There is a lot of talk of love jihad these days, and in fact the UP Govt has approved an Ordinance against it, providing for long jail sentences as well as heavy fines.
Whatever the term may mean, I submit that love jihad is only a gimmick, intended to divert public attention from the steep decline in India’s economy recently, record unemployment, rise in child malnourishment, steep rise in prices of foodstuffs and fuel, continuing farmers distress, corruption, etc.
A hue and cry has been created that young Hindu girls are deceived, enticed and forcibly converted for marriage. There may be a few such instances, but almost all inter religious marriages are voluntary love marriages. Also, no data is given of Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys.
I need not go into the legal validity of such ‘love jihad’ marriages ( a recent division bench decision of the Allahabad High Court has held inter religious marriages valid ). But how many of them take place ? In India’s population of 1350 million one can count them on one’s fingertips. So it is not that hordes of Hindu girls are tying the knot with Muslim boys and threatening to change India’s demography and make it a Muslim majority country, as it is portrayed by some people.
The real issues before the country are widespread poverty, record and rising unemployment, a sinking economy, appalling child malnourishment, skyrocketing prices of food and fuel, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, continuing farmers distress, corruption, etc. Since the government has no idea how to resolve these, it must resort to gimmicks and stunts. Love jihad is the latest ( earlier ones being Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, abrogation of Article 370 etc ), and it has the advantage of further polarising society on religious lines, which admirably serves some vested interests.
The Roman Emperors used to say ” If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses “, and Queen Marie Antoinette of France said ” If the people do not have bread, let them eat cake “. Our own Emperors say ” Since we cannot give the people bread or employment, we are giving them love jihad ”
(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s own and do not reflect the opinions or views of The Rational Daily.)