IS LOVE A JIHAD?
Updated: Feb 6
Tanish Dogra, I year of B.A.,LL.B. from DBRANLU
During the time of the Pandemic, when pan world is suffering the US which is in the top of the total number of cases and the maximum number of deaths, India which is in 2nd position and still a total number of cases are increasing after the festive season in the tough time when our governments want to think how we handle this situation, how to make the economy stable, what our government in heartland states & including some other states, of India are doing, to come up with or many still working to make a tentative bill on so-called ‘Love Jihad’.
Firstly, we have to understand what is Jihad? In Arabic, it means “to strive or exert oneself”. But when we see it with the perspective of how the Prophet of Islam defines it, he told there are two kinds of Jihad; a) the greater jihad (a spiritual struggle against one ego) & b) lesser jihad (war in the cause of Islam). But why did the Prophet suggest war? Because during 7 CE Islam is in its infant stage, and it is important to protect the young growing religion from the swords of ‘the mighty Roman Empire & the Persian Empire’. According to the Qurʾān (2:190), explicitly forbids the initiation of war and permits fighting only against actual aggressors (60:7–8; 4:90). If Prophet gives more value to the greater form of jihad, how in the contemporary scenario see more emphasis on the lesser jihad? This is because in the 20th century three fascist Muslim scholars: Hassan al-Banna, Syed Qutub, & Abdul Ala Maudoodi, changes the interpretation of the Quran, and wrote, ‘when a sinner dies fighting in a jihad, God forgives all his sins and welcome him in the Garden of Paradise’.
Thus, from above mention information, we can conclude that during the 7th century and 20th-century interpretation of Islam, nowhere the term “Love-jihad” is mentioned; so, why has this word love-jihad became so notorious in Indian society? We will see in this Essay.
Two Sociologists (Goode and Ben-Yehuda 2010; Lancaster 2011) use the term ‘moral panic’, “an exaggerated response to a perceived threat that a marginalized group poses to society”, which is used by the Hindu Right-wing organization, against Muslims, to increase loathe & fear. This trend completes its centenary in the year 2020. As mentioned by (Prof Charu Gupta 2009), in this she mentioned how in the 1920’s Arya Samaj & the Hindu organization conducted the Shuddhi movement for people who converted from Hinduism to other religions.
In which they specifically mentioned how young Muslim men allure Hindu women to marry them and sometimes even abducted them, which lead to social conflict between the communities in some part of Uttar Pradesh. This methodology was again used in 2009, this time in Kerala & Karnataka by Shri Ram Sena, when they launched a poster campaign at a women’s college in Kerala. In which they especially mentioned don’t fall in a trap where the Islamic organization indulges in wooing girls in the name of love and then converting them to Islam. Hindu girls should be aware of Islam’s trap in the disguise of love.
Moral war (dharmayudham) against Jihad. (NIE, 09/26/2009, translation in original). In 2010 Kerala HC ordered a police probe in a case in which two women claimed they were the allure of two Muslim men and were a victim of love jihad (Kerala police did not find any evidence of love jihad and no involvement of Islamic organization). This level of moral panic takes a new height after the 2014 general election when BJP came in power, they give free hand to its parent organization RSS, & it's subsidiary VHP, to use violence, intimidation, they file a fake rape case against Muslim youth, they even use medical drugs on girls, to induce them with amnesia(memory loss), to take them back. In all these cases from 1920 till the present day, all these Hindu fanatics did tell the public how Muslim uses Hindu girls to change the demographic of the nation and make this nation a land of Muslim by converting our sisters into Islam and after that make them fecund, which will be a threat to the dream of Hindu Rashtra.
To make people believe in their narrative, these organization distributes pamphlets, books, written testimonies, myths, rumors, & fake interviews of Hindu girls.
To all the effort these fanatics did to make the environment of this nation hostile, by increasing apathy between communities, & by making false narratives, to incite people, but when it comes to knew about the constitutionality individual to choose one’s religion & one’s partner, there are some recent judgment by our honorable Supreme Court which we must view one’s and they are KS Puttaswamy V UOI, Shafin Jahan V Ashokan KM & Others case, aka Hadia case, the case which famously knows as ‘love jihad case’, in this a 26 years old Hindu girl Akhila, from Kerala while pursuing her degree in Homeopathic Medicine, BHMS, in TN willingly by her choice convert to Islam without telling about her father, and after a while married to a Muslim men Shafin Jahan, to whom her father alleged force her daughter to accept Islam and to take her to Syria and where she will be forced to prostitution. In this case Chandrachurd J put his opinion and said,’ The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 of the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees the right to life. This right cannot be taken away except through a law that is substantively and procedurally fair, just, and reasonable. Intrinsic to the liberty which the Constitution guarantees as a fundamental right is the ability of each individual to take decisions on matters central to the pursuit of happiness.
Matters of belief and faith, including whether to believe, are at the core of constitutional liberty. SC, in this case, repealed the judgment of Kerala HC & justify the marriage of Hadia & Shafin. Then the latest ‘Tanishq controversy’ where the concept and theme of the small commercial advertisement were beautiful and which promoted the interfaith marriage, but just due to some people in the society with the help of fanatics started to troll the advertisement and the brand, due to their continuous trolling, the brand wants to publish a letter of apology, and they removed the advertisement.
These kinds of people want to increase the intolerance in society, but some people criticize Tanishq for there act of backing the advertisement, their point is, if two adults by their consent want to marriage inter-faith, they are free to marry and this is their right to marry anyone irrespective of religion, race, caste or gender, and they are protected by the constitution.
No matter how much these organizations used the propaganda on love-jihad to justify their action against apathy between communities and young couples who dares to marry someone to whom they love, respect, and left all their relations behind if they came in between them. The technique and method used by the right-wing organization were not new, as we saw that this was a century-old narrative that this organization used to spread loath and hatred in the society and wanteded to come in power.
As we saw after 2014 the religious intolerance is increasing in Indian society, and our government fails to make the laws to control these kinds of acts and protect its citizens. There are no such studies which tell us that after the century-old propaganda by Hindu fanatics, the Hindu population is reducing and Muslims use to increase their demographic in the nation, so today only Muslims are just appx 14% to all the the population of India, which is 1.21 Bn (acc to 2011 census). There is a common principle of Sociology, is that how much diverse a group of an individual is more able to understand the cultures, custom, tradition, of each other and more the people are socially active, so society needs to have a diverse social culture so we can understand and give respect to all the religions, and this is the only way we can make our nation Vishwaguru of the 21st century.