Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What is this 'love Jihad'?

When I heard this term 'Love Jihad' for the first time few weeks back I thought it was from some movie based on terrorism or something like that, I didn't know that this was the term coined by some members of BJP in Uttar Pradesh. When I came to know that this is some political issue, then I got curious and I read more about why they are using this term or what is the logic behind it. I also came to know that this was not the original creation of UP's BJP unit but it was also used previously in other states like Kerala or Karnataka or Gujarat. So what is this term 'love jihad' refers to? Currently it is used to propagate that there is some group of Muslim young boys who get trained in some institutions specially to target young girls from other faiths (specially Hindu girls) and convert them to Islam by luring them in love trap. This is the whole concept behind the logic of this 'love jihad' political drama. Yes, it is a purely political drama according to me, that is why it is specially used in a state which is prone to communal polarization. Various political parties play communal card to reap election benefits, they try to use any incident for their political benefit and this term is used because of some recent incidents of forceful conversions in UP.

Forceful conversions of people from one religion to other religion is a serious matter. Every case of forceful conversion should be investigated seriously and investigating agency should try to punish the culprits involved in such acts. At the same time we should also know that Indian constitution gives every citizen freedom to choose his/her own religion. Evey conversion is not forceful but it is also true that forceful conversions do happen and this issue should get the attention which it needs. It is really sad to see that this issue is getting heavily politicized. Normally if any issue which gets heavily politicized many other unrelated dimensions are added to it and then it becomes very difficult to find any logical solution to it as involved political parties don't want to settle the issue for their own political benefit.

The word 'Jihad' means struggle or resisting according to Wikipedia. It seems this word is mentioned many times in Quran but I wonder how people managed to link love with this word? No doubt that many times there is struggle or resistance involved in a process of winning someone's heart but this term is definitely not referring to that process. It seems the purpose behind creation of this word was to attract media and mass attention, specially to attract the youth who might find this phrase very attractive. Concealing one's identity or using some fake identity to win someone's love is not a new phenomena, there are many movies (love stories) where central characters do these things and during my teenage and college years even I have seen many people doing these type of things. Whether these things are called love or something else can be debated but the point I want to make is that this is not something new or something associated with only a particular religion or community. The term 'love Jihad' is as ridiculous as one another term which is very popular in media, 'honor killing'. Term 'honor killing' was derived to report cold blooded murders of young couples or boys and girls in name of protecting honor of their caste or family. These killings mainly happened in rural parts of India where divisions based on caste, class and religion are more rigid and strong. One can fight for their honor, one can even die for it but how one can perform a cold blooded murder of some helpless person and call it 'honor killing'? People do all kind of silly things in love, it is even said that 'everything is fair in love and war' but forcing anyone to convert their religion is not one of them, so this term 'love jihad' doesn't mean anything. It is as ridiculous as the term 'honor killing'. It is just another political stunt to polarize public opinion, I hope people understand this.

Forceful religious conversions or cold blooded murders of people because of inter caste or religious marriage are very serious issues. Forcing anyone to change their religion against their will or killing anyone just because they married someone out of their community is a crime. These things should be dealt with utmost seriousness, every case should be investigated like any other serious criminal case. Politicizing each and every issue or looking at it with communal angle is not going to help anyone but political parties. So let's look at the real problem and try to solve it rather than make it another unresolvable political dispute.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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