View from the right: Love jihad

The case in question is that of shooter Tara Sahdev, who accused her husband, Rakibul Hasab, of harassment and forcible conversion post-marriage.

Published: September 4, 2014 12:35:48 am


An editorial in the Organiser claims that the “fear of branding all inter-religious marriages as love jihad (LJ) is also explicable. But what is more unreasonable in this debate is the way the so-called intellectuals, liberationists, emancipationist[s] and votaries of gender justice denied existence of ‘love jihad’ and declared Tara’s case as just another case of ‘marital discord’.” The case in question is that of shooter Tara Sahdev, who accused her husband, Rakibul Hasab, of harassment and forcible conversion post-marriage.

“Compulsions of ‘vote-bank’ politics for politicians is understandable but what are the possible obligations on intellectuals and the media in denying that LJ is a social problem[?] Is it because fingers are pointed towards the so-called minorities; if so, then, the point of view is perplexing,” the editorial says. It accuses the leading voices of gender justice in India of denying the possibility of love jihad: “They consider Hindu women as oppressed in a patriarchal society and favour [them] with tilted legal provisions, but same argument for a Muslim woman is a communal ploy…” Pointing out that Tara Sahdev’s case goes much beyond that of marital discord, the editorial says that it is “also a case of fraud, cheating and misrepresentation. Forceful conversion is another dimension to it. Therefore, to deal with the phenomenon, rather than outright rejection, we need to recognise and analyse this problem.” The editorial concludes, “Appeasement and vote-bank politics is definitely not a solution. Tara’s case has provided… the opportunity to objectively analyse the phenomenon and address it with the gender justice perspective…”

It is time that Indian media was monitored by government regulation, and if anyone is found guilty of factually wrong reporting, producing fake news, acting as mercenaries on behalf of individuals or groups, they should be dealt with under appropriate laws, argues an article in the Organiser. “It’s time that media [got] some method,” the article by Sandeep Singh says. The writer argues that MPs and MLAs, the judiciary, bureaucracy, police and NGOs are pillars of democracy, but all of them are accountable. “Only ‘media’, which is termed as the fourth estate, is not accountable.” The media is called the fourth estate because access to information is essential for a democracy. “Citizens can make responsible and right choices based on information rather than ignorance or misinformation,” the article points out. It alleges that it’s the media that is leading all kinds of misinformation campaigns in India. Singh gives examples of factually wrong reporting, generating fake news, showing bias in reporting, of fake interviews and of the media acting as mercenaries for particular personality or groups.

English primatologist Jane Goodall has written about a special species of chimpanzee that does not let any other group enter their habitat, but whose males always try to attract females from other groups. An editorial in Panchjanya draws a parallel between this and the motive behind “love jihad”. It says, “Society should be cautious about people who consider the woman to be just a child-bearing person and want her just for giving birth in order to increase the size of their community. It is the responsibility of society to differentiate between those who are human and those who have animal tendencies. Goodall can differentiate two species of animals, but not two kinds of human beings. So society should do it.”

Compiled by Liz Mathew

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