Skip to main content

Expert objects to new Love Jihad formula, says pro-Modi campaigner Madhu Kishwar is legitimizing it

Nivedita Menon
By Our Representative
Noted feminist and political scientist Nivedita Menon has said that far-right Hindutva groups, caught on the back foot by the humiliating backfire in their fantastical Meerut claims of ‘gangrape and forcible conversion’, have arrived at a new formula: That the anxiety over ‘Love Jihad’ has also been expressed by the Church in Kerala and the Akal Takht, hence “there must be some fire generating all the smoke.” Menon adds, the votaries of the new formula – who include feminist-turned-pro-Narendra Modi campaigner Madhu Kishwar -- claim that as the dangers from Love Jihad are real, quoting investigations by police and court directions.
Interestingly, according to the expert, who is professor at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, this “new formula” has no objection to inter-faith marriage; what it objects to “is the cheating of Hindu women into marriage in a well orchestrated campaign by Muslim men who trap them in polygamous marriages only to convert them and produce several children, thus raising the Muslim population.” Apart from Kishwar, who seeks to provide some respectability to Love Jihad, the formula “has found its space in the social media as well as in personal blogs”, Menon adds.
The votaries of the new Love Jihad formula believe, it is just one small part of the “global Islamic terror machine” whose aim includes using non-Muslim women as sex slaves. Not without reason, while Kishwar wants Love Jihad to be “freed from the clutches of rabble-rousers claiming to speak on behalf of Hindutva”, such as “hysteria-mongers like Yogi Adityanath and outfits like the Bajrang Dal”, she does not doubt its existence.
Menon quotes Kishwar to prove her point: “We need to rise above the left-right divide to investigate this menace with thorough precision. Only then will we know the extent of the threat, whether it is real or phobic.” Wonders Menon, “How could Kishwar term something ‘a menace’ and talk about ‘the extent of the threat’ even before finding out whether it is real at all or merely a ‘phobic fantasy’?”
The professor comments, “The ‘phobic fantasy’ of patriarchal elements across the religious spectrum that is not a fantasy at all is this – young men and women are falling in love, across caste and religious divides, and this is rocking the foundations of caste and religious identity. Muslim parents are as worried and anxious about this as are Christian and Hindu parents. They don’t want their daughters marrying non-Muslims any more than the latter want Muslim in-laws.”
The expert observes that even “the left is not immune from mean-minded political calculations on this matter”. She quotes CPI-M leader VS Achuthanandan, who said in 2010, talked of how Muslim numbers in Kerala were multiplying “by influencing youth of other religions and converting them by giving money, marrying them to Muslim women and thus producing kids of the community.” Menon suggests, Kishwar has taken advantage of this statement by saying, “The situation must have been grave if the then chief minister of Kerala VS Achuthanandan, of the CPM, alleged conversion of non-Muslim girls to Islam…”
Madhu Kishwar
Pointing out that “men promising marriage and backing out is routine, and by no means restricted to Muslim men/non-Muslim women”, Menon says, “The funnier part of Kishwar’s assertion is her reference to the Akal Takht taking seriously reports that Pakistani youth are seducing non-Muslim girls to convert them to Islam and ‘use them in jihadi activities’.” According to Kishwar “some of these girls were later dumped by their husbands in Pakistan, where their in-laws have been using them as domestic slaves.”
Menon comments, “That sounds pretty much like a routine marriage to me -- men marrying women to act as domestic slaves for their families while they earn their livelihoods (and often carry on in other relationships) abroad. Want to do a survey of how many marriages like this exist across the spectrum of religious identity? And supposing these wives/domestic slaves were Muslim rather than non-Muslim, Kishwar would think its fine? Probably she would, because she also holds that elopements are not okay, and that marriage without the ‘blessings of family elders’ is to be avoided.”
Suggesting that Love Jihad in any form is nothing but an electoral plank of supporters of India’s ruling establishment, and communal hatred is sought to be spread ahead of elections, Menon says, this is what is happening in the national capital too, as “Delhi elections loom”. According to her, “Trilokpuri burns, as doubtless, will many other parts of Delhi. The role of Hindutvavaadi organizations is again clear in setting up an atmosphere of tension and violence.”

Comments

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.