Rajat Sharma


akbVishwa Hindu Parishad’s youth outfit Bajrang Dal has announced that it would set up “Anti-Romeo Force” to protect Hindu daughters if police fails to stop incidents of ‘love jihad’. Surender Jain, the joint general secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad said on Tuesday, his community can no longer sit and watch silently as Hindu daughters are stabbed and stoned to death. Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, the head priest of Bageshwar Dham said, time has come for all Hindus to unite and protect their daughters. Such remarks may appear ordinary, but they indicate a serious issue on which Indians should sit down and think. After a jilted Muslim lover Sahil stabbed a Hindu girl Sakshi to death, it was found that he was wearing ‘kalaava’ (red or black sacred thread worn on wrist by Hindus) and a ‘rudraksh mala’ to fool the girl that he was a Hindu. Reports of ‘love jihad’ cases have come from Lucknow, Shahjahanpur, Uttarkashi, Patna, Meerut, Bareilly, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Kanpur and Bikaner. The thread is common. In all these cases, Muslim youths enticed Hindu girls, while some of them were forcibly converted after being abducted. In Shahjahanpur, a Muslim youth Naved posed as a Hindu, befriended a Hindu girl, made videos and, through blackmail, forced her to convert to Islam. When the girl told her family, Naved allegedly gave her poison leading to her death. There was tension in the town after Hindu outfits took out protest march. In Uttarkashi, two Muslim youths tried to kidnap a Hindu girl, but when people stopped them and asked questions, the girl revealed that she was being abducted. In Aliganj locality of Lucknow, a Muslim youth Arbaaz, who was trying to force a girl in his college for marriage, threatened her and threw stones at her home on May 26. Arbaaz has gone underground and police is on the lookout. There are similar cases from other cities too. I think, the entire issue is not political. One should think seriously. When there are cases involving a Muslim male and a Hindu female, the question of ‘love jihad’ naturally arises. Whether it was Aftaab, who brutally murdered Shradha Walker or Sahil, who stabbed Sakshi multiple times, such horrendous murders are bound to create scars in the minds of the community. A few years ago, when similar ‘love jihad’ cases occurred in Kerala with Christian girls, priests raised their voice. A few days ago, people from Jain community also staged protests against ‘love jihad’. We have to understand: it may be that all these cases may not be connected with ‘love jihad’ where the boys hid their identity to entice the girl, but when one such case occurs, it has wide repercussions. Other cases are also seen through this binary. Since the issue is grave and complicated, particularly in the Delhi murder case where the killer was wearing ‘kalaava’ and ‘rudraksh mala’, the sphere of investigation has become wider from a routine murder. Now outfits like Bajrang Dal have joined the debate. It is right to say that setting up a Hindu Sena or Anti-Romeo Force or Anti-Muslim Force is not the solution. The only solution is: parents should tell their children the difference between good and evil. They should talk to their offsprings, create trust so that their children should share facts about their friends. It is also the responsibility of ulema (Muslim clerics) to teach Muslim youths not to strike friendship with Hindu girls by hiding their identities. This is the only way to avoid a grave problem, otherwise such incidents can widen the chasm between both the communities.


Visuals of medal winning wrestlers reaching Haridwar to ‘immerse’ their medals on Tuesday were really sad. Most of the wrestlers and their relatives were weeping. It makes one sad to watch these players, who had won laurels for the country, going to river Ganga to immerse their hard-won medals. I would rather praise farmer leader Naresh Tikait who went to Haridwar, persuaded the wrestlers not to take the extreme step and promised to bring about a solution in five days. There is a sense of comprehension among the protesting wrestlers that nobody in the government is willing to listen to them. They feel the entire government machinery is trying to protect the Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers feel, their voice is being throttled through use of police force. This is the reason why they find rays of hope when other personalities reach out to them to offer support. When such leaders promise to raise their voice, the wrestlers are eager to speak to them. But, in the process, there are many who have infiltrated the movement of wrestlers and are trying to take advantage of their anger and grievances. There is only one solution which I can suggest. An initiative must begin from highest level in Sports Ministry, talks should begin with the wrestlers, they must be convinced that the government is not against them and their honour will be protected. I think, so long as the communication gap will remain, matters can deteriorate.


With nearly 100 persons, including 30 Kuki militants, killed, roughly 200 injured and almost 50,000 people rendered homeless, the situation in Manipur is slowly limping back to normal. Home Minister Amit Shah is holding a series of meetings to bring the warring Kuki and Meitei communities together. He has appealed to both sides to ensure peace for a fortnight before their demands are taken up. Kuki community leaders have demanded President’s Rule and setting up of a separate hill administration for tribals. The reasons behind tension between both communities are several decades old. The situation was aggravated by a High Court order asking government to consider giving Scheduled Tribe status to Meitei community, which is being opposed by Kukis. The second main reason is Chief Minister N. Birendra Singh’s government order to launch anti-encroachment drive in forests, inhabited by Kuki and Naga communities. There was widespread mob violence, with militants looting armouries and using AK-47 and M-16 rifles to attack civilians. Army, Assam Rifles and paramilitary forces had to be rushed to quell violence. Chief of Defence Staff Anil Chauhan has said that any solution between the two communities can be achieved only through negotiations. I think Gen. Anil Chauhan is right when he says that both Meitei and Kuki communities are our brothers and talks are the only way out.

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