The constitution of India says that India is a secular country where each one has the right to follow his own religion. For this, religious tolerance is very important. However, our political parties discriminate on religious grounds and favours some communities by giving them an advantage over the rest when it comes to education and employment to fulfill their vote banks. This disparity leads to frequent riot like situation and an atmosphere of turmoil in the name of religion often prevails. Yet we strive to live in peace and unity. One thing which brings citizens of all religions together is festivities. People of all communities celebrate festivals together. However, this occasion of rejoicing is also exploited by politicians by giving it a religious tinge. Controversies crop up out of nowhere and the recent one is not allowing Muslim boys to play Garba due to Love Jihad.
Love Jihad refers to the practice of Muslim boys luring Indian girls and forcefully converting them to Islam. We all know that if a Hindu girl or boys falls in love with a Muslim, it is the Hindus who have to convert to Islam irrespective of gender. Godhra, which is a communally sensitive area which had witnessed the historic Hindu Muslim riots have barred the Muslim youths from being a part of this festival. The issue was first brought up by BJP vice president and MLA, Usha Thakur for banning Muslim boys from playing Garba on the occasion of Navratri in MP. A decent dress code for girls was also suggested and one of the suggestions was also to check the ids of the boys who come to play Garba with the girls. Surprisingly, many people agreed with her. Thankfully, Gujarat police has condemned such practices and have stated that if anybody is found imposing such norms on the occasion of festival will be arrested and the licence of the mandal will be cancelled.
The problem is one should be sensitive towards others irrespective of the community they belong to. Barring Muslim guys from playing Garba is not the solution to the problem. The problem should be dealt with as and when it crops up. Of course, one needs to be careful. Hindus should not be taken for a ride. In case if the Hindu girl is young, parents should play a big role in warning them against this ill practice. On the other hand, strict laws should be framed to curb such mal practices. But punishing the entire community for the doings of some is not fair. It is against the secular character of our constitution. Let’s preach religious tolerance, spirit of brotherhood and unity not hatred. After all, love for humans is more intense than the practice of Jihad.