Unholy Alliance using “Love Jihad” fiction

At a point of time there was a slogan by RSS combine, "Pehle Kasai Phir Isai" (First the Muslims then the Christians). That was the pattern of communal violence. First it began against Muslims and in the decade of 1990s Christians were targeted. It must be a real ingenuity of the Sangh Parivar to rope in the Kerala Bishops Council to fight against the "Love-Jihad", __ a word coined by their propaganda mill to torment the lovers, in case the boy happens to be a Muslim and the girl a non Muslim.

The level of communalization of society and institutions can be gauzed from the fact that this 'love- Jihad' was taken to be something real not only by a section of society but also by the High courts. In its ruling the Karnataka High court, in the case of Sijalraj and Azghar, said that the facts had "national ramifications… concern security, besides the question of unlawful trafficking of women,"! So it ordered the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police to hold a thorough investigation into "love jihad". Pending that, the girl was asked to stay with her parents. It appears that the court might have been influenced by the propaganda prevailing in the society. How can the court ask the adult married girl to separate from her husband just because the disapproving parents have complained against the choice of husband made by her, a citizen of the country?

In a similar case earlier the Kerala High court, while hearing the appeal from two parents, passed a similar order. Two Hindu girls had eloped and got converted to Islam and planned to get married. The court stated that this marriage of girls to Muslims smacks of a systematic plan, related to trafficking of Hindu women. Kerala court also ordered the Police authorities to investigate this phenomenon. The police investigation showed that there is no such phenomenon as "Love Jihad". The Karnataka state PUCL, enraged by the decision of the court to send the girl to her parents, is planning to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The propaganda by communal organizations like Shri Ram Sena spread the canard that over 4000 Hindu girls have been lured into conversions. It alleged that Muslim youth are receiving money to lure Hindu-Christian girls to convert them to Islam. As per this propaganda, Muslim youth are given one lakh rupees each to buy a mobile phone and a two wheeler. They are made to pretend to fall in love, to elope, to convert the girl to marry and to produce four children. This concoction has been aggressively propagated through various mechanisms.

This laughable, figment of imagination spread like wild fire and frightened the parents. Shri Ram Sena associates helped a couple of parents to go to court. In one such case the girl was made to stay with her parents by the court order. The statements of many of these girls who initially state about their love for the boy and voluntary conversion, change after they are forced to stay with their  parents. Under a sort of emotional blackmail, some girls give in and later say that they were brain-washed, shown a Jihadi CD and what not.

We have witnessed such inhuman acts in the form of propaganda in Gujarat in the wake of carnage, that Muslim boys are luring Adivasi girls. There, Babu Bajrangi, who was also a major participant in the carnage, formed a goon-gang. This gang attacked couples and forced them to separate if they belonged to different religions. All this is presented as defense of religion! We have the case of Rizwan Ur Rehman where Priyanka Todi, daughter of an affluent and powerful business magnate  also turned around under emotional blackmail from parents and relatives. Later Rizwan Ur Rehman was forced to commit suicide. In all such cases the role of police, state machinery, has been totally against the spirit and provisions of law, the protectors of law acting to support the things totally against the law.

Such campaigns against inter-religious, inter-caste marriages are not only against the spirit of national integration; they also aim to control the lives of girls in the patriarchal mode. In addition, the bogey against a minority is whipped up to aid the divisive politics. It is a double bonus for divisive politics. Since in patriarchal norms women are regarded as property of man and are made to live in the control structure defined by men, such an issue rouses high emotions. Communal politics targets to subjugate Muslims and to promote patriarchal norms. And for achieving this they have succeeded in roping in another victim minority to ally in the communal project. It kills two birds with one stone.

The committed social organizations have a long list of issues related to women. In Kerala in particular the psychological problems of women are immense. Women are victims of gender discrimination. The social organizations falling under the trap in the name of Love Jihad need to wake up and address the real issues of women rather than becoming an ally in a communal project.

It is a pity that the courts rather than clamping on Khap Panchayats, which are taking arbitrary decisions to separate the couples marrying in the same gotra, rather than clamping on Shri Ram Sene’s and Babu Bajrangis,  are snubbing the girls for their choices and letting the anti-Muslim tirade to grow. This portends impending danger.

One recalls that it was during the freedom movement, that different communities started interacting and promoting inter-religion, inter-caste marriages. The aim then was to cement Indian nationalism. The present propagators of religion-based nationalism, are going against the very concept of the Secular Indian Nation. (Issues in Secular Politics)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2009 on page no. 9

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