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“Love Jihad”: a ploy to launch “Hate Dharamyudh”?

It will be better if the forces of Hindutva realise sooner than later that the card of communalism cannot work in India on a long-term basis. The latest bye-election results should be a sufficient warning to BJP that the communal card that brought the BJP to power has already started losing its appeal.

Long back, when I had just finished my MBBS, one of my closest friends, a Brahamin, who used to be my school mate in Saharanpur, fell in love with a Muslim nurse. They are now married for more than two decades. My friend is perhaps the most popular neurosurgeon in Varansi. Another friend of mine, also a doctor, was on the brink of marrying a Christian girl when his family intervened and prevented it. A Muslim lawyer of the mahalla I lived in Saharanpur, known for its deeply religious denizens, married a Hindu lawyer. There are many other examples that I have come across where Hindu boys entered into love with Muslim girls. Of course we have many among the celebrities – Mahesh Bhatt’s mother Shirin, Yuvraj’s mother Shabnam, Shahid Kappor’s mother Neelima, to name a few. But no Muslim organisation ever propounded the theory of “Love Dharamyudh”. But true to its ideology of spreading hatred against Muslims more than love for Hindus, the BJP and its sister Hindutva organisations are busy throwing “Love Jihad” as its latest weapon of hate. They are presenting it as a planned conspiracy by Muslims against Hindus. The truth on the contrary remains that Islamic organisations and clerics have never supported the idea of Muslims marrying non-Muslims, even if the girl not the boy happens to be a Hindu.

If the examples of Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls outnumber the Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys to any appreciable degree, this is simply because lesser number of Muslim girls are going to higher institutions and jobs. Muslim boys studying in colleges or doing jobs find much greater number of Hindu girls around than Muslims. Mixing and close contacts soon develop into relationships. Most of these boys have relatively weaker religious leanings than the ordinary Muslim boys who prefer to marry Muslim girls.

Inter-caste marriages, after all, whatever their composition, are not easy to manage, with most fearing the long-term effects. In India, marriages are not just a relationship between the couple but involve families, and the religion almost always plays an important role in families and social life.

It is also surprising that Hindutva organisations are opposing “love Jihad” despite the fact that Muslims marrying Hindu girls tend to be closer to Hindus than the ordinary Muslims. Many of them find it hard to face the Muslim hostility towards their marriages and join Hindu dominant organisations and parties. Both of the two most known Muslim faces in the BJP are having Hindu wives, and the couples are proud of each other. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shanawaz Hussain have proved be more loyal to BJP than many other leaders.

If despite the massive hate-Muslim campaign by the BJP and the other Hindutva organisations, they can maintain unadulterated loyalty to their party, it should in fact encourage Hindu organisations to accept the marriages of Muslim boys with Hindu girls. This can prove to be a boon for them in the future. And if “Love Jihad” is such a big threat, Naqvis and Shanawazes should be thrown out without delay.

Rather than fearing Muslim boys, BJP would better run a campaign on war-footing against female infanticide which is rampant in the Hindu society. If, at all, the demography in India will have any shift, even if marginal, it will neither be due to Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls nor due to Muslims having a slightly higher growth rate. With lesser girls being born, it can become difficult for Hindus to cope with a situation where marriage-seeking boys will substantially outnumber marriage-seeking Hindu girls.

It will be better if the forces of Hindutva realise sooner than later that the card of communalism cannot work in India on a long term basis. The latest bye-election results should be a sufficient warning to BJP that the communal card that brought the BJP to power has already started losing its appeal.

India is a strange society. At certain times, the whole Indian society tends to become communal; but soon they revert back to secularism, which in our country means respect to all religions.

Rather than adopting communalism, the forces of Hindutva would better try to attract Muslims on the ground of their common positions on social vices like alcohol, smoking, gambling, family disintegration, nudity and sexual perversions and exploitations.

The way the Hindutva lobby is busy in reshaping the social structure, I fear “Love Jihad” may be a ploy to embark upon “Hate Dharamyudh”.  

*The author is Delhi-based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com or 91-8130340339.

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