Wear sindoor and mangalsutra; celebrate Hindu festivals and ‘create a religious atmosphere’ at home; if ‘trapped’ into marriage outside your religion, try and re-convert the husband; contact VHP or approach police.
These are some of the instructions that cadres of the Durga Vahini and Bajrang Dal, both affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, will circulate through leaflets and pamphlets across West Bengal as part of a door-to-door campaign against what they call the practice of love jehad.
Sachindranath Sinha, VHP organising secretary for West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Andaman Islands, said the campaign will start soon. “This is one issue which we are trying to highlight throughout Bengal and create awareness. Love jehad is a grave problem in Bengal. We will be asking families, especially Hindu parents, to follow a list of Dos and Don’ts to prevent love jehad. In cases where love jehad has already happened, we will ask parents to take necessary steps,” he said. “We will be counselling parents whose daughters have become victims of love jehad and provide them legal guidance wherever necessary,” Sinha said.
The VHP has already published pamphlets and booklets, detailing how to identify ‘love jehad’, its prevention and what to do in case ‘a Hindu girl falls victim’. In such cases, families are told not to remain silent. They are instructed to contact the VHP or Bajrang Dal, lodge police complaints, accept rescued girls and reintegrate them with their families. Mounting pressure on Muslim men to convert to Hinduism is another instruction.
Sourish Mukherjee, spokesperson for the state VHP, said: “We have already prepared a list of families whose daughters are being trapped into love jehad. We will visit such houses, counsel the parents and warn them of the grave danger. We are not against love but against love jehad which is a planned way of luring away Hindu girls.”
An estimated 35,000 members of the Durga Vahini and 40,000 members of the Bajrang Dal in West Bengal will participate in the campaign.