Love Jihad-Pinarai Vijayan and Vayalar Ravi denies in Unison!

published on November 1, 2009

Wrangling over Love Jihad continues in Kerala

VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The statement war over Love Jihad, allegedly an organized campaign in Kerala and elsewhere for converting girls of other religions into Islam by trapping them in love affairs, is continuing to rage in the State with almost all Hindu and several Christian community organizations coming out against the programme and political parties, except the BJP, terming the protests as a “shadow war” which would lead to the destruction of social harmony.

Hindu community outfits like the Nair Service Society (NSS) and SNDP Yogam have already called for caution against the alleged Islamist programme while the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference has issued an extensive list of dos and don’ts for girls and parents in the context of the increasing reports about Love Jihad. Organizations like the Hindu Aikya Vedi and Sree Ram Sene have also come out against the treacherous conversion scheme.

However, the Congress-led Opposition parties, the CPI(M)-headed Left movement in Kerala, rights groups and Muslim outfits still refuse to agree that such an organization or programme exists in Kerala or anywhere. They are seeing the reports as generalizations from exceptions and as part of a well-planned campaign against a particular religion.

Without mentioning the term Love Jihad, NSS said the other day that the Government could not escape its responsibility for checking the “terror act” of drawing girls into the net of love and later converting them. NSS general secretary PK Narayana Panicker warned the Government that if it did not make a reasonable intervention in this issue the NSS would launch a people’s movement against it.

Panicker said that the report filed by Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose in this regard last week in the Kerala High Court had reflected irresponsibility on the part of the force. Punnoose had in his report to the court said that the Kerala Police had not got any proof of a Love Jihad existing in the State though there were reports about such an operation.

NSS assistant secretary G Sukumaran Nair said that the DGP’s report in the court had not taken into account the information the outfit had earlier handed over to Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Nair, however, said that the protests and agitations of the NSS would be its own as it did not form a group with like-minded organization as it could lead to hatred among religions.

State BJP general secretary MT Ramesh welcomed the NSS stand on the issue of Love Jihad, saying the BJP was prepared to launch a united fight with Hindu and Christian leaderships against the Islamist programme which was creating intra-society tensions and conflicts.

Speaking in Alappuzha on Sunday, Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and senior Congress leader, said the protests against the alleged Love Jihad was nothing but a shadow war. The Love Jihad controversy would only lead to the destruction of religious harmony in Kerala, he said.

However, when journalists asked Kerala CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan for his response on the issue of Love Jihad, he said the media would not get a reply that they wanted from him. However, he said that PC George, leader of Kerala Congress (Secular), should not have allowed the conversion of his son’s wife, a Hindu, into Christian religion.

But CPI(M) leader and DYFI national president P Sreeramakrishnan alleged that intentions behind the ongoing talks against Love Jihad were to curtail the freedom of choice of Indian women. “They want to establish that the Hindu women are not capable of making their bold choices in any matter including love. You cannot describe conversions due to marriage as part of Jihad,” he said.

Information about the alleged campaign for planned conversion into Islam through love had come out in the open after the case of two girls, MBA students at a Pathanamthitta college, came up in the Kerala High Court. The case was that Sirajuddeen and Shahenshah, activists of Campus Front, the students’ wing of NDF, had forced the girls to convert into Islam in the name of marriage. The girls claimed that the duo had tried to convert them into Islam after kidnapping them.

The girls – one Hindu and the other Christian – told the court that they were taken to a place in Kozhikode, where a group led by Campus Front activists Shehenshah and Sirajuddeen forced them to convert into Islam and sign marriage contracts. According to the police, as many as 940 girls had gone missing in Kerala in the past five years.

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