Video of Brothers Reuniting After 74 Years Shared With False Communal Spin
The brothers were born Muslim and continue to practice Islam.
A few days ago, a video showing the reunion of two brothers – separated during the Partition of India in 1947 – went viral and was shared by several people on the internet.
Some people who shared the video claimed that the two brothers were Sikh by birth and the one who lived in Pakistan was forced to convert to Islam.
However, we found that both the brothers were Muslims by birth and continue to practise Islam.
The claim shared with the viral video said: "Two Sikh brothers were separated in 1947. The one who came to India remains a Sikh. The one who remained in Pakistan converted to Islam. The Indian Sikh can proudly say, "Wah Guru Ji Da Khalsa, Wah Guru Ji Di Fatah." The Pakistani brother has to say "Allah hu akbar."(sic)"
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The news about the reunion was covered by several media organisations and some of them did follow up stories with the brothers to find out more about their lives. The news reports identified the brothers are Siddique Khan and Sikka alias Habib Khan.
A report in The Indian Express explained in detail how the brothers were able to meet due to the efforts of a Pakistani YouTuber Nasir Dhillon and his YouTube channel called Punjabi Lehar. Dhillion had posted an appeal from Siddique on his YouTube channel who was looking for his brother from whom he was separated during the Partition.
The appeal was seen by a rural medical practitioner Jagsir Singh in Sikka's village in Bathinda disctrict in India, who contacted Dhillon and informed him about Sikka.
The brothers first spoke throught the video conferencing in 2019 and later met in 2022 after overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles and delays brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their first interaction was uploaded on Punjabi Lehar.
The description of the video said that the two brothers – Muhammad Siddique and Muhammad Habib – were separated during the Partition of Punjab in 1947. Habib had gone with his mother to his maternal grandmonther's village in Phulewala when the violence broke.
Their father, Wali Muhammad, died in the violence and the brothers got separated, the description added.
It was after the reunion that Sikka learnt that his given name was Habib Khan.
Jasgir Singh informed The Indian Express that Habib's family was one of the few Muslim families the village sheltered during Partition. The report added that "some Muslim families living in India have taken Sikh names and wear turbans but continue to practise Islam".
Evidently, the claim that the two brothers were Sikh and that Siddique was forced to convert to Islam is false. Both the brothers were born Muslims.
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