Love Jihad may not bring the rosiest memories for the Bharatiya Janata Party, but some of its supporters are definitely in no mood ‘abandon’ the cause.
Pramod Mutalik, chief of Sri Ramasene — the organisation that became famous for attacking women in a beer parlour in Mangalore — will address an “urgent press conference” on the “national issue of Love Jihad” on Friday in Mumbai.
An invite for the same was sent to the media by the “Hindu Janajagruti Samiti” or Hindu Awakening Council.
Love Jihad, or love war, is a term that originated in the South Indian state of Kerala, where it was used to describe an alleged racket of Muslim financiers who were willing to pay money to any Muslim man who could convert and marry a non-Muslim.
The state, where Muslims make up more than a fourth of the total population, even had a Court-ordered investigation into the alleged racket.
Former left front chief minister of Kerala, VS Achuthanandan too had claimed in 2010 that Popular Front of India, an organisation whose ideology is considered extremist by many in political mainstream, was trying to multiply the Muslim population in the state by “influencing youth of other religions and converting them by giving money, marrying them to Muslim women and thus producing kids of the community.”
In fact, even local church leaders were convinced of such a racket, as revealed by a secret Wikileaks cable.
Taking a cue from Kerala, where the issue was used to arouse emotions among the Hindu population, the Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged, just before recent polls, that such a racket exists in Uttar Pradesh as well.
However, the strategy fell short of its aim of winning Hindu votes for the BJP, and the party instead faced a rout in a state that it had swept just four months ago.
Mutalik is the original right wing campaigner, and has a reputation for trying to “protect” Hindu women not only from Muslims, but also “unhealthy habits” like drinking. Mutalik shot to fame on 24 January 2009, when volunteers of the Sri Ram Sena thrashed girls in a pub in Mangalore, India for drinking.
With the BJP not too keen on pursuing its Love Jihad strategy, Mutalik is reported to be unwilling to let the issue fade out. His “urgent press conference” is seen as an attempt to keep the issue alive in the “Hindu consciousness”.