Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Controversial Remarks on Muslim Conversion Draw Strong Reactions

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad has sparked controversy with remarks about the historical religious conversions in India and the Kashmir Valley. Azad’s statements have drawn sharp criticism from various quarters, including PDP leader and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

During a gathering in the Doda district, Azad claimed that a majority of Indian Muslims had converted from Hinduism and offered the Kashmir Valley’s historical conversions as an example. He cited that many Kashmiri Pandits, who were Hindu, had converted to Islam over the years. Azad emphasized that religion should not be exploited for political gains and criticized those who resort to such tactics as weak.

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Azad’s comments elicited a swift response from Mehbooba Mufti, who accused him of oversimplifying the complexities of religious history. She expressed her uncertainty about Azad’s understanding of his ancestors’ origins and advised him to delve deeper into his lineage, humorously suggesting that he might find his forebears among monkeys if he traced back far enough.

Mufti’s reaction has escalated the ongoing discourse surrounding Azad’s statements, with various political and social figures engaging in debates about the historical accuracy and implications of his remarks. The controversy has added fuel to the fire in the already sensitive context of religious and cultural dynamics in the region.

As voices continue to clash over the interpretation of historical events, it remains to be seen whether Azad’s remarks will have any lasting impact on the political landscape or the perceptions of religious identity in India and the Kashmir Valley.