Another victim in a country of ‘no love’

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Another victim in a country of ‘no love’

Ankit’s brutal murder in Delhi has raised some pertinent questions surrounding inter-faith marriages and the right to conversion which Islamic theologians must answer

The recent brutal murder of young photographer Ankit Saxena in West Delhi’s Khyala area by the family of his Muslim girlfriend Shehzadi has thrown the ongoing ‘secular’ narrative into a tizzy and brought to fore contradictions that afflict our national discourse.

For one, the bloody drama took place in the capital, and the sordid incident was reported in depth by various sections of the media. As a result, the gory details can no longer be swept under the carpet and there is little scope for the ‘secular’ pack to confuse the issue or twist the facts.

While dealing with Hindu-Muslim issues, the ‘secular’ script is predictable —the ‘hapless’ Muslim is a victim of Hindutva hate. Details of such incidents are suitably manufactured, facts twisted or dropped altogether to fit in the ‘secular’ narrative. But in Ankit’s case, the usual dirty tricks cannot deliver for obvious reasons. Hence, a change in the strategy.

Since blaming the victim in this case for his brutal murder will look ridiculous, those protesting against the reprehensible crime and demanding action against the culprits are being pilloried and accused of fomenting communal trouble by the ‘secular’ pack. The crime is sought to be explained as a reaction on the part of aggrieved parents who could not accept their daughter exercising choice in the selection of her life partner.

According to secular narrative, there is no communal angle to the tragic episode. There is no discussion whatsoever on Islamic theology and hate, which triggered this abhorrent crime. In short, the ‘secular’ pack would like the country to believe that the murder had nothing to do with the religion of the victim or the perpetrators of the heinous crime!

Who communalised the unfortunate death of young Junaid, a victim of a dispute over a train seat with fellow passengers? Such altercations are a commonplace on Indian trains. The sad incident was publicised at a global level to paint India as an ‘intolerant’ country. ‘Aggressive Hindutva’ was blamed for the loss of an innocent life.

Akhlaq’s murder, in Dadri near Delhi, was an ugly outcome of a local scrimmage over suspected cow slaughter. It too was internationalised and blamed on the ‘communal atmosphere of hate’ created by the BJP dominated dispensation at the Centre.

In contrast, the recent fatal shooting of young Chandan during the Tiranga Yatra on Republic Day at Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh for raising anti-Pakistan slogans by enraged Muslims was dismissed as a “failure of law and order” on the part of the State Government.

Who is responsible for Ankit’s barbaric slaughter? Were it only the hands that swung the machete (used for chopping meat by butchers) to slit his throat while scores of dazed bystanders silently watched? Was it not a public execution of an infidel a la IS in the heart of the national capital?

In Chandan’s case, efforts were made to blame the victim and his friends for the violence in Kasganj. Why did they go through a Muslim area shouting anti-Pakistan slogans? In a way, suggesting that since they had done so, they got what they deserved. Outlandish statements to this effect were made by secularists of various hues, including a serving civil servant.

If the killers of Akhlaq and Junaid were inspired by Hindutva to commit the evil deed, what prompted Ankit’s or Chandan’s heartless murderers?

The answer is implicit in the question: Would Ankit have met the gory end if he was not a Hindu but a Muslim in love with the daughter of this Muslim family? Would Chandan not be alive today, if he didn’t have the temerity to raise slogans against Pakistan in a Muslim dominated area?

For ‘secularists’, these killings are bad to the extent that they provide grist to the Hindutva mill, to push its narrative. Left to themselves, they will like the country to forget such murders as bad dreams. No wonder ‘rent a cause’ marchers with candles have been missing from India Gate and other such venues in the Capital.

Imagine the uproar and ruckus that would have followed if the victim had been a Muslim in love with a Hindu girl and had met such an unfortunate end at the hands of her relatives. The pack would have painted the town red.

To perceive this event merely as a dispute between two families and not as between two philosophies is intellectually dishonest. Muslims welcome an inter-faith wedding if a boy of their community gets married to a Hindu or Christian girl and the girl converts to Islam.

A Muslim girl getting betrothed to a Hindu generally meets a violent

reaction. These varying responses on the part of Muslims to such inter-faith marriages are fashioned by Islamic theology and traditions.

Hindus have their owns reasons to oppose inter-faith marriages, particularly between a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl. In recent times, such marriages have been termed as a part of ‘love Jehad’. It is not inter-faith marriages as such that they are opposed to.

Several such marriages in Kerala and elsewhere have repeatedly brought out cantors of a dangerous conspiracy. Many a times, such marriages are only a ruse to get a Hindu girl attracted to a different faith and then draw her into joining the Islamic State entity that drives the converts to a career of murder, mass killings and worse which must be done to prove ones loyalty to the new religion.

The state rightly does not oppose inter-faith or inter-caste marriages. It rather goes out of the way to protect those involved from parental or societal anger and Kangaroo courts of angry protectors of caste/groups/religion. But where the involvement of terrorist agencies and international terror merchants are patently seen, these marriages obviously cannot be taken at face value.

Ankit’s gruesome murder has helped raise some important questions. Is conversion from Hinduism to Islam a human right in a secular country but the other way round different? Is it a fact that the tenets of Islam in such cases lay down the killing of a apostat as a religious duty?

Was Ankit murdered because he was a Hindu in relationship with a Muslim girl? Entry for people of other religions into Islam is eagerly welcomed and broadcast as a human right but exit from Islam into other religions is “haram”? What is the stated position of Islamic theology on this issue?

Every Indian has a right to know whether the right of conversion is only a one way street to Islam. Was there theological underpinning to Ankit’s brutal murder? Why do slogans against Pakistan enrage some Indians to the extent that they shoot a fellow Indian to death?

Any answers?

(The writer is a political commentator and a former BJP Rajya Sabha MP)

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