The hateful love ‘jihad’ conspiracy in India is going mainstream – By Rana Ayyub
In the year preceding the national elections in India in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to power, India witnessed a brutal episode of communal carnage in the state of Uttar Pradesh. More than 60 people were killed, women were gang-raped, and more than 50,000 people were displaced, a majority of them Muslims.
The violence was triggered by false rumors of a “love jihad” – what Hindu nationalists say is an alleged plot by Muslim youths to woo and convert Hindu girls – and of Muslims consuming beef. These events, rather than hurting Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, were followed by his massive electoral victory.
That explains why India is now trying to institutionalize this kind of bigotry, violence and resentment…. In recent weeks and days, the Indian right has been waging a campaign against any depictions of interfaith relations,…. These attacks keep feeding the dangerous “love jihad” conspiracy theory, the proponents of which seek to ultimately constrain and restrict the freedom of Hindu women and further demonize Muslims in India….