What is Love Jihad, explained, and commenting on a couple of movies
This post may get blocked by the blogging platform but despite the risk, I’m going to write about the sensitive topic because I believe that people haven’t actually dealt with a definition of what is Love Jihad.
Love Jihad is a contentious issue. Most of the phiberals (phony+liberals) believe that it is a right-wing conspiracy theory in India to target Muslims, or a political bogeyman being created by the BJP to communalize an otherwise secular country.
I would like to take a right-of-Center stand over the issue. As the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire. I also believe that if one side has a grievance, just because you don’t agree with the ideology of that side, you shouldn’t brush aside the grievance as propaganda or a conspiracy.
I would also like to make it clear that I have no issue with interfaith marriages if they are actually interfaith marriages.
The information available in the public domain tells a different story. My interactions with different people tell a different narrative.
Do your own exploration. How many, the so-called interfaith marriages, are actually interfaith marriages?
As far as what I know, if a Muslim boy marries a Hindu girl (or a girl from any other non-Muslim religion), the girl first converts to Islam and then the marriage takes place.
If a Muslim girl marries a Hindu boy (or a boy from any other non-Muslim religion), the boy first converts to Islam and then the marriage takes place.
Therefore, if both bride and groom are Muslims, how come it is an interfaith marriage? It is a marriage between the same faith.
Be sincere. Can you mention even a single case where the wife or the husband is a Muslim and the other spouse gets to remain in his or her own religion and on top of that, the names of the kids are non-Muslim? Can you cite just one example? I doubt that.
- Wife’s name: Maya Chopra
- Husband’s name: Abdul Ghafoor
- Son’s name: Madan Chopra, or Madan Ghafoor
- Daughter’s name: Radha Chopra, or Radha Ghafoor
By birth I’m a Sikh from Punjab. My wife is a Hindu Brahmin from Uttar Pradesh. Neither my wife had to convert to Sikhism, nor I had to convert to Hinduism to get married.
She has visited gurdwaras multiple times. There is a temple in our building compound and we both pay obeisance when we go for a walk. We put on lights in our house on Guru Parv. We perform Hindu religious rituals multiple times in a year. There has never been a Hindu-Sikh issue between us.
I know of many marriages among Hindu-Sikh or Hindu-Christian or even Sikh-Christian and nobody had to convert to the religion of the spouse.
But whenever there is a marriage between a Muslim boy or girl and someone else, I have always seen that conversion to Islam takes place.
Of course, there can be exceptions, but the rule is, the bride or the groom always converts. Hence, from no angle it is an interfaith marriage.
You can say that in Islamic marriage ritual, this is mandatory that both the boy and the girl must be Muslim. Fine with that. Rituals are rituals.
But why only Islamic ritual must be performed when one of the spouses is a Muslim? If they are in so much love, why can’t they get married in a temple or according to the rituals of another religion? What’s the problem? Don’t you love the other person enough to make this adjustment? Why only the other person must walk the extra mile?
Hence you get married to a Muslim, you get converted.
Even then, the issue of Love Jihad was not an issue. Recently there have been lots of media reports of Muslim boys pretending to be Hindu boys, starting a relationship with a Hindu girl, and then after marrying, revealing that they are Muslim and consequently, the girl needs to convert. If the girl refuses, she is physically abused, raped, even murdered.
Why the phrase Love Jihad?
For that you need to understand what’s Jihad. Depending on your ideological bent of mind, you can choose to define Jihad differently.
Some Muslim scholars say that Jihad is a struggle within yourself to purify yourself and improve yourself. It also involves rising against oppressors. This National Geographic link describes in detail what Jihad stands for and why it is often misconstrued by the West.
This Britannica encyclopedia link slightly touches upon the concerns of the people who think that Jihad isn’t as spiritual as it is often made out to be by scholars, considering the fact that many among the Islamic regions prefer to interpret the Qurʾān as per its intrinsic definition.
Orthodox or extremist Islamists (and people who are worried about these extremist Islamists gaining control over vast swaths of geographic regions) define Jihad as a war against the infidels.
Infidels are those people who refuse to come into the fold of the Islamic religion. Hence, all those people who refuse to convert, are infidels, and are prime candidates for slaughter and subjugation. Hindus are infidels. Christians are infidels. Buddhists are infidels.
There are many recommendations of the actions to be performed upon the infidels that I’m not going to mention here.
Hence, when you combine everything up and when you go through the speeches of different Islamic terrorists, you get a scary definition of Jihad, no matter what the original meaning stands for.
Love Jihad means bringing people into the fold of Islam by marrying non-Islamic people and then, either after marriage, or before marriage, converting them.
This is a softer version of Jihad. You can also call it nonviolent Jihad.
Concerned Hindus also believe that the Hindi movie world, popularly known as Bollywood, plays a big part in brainwashing susceptible youngsters.
Take for example in the recent movie release called Toofaan, a Hindu girl who is a doctor falls in love with a Muslim boy who is a roadside goon. The father of the girl is shown to be a Hindu bigot who has a problem with his daughter marrying a Muslim boy.
You may say that why I am raising a Hindu Muslim issue simply based on a Bollywood movie? Well, even in the movie this is a major issue. The boy is a Muslim, and the girl is a Hindu and they have shown a Hindu bigot father playing the villain., So, of course, there’s the issue of a Hindu and a Muslim involved.
What is the Love Jihad angle? People in the Bollywood are quite vocal about Love Jihad and they constantly speak up against it. I have no problem with that. They have their own opinion.
But making such movies is a very cunning way of showing that the problem is not with the Muslims, and when it comes to Hindu girls marrying Muslim boys, whatever bigotry manifests, it manifests among the Hindus.
The problem is that why can’t, for a change, the plot be reversed? Why not show a Muslim doctor girl falling in love with a roadside Hindu boy and the Muslim bigot father has a problem with that? Why can’t such a movie be made? What is the fear?
Remember the movie Bombay in which they show a Muslim girl falling in love with a Hindu boy? There were widespread protests and, on many theatres, the movie had to be taken down. Hence, they know the implications.
There is another seemingly funny movie called Mimi in which a Muslim man impregnates a Hindu girl. This is supposed to be a funny movie. Fine, might be a hilarious movie, but would it be a funny movie if they showed a Hindu boy impregnating a Muslim girl? Would the movie carry the same hilarity factor? I don’t think so.
(Additional note: My comment on the movie Mimi is based on the trailer that appeared on my timeline — after Sushant Singh’s murder and the subsequent reaction by Bollywood we decided not to watch Bollywood movies at our household. My sister, having read my post, sent me a WhatsApp message that the plot of the movie is a bit different than what I have mentioned above, so, you can use the above example as a general example and not a specific example pertaining to this movie.)
My challenge to the Bollywood is, since they are constantly gabbing about the Love Jihad conspiracy being spread by the right wing, make a movie in which there is a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy and a villainous Muslim father or a Muslim brother or a Muslim priest. Against the odds, they get married, without converting, and live happily ever after. Or, make a funny movie, something like comedy of errors, in which in a Muslim household there is a Hindu boy who impregnates a Muslim girl, and then a funny confusion ensues.
Try that. Very liberal, no?