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15 Jan 2015

 ‘Love Jihad’ is a name given to a kind of movement whereby women from non-Muslim communities are allegedly ‘lured’ into marrying the Muslim men as a way of furthering conversion to Islam. The issue of ‘Love Jihaad’ dates back to 2009 when in Kerala a case was reported. Though the Kerala government denied any organized occurrence of such acts, the Hindu and Christian religious groups took it as a threat. Last year, it was imported by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on his agenda. He publicly commented about ‘teaching Hindu girls about Love Jihad so that they can be saved from its trap’(6 Sept). Posters soon emerged in Uttar Pradesh alerting ‘Hindu brothers against ‘Love Jihad’’ and anonymous pamphlets in Gujarat titled ‘Do you want to be prostitutes?’ warning girls about Muslim boys who could ‘lure’ them into marrying them. Muslim boys were denied entry to garba events in Gujarat on the diktat of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) unless accompanied with their family members. The VHP state general secretary in Gujarat, Ranchhod Bharvad addressing a ress conference on 21 September said that “if Muslims boys wanted to join garba events, they must first convert to Hinduism as entry to Muslims would be denied strictly”. Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) launched an awareness campaign for girls in universities in this regard. The case of Shalu from Meerut then made headlines for weeks. And now the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and ‘Bahu Lao Beti Bachao’ have found its way on the right wing agenda.

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