The Congress party and the SP bastion in Uttar Pradesh do not wish to identify the problem for the simple fact that the Muslim vote is too dear to them.
R S Kohli alias Rakilbul Hussain, facing charges of deceit, exploitation and torture lodged by his newly-married wife Tara Shahdeo, was arrested in Delhi last night.
He was arrested on the borders of Delhi-Ghaziabad. In her FIR, Shahdeo, a national shooter, had alleged that she was forced to convert to Islam by her husband who married her on the false pretense of being a Hindu.
At the same time, Yogi Adityanath allegedly asked his supporters to convert 100 Muslim girls for one Hindu girl in a video. “Last time, the order of an Uttar Pradesh High Court really worried me. The high court had issued an order wherein it was asked why Hindu girls are opting for Muslim men. The court requested for this to be investigated. The UP government could not take a decision on this. A youth from Gorakhpur challenged the court order. In his appeal, he mentioned that in Gorakhpur, Muslim girls marry into Hindu families. We have accepted this custom. If someone is ready to become a Hindu, we will accept this and we will cleanse the person. This will lead to the formation of a new caste. We have decided that if they convert one Hindu girl, we will convert 100 Muslim girls,” Adityanath said in the undated video.
These two incidences show the obvious: Love Jihad isn’t a recent phenomenon and nor is the cry against it.
As mentioned in the earlier article on the issue, LoveJihad as aproblem was first identified in the south Indian states where some instances of women being forced to convert after marrying Muslim men had come to the fore. In October 2009, the Karnataka government had announced its intentions to counter “Love Jihad”, which “appeared to be a serious issue”.
A week after the announcement, the government ordered a probe into the situation by the CID to determine if an organised effort existed to convert these girls and, if so, by whom it was being funded.
One woman whose conversion to Islam came under scrutiny as a result of the probe was temporarily ordered to the custody of her parents, but eventually permitted to return to her new husband after she appeared in court, denying pressure to convert.
In April 2010, police used the term to characterize the alleged kidnapping, forced conversion and marriage of a 17-year-old college girl in Mysore. But the whole idea of ‘Love jihad’ was discarded by the several official investigations which were launched to probe it.
After the series of incidences of rape, violence against women, eve-teasing and inter-religion marriages in Uttar Pradesh, the issue was once again in news last year. In fact, the Muzaffarnagar riots were completely based on such allegations.
The recent news of Meerut rape and forced conversion of a girl to Islam strengthened such idea which forced the state BJP to take note of it. The united opposition has been calling it a political tool created by BJP to consolidate its base against the ruling Samajwadi Party led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Undoubtedly, the issue has definitely worked in favour of it. The party which entered the drawing room of every household through its Ram Mandir cry is now entering the private lives of people. Alas! The BJP was too much scared to recognize and fight against the problem whole heartedly. The party did not include ‘Love Jihad’ in its political resolution as its two-day state executive meet concluded in Meerut on Sunday.
The Congress party and the SP bastion in Uttar Pradesh do not wish to identify the problem for the simple fact that the Muslim vote is too dear to them. The Congress can hope to fight off the BJP and its Hindutva ideology by reaching out to secular and anti-BJP forces as it did when it set up the UPA and defeated the BJP-NDA in the 2004 and the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
The recent victory of the party in assembly bypolls through the new found RJD and the JD-U alliance has emboldened them as well. It was perhaps their new found courage which made them point out that several Muslim leaders in the BJP have Hindu wives and their children bear Muslim names.
But, the Congress is clearly worried on how to counter a campaign that threatens to stoke primal passions, specially in a society that continues to be divided among caste, communal and religious. And where the people swear by the honour and prestige of the girls And women of the society in general.