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Deeming It A ‘Love Jihad Abduction’, Is VHP’s Call For A Strike In Gujarat Valid?

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By Pallavi Ghosh

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called for a strike after news of the alleged abduction of a 21-year-old woman by a middle-aged man came to the fore at Nadiad town in Gujarat. A case of abduction has been filed by the woman’s parents against Masum Mahida, who is also reported to be a bootlegger according to media reports. Although the police investigations are focusing on tracking the accused and the supposed victim and are refraining from communalising the incident, the VHP has gone ahead with demanding action against ‘love jihad’ from the District Superintendent of Police and Collector.

vishwa hindu parishad

The term ‘love jihad’ was allegedly coined by a member of the Sangh, Vijaykant Chauhan, claiming that Hindu women are being lured into marriage by Muslim youth. The RSS was quick to pick up the issue and turn it into a national campaign against a supposed cultural attack on the Hindu culture. An anti-love jihad campaign, thus, was seen as a mechanism to curb the threat of receding Hindu population in a nation where 78.35 per cent of the total population is Hindu, which translates to 947 million people in the nation. Now, even if the claims of the VHP stand true, one still falls short of the exact estimate of the number of such cases being reported within the country. We have so far have heard nothing of the number of people being converted through manipulation.

Secondly, the assertion that conversion actually threatens the majoritarian group seems exaggerated considering the fact that within 2001-2011, there has been a growth of around 120 million Hindus as against 33 million Muslims. This means that the difference between the number of people added into the two communities is 87 million. In other words for every 1 Muslim included in the census recording, 3 Hindus were included in the same (the exact calculation 1:3.6).

The Census data does provide evidence of a decline in the growth of Hindu population and a simultaneous increase with regard to Muslim growth figures, but to convert this statistical finding to create a psychotic fear of the other is both inaccurate as well as undesirable in a country that is based on the principle of co-operation and harmony. One might also think over if the increasing Muslim population needs to be taken as a threat at all or not. Is not it more nationalistic-cum-right-wing-ish to think of ways to constructively integrate the community as well as other numerically weak and marginalised groups into the nation’s rubric to strengthen national unity?

Further, abduction and rape charges against eloped couples are also very common in India even in cases where consent exists between the eloped couple. Consequently, we cannot glance over the fact that the particulars of the case in hand in Gujarat remain in the dark leaving all interpretations as mere speculation; the facts of the case will be established only after both – the accused and the alleged victim are found and investigated.

Given the dearth of information, the call for action against a supposed love jihad and the strike seems distanced from reality. The best way out of this web of assumption is perhaps to let the police and court run their full course and determine as to what is legally permissible within the boundaries of the Indian Constitution.

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  1. B

    Interfaith marriages are becoming increasingly common all over the world, and Muslim girls also marry Hindu boys so Hindu political parties should stop their propaganda of ‘Love Jihad’. From universities and colleges to love marriages and arranged marriages, Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys is very common. Just look at Bollywood ….

    1. Actor Sunil Dutt married Nargis, a Muslim. . Their son Sanjay is now married to Dilnawaz Sheikh (screen name Manyata).

    2. Actor Hritik Roshan married Suzanne Khan, daughter of actor Sanjay Khan (Actual name Abbas Khan).

    3. Actor Atul Agnihotri married Alvira Khan, actor Salman Khan’s Sister and Salim Khan’s daughter.

    4. Actor Feroz Khan’s daughter Laila Khan Rajpal married Rohit Rajpal.

    5. Urdu author Krishan Chander married Salma Siddiqui.

    6. One of the three daughters of politician Najma Heptullah (niece of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) is married to a Hindu.

    7. Former Sheriff of Mumbai, Nana Chudasama is a Hindu Gujarati Rajput married Munaira Jasdanvala, a Muslim . They have two children- Akshay and Shaina, both of whom are married to Hindus. Shaina (popularly known as Shaina NC) is national spokesperson BJP .

    8. Actor Sanjay Khan’s daughter Simone Khan is married to Ajay Arora (and other daughter Suzanne to Hritik Roshan)

    9. Actor Aditya Pancholi is married to actor Zarina Wahab.

    10. Cricketer Ajit Agarkar, a Maharashtrian Brahmin, is married to Fatima Ghadially.

    11. Actor Sunil Shetty is married to Mana Qadri, daughter of a reputed Muslim architect of Mumbai.

    12. Congress MP Sachin Pilot, son of Late Rajesh Pilot is married to Sarah Abdullah, Daughter of Former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

    13. Actor Govinda’s father, small time actor Arun Ahuja married Nazeem, later known as Nirmala Devi (Govinda’s mother).

    14. Zubeida, a Muslim girl from a prominent Mumbai family was pushed into marrying a Muslim youth in 1947. The husband divorced her when she refused to migrate to Pakistan with him. She later married Hanuwant Singh, the then Maharaja of Jodhpur. Both later died in an unexplained air crash. She was the mother of film critic-turned director Khalid Mohammed (‘Fizaa’, ‘Tehzeeb’, ‘Silsilay’). Khalid wrote the script of film ‘Zubeida’ which was directed by Shyam Benegal with Karishma Kapur in the title role.

    15. Director/Choreographer Farah Khan married director-editor Shirish Kunder.

    16. Gangster turned Politician Arun Gawli from Mumbai married a Muslim lady named Ayesha who later took up the name Asha.

    17. Manoj Bajpai married actor Shabana Raza whose screen name was Neha. She made her debut in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Kareeb’ opposite Bobby Deol.

    18. Nayyara Mirza, Miss India finalist of 1967, was the first Muslim to participate in the pageant. She converted to Hinduism after marriage and became Nalini Patel. She is settled in the USA.

    19. Noted English writer Anil Dharkar is married to Imtiaz, a Pakistani Muslim. Their daughter Ayesha is an actor who came to limelight with Santosh Sivan’s film ‘The Terrorist’ where she played a suicide bomber.

    20. Legendary actor Waheeda Rahman married Shashi Rekhi, the Punjabi Hindu actor who acted opposite her in the film ‘Shagun’. (His screen name was Kamaljeet).

    21. Choreographer Saroj Khan got married at young age to bollywood dance master B Sohanlal. They had 2 kids, Kuku and Choreographer Raju Khan (also director of the film ‘Showbiz’).

    22. Raj Babbar married stage actress Nadira Zaheer, daughter of Communist parents.

    23. Actress – activist Nafisa Ali, a former Miss India, is married to Colonel (retired) Sodhi, a Sikh .

    24. Hindi writer Nasira Sharma is a Muslim married to a Hindu.

    25. Yesteryear’s actor Mumtaz married Mayur Madhvani, a businessman.
    Mumtaz’s sister, Mallika married Dara Singh’s brother, Randhawa who featured in many stunt films of 60′s.

    26. The ex Naval Chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat is married to Niloufer .

    27. Actor -singer Kishore Kumar married Madhubala (real name Mumtaz Begum) in 1960.
    Madhubala’s sister Zahida married music director Brij Bhushan Sahni .

    28. Sir VS Naipaul, Trinidad based writer of International reputation, is a Hindu (of Indian origin) married to a Pakistani Muslim called Nadia.

    29. Actor Asha Parekh’s father was a Gujarati Hindu and mother, a Muslim.

    30. The niece of actor Raza Murad, Sonam (actual name Bakhtawar), best known as the ‘Tridev’ girl, married Rajeev Rai, producer and director of that film.

    31. Maharashtra politician Late Hamid Dalwai’s daughter married Sharad Chavan.

    32. Yesteryear’s actor Rehana Sultan, known for her bold, controversial films like ‘Chetna’ and ‘Dastak’ in late 70s, married producer – director B R Ishara, a Hindu.

    33. Veteran actress Zohra Sehgal (originally Khan) married Late Kamaleshwar Nath Sehgal.

    34. TV Actress Tasneem Sheikh is married to builder Sameer Nerurkar. Her post-mariage name is Tanisha Nerurkar.

    35. Pakistani actress Anita Ayub who appeared in some films in 90s, got married to Saumil Patel and is now settled in USA.

    36. Congress MP from Assam, Rani Narah was originally Jahan Ara Chaudhary before she married Politician Bharat Chandra Narah and converted to Hinduism.

    37. Filmmaker Tinu Anand (Also known as Virender Raj Anand, director of ‘Shahanshah’) is married to actress Shahnaz (sister of actor Jalal Agha. Acted in ‘Saat Hindustani’).

    38. Roshan Ara, Daughter of Ustad Allauddin Khan married Ustad Ravi Shankar and became the famous Sitar Player Annapurna Devi.

    39. Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas is married to Fareeda.

    40. Yesteryear’s actress Zahida (Hussain) who acted opposite Dev Anand in ‘Gambler’ and ‘Prem Pujari’ and opposite Sanjeev Kumar in ‘Anokhi Raat’, married Mr KN Sahay. She is actor Sanjay Dutt’s cousin.

    41. Actor Nirmal Pandey was married to Kausar Munir, a lyricist in Bollywood.

    42. Actress Tabassum known for her TV show ‘Phool Khile Hai Gulshan Gulshan’ on DD is the daughter of Ayodhyanath and Asghari. She is married to Vijay, brother of actor Arun Govil (Lord Ram of TV Serial ‘Ramayan’).

    43. Model Feroze Gujral is the daughter of a Christian father, George and a Muslim mother, Viqar. She is married to Mohit, son of painter Satish Gujral.

    44. Filmmaker Hansal Mehta (Woodstock Villa, Chhal, Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai) is married to Safina, daughter of actor Yusuf Hussain who does supporting roles in bollywood.

    45. Theatre actress Ayesha Raza is married to actor Kumud Mishra.

    46. Iconic bollywood villain Ranjeet (Bedi) is married to Nazneen.

    47. ‘Raam Teri Ganga Maili’ star Mandakini (real name Yasmeen) was born to a Christian father and a Muslim mother. She is married to one Dr Thakur -nepali Hindu settled in Mumbai .

    48. Cricketer Manoj Prabhakar is married to Farheen, an actress who was seen in a few films in the 90s and was noted for her resemblance to Madhuri Dixit.

    49. World-famous beauty expert and entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain is married to a Hindu businessman RK Puri.

    50. News anchor Sehar Zaman (presently with CNN IBN) is married to writer Dhiraj Singh.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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