556 with the ascension of Akbar the Great to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, India enjoyed economic progress as well as religious harmony, and the monarchs were interested in local religious and cultural traditions. Akbar was a successful warrior. He also forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but they were subdued by Akbar. Most Mughal emperors were Muslims. However Akbar in the latter part of his life, and Jahangir, were followers of a new religion called Deen-i-Ilahi, as recorded in historical books like Ain-e-Akbari & Dabestan-e Mazaheb.

The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He erected several large monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi, and theLahore Fort. The Mughal Empire reached the zenith of its territorial expanse during the reign of Aurangzeb and also started its terminal decline in his reign due to Maratha military resurgence under Shivaji Bhosale. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to more than 1.25 million square miles, ruling over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 1/4th of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of over $90 billion. [Wikipedia]

Oil Painting by American Artist: Edwin Lord Weeks
Description: Great Mogul And His Court Returning From The Great Mosque At Delhi India