Kolkata: Fanning the 'love jihad' controversy, the West Bengal unit of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has advised the Hindu girls and women to be wary of Muslim youth, who are drawing inspiration from Bollywood heroes, trying to lure them in love. It also alleged that Muslim men are getting paid to do the job.
Issuing a list of 'dos and don'ts', the VHP pamphlet reads, “Muslim youths will try to lure you (Hindu girls) by acting like a film star. They will try to lure you with expensive gifts, good food, etc. Don’t fall in the trap. Inform the VHP and lodge an FIR in the local police station.”
The VHP’s advisory also advises married women to wear traditional mangalsutra, sindoor, bangles and shakha (white bangles of conch-shell) as a proud Hindu.
“We have published hundreds of leaflets/pamphlets on love jihad and how our Hindu girls/women should defend themselves from this menace (Love Jihad),” Sourish Mukherjee, the VHP media convener, said.
A few months ago, the Kolkata Police started an investigation over series of objectionable ‘love jihad’ posts on Facebook by an organisation called ‘Hindutva Varta’.
The ‘Hindutva Varta’ uploaded details of 102 inter-faith couples on Facebook and instigated Hindu men to hunt down Muslims who are converting Hindu girls to Islam in the name of ‘love jihad’.
"From next week, we will distribute do’s and don’ts on ‘love jihad’ to school and college going girls... We will also try to educate their parents on the issue. Girls who are coming from rural places for higher studies in cities are more prone to Love Jihad. In some cases, they are engaging Muslim girls to trap Hindu girls. They are entering Hindu houses in guise of drivers, maids for love jihad,” Mukherjee said.
Speaking to News18 over telephone, Vishva Hindu Parishad Joint General Secretary, Surendra Jain alleged that Muslims are getting paid to lure Hindu girls. He said there is an urgent need to protect Hindu girls.
“I welcome the initiative taken by my Bengal unit. Love Jihad became a serious concern for Hindu mothers in India. Muslim youths are getting paid to trap Hindu girls. They are trapping Hindu girls in filmy style. This Love Jihad problem is there in Myanmar, UK and in Sri Lanka. In Ladakh too, Buddhist monks faced the same problem. This is a global issue now and we are here to protect our Hindu girls. We are requesting those who are victims of love jihad to speak up and lodge police complaint. They can inform us also. We will take up the matter further,” Jain said.
While the BJP state leadership declined to comment on the issue, the ruling TMC and the opposition CPI(M) and Congress came down heavily on the VHP for allegedly trying to create unrest in the state and divide people on religious lines by this move.
"The VHP, the BJP and the RSS for last few years have been trying to divide the people of Bengal on religious lines. But as long as the TMC is there, we will never allow those nefarious designs of Sangh Parivar to succeed," senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said it is an alarming development and the state government should take steps to fight such elements.
"The organisations like the RSS and the VHP are gaining ground in Bengal as the TMC government is completely silent on them and is going soft while dealing with them. The state government should take steps to control such organisations," senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said.