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Unable to get burial space, 18 Muslim Banjaras ‘reconvert’ to Hinduism in Uttar Pradesh

  • RSS promises for burial space for them

New Delhi  : At least 18 Banjara Muslims from Kandhla, Uttar Pradesh have converted to Hinduism with another promise of land for their dead from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). According to a Times of India report, RSS plans on bringing the remaining 200-odd people in the locality “back into the Hindu fold” as well.

The priest who conducted the rituals, Yashveer Maharaj, was quoted by TOI as saying, “We had been visiting them regularly and convinced them to come back to the Hindu fold.”

Shamli DM Jasjeet Kaur, has said that the conversion is yet to go through technically. “They wanted a change of names from Muslim to Hindu. Legal formalities related to conversion have not taken place.”

The Banjara community, which is a Scheduled Tribe in Uttar Pradesh, began as a mercantile society and later became linked with a nomadic lifestyle. In addition to various Hindu sects, the Banjaras have two Muslim sects, Turkia and Mukeri, both of which date back to the 17th century.

According to the report, the local unit of the RSS has bigger plans. “We will get all 200-odd people at Rai Zadgan to reconvert to Hinduism … We have written to the administration to give them a small piece of land,” said local RSS functionary Rikki Rawat.
BJP councillor Deepak Saini wants an even greater intervention:

“While we are trying to get them a piece of land, we are also trying to get them to the mainstream. We want them to go the Hindu way and cremate their dead.”

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