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Why ‘love jihad’ is a campaign issue in crucial West Bengal polls

Recently several states including Uttar Pradesh introduced anti-conversion laws making religious conversion for the sake of marriage illegal. These laws were based on the conspiracy theory of ‘love jihad’ which posits that Muslim men marry Hindu women only to convert them to Islam. We bring a three-part series on how these laws have affected the lives of young people.

With a growing narrative of ‘Love Jihad’ across India, we look at this phenomenon in West Bengal and its ties to Hindutva politics. Devdutta Maji is the founder of Singha Bahini, a Hindutva outfit that claims to ‘rescue’ Hindu women trapped by Muslim men across the state. He has also joined BJP and hopes to help the party win in the upcoming state polls.

TMC MLA Rukbanur Rahman has personally experienced the opposition to interfaith marriages in the state. His brother Rizwanur Rahman had wed Priyanka Todi, the daughter of industrialist Ashok Todi, and died a month later. He says that not only is ‘Love Jihad’ a misnomer, the idea will not be accepted by the people of Bengal.

In this episode of The Suno India Show, our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to Rahman, Majhi and a minor girl who Majhi says he rescued.

Also listen:
How ‘love jihad’ laws clash with The Special Marriage Act
How ‘love jihad’ affects women’s choice

Important links:
Living Reality of Muslims in West Bengal – Appeasement or Exclusion?
The Special Marriage Act, 1954

Why ‘love jihad’ is a campaign issue in crucial West Bengal polls

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