Love Jihad a term used for the interfaith marriage of a Muslim man with a non Muslim woman after converting her in Islam. This term was made popular in the last decade by RSS and its affiliated organizations and also by some other Hindu organizations outside RSS fold. It was alleged that the conversions and marriages are done in an organized way and a lot of money is being spent by those, who are engaged in “mission conversion”.
Muslim organizations were refuting these allegations, but after the installation of Narendra Modi government, Hindu organizations started campaign against marriage of Hindu girls with Muslim boys. A lot of venom was being spit against Muslims and some Hindu organizations started ‘ghar vaapasi’ campaign in retaliation of the so called Love Jihad.
Love Jihad was a matter of social and political discussion, but after a latest order of Supreme Court, it has become a matter of investigation by National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was formed for the investigation of terror related cases. Obviously, Supreme Court’s order has now put the so called cases of Love Jihad on the pedestal of terrorism.
Supreme Court was approached by a Muslim man named Shafin Jahan, who had married a woman named Akhila Ashokan, who had converted to Islam in 2014. Her conversion had been challenged by her parents and the case was pending in a court. In the meanwhile, Akhila married Shafin. Her parents moved to Kerala High Court and the Court declared the marriage null and void. Akhila was separated from her Shafin and she was confined in a hostel under the protection of her parents.
The order of High Court was criticized by many legal experts, who said that the court did not take into account the fact that the girl was adult and educated and she had married willingly without any pressure on her from any quarter, but the Court found that she did not have the consent of her parents, who were claiming that the girl would be sent to Syria or Iraq to fight along with ISIS. The High Court took note of some early incidents, where converted girls after marriage had reportedly joined ISIS.
Anyway, Shafin moved to Supreme Court against the order of Kerala High Court asking for the reunion with his ‘wife’. Supreme Court issued notice to NIA to know its opinion on the case, which was being portrayed as a case of Love Jihad by the parents of the girl. NIA showed willingness to undertake investigation to ascertain whether it was a case of Love Jihad with an intention of sending the girl to ISIS occupied area to take part in Jihad.
Supreme Court order, too, has become a matter of intense debate and many legal experts are criticizing the order, which was passed without asking the girl’s point of view. Though, Supreme Court had said that it would talk the girl only after the completion of the investigation by NIA. Even the investigation will be monitored by a judge of Supreme Court.
After the order, Love Jihad has become a matter of intense debate and it is likely to open up the Pandora box. For many years inter faith marriages are taking place in India including Kerala. The term Love Jihad was coined only in Kerala and it is said the incidents of interfaith marriages were very high in the most literate state of India. Both Hindu and Christian girls had converted in substantial number in the southern state of India to marry Muslim girls. With the investigation by NIA, which is an agency to investigate terror related cases, the old cases of such marriages are likely to be opened. NIA would also investigate whether any organization is actively involved in helping Muslim men to seduce non Muslim girls for conversion and marriage. It will also investigate, whether the men seducing those girls are funded by any organizations. Again, it will examine the destiny of such marriages. The revelations of investigation may create further controversy in India.
-Contributed by Kriti
Picture Credits: dnaindia.com