It seems that Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) love for Lord Rama and his temple at Ayodhya has taken a back seat. BJP has taken up “Love Jihad” hoopla to tackle fading waves of PM Narendra Modi for by-poll elections in every state. Sadly, this gimmick of BJP was aggressively criticised in media and on social media. These narrow minded approaches of BJP has no answer for the atrocities made by Hindu men to Hindu women, dowry deaths, rapes by Hindu men and many such growing problems. After by-poll results in states like Bihar and Karnataka where they had majorly failed and were thrashed on social media, BJP suddenly has taken a U turn on the issue and changed its stand. Term ‘Love Jihad’ came into existence when two years ago a massive rally was held on behalf of Hindu Janjagaran Manch and they protested against it. First incidence of Love Jihad came in Sambhaji Nagar city wherein a Muslim youth eloped with a Hindu young woman. Over 15,000 Hindus impulsively participated in the rally. This rally included many BJP and Shiv Sena members.
Before taking up Love Jihad as a tool to promote party in by polls, BJP forgot to mention its own party leaders, who married their daughters to Muslim BJP leaders. BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini is one of the classic example of someone who converted to Islam in 1979. Her Husband Dharmendra was already married to Prakash Kaur and had four kids with her when he met actress Hema Malini and fell in love with her. Since he could not divorce his wife due to his commitment and could not marry again as per the Hindu Marriage Act, they converted to Islam and gave legal stand to their marriage.
However India being a secular country, communal, secular and the other classification will work no more. It’s high time; youth wants some change and not the carnage. Youth are not paying any heeds to the inter-caste or inter religious marriages. Flesh trading, drugs, conversions altogether are different issues and irrespective of any religion, the offenders should be punished.
AV spokes to some personalities, irrespective of their religions, on the issue of ‘Love Jihad’, everybody have a different take on it:
Rohini Salian, former Chief Public Prosecutor and Lawyer
First, we need to understand the root cause of Love Jihad. Girls who are at marriageable age are becoming victims of it. If you see in rural areas, girls are not properly brought up, and nobody wants to marry them because of dowry. So, they are left out in the lurch, when somebody comes forward to help, they are attracted towards them. According to me, the reason is the community to which they belong. They consider their daughter as a liability, so when the girls get attracted to the person of other community then we call it as ‘Love Jihad’.
Shaina NC, BJP Spokesperson
We have not used this terminology (Love Jihad) anywhere. This whole concept is all about women safety and security. We wanted to bring under notice of UP government that out of every 100 cases registered in the state, 71 are atrocities against women. They are doing nothing about it. The point is, if we played divisive politics and communalised issues, we would not have been in power. We would never have got 73 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Our plan is to unite people.
Bala Nandgaonkar, MNS Leader
We cannot term anything as a ‘Love Jihad,’ it’s up to the women. If a woman is trapped and is forced to convert her religion without her will, then that is crime. No one has the right to marry a woman unless and until she wants to. Trapping any girl and torturing her irrespective of her community or religion is a crime. There are certain sections in IPC to take care of it. Government should take harsh step against these types of cases and criminals should be put behind the bars for cheating and playing with the girl’s emotions. No one should ever think of cheating any girl in the name of love. Every girl and women should be secured.
Mrityunjay Prabhakar, Assistant Professor of Drama & Theatre Art at Visva-Bharati University
Love Jihad is basically a RSS propaganda which they are manipulating so that they can create rift between the communities. RSS and its political outfit BJP should answer why their own daughters are married to Muslim guys. Was that also a part of Love Jihad? If yes, then they should first start cleansing from their home itself.
Swami Balendue V, Director at Shree Bindu Sewa Sansthan
Even the name ‘Love Jihad’ is non-sense. Love doesn’t see religion or caste. The people who gave this name to love between two adults have political interests and provoke people’s religious feelings for their own agenda, for their own advantage. In my opinion, inter-religious marriages, inter-caste marriages and international marriages should be encouraged more and more so that the barriers of caste and religion break down and people come closer to each other. I feel a wedding should only take place because of love. In this society however, the outdated concept of arranged marriages prevails and people are forced to live together even if they don’t have love for each other. We should promote love.
Naiyar Imam Siddiqui, Writer
Love Jihad is nothing but its Saffron strategy to defame love and integrity between Muslims and Hindus. Inter religious marriage especially between Hindu and Muslim is not new, it is in practice since centuries and had risen in the Mughal era. These type of marriages started in and around 9th century. Akbar-Jodha marriage is the trade mark and milestone of the unity of two religions. In recent time, many Muslims are marrying with Hindus and vice versa. It is not Jihad. Jihad means to control yourself from bad deeds. Loving anyone without asking his/her religion is bad? ‘Love Jihad is nothing but a saffron propaganda to polarise votes.
Ajay Kumar Rawani, Student
In the name of Love Jihad, Islamic extremists are planning to convert Hindu girls into Islam and they want to achieve majority in India as soon as possible by any method and make this country an Islamic Republic.
Joheb Ghori, Ticketing Agent at Saad Travel & Tourism Co.
Love Jihad is very widely used to define love marriage between Muslim boy and Hindu girl but when it is vice versa they treat it as ‘normal love marriage’, why it is like that? It’s very clear that marrying someone is not jihad. There might be some exception but you cannot term every ‘Love Marriage’ as ‘Love Jihad’. In India, it is now a political issue to gain mileage. Some political parties or social organisation are trying to give colour to these marriages. It’s in Indian Constitution that anybody can accept any religion. And if anybody is forcing the other to accept any other religion then it is crime and he or she should be booked for the same. I request to those who are screaming, just go and ask those Hindu married girls whether they were forced to convert or they willingly converted. Then you’ll know the truth behind it.
Veera Reddy, Gandluru
Love towards own religion is not same as spreading hatred on other religion. If you will love your own religion then you will not see other religions for sure. This propaganda will definitely create tension among society. Already, RSS is planning to revive ‘Shuddhi movement’ and this will hamper religious harmony in our country.
Love is not restricted. It’s a Cosmic Energy that is a need of every living being. One can’t force to love, it’s a natural process.
It is a misinformation to divert the attention from core issue of governance failure, black money, Pakistan cease fire violation, China intrusion, Price rise etc. They always try to avoid these important issues and deliberately raising issues like Hindu, Ram Temple and Love Jihad.
Venkataramanaiah – Founder Trustee, Materialist Spiritualist Mission Trust
It is very bad with ulterior motives and does not represent true love. It was going on for centuries and nobody cared or did not have guts to question it or eradicate it. Once majority community is strong, substantial part of this nonsense will stop. We can term it as ‘Soft Rowdiness’.
Nobody marries to have children from his wife with the intention of hating his wife’s religion. Religion is followed by heart and not by force. No religion teaches conversion by force.
Kundan Srivastava, Writer
The allegations of ‘Love Jihad’ in India have raised concerns in various Hindu extremist groups (VHP, RSS, Bajrang Dal) for their political gain. Even the extremist Hindu party BJP used this issue for their political agenda. However, many of BJP leaders are involved doing this ‘Love Jihad’ like Mr. Shahnawaz Hussain and Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.