From Vishwa Hindu Parishad to Hindu Samhati, Bharat Sevashram Sangha to Hindu Jagran Manch, a common thread binds them all — a campaign to counter ‘love jihad’ across West Bengal. Calling it the “bahu lao, beti bachao” campaign, these organisations have been urging Hindu young men to bring home Muslim or Christian brides while “protecting Hindu girls from falling in love or getting married to Muslim, Christian boys”.
And they speak in chorus: “It is a fight against the menace of love jihad. By going in for such a marriage, a Hindu boy is doing a service to society.”
Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Badal Das is in charge of the VHP contribution to the “bahu lao, beti bachao” campaign which he says is part of their paribartan programme. He said at least 500 Muslim and Christian women converted to Hinduism “legally and religiously” after marrying Hindu men in the last one year, and the programme was “most successful” in Bengal.
Sachindra Sinha, in charge of the VHP state unit, said: “We have also intensified social activities to push for an anti-conversion law.”
Jugal Kishoreji, VHP general secretary in charge of Dharm Prasar, said: “If a Hindu boy marries a Muslim girl, we make her undergo suddhikaran (purification). Their children will be Hindus. So it is a service to society.”
Achintya Biswas, professor at Jadavpur University and president of the VHP golden jubilee committee, said: “Since there is a friendly government at the Centre, we are working comfortably. Our leaders have directed us to remove caste lines in Hindu society, be involved in marital ties. If a Hindu boy can reconvert a Muslim girl to Hinduism, it is considered a pious act. We want to break this trend of a Hindu girl getting married to a Muslim boy.”
Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh was an RSS leader once. He floated his outfit when he thought the RSS was being “soft”. Ghosh said the Hindu Samhati was “fighting the menace called love jihad”.
“Society is in peril. We are fighting against atrocities on Hindu families. Hindu girls are being made victims of love jihad. Muslim boys trap Hindu girls into marriage. Love jihad has become a tool to traffic Bengali Hindu girls to West Asia. Our effort is to rescue the victims of love jihad and bring Muslim girls to Hindu homes,” he said.
The Hindu Samhati has the same approach as the VHP — conversion through marriage. Women who undergo suddhikaran never file an FIR, so there is no case of forcible conversion, he said. “We do not force people to convert. We help those who wish to get converted. This is a great service to the country and Hindu society,” he said.
Bharat Sevasharam Sangha
The Bharat Sevashram Sangha too has been facilitating the marriage of Muslim girls to Hindu boys. It has set up more than 300 Hindu Milan Mandirs across the state for such marriages and suddhikaran. South 24-Parganas has 45 such mandirs.
Swami Guruparananda, chief organiser of the central Hindu Milan Mandir, said: “Spreading awareness among Hindu and Muslim girls is very important. If married to Muslim youths, girls have to give birth to several babies. The reason is not sexual, but political. Muslims want to increase their population. But if a Muslim girl converts to Hinduism, she lives a normal life in a liberal society.”
He prefers to use the term reconversion. “We only perform rituals for the suddhi of those who are becoming Hindus.” He said he performed suddhi rituals on 108 Muslim girls in two years. “This was only after the girls submitted affidavits, declaring change of religion and names. Other Hindu groups facilitate the legal process while we perform Vedic rituals.”