Prominent Hindu Ezhava leader and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan on 20 September said that it was not the Muslim community but Christians who are at the forefront of conversions and love jihad in the country.
Vellappally Natesan, who is the patron of NDA ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, was reacting to allegations of a Catholic priest that Christian women were being lured by Hindu Ezhava men. Vellappally Natesan flayed the controversial “love jihad” and “narcotic jihad” remarks of Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, saying it was “not right to target Muslim community” on the issue.
“When a Christian woman goes to Muslim side, there are a hundred women from other communities getting married to Christians. Why is nobody speaking about that? Christians are marrying Ezhava women. Christians are the largest group in the country engaged in conversion. Muslims do not convert on that scale. In love jihad, only a Christian woman is taken to Muslim community. Whereas in conversion, an entire family is going to Christianity. When speaking about conversion and love jihad, no doubt Christians are at the forefront,’’ Vellappally Natesan said.
Senior Catholic priest Roy Kannanchira, who is associated with Catholic daily Deepika, in a video message to catechism teachers of Changanassery archdiocese, had on 18 September alleged that Hindu Ezhava youths are strategically trained to trap Catholic women in love marriage. Kannanchira later tendered an apology, claiming that he did not intend to hurt any community.
Last week, Catholic bishop Joseph Kallarangatt had alleged that there was love jihad as well as narcotic jihad to target non-Muslims. The claims had triggered a major debate in Kerala. The CPM regime got into a damage-control mode following the remark, unable to antagonise either Muslims or Christians.
Meanwhile, opposition leader VD Satheesan has written to cultural leaders and artistes seeking their intervention to ensure that communal harmony is maintained in Kerala.