In a classic case of a social enigma of migrant labors forced to work in duress in gulf countries, a Hindu family of Jagtiyal District in Telangana has left in a quandary over the issue of last rites of their converted father Abdur Rahman alias Bhiri Raja Mallaiah – who said to have been embraced Islam in Saudi Arabia to protect his job but was died last month in Jeddah.
The family sought the government’s help for the repatriation of the body of their departed father from Saudi Arabia to perform last rites in his home town with full respect and it waiting to complete the process through the support of Pravasi Mithra Labour Union that works as a leasing agent to deal with issues pertaining to migrant labors working in gulf countries.
Hailing from Yekeenpur Village of Korutla Mandal in Jagtial District in Telangana, Hindu man Bhiri Raja Mallaiah (Alias Abdur Rahman after conversion) board onto his journey for Saudi Arabia in December 1979 in quest of a better livelihood but has died at the age of 70 last month in a hospital at Jeddah. Though he was only 30 years old at the time he was embarked on a journey to gulf country, he has spent almost 41 long years in Saudi Arabia till he breathed his last on 30th August 2020.
While living in a country far away from his home for years, he was converted to Islam, a predominant religion of Saudi Arabia 18 years ago in order to secure his job in Mecca whereas per the provision of local law, no non-Muslim should be allowed to work. While working in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Rahman visited his Hindu family in India on his passport with a new name as at one or more occasions that include his last visit in October.
Abdur Rahman’s embracing of a new religion wouldn’t surprise his family when they first open up to such development as was generally happens in such cases in India where families divided against such audacities of their members. The family especially the wife and two children of Abdur Rahman did not take a hoot over the issue as they are aware of the situation wherein their father is working to run the family.
Showing deep respect for the decision her husband’s made during his stay in a gulf country, Baira Raju Alias Bhoomakka wife of Abdur Rehman Alias Bhiri Raja Mallaiah, I the letter said “They respect each other’s belief and are knit together with the wedlock despite his conversion to Islam and their marital life goes on as usual without any differences thereafter. She explained that their daughter, son and other family members too hold good relations and spend much of the time with her husband when he visited India last October on a short vacation.”
In a similar letter to Pravasi Mithra Labour Union, his son Baira Mallesh has affirmed that “His father while working in Saudi Arabia for years has embraced Islam to retain his job as the local law of Saudi Arabia allows only Muslim employees to work in Mecca.” He further said that “As their father sacrificed his entire life in order to bring cheers to remain on their faces, they would respect their father’s views and beliefs.”
However, while talking to Y-This News, Baira Mallesh said, “His father has changed his religion under duress while working in Saudi Arabia as the local rule at Macca wouldn’t allow people from other faiths to hold any significant post. However, will respect my father’s feelings and go by his last bequeath. Will perform his rites according to the last will and testament provided if they were supported with substantial written proof,” he clarified.