Cabinet to investigate Indira children conversion

April 17th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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If this lady is as tough as her namesake, its going to a be hell of a problem for the husband.  The story, as written published below, may not tell the whole picture, and to be fair, we have to wait till more details come out.

But while the case is going on, I wonder what happened to the initiative to streamline the conversion processes as proposed by PM Badawi last time. Then, MCA, ABIM, IKIM, and other groups were making noise of the illegal conversions issues that caused lot of unhappiness and distrust among the communities in the country. And some people wonder why certain community can be ungrateful or unappreciative or whatever.

This kind of problem won’t end without proper guidelines and perhaps a monitoring body for the non-Muslims to ensure their rights are actually protected, and not exist merely as words in the constitution. We had the Subashini case which still reverberates in our minds. Granted there were few cases where the conversion was reversed –  like the Chinese lady, Tan Eng Huan who married an Iranian (I think) out love, but never practised anything remotely close to Islam. A lady was buried as Buddhist after it was proven that she never did practise Islam, in Perlis. There was another case in Kota Bahru and one more in Malacca, if I’m not mistaken where the families of the convert got back their properties. Some may be deemed convert just because their MyKad said so! Or do anyone remember case of Elangesvaran?

The case of Indira Gandhi was first highlighted via a Hindu Sangam press statement as below, with specific mention of abuse:

PRESS STATEMENT :
APPEAL TO RAJA NAZRIN – DO WE NEED TO CONVERT BREASTFED 11 MONTH OLD BABY ?

At a time when we are welcoming “ONE MALAYSIA” concept we still have Ulamas who convert a 11 month old baby named Prasanna Thiksha to Ummu Abima bte Mohd Ridzuan. This baby was grabbed by a wife beating husband and both the husband Pathmanathan and the baby were converted in the state of Perak at Ipoh, Pasir Putih. The baby is still being breastfed.

A police report was made, but, as usual it does not “interfere” when it comes to one particular religion.

The mother a kindergarten teacher Indra Gandhi had to protect her other two children. The husband was able to snatch the Birth Certificates of the two Children and the wife now lives in fear because she is wondering whether the Birth Certificates can be used to convert the other two children.

Is this the “ONE MALAYSIA” vision we are going to encounter in the years to come? The Malaysia Hindu Sangam is most disturbed with this turn of events because the Judiciary in Malaysia has most often been “blind” to issues on Islam. We now have to channel our appeal to the Royalty because the head of the religion is the Ruler.

It is with good intentions that we appeal to the lovable Prince of Perak HRH Raja Nazrin ibni Sultan Raja Azlan Shah to intervene and solve this problem in a mutual humane way with harmony, peace and justice for all.

Thank you.

Datuk A. Vaithilingam
President
Malaysia Hindu Sangam

So, for now, just like Saravanan (the ex-husband of Subashini), this fellow is also looking like a coward who brings shame to the religion he claims to converted to. He had no guts to go through the divorce process and took the back door way.

THE MHS issued another press statement saying that the matter has been brought to the attention of the Cabinet:

Press Statement : Cabinet Intervenes On Complaints on Child Conversion

15 APRIL 2009

Early this month a father forcefully converted his eleven month old baby by grabbing the baby from the mother after assaulting her. This happened at Pasir Puteh, Ipoh. Last week the father Pathmanathan alias Mohd Ridzuan B Abdullah has obtained a Syariah court order to send the other two children whom he claimed to have converted to Islam by using their Birth Certificates to be sent to him.

After bringing this matter up to the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Hj Muhiyuddin and Cabinet Ministers Tan Sri Koh Tsu Khoon and Datuk Dr.S.Subramaniam, this matter was brought to the cabinet meeting today and it was viewed with great concern.

Tan Sri Muhiyuddin informed me that 3 Minsters led by Tan Sri Koh Tsu Khoon, Major General Datuk Jamil Khir and Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam have been asked to immediately look into the matter.

Tan Sri Koh Tsu Khoon has requested the Malaysia Hindu Sangam and all others concerned to provide all the information so that a quick solution can be worked out. He also said that the Prime Minister has taken a serious view of this matter.

In the meantime Malaysia Hindu Sangam appeals to all concerned to be calm and assist in finding a just solution to this issue.

Datuk A.Vaithilingam.
President
Malaysia Hindu Sangam.

I hope the ministers concerned can indeed come out with some statement, instead of we have to rely on MHS. This will go a long way to reestablish some trust in the system. It will be good indeed if the DPM or PM mention something so that can reassure the families and community at large.

So, will Indira Gandhi plea be heard?

Her three young children were forcefully converted to Islam by her estranged husband. And M Indira Ghandi is taking her plight straight to the doorstep of Sri Perdana.

Calling on newly minted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain the matter, the 35-year-old kindergarten teacher said: “He talks about an united Malaysia. But what does this mean when only the Muslims have rights.”

“I am not anti-Islam and I am not saying that they (Muslims) are doing wrong things but why do non-Muslims have to suffer like this?” she asked as tears welled up in her eyes.

Indira’s marriage is now is a limbo as her husband K Patmanathan, 40, had converted without her knowledge on March 11.

She claimed that her husband, who has since assumed the name Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had also converted their children, aged one to 12, on April 12 without their presence and using only their birth certificates.

He took my baby (their youngest child) from me and ran away… I have not seen her ever since and I don’t know how she’s doing,” lamented Indira.

As for her marriage, the teacher, who also claimed to have been physically abused, said the couple were married for 16 years and had been facing problems for a long time. “It started so many years back that I can no longer keep track of when it started.”

“Recently he asked for a divorce and I thought to myself that since that was what he wanted I consented but he did not want to start the process and demanded that I do so.

“So I went to a marriage tribunal and filed for counselling in Ipoh but he never attended any of the counselling sessions,” she said. [so, there will be some records here]

Indira claimed that after one particular explosive argument, which also involved her mother and sisters, her husband had fled with their youngest daughter Prasana Diksa.

“When we went to the police station and lodged a report, no immediate action was taken by the police although my baby was still very young and needed to be breast-fed,” she said.

Since that incident, Indira has filed six police reports, with one alleging that she feared for her life because her husband had threatened her.

Indira said the police managed to locate her husband later but only to discover that he had converted the children.

The couple’s two other children Tevi Darsiny, 12 and Karan Dinesh, 11 are currently living with Indira, who has taken refuge with a relative fearing that Islamic officials would take the kids away.

“I was neither told nor asked about it (the conversion)… I don’t know what to do,” she lamented.

According to Indira, her husband had called her last Wednesday and promised to return her youngest child.

“He asked me to come to the Islamic Department (Jais) in Ipoh and take my baby because he could not care for her but he didn’t show up.

“Instead there was a man waiting there to serve me papers from the Syariah Court granting custody of my other children to him,” she said.

However, she refused to accept the papers as she believed that Syariah laws had no jurisdiction over her.

As for her husband’s conversion, Indira said he had spoken about his interest in Islam but she claimed this was related to monetary gains.

“I have no idea what his intentions are… but he mentioned once before that we will get RM5,000 each if we ‘nikah’ (marry according to Islamic rights) and money would also be given on a monthly basis to each of our children for education purposes.

“Over the past couple of days he keeps calling me and asks me to convert to Islam. He tells me that I should convert first and then we, as in the whole family, can opt out later back into Hinduism,” she said, adding that she wanted to remain a Hindu.

‘I love my wife very much’

Contacted later, her husband dismissed Indira’s allegations as absurd, saying he converted because he was passionate about Islam which he had discovered during his business trips.

Denying that he had physically abused her, Mohd Ridzuan said: “I don’t want to say anything but I love my wife very much… right now I only want her back.”

Asked why he had converted the children without informing his wife, he replied: “You see all the children must follow the father’s religion no matter whether he is a Hindu, Christian or Muslim.

“This is not a political issues, this is my family matter and I don’t want to shame my wife,” said the businessman who has filed for custody of the children with the Syariah Court.

Meanwhile, Indira has sought the help of several legal adviders, non-Muslim organisations and the public.

“This is not only my case, many people are suffering because of this. We are filing for the custody of my children because they don’t want to go to their father, and they (the other party) are totally rejecting this.

But the question is even if I can get back my children, will they be Hindu again? Why does it only take a day to convert my children but it is so difficult to return to their old religion?” she asked.

“Don’t I have say in it, when I was the one who carried them for nine months… aren’t they my children too? So what is my right and my children’s rights?

“The government say this is a country where it is free to practice your own religion but what is the right of a non-Muslim in this situation?” she added.

Well, in any case, Indira better make plan to migrate.

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