BJP in Parl: No Cases of Love Jihad. BJP Outside: Fight Love Jihad
The Modi government made an admission in Parliament which runs contrary to the BJP’s propaganda across the country.
On 4 February, the Modi government made an admission in Parliament which runs contrary to the BJP’s rhetoric across the country.
BJP leader and Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy told the Lok Sabha, “The term ‘Love Jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘Love Jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies.”
In addition, the Minister said, “Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view including the Kerala High Court.”
Reddy was answering a question placed in the House by Benny Behanan, a Congress MP from Kerala.
But here’s the thing, what the BJP said inside Parliament is very different from what the BJP says outside it.
BJP Outside Parliament
For example, this is what the BJP said one day after the BJP government’s statement in Parliament.
BJP national executive member P K Krishnadas said, “The term ‘Love jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws but it is a fact that Love Jihad is happening (in Kerala).” He also urged the Home Ministry to carry out a “comprehensive probe” into such cases.
Just to be clear, what the BJP is referring to as ‘love jihad’ is the theory that a massive conspiracy is underway in India, in which Muslim men are luring women from non-Muslim communities into their conversion to Islam by feigning love to them. Yeah, you read that right.
Here are some other examples of the BJP’s ingenious use of the ‘love jihad’ bogey. So what if they can’t define in Parliament, they can definitely use it everywhere else na?
Election Issue Kya Hai? ‘Love Jihad!’
In February 2017, in the run-up to the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said, “Issues like Hindu exodus from Kairana, and love jihad will dominate the poll scene.”
Criticise Anti-CAA Protests Kaise? ‘Love Jihad!’
In January 2020, Kummanam Rajasekharan, BJP leader and former president of the party’s Kerala unit, brought up the bogey of ‘love jihad’ while criticising the anti-CAA protests. He said, “The Congress, CPM and Jihadi organisations are protesting against providing social justice to Christian, Hindu, Buddhist members persecuted in other countries. They have the same attitude towards love jihad.”
Daughter Missing, Kya Bolu? ‘Love Jihad!’
In October 2019, an FIR was registered BJP leader Surendra Nath Singh, accusing him of prompting hate among communities. This was after the former BJP MLA linked ‘love Jihad’ to his daughter's alleged disappearance and claimed Bhopal MLA and Congress leader Arif Masood had a role in the case.
Muslims Keeping Cows? ‘Love Jihad!’
In July 2019, BJP leader Ranjit Bahadur Srivastava in a controversial statement said that cows belonging to Muslims should be taken away from them at any cost. He also said that Muslims keeping cows is also a "love jihad".
Reminder: What Modi Govt Said in Lok Sabha
Here is the question to the Modi government, placed in the Lok Sabha by Benny Behanan, a Congress MP from Kerala.
Will the Minister of Home Affairs be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Government is aware of the observation of Kerala High Court that there is no case of Love Jihad in Kerala;
(b) if so, the details thereof; and
(c) whether any of the Central Agencies have reported any case of Love Jihad from Kerala during the last two years and if so, the details thereof?
Here is the full response by G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs.
Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view including the Kerala High Court.
The term ‘Love Jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘Love Jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies.
However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
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