Uddhav Thackeray’s love jihad comments evoke mixed reactions from politicians while girls are more concerned about their safety.
The term love jihad has gained momentum ever since the BJP led NDA government had come into power at the centre. Five years back there were reports about forcible conversion of women from Kerala and Karnataka. BJP MP Yogi Adityanath had made controversial comments about ‘Love Jihad’ which was supported by Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray. In Shiv Sena’s editorial mouthpiece Saamna, party president Uddhav Thackeray said, “Hindu girls are trapped and then forcibly converted after marriage.”
Endorsing Yogi Adityanath’s recent statements and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s views on the issue, Thackeray opined: “Love Jihad is an international conspiracy to destroy the Hindu culture.”
Recently, an undated video posted on YouTube showed Yogi Adityanath exhorting Hindu men to convert 100 Muslim girls to Hindusim for each Hindu converted to Islam.
When AV spoke to BJP and Shiv Sena leaders about this issue there were mixed reactions from them while some of them refused to comment about it.
Gopal Shetty, BJP MP said, “Any kind of religious conversion is not good. People should follow the religion they are born into. I don’t support any kind of conversion. The comments issued by Uddhav Thackeray supporting Yogi Adityanath’s statement on Love Jihad increases crime against women are baseless.”
When asked if such comments increase communal tension, he replied, “If media tries to create controversy, communal tension will rise.”
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena Spokesperson said, “Saamna is our official party newspaper and it reflects the views of the party members. Speaking about communal tension, firstly we don’t endorse Adityanath. It is spread by the UPA via facebook and twitter in a democratic set up. There can be clash of opinions but this does not necessarily lead to communal tension.”
Shaina NC, BJP Spokesperson said, “There have been instances of Love Jihad in UP, Kerala and Jharkhand. There are factual evidences of such occurrences. Hence, the issue needs to be highlighted. I do not support any kind of conversion. Comments on Love Jihad are unlikely to spread communal tension. People are smart enough to know that there is a racket and they should not become victim of it.”
Muslim girls are educating their counterparts to stay away from Hindu boys.
Sana Khan a Lecturer from MMP Shah College Matunga said, “If a Muslim guy pressurises a non-Muslim girl to embrace Islam or vice versa it is unjustified. Islam cannot be forced on any one. A person can’t merely claim himself to be a Muslim as one need to feel the love for Allah, preach and practice it.”
Dr. Masuda Shaikh said, “Since past few days I have been hearing about love jihad. How is it going to make difference in the society? Nobody has rights to convert any girl let it be Hindu or Muslim especially in metropolitan cities like Mumbai. Girls here are smart enough to make their own decisions. We want to feel safe we girls, don’t want to become a target of any political agenda.”
Raziya Nisar, writer said, “How is conversion linked to elections? Safety of Hindu or Muslim girls should be given more priority. We girls have ditto body and physical sentiments. These kinds of statement are a threat to our lives In India.”
Ramdas Kadam, Shiv Sena leader refused to comment on this issue.