Much has been written and spoken about “Love Jihad” in the political and media circus, I mean, circles, so I thought one more by me won’t be such a bad idea.
Out of dozens of articles there, including a ridiculous “data backed” NDTV report, I would start with pointing out two articles to which I largely agree with. These are by R Jagannathan and were published on Firstpost.
The first one argues that the theory of Muslim groups targeting Hindu girls, in an organized way, to hurt or convert them is logically not sound, because it will be fraught with risks of failure when compared with other means of organized attempts at religious conversions i.e. Love Jihad is not a ‘practical’ jihad even if one thinks from the point of view of a jihadist.
The second one concedes that there could be small and isolated attempts, but Hindus first need to worry about their own failings – such as patriarchy, casteism, and lack of efforts to propagate Hinduism – and put their own house in order before losing sleep over something called “Love Jihad”.
As I said earlier, while I largely agree with these points, these still don’t show the complete picture.
First of all, let’s be clear what this “Love Jihad” is. Frankly, it’s a stupid sounding term, and I wish there were a better term used in the popular discourse so that the intended communication is well received.
BBC used the term “sexual grooming” when reporting about incidents of Muslim men targeting British Sikh girls to sexually exploit them. This BBC report says, “In many cases the men deceive the girls into believing that they are Sikh to gain their trust.”
This is similar to what is being alleged by many in India and is being called “Love Jihad”. Unfortunately, clubbing of the term “love” with “jihad” gives an impression that the opposition is to “love” itself and people are against interfaith love marriages.
Well, to be honest, there are indeed many who do view every interfaith marriage involving a Muslim man and Hindu woman as “Love Jihad”. Their argument is, that since it invariably results into the woman changing her faith, it’s jihad as the marriage essentially made the demography unfavourable to Hindus, thus hurting the community.
This is the problem of patriarchy that R Jagannathan points to in his second article. Let’s give that right to a Hindu woman. If she loves her husband more than her faith, you don’t need to attack her (that’s such an Islamist thing to do – attacking someone for apostasy) but introspect why your faith is so “weak” that it’s always “your people” who have to convert to save the marriage.
Or simply keep off it. Love is blind.
But we don’t necessarily have to be blind in political correctness.
We can definitely complain about forced or fraudulent religious conversions, where marriage is used as a tool in a bigotry battle i.e. where a woman is forced physically or emotionally to change her religion to save the marriage, or is tricked into the marriage by a man who faked his religious identity. Or if not marriage, sexual exploitation by feigning genuine love, which is better described as “sexual grooming”.
And if someone says that such incidents don’t happen in India, they are either lying or blind in political correctness.
The recent case of Tara Sahdev from Ranchi has all these elements, and there are many other incidents reported in the vernacular press, which have been religiously ignored by the national media, because, ummm.. you know.. moral compass.
Anyway, the fact that such incidents have taken place still doesn’t prove that there is an organized attempt that can be called “Love Jihad”.
But there is nothing to disprove it either.
NDTV did a ridiculous “data based” study where they took data related to rapes in Western Uttar Pradesh and tried to prove that there was nothing to prove that Muslim men were especially targeting Hindu women.
First of all, as explained above, “Love Jihad” is not about rape, but about forced or fraudulent religious conversion through marriage or fake display of affection resulting in sexual exploitation (all cases of rape don’t fall under the latter category).
To the best of my knowledge, Uttar Pradesh has no law against forced or fraudulent religious conversions. And there is no central law at all. Some states – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha – have some kind of anti-conversion laws, but none that I know exists in Uttar Pradesh. Cases registered under such a law could have been somewhat a valid data set, but great minds at NDTV chose to use rape cases as data set.
Using rape cases statistics to make a point against the Love Jihad theory is as ridiculous and absurd as using interfaith weddings statistics to make a point in favour of it.
So let’s not kid ourselves with all this data backed nonsense. As of now, we simply have no valid data set to conclude anything in favour or against the Love Jihad theory.
That leaves us with logical and subjective arguments, and one such argument is provided by R Jagannathan in his first article mentioned above. And he convincingly argues that there is no logical reason why Muslim organizations should indulge in something like Love Jihad in an organized manner.
Indeed. But when did logic and faith go hand in hand?
To a rational and thinking person’s mind, beheading people and releasing the video clips won’t be the best way to propagate one’s ideology and religion, but we have “Islamic State”.
Rape and sexual exploitation of women have often found place in warfare, even modern warfare. No reason to believe that it won’t be part of this warfare that modern Muslim fundamentalists indulge in.
However, for argument’s sake, let’s assume that there is indeed no organized attempt by any Muslim group that targets Hindu women for sexual exploitation through feigning love or targets religious conversions through marriages.
But clearly such incidents have taken place (unless of course your moral compass points towards the ostrich position).
So such “isolated” incidents must be results of some individuals acting independently out of their own warped beliefs.
In this case, we have the luxury of being politically correct and shrug it off, saying it’s a fringe activity by a few individuals.
Well, the so-called acts of “saffron terror” too were fringe activities by a few individuals, but the secularati didn’t waste a second in beating chests about it. They went shouting to the town, and to the US ambassador, insisting that an entire ideology was responsible for it.
And Nathuram Godse, who himself testified that he was acting in individual capacity, is always presented as a symbol of a larger “ideology”.
Maybe, a larger “ideology” indeed is at fault for these two events, but when will the secularati try to find out what ideology causes “Love Jihad”?
And that’s what needs to be pointed out by those who believe that something called “Love Jihad” exists. That it is the result of an ideology that doesn’t need a trigger for a “wave of radicalization”.
And that ideology is Islamism – a desire to restore Islam to its glorious days by going back to its roots, even if it means going back to the medieval era. And it includes treating women as war booty, something that can be the ideological basis for Love Jihad in India and sexual grooming in the UK.
And guess what, there is absolutely no attempt by the secularati to fight Islamism, even though it’s the biggest threat facing the modern civilization right now.
They will write articles saying why Vande Mataram is a “wrong song” and Muslims should be free to not sing it. Totally forgetting (rather closing their eyes to the fact) that those demanding this freedom are not champions of free speech or individual freedom, but obscurantist Islamists who won’t compromise on their ideas of what is “pure”.
The Islamist’s fantasies of going back to the good old days are almost invariably supported by the secularati. Another example is the seeming innocuous concept of “Islamic Banking” – which is nothing but a desire to go to the golden days of Islam. A revisionist mindset.
Funny thing is that they, the secularati, immediately wake up to a threat of something like “Vedic Mathematics” claiming the nomenclature to be “saffronization” or “revisionism” but sleep peacefully when RBI gives green signal to “Islamic Banking”.
And these are just a couple of examples. There is a consistent pattern where the secularati not only ignore Islamism, but actually become an apologist for it.
Dismissing “Love Jihad” in entirety is one of them. This is definitely not about “love”, but there is no need to love this “jihad”.