Shijin, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) local committee member and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) leader eloped with Joisna Joseph, who was working in Saudi Arabia and recently came home to Kerala’s Kozhikode. Her relatives filed a police complaint and there were allegations of “love jihad”. The family along with people in the area took out a march to the police station.
The issue snowballed into a controversy for the CPI(M) after its district secretariat member George M Thomas, in an interview with a regional channel, said that there is “love jihad” in some parts. He later retracted the statement and said there is no such issue and it is a creation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Joseph, Joisna’s father, says that he needs justice and that he doesn’t believe that she went away willingly. He also said that he never made any allegations of “love jihad”.
“I do not believe that my daughter went of her own will. She had told me she liked someone else and we were getting ready to hold that marriage. The day she went, when we called, she told the family that they were not letting her go. I just want to meet my daughter,” he said.
Joisna says she went with Shijin willingly as she decided to marry him and live together. “They are making allegations of ‘love jihad’. I am a Christian and Shijin a Muslim. We have decisions of our own. I believe in Christianity and I have the right to live like that. No one is imposing anything on me. Till death, I will be a Christian. No one is trying to convert me or forcing me to convert,” she said.
Shijin said they are two people who decided to live together.
The party’s Kozhikode district secretary P Mohanan said that the CPI(M) does not see anything unnatural in two people getting married. “According to the laws of the country, people belonging to different religions can marry and live together. George M Thomas had made a mistake while reacting to the issue and he himself has understood this and informed the party. There is no ‘love jihad’ and it is something which the RSS and the Sangh Parivar, created to attack the minority community,” he said.
Mohanan also said that some people were trying to get political mileage by creating discord between two communities, and the CPI(M) will not accept this. The party held a public meeting on Wednesday, explaining the issue.