Pokharia in the Begusarai district of Bihar has a Muslim dominated area where resides a 46-year-old lawyer, Mohammed Anwar, with his family. He has accused radical Muslims in his neighborhood of harassing and forcing him to eat beef and send his two sons to a madrasa.
Fed up with the harassment meted out to him by Muslim hardliners, Anwar decided to convert himself and his two sons to Hinduism. On Tuesday, draped in saffron-colored cloth, seated around the ritualistic fire while mantras were being changed, Mohammed Anwar renounced Islam and embraced Hinduism along with his two sons – Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Shabir.
With the change of faith, Anwar is now Anand Bharti while Amir, 11, and Shabir, 9, are now known as Aman Bharti and Suman Bharti, respectively. With regard to his wife, Shabnam, Anand said that she would convert as well but at a later point in time.
According to The Indian Express report, Anand Bharti said,
Though I have been living in Pokharia, Begusarai, for over 18 years amid 12 Muslim households in a Muslim-dominated area, a Syed family, which thinks itself as contractor of Islam, has been harassing me for last seven months, sometimes by saying that I hardly offer namaz and at times by leaving bones outside my house.
Anand Bharti informed that after the ceremony he received threats to his family that their heads would be “chopped off”. Bharti considers himself a humanist and respects all faiths. He told News 18,
I am a liberal. I used to visit temples and mosques both, but hardliners in my community objected to it. I was threatened for participating in events organized by Hindus. Then, Bajrang Dal contacted me. They told me about Hinduism in details, and I was convinced that Hinduism was not a religion but a way of life. So, I decided to follow their advice.
He cleared the air when he informed that it was not any enticing promises or coercion that influenced his decision. The lawyer has even submitted an affidavit in district court stating that his decision to convert was his own and not made under any influence.