Need to look beyond love jihad

The marriage of MBA graduates Ashitha Babu and Shakeel Ahmed at Mandya in Karnataka should open the eyes of Hindutva groups that there is more to interfaith weddings than love jihad. Girls like Ashitha are actually the victims of the massive disinformation exercise carried out by Leftists, liberals, and others, the pivot of the disinformation being the myth that all religions are, more or less, same—the various roads leading to salvation. Unless the mendacity of the views emanating from and cognate of this myth is exposed, innocent and gullible non-Muslim girls will continue to fall in love with Muslim boys.

Hindutva groups, however, are unable to understand the phenomenon: in the present instance, it was not a Hindu girl who was duped by a Muslim boy as part of some jihadist conspiracy; she had an affair with the guy and willingly converted to Islam to marry her. Though her parents were initially opposed to the marriage, they had to bow to her obstinacy. The parents of Shakeel Ahmed were also against the wedding, but once they agreed on the condition that she embraces Islam. In fact, the families had friendly relations between them.

According to a report in The Indian Express (April 24):

“While Ashitha got her family around, Shakeel was having an equally difficult time at home. Shakeel’s father, Mukhtar Ahmed, is a businessman, and while he knew Ashitha’s family well, his extended and orthodox family was aghast at the idea of Shakeel marrying a Hindu…

‘My brothers and relatives said I should say no to the marriage,’ says Ahmed. Later, they said, the only way they would agree to the marriage was if Ashitha converted to Islam before the wedding…

[The girl’s father, Dr. Narendra] Babu told Ahmed that Ashitha had said she would kill herself. Ahmed was finally convinced after talking to Ashitha and Shakeel together and seeing how painful a separation would be for them.

‘The situation was not in our hand as they were deeply in love. She cried [during the meeting]. In Islam, there is a strong belief that the tears of a woman are not good for any family. So we agreed to the marriage,’ says Ahmed.

He also told Ashitha about the condition that she convert. ‘Shakeel said he would be boycotted by his family and relatives if he married my daughter without her converting. So we agreed,’ says Uma [Ashitha’s mother].”


Notice Mukhtar Ahmed’s duplicity. He forces a girl to adopt his own faith, and yet sings hosannas to its glory! Also notice Shakeel’s disingenuousness; he masquerades his religious bigotry as a family obligation.

And the gullible girl, along with her family, falls prey to Muslim cunning. As she told Deccan Chronicle: “Even if I get married to a Hindu guy, I have to practise traditions of his family. I’m in love with him and I’m getting happily married with the consent of our parents.”

Ashitha is blind to the reality that her beau placed his faith above love, while she did the opposite. In fact, there was no need for either of them to prioritize love and religion; they could have opted for a wedding as per the Special Marriage Act. Further, there is many a precedent for such unions; Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Saif Ali Khan have Hindu wives.

What Ashitha couldn’t also observe was the fact had she married a Hindu, his family traditions, despite nuanced differences with her own family’s, would still be Hindu traditions. Apparently, her blindness emanates from the belief that religion does not matter much.

Her belief is misplaced, especially in regards to Islam. A Hindu girl marrying a Sikh, a Buddhist, or even a Christian would not have a sea change in her life; but marriage with a Muslim, especially after converting to Islam, brings about a complete sea change.

Further, there is the possibility of life in a polygamous family. Singer Lucky Ali, son of the comedian Mehmood, took a second wife. Before his first marriage, he had told the girl, who was from New Zealand, that he may marry again. She thought he was joking. Years later, she realized that the joke was on her. By the way, she had also embraced Islam to marry Ali.

The need of the hour is proper education about Islam. This is not possible in the politically correct times that we live in. What the government can do, though, is specify risk factors to all persons marrying outside their faith. After all, if these factors are clearly mentioned in the red herring prospectus of every initial public offering or IPO, there is no reason the same cannot or should not be done somebody who is taking the biggest decision of their lives.