No matter how much our countrymen shout out their hearts that we are secular and recite those junior class rhymes, “हिंदू, मुस्लिम, सिख, ईसाई, सब आपस में भाई- भाई…”, the truth is that this religious bigotry will never stop in India. The best example of which could be seen in an advertisement released by Tanishq-Ekatvam.
As soon as the advertisement was released, it was targeted with criticism and trolling on social media and later pulled off the air by the makers. The portrayal of a mixed culture, interfaith love, a Hindu girl married in a Muslim family apparently hurt people’s religious sentiments. Technically and emotionally, the ad was very well portrayed, and the message was quite clear.
But people started connecting this interfaith love with love jihad. First of all, let’s get clarify the meaning of both the terms. Both of these are entirely different from each other. Love Jihad is an Islamophobic conspiracy theory where apparently, Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love, whereas an interfaith marriage, is a marriage where the couple belongs to different religions.
Such issues have continuously been discussed repeatedly on the internet, media, and society. Still, when it comes to reality and actual implementation, the results are always the opposite and as expected. It doesn’t really seem to be a genuine concern for being secular, as here in this country, when a young boy and girl aren’t allowed to choose their partners on their own when they can’t accept the inter-caste marriages or even the same caste love marriages in some cases, how can such a foolish society accept the interfaith marriage, and that too a Muslim and a Hindu?
People say that the internet can bring about change in society, remove taboos, reunite people. Still, I think it’s the internet only that has divided society even more drastically and believe me. It will do so even more in future.
At this point, I can recall a wonderful dialogue from a comedy genre movie, Bol Bachchan, where Krishna Abhishek’s character says to Govardhan Asrani, “….तो कह देंगे उनसे कि दीवाली में भी तो अली आता है (DIWALI), और रमजान में राम ( RAMADAN)”. The day this feeling will develop amongst every Indian, it will become a secular country in a true sense.