Wednesday, June 23, 2021
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Domestic violence or love jihad?

Few days ago, Bandra police registered an FIR against Mr Asif Shahbazker, husband of Rashmi Shahbazker, who claims to be a model. Why she is called Model, I don’t know because I have not seen her anywhere in this industry in my entire journalistic career. Well! She filed a complaint alleging that her husband was forcing her to convert to Islam for the past 12 years. The lady who had no future then in glamour industry fell in love with a successful businessman, who was having many connections in the film industry. Their love story blossomed as he had all the amenities, house, personality, status to fall for. Knowing his religion and also religious beliefs (keeping more than one wife), she married him 12 years back. As the groom was a Muslim, so she must have had Nikah with him. It means she got converted 12 years back to be his wife and changed her name from Rashmi Madan to Rashmi Madan Shahbazker. Then she had a child with him who is already 7 years old and very much attached to his father.

If you look in to her statements, post having that child Asif started pressurising her to get converted to Islam which I think she already was when she married him. If to believe her theory she was going through this pressure all these seven years. She also claimed that Asif used to beat her. In all these seven years she never filed a complaint or raised her voice? She’s one educated lady, residing in one of the most high value locality of Mumbai. When we saw her on all major national news channels giving interviews you can see her reaching Bandra police station in a Land Rover, claiming she was beaten by her husband regularly (however we couldn’t see any signs). Interestingly all news channels were waiting for her in advance as if the entire show was pre-arranged. While giving bytes to these channels outside the police station her complaint was being filed inside. She did not directly go to cops, but restored to media.

I am not denying the chances of domestic violence or some atrocities to her. But this is definitely not of forced conversion or Love Jihad. She married a guy knowing his religion, customs, laws, and his financial status and changed her name/religion to get married. Also conceived a child with him, lived happily married till it did not fade. After 10 years of the marriage when things went wrong between them, all these claims and complaint surfaced with huge media coverage to protect her interests. There’s no wrong in fighting for self-interest or protect her rights as wife but it’s surely wrong if is playing religious cards by calling it forcible conversation or love jihad, she is creating communal disharmony. She has violated ethics being whatever religion she follows. The entire case is yet to be investigated and court trials are beginning but media gave its verdict declaring the saga as “love jihad”.  There is selective uproar and outrage on social media too. The other side of the story is yet not known.

Mr Asif is yet to speak, his side is silent and he is already been declared guilty, how can one come to conclusion on the facts? Rashmi has alleged that her husband had married to another Hindu woman and wanted to evict her from their house. As a wife she has every legal right to knock the doors of court and expose husband. Since BJP came to power there is amendment in triple-talaq too, I am sure he has not given her any divorce before going for another marriage. Or there can be chances that the theory of her husband having another woman is false. In most of the divorce cases or failed marriages character assassination is common factor. The charges against Asif are serious enough. They seem to be more of what the lawyer would frame rather than a wife. The charges are that the husband is going to marry women half his age, secondly evicting her from her home, lastly forcing conversion. It is not clear by what procedure the marriage was solemnised. Hindu law doesn’t allow a Hindu woman to marry outside faith. Therefore, her marriage is void from the outset. Even so if the marriage has lasted 12 years, then some introspection is required as to what has happened now? Forty two year old Rashmi Shahbazker, cannot just wash her hands by hanging a man in social shame. They had tied the knot in 2005 and the couple has a seven year old son. They live in Bandra West in her husband’s lavish house. The complainant’s husband owns farmland on the outskirts of Mumbai. Interestingly, Rashmi called upon the media to her husband’s house and escorted the camera person to their bedroom while showing her injury marks. Alleging that, Asif has now married another woman and is also trying to get her to convert her religion. If he has already moved why will he really force a woman to convert who is already converted?

However, the police told media that Ms Shahbazker sued that Asif assaulted her again and kicked her in the stomach after reaching home. She is now undergoing treatment for internal injuries at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra. The police have registered a case of domestic violence against Asif and Muneef under Sections 354, 323, 324, 504, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. They are verifying the allegations. A video of Ms Shahbazker has also surfaced on the internet in which she is seen crying and accusing her husband of forcing her convert her religion. She has used every medium to make sure her voice is heard and she gathers enough sympathy and news space. Those who want to take political advantage of the situation already got in hurting each other’s religious sentiments.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on feedback@afternoonvoice.com)

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Dr. Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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