At a time when many Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are constantly raising the ‘Love Jihad’ issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday refused to reply to the contentious issue, saying that he needs to understand the term’s definition.
When Rajnath was asked to comment on ‘Love Jihad’ during a press conference in the national capital, Singh replied: “What is that? I need to understand its definition.”
“Arey yeh hai kya. Hume nahi maloom (What is this. I don’t know),” was Singh’s reply when reporters drew his attention towards BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat issuing statements asking Hindu girls to stay away from Muslims.
“I have no idea,” was the only response from Singh when he was persistently queried about the ‘love jihad’ statements of various leaders.
The issue has been making headlines since national shooter Tara Sahdeo alleged that she was tortured and forced to convert her religion by her husband.
Sahdeo’s alleged case of ‘Love Jihad’ had resulted in an enormous uproar in Jharkhand. Her husband Ranjit Ranjit Singh Kohli alias Rakibul Hassan was arrested and sent to 14 days judicial custody.
Recently, many BJP leaders have repeatedly used the term ‘Love Jihad’ to accuse Muslim men of luring Hindu girls into marriage and then forcing them to convert to Islam.
Recently, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Rakesh Sinha said that ‘Love Jihad’ is taking place in a planned way to destabilise the society.
“Love Jihad is not new and it has been there in the society, only thing is that it is making news these days,” Sinha said.
“It is a social issue and not a political one. Social organisations should discuss this issue in a non secular way, and those who avoid or run away from the issue of love jihad are hurting the society,” he added.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday also announced that the ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has been extended for five more years.
The announcement came months after a report suggested that SIMI may be again regrouping to launch its operations to gather funds for terror acts.
According to reports, Indian Mujahideen commanders, who are based overseas, including in Pakistan, have asked their underground operatives in India to involve SIMI activists in regrouping.
Formed in Aligarh in 1977, SIMI had thousands of members. It was banned in 2002. The group is said to believe in fundamentalist Islam and to spread its values. In 2007, the Supreme Court of India described SIMI as a “secessionist movement”.