The Begum of Bhopal: wise judgement

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From a report appearing in the Azad of Lucknow, 20 March 1891

… in Bhopal a Hindu woman, who had an intimacy with a Musalman, appeared before the Qazi and expressed a desire for her conversion to the Muhammadan religion. The Qazi reported the matter through the Prime Minister to Her Highness the Begam, who ordered the Qazi to defer the conversion for a month and to issue a proclamation regarding her desire for change of religion. Her Highness remarked in  her orders that a month’s notice was necessary, to give her time to think over the matter carefully, and to afford her relatives an opportunity for the protection of her faith. Undoubtedly men often change their religion in a hurry and afterwards regret their mistake in vain, But the precaution taken by Her Highness is well calculated to prevent the recurrence of such cases. The conduct of Christian missionaries is British India in this matter is greatly to blame.  They frequently make conversions in objectionable ways, which lead to affrays. Which policy is just and reasonable, the one pursued in British India or the one followed in Bhopal?

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