NEW DELHI: 31 Aug 2014

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has deplored demonizing of Muslims in the name of “Love Jihad” which is being spread by the saffron brigade with the intention of disturbing peace between Muslims and Hindus in the country.

SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement said that the theory of “Love Jihad”, which is propounded by such groups is a mere concoction and has no supportive evidence. It said such false propaganda, only creates mistrust and suspicion amongst members of different religious communities, leading to a fractured society.

Sayeed said that there is no data or evidence to even suggest that such a conspiracy of ‘Love Jihad’ exists. He wondered why media played along the politicians and are creating furore over inter-faith marriages, but remain mute when Dalits and other backward castes people are subjected to oppressions or even murdered – or they commit suicide – due to coercions for marrying in higher castes.

He questioned the hype over the issue and criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), and its Hindutva affiliates who have been fanning communal issues for electoral benefits, particularly in Western Uttar Pradesh. He said that the politics in the name of religion of Sangh Parivar operates to crush the rights of women. In line with this starting from Sri Ram Sene to Babu Bajrangi to those orchestrating violence in Muzzafarnagar, they all operate on the premise, that women are the property of men and their lives have to be controlled. The truth is not the issue here; the myth has been drilled in to the thinking of society. This social thinking is being stepped up by the activities of RSS and affiliates who are having door to door campaign to spread the venom of communal hatred. The Panchayats were mobilized; openly flaunting the arms, and Muzzafarnagar violence was orchestrated. And that’s not the end of the abuse of ‘our women-their women’ mind set. Post Muzzafarnagar violence, Uttar Pradesh is abuzz with various activities aimed at polarizing the communities using this issue.

Sayeed recalled that in its orchestration and inflammatory appeal, the current campaign shares similarities with Hindu revivalist projects in the 1920s in Uttar Pradesh. Portentously, this present movement has an uncanny resemblance in its idiom, language and symbols to an “abduction” and conversion campaign launched by the Arya Samaj and other Hindu revivalist bodies in the 1920s in Uttar Pradesh, to draw sharper lines between Hindus and Muslims. This historical dimension brings out in sharp relief the orchestrated and fabricated nature of “Love Jihad”.

The statement stated that two contradictory beliefs of “Jihad” and Love are being linked and a new term namely, “Love Jihad” has been coined by the Sangh Parivar to use it as their “latest hate tool to polarize the two communities and spread falsehood and hatred. Kerala High Court in 2009 and Karnataka High Court in 2010 had asked police to investigate “Love Jihad”. However, in both cases police said there was no such organized mission by Muslim boys.

Meanwhile, according to records submitted to the Indore court in 2004, the BJP leader and former film star, Dharmendra married actress Hema Malini, now a BJP member of Lok Sabha, by converting himself to Islam. As such Dharmendra is a “Jihadi” and what punishment should be meted out to him for loving Hema Malini, it is for the Sangh Parivar to decide, the statement said.

The BJP’s new rhetoric focusing on a communal twist to crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh is not borne out by cold facts. Data accessed by NDTV shows that in western Uttar Pradesh, where vociferous campaigns have highlighted the alleged abuse of Hindu women by Muslim men, women have been assaulted by men from their own community in most rape cases this year. Out of 334 rape cases in 9 districts of Uttar Pradesh in 25 cases Muslims men were accused and Hindu girls were victims, in 23 cases Hindu men were accused and Muslim women were victims, in 96 cases Muslim men were accused and Muslim women were victims and in 109 cases Hindu men were accused and Hindu women were victims, the statement further stated.

Sayeed said communalists, who are out to propagate such malicious myths to spread hatred and enmity among two communities in society, must be brought to the book of law. But the Heads that are running the country are dormant because their connivance is beneficial to them. It’s not logical to think that Muslims would encourage Muslim boys to marry Hindu girls because no Muslim father would like to see his daughters remain unmarried because of the non availability of the Muslim boys if they opt for Hindu girls, he added.

He said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to develop all sections of Indian civil society but is keeping a studied silence over “Love Jihad”. He should make his stand clear on the issue and put things in the right perspective so that peace prevails and Hindu-Muslim communities could live in harmony, he added.