‘Check Aadhaar card to keep out Non-Hindus’: Bajrang Dal to Garba organisers

Asked Garba and Dandiya organisers in Hyderabad to make Aadhaar cards mandatory

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Image Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror

In an open letter to local garbaorganisers on Saturday,  theBajrang Dal –allied to the RSS—decreed that the entry of non-Hindu youths in the events should be checked.

“We have asked the event organisers to mandate Aadhaar Cardsat the entry spot to identify non-Hindus entering the venues and also to avoid employing Non-Hindus as bouncers for these events,” said S Kailash, Media Convener, Bajrang Dal.

The group claimed that youth belonging to the said communities were taking part in the events and allegedly behaving inappropriately with female participants and that they also manhandle the men who come to the rescue of the victim. Kailash also stated that for the last couple of years the Bajrang Dal has observed that youths from non-Hindu communities have no respect and concern towards the divinity of the event and that the miscreants used these events as places to trap innocent girls, thus leading to love jihad cases.

Kailash also said that the major lapse lay in the monitoring and control on who enters the events. He said that teams of Bajrang Dal karyakartas would be present at the venues to intervene, which could also lead to the disruption of the event.

A Thing of The Past Too

Even in 2014, the VHP in Gujarat issued a pamphlet asking women not to debase themselves by falling into the traps set by Muslim men. The VHP Gujarat General Secretary RanchhodBharwad had then said that Muslim youth could come to the garba venues, but only after converting to Hinduism.

RanchhodBharwad repeated his stance in 2015 when he said, “No Vidharmi (irreligious) will be allowed in the garba venues.”

RaghurvirsinhJadeja, President of the Hindu YuvaSangthan and the Chief of the VHP of the Mandvi tehsil had said in 2015, “Incidents of love jihad where Muslim boys lure and marry our Hindu girls happen at Garba. Our only aim is to protect our girls.”

Peddling Hate with ‘Love Jihad’

The term ‘love jihad’ was allegedly coined by a member of the Sangh, VijaykantChauhan claiming that Hindu women were being lured into marriage by Muslim youth.

The RSS was quick to pick up the issue and turn it into a national campaign against a supposed cultural attack on the Hindu culture.

To aid their claim the VHP and Bajrang Dal activists had also distributed a pamphlet with a morphed photograph of actor KareenaKapoor, in a niqab, and sporting a bindi. The pamphlet says Muslims have been using ‘love jihad’ to “convert Hindus for the last thousand years” and cites actors Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan as “examples… as they have deserted their Hindu wives to entrap other Hindu women”. The booklets were being distributed at a five-day ‘spiritual’ fair organised by Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation.

The letter sent to garbaorganisers in Hyderabad is not the first time the VHP is peddling its concept of ‘love jihad’. Nor is its campaign about love jihad restricted to community events.

In the same year it planning a worship of weapons and HindutvaJagran (awareness) across the country during the Navratri festival for women to counter ‘Love Jihad’

In October 2018, the VHP tested the ‘anti love jihad campaign’ in West Bengal where it raised awareness among Hindu girls and women about how love jihad was employed to target them.

The current war on love jihad started in 2009, when Karnataka state officials demanded an investigation into claims that young Muslim men associated with the Muslim Islamic Popular Front of India and the Campus Front were seducing Hindu and Christian girls solely to convert them. But in November of that year, Karnataka police found there was no such plot.

Things only escalated from there. In July of 2010, Kerala’s then-chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan speculated that Muslim groups such as the Popular Front of India were using “money and marriages to make Kerala a Muslim majority state.” This claim was denounced by the religiously unaligned Congress Party.

In January 2012, Kerala police closed the book on love jihad, calling it a “campaign with no substance,” and pursued legal action against the website hindujagruti.org for “spreading religious hatred and false propaganda.”
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