Posted by: becketfund | December 20, 2008

India: Political Leader Fired Over Conversion of Convenience

NEW DEHLI – Chander Mohan, the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, was deposed from his position after converting to Islam to marry for a second time, the Insider reported on December 20. Mohan’s new wife, a former civil servant of Haryana, similarly lost her job over her conversion. It has been alleged that both parties converted to Islam to circumvent the law for bigamy. Hindu men and women often resort to conversion for remarriage in an attempt to avoid messy divorces and to evade the charge of bigamy, an offence under the Hindu Marriage Act. Both Hindus and Muslims disapprove of such religious “conversions of convenience.” Imam Habibur Rahman Sani, an influential Muslim cleric of neighbouring Punjab state, condemned Mohan’s marriage as a “fraud” and called for his arrest, while Islamic scholar and Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood said that “If a married Hindu during the subsistence of his first marriage embraces Islam and marries again, it is illegal and punishable under the law, even if the conversion is absolutely genuine.”

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