Understanding Why ‘Love Jihadists’ Need to be Countered

burka-300x181The Congress and Samajwadi party are not letting any stone remain unturned in criticizing BJP for communal polarization and is asserting that the Modi magic will not recast itself. After the BJP lost the bypoll elections in UP and Rajasthan, it is being assumed that Mahant Adityanath’s crusade against Love Jihad has been the main culprit for defeat. Everyone was debating about this one man is spewing venom to divide Hindus and Muslims, but very few are willing to acknowledge or recognize the main factors. First of all, one has to understand that Narendra Modi cannot be present in every locality during a local election. The crux of local politics lies in the hands of people who have a good network of followers from their own area.

These local leaders found a good ruse in Love Jihad to defend themselves against the BJP. Well, the BJP has Muslim leaders like Shahnawaz Hussain, MJ Akbar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who are married to Hindu women but have never asked them to convert into Islam. It’s just that forcing someone to change their religion against their wish is an offence and needs to be opposed to, be it a person of any religious denomination. The question here is not of love jihad alone, the larger question is the forceful conversion of an innocent person and before that concealing one’s real religion. That is precisely what happened with Tara Sahdev. She was not some uneducated village belle, but a sportsperson of national repute who was tricked into marrying a conman who was originally a Muslim with a track record of nefarious activities in the past.

So, when a smart and independent city girl like Tara, what about the other women who live in the rural areas and are gullible and easy to manipulate. Love Jihad is not a new thing. Infact it started in India quite some time back when Muslim youths in Kerala, posing as Hindus would seduce the Hindu girls and then marry them and force them to convert to Islam. What needs to be understood that this is a pre-conceived game and needs to dealt with maximum awareness. There is no smoke without fire. If two educated, sane and matured individuals, aware that they belong to different religions tie the knot, then that is entirely their and their families’ private matter, but if someone, be of any religion is tricking into converting someone’s religion then that becomes a social and criminal offence.

A UP based industrialist Anuj Tyagi has started the Behen Beti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, which is creating awareness among people about this dangerous practice. Tyagi’s organization also has a dedicated helpline number to help people recognize any foul play and bring it to the system’s attention. What Adityanath has been doing is being given too much of a communal colour by other parties. The communal colours cannot be the founding principles of Indian politics anymore. At best, the allegations should be investigated in great detail before jumping to any conclusion.

Not only Love Jihad, there have been several cases of forced religious conversions in the past which have been the brainchild of the radical syndicates. As per Government statistics more than 2500 Christian women were converted into Islam between 2006 and 2009. Since then many Christian organizations of the state have been warning Christian women to beware of this trap as it has many masterminds working behind it who want global Islamization at any cost. The fear of Love Jihad is inviting unnecessary politics and some people are also targeting innocent people. Reportedly some organization had banned Muslim boys from participating in Navratri dance and frolic which was in very bad taste, no one has the right to generalize a problem from the wrong perspective.

According to Khaama Press, an Afghan news agency, a terrorist organization – Tehrik-e-Khilafat, which operates from Pakistan has sworn to hoist the ISIS flag in South East Asia in a short span of time. It is probably the first foreign extremist group to extend their unconditional support to the cause of the ISIS, who are on a ravaging spree in Iraq and Syria. In the past, the group has claimed a number of terror attacks in Pakistan. Love is the most beautiful word we know and using it as a conversion tool is a source of worry.. It is an endeavour to marry more and more women of non muslim religions and convert them into Islam and increase their own population in turn.

By the end of 2009 the Love Jihad storm had bitten the dust as many Hindu groups got active and spearheaded many campaigns to warn women about the phenomenon. Tara Sahdev had loved Rajibul with all her heart, she certainly did nothing to deserve the wrath of him and his mother for not converting her religion. One is free to love anyone, irrespective of their religion but this is not love, it is conning and emotional treachery at its worst that cannot be justified or validated by religious sentiments. Their intentions are malafide and people need to be sensitized about it. The Samajwadi party may keep heaping praise on its own anti secular stance but in reality they are failing to recognize the real problems. The question is not about religion, it is about radicalization. They should take a lesson from what is happening in the world, what the ISIS is doing. As Pritish Nandy had written in a newspaper article recently that nobody is afraid of a Caliphate, there used to be a caliphate once but it did not work for the world, and demanding to have a Caliphate by beheading innocent people is an act of cowardice. If the radical elements are not dealt with sternly then we are putting our own existence in danger. Love Jihad is maybe just one of the wake up calls.

Source: The Indian Republic