By Ananya S Guha
Love Jihad an expression coined today to denote supposedly how women are entangled in the Islamic faith, is a term which needs contesting. How many such cases have been proven? If there is a marriage between a Hindu woman and a man of Islamic faith is it only for a jihad? If so has not the woman willingly done it, and is complicit in the supposed jihad? And, if she is complicit, then must not criminal laws be invoked for the woman as well, for further investigation? It would be naive to assume that a woman is entangled by compulsion, or by forces beyond her control. Secondly, if there is matrimony and if there is conversion willingly, then who can stop it? But by juxtaposing love and jihad, the protagonists of this warped theory are only waging a war themselves. If there is love, there cannot be a jihad. This brings to the mind that the faith is intrinsically warring and seeking conversions. Such are animadversions today against a particular religious faith. The common people must suffer because of the IS and Pakistanis. Those who intermarry are reprobates of their chastity. A secular order must be subverted by a fanatical one.
The Hadia matter is still subject to a final decision. One thing is clear. She is legally married. If she has joined terrorist ranks, then the intelligence must find out. The NIA has given an adverse report they say, and this is flaunted. But it has also been pulled down by the High Court.
The second case, that of Afrazul, in broad daylight accused of love jihad, which has been discovered to be patently false. A poor labourer, and bread earner from West Bengal was hacked to death by a maniac, who apparently was jilted by his lover, who went on to fall in love with a Muslim. Love Jihad.
Both these instances are corruptions of sanity and thought. Both these instances are incendiary attacks to divide communities on racial and religious lines. Whipping up sentiments, Padmini, Aurangzeb, Mughal rule are clear instances of falsifying reality and instilling hate. Love Jihad is synonymous with the culture of hate. The very expression is a grotesque expression of devilry, by people who want to instill into the body politic of the nation, a ravenous and vicious hatred.
Who says politics is mixed with religion? It is religion which is entangled with the worst form of unscrupulous, rabble rousing politics. Religion has become a masthead for fantasy and hatred, malefaction. The behemoth of caste and politics have been foisted on religion. It is not religion that has erred. But our more than wily politicians have and they are holding this monolith of a great nation, with strongholds of diversity, to ransom. They are building a structure of one religion. They are recasting history to fan malevolence. It is only a social process which can lead to upheaval, not a political one.
Love Jihad the terms, are denotations of a warped hatred, antagonistic to pluralistic cultures. It is an oxymoron, of the worst kind, spouting venom and hatred for the other- the very other that has made India a home for centuries, the very other that has contributed impeccably, to the language, culture, music, fine arts, religion and literature of a country. How can we think of an India without the Sufis and the Bauls? How can we think of an India without Urdu? But we want to, we want to think of an India without a Taj Mahal.
The grotesqueness of love jihad is the grotesqueness of present day India. And then, the recent attacks on Christians in Madhya Pradesh, against a group of seminarians who were preparing for Christmas! The National Association Of People’s Movements has protested strongly against this in a signature campaign. Simply because they constitute only 2% of the population as against the 11 of Muslims attacks against them are going unnoticed, but they have gone unnoticed. You send your children to schools run by them, and behind their backs you bad mouth them and also physically assault them, not sparing even nuns. What has their religion done? Have they harmed anyone, barring of course the strident accusation that they ‘ convert ‘. What about re conversion that has taken place. We have taken religion to abysmal depths. It is we who are erring in an inviolate, unprecedented manner, not religion.