‘Love Jehad’ in Karnataka by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (NOVEMBER 20, 2009)

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam on the latest anti-Muslim campaign of RSS-VHP-BJP-Bajrang Dal

The Sangh has got a new, flashy weapon in its armoury: they call it, rather poetically, “love jehad”. They coined this intriguing term to justify anti-Muslim riots all over Karnataka. Without any apparent rhyme or reason the BJP-ruled Karnataka has seen a rash of anti-Muslim violence. Sangh leaders said Muslims had endangered the state by starting a love jehad which would allegedly lead to a drastic fall in the number of Hindus and a corresponding increase in that of Muslims.

Mosques, maulvis and common Muslims have been attacked all over the state in the usual, systematic Sangh manner. On its part, the government and the police, instead of protecting the victims, responded by implicating them in false cases and throwing them behind the bars. Muslims wrote to the PM and Union home minister, but in the old Congress tradition of inaction, they just sat back and watched.

Yes, but what is love jehad? In short, the Sangh and its a hundred and one fronts are claiming that Muslim young men are enticing Hindu young women into a love relationship. Later on they are marrying them and getting them converted to Islam. An anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-woman Sangh organisation, Shriram Sena, and its leader Promod Mutallik are behind much of the trouble, which is more heavily focussed on Southern Karnataka. The responsibility of taking it to the international Hindu population rests with the Hindu Jayagratti Samiti.

This is also being branded as Romeo jehad. According to the Sangh fronts as many as 30,000 Hindu young women have “disappeared” as a result of this phenomenon. Even the Karnataka High Court has been involved as this has been projected as a threat to national security, and also as a possible medium for human trafficking and sex trade.

All this is not supported by the report of the Karnataka Police, which says still September this year 404 young women and girls had been traceless. Out of them 332 had been brought back by the police, and by the end of October 57 were yet to be traced. Love jehad or not, the “disappearance” of young persons has been a common phenomenon. Thousands of people disappear every year from bigger cities, without any connection with love jehad.

The Karnataka Police have ruled out a Muslim angle to all this. They have said young women have eloped both with Muslim and Hindu men. According to the South Karnataka police, a young Hindu woman, who was being publicised as a victim of love jehad, was later found to have been murdered by a Hindu serial killer. The man later confessed his crime.

It is interesting to note that such propaganda campaigns always begin with small reports in small newspapers. From these they spread to the larger media. It is like an infection of flu, which begins with a small number of individuals and soon becomes an epidemic. Once it gains proper density and spread, it becomes part of the daily public discourse. This is a fascist agenda created and enforced as the authorities hide their head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.

Already this campaign has spread to Kerala and parts of Uttar Pradesh, to which we will come in the next post.


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