Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad- a terminology that has been debated discussed and even made into an election issue. While many Muslim leaders are accusing the BJP of using this propaganda as a run up to the elections, the fact of the matter is that this was first raked up by the Christian community in Kerala.
Today allegations are flying around and several Hindu leaders have accused the Muslim youth in Uttar Pradesh of resorting to Love Jihad in order to increase their community strength. In short what does Love Jihad mean? A Muslim boy is accused of trapping a Hindu or Christian girl into a Web of love and then converting her to Islam.
The issue was first raised by the Catholic Church in Kerala. Subsequently an inquiry was conducted by the Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance of the Kerala Bishops Council which alleged that 2868 girls had fallen prey to Love Jihad. This even forced the Kerala High Court to issue an order to investigate into the matter. A similar order was also passed by the High Court of Karnataka. Although the investigations were in-conclusive, allegations still floated around. In some cases the girls told the police that they had converted of their own will while in others, they just returned to their parents.This matter was even reported in the Wikileaks cables and US diplomats had even probed into the matter.
Hindu organisations have been alleging that nearly 30000 girls have fallen prey to Love Jihad in Kerala and UP. In Kerala due to the influx of Gulf money there are several rich Muslim youth who own fancy cars and bikes. Girls often are impressed with this and follow these youth. They are lured and later converted is what both the Christian and Hindu community have alleged. The Muslims however deny this and say that conversion is anti-Islam.
The whole problem is that these girls do not testify before the police or the courts. They have maintained that they have done so out of their own will and this very often defeats the investigation. The Constitution does provide a right to religion. Police officers in Kerala qnd UP point out that girls need to come forward and complain and only then can the investigation can be taken to the logical end. The girl never treats herself as a victim and this is where the problem begins. She is blinded by love and never realises that the bigger motive is conversion, the police state. The police state that in some cases there is an intent while in others it is a genuine case of Love.
The problem is that this is not an issue restricted to India alone. It has been found in Luton near London as well. A year back there was a leaflet that was being circulated in Luton which called upon Muslim men to seduce Sikh and Hindu girls into their faith.
Hindu and Christian leaders say that what has been done cannot be changed. However in future it is necessary to tell parents to be more careful and monitor their daughters.
An Intelligence Bureau report suggests that some camps are getting aggressive and this is just one part of the strategy. The spill out is heavy in Uttar Pradesh today as there is a lot of tension that is simmering on the communal front. There will be several such strategies which will be implemented and would be aimed at getting the better of other communities. However the IB also points out that such things are done at the local levels and has no direct link with terrorist groups as of now. It is more of a social issue and in many cases we have seen that it is aimed at increasing community strength and also causing social discord in the society, the IB officer also points out.