How girls and women fall into the love jihad trap is now known. A post on the topic written years ago on Facebook by this columnist was shared by many users and was translated into many languages too. “Today, I was called to help in a Love-Jihad case. In the last three months, this is the fourth or fifth case. I am writing this because I think it is very necessary to make parents aware of what the children are going through in such cases,” the post read.
- Out of the five odd cases that have come to me, only one involves somebody of the so-called lower caste.
- Girls are trapped at any age. One was a widow with two children. But all the other girls were anywhere between 14 and 16 when the affair started.
- In almost all cases, the boys take the girls out on motorcycle rides. Girls are made to feel that this is ‘freedom’.
- The Muslim boys are trained to make the girls sexually aware and they start by holding hands, giving a friendly hug, touching certain places by ‘mistake’… then they move on to kissing and physical relationship when girl is in 10th or 12th and under stress for studies. Videos of such physical relationship is made silently.
- Most parents are unaware until it is too late.
- Once parents come to know and try to break off the relationship, either girl is pressurised to run away or the girls are blackmailed to continue relationship using videos as in (4) above. Till this time, the girl is unaware that a video has been made.
- If the girl insists on breaking up, the boy will get his friends to force physical relationship with the girl as a threat or blackmail. All the time, he will keep saying that he will marry the girl.
- If parents interfere, the boy will stay away temporarily. Once the girl is 18, this starts again and this time the girl is completely trapped.
- Mostly, marriage takes place. Girl is converted. For 6 months, there is no problem. Then starts the torture. First beating and all. Continuous pregnancies and termination of pregnancies take place.
- After a couple of years, boy will get married again to some other girl while remaining married to the first girl.
- Now girl will definitely resist. To keep her in the marriage, she is raped by the boy’s father and brothers. Mother, the other wife and sisters will beat her every day.
- Police and family members (if still on talking terms) will counsel the girl to adjust and continue in the marriage.
- In many cases, if the girl is too strong mentally, she will be jailed inside the house without a mobile also.
- If she manages to run away, she will not get custody of the children or get only 1 child custody. The other child(ren) will remain with husband.
- Even if the court gives monthly maintenance, husband will never pay. It is a unusual marriage because girl will be converted only after marriage, not before. So she cannot claim right to husband’s property. BUT boy can claim right to girl’s parent’s property as per Hindu customs.
Following the post, this columnist was called many times to speak on the topic and also to advise parents on how to prevent love jihad from affecting their household. Based on my interaction with children and parents, I would like to put forward a few points.
- If your children are still below the age of 10, start right now to teach them about our dharma. Introduce them to our stories from our scriptures like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishads, Folk tales, tales of Valour like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratap and more, Panchatantra and more. Every night, instead of telling them stories of Santa Claus, Cindrella, Snow White and others, teach them about Rama, Mahadeva, Parvati, Hanuman and others. Believe me these stories are way more interesting and will build character in your child.
- If your child is already a teenager, introduce him or her to yoga and cooking or helping in other ways in all the festivals. While cooking or helping, teach them about the festivals and how they are an important connect between us and our gods.
- Go once a year to various pilgrim centres or our places of pilgrimage. Combine it with a holiday to other tourist locales near the pilgrim sites so that they learn about our culture and heritage along with the faith and enjoy the trip with the whole family.
- Take your children atleast once a year to a Goushala. Make them feed the cows, calves or — if you may — Nandis and tell them how for us they are sacred. Talk to them about yajnas and how important they are and how without our cattle, we cannot perform even a single yajna.
- As and when possible make visits to temples, especially to the temple of the kula-devata or kula-devi.
Now even more important
- Teach your child to be brave. Tell them about how despite the tortures of our invaders, we remained Hindus. Talk about the story of Sambaji Maharaj, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and how he was tortured, but still he did not bow down to Aurangzeb. He became a Dharma-rakshak. Talk about the other stories of our braves & give them such role models.
- Teach your child how to repel blackmailing tactics right from childhood. Tell them never to fall for any sob story or threat given. Most of our Love Jihad cases happened because the girl was unable to handle the blackmail by the boy out of fear or shame.
- The children should be able to talk freely at home about any threat perception. They should be given the chance to repent even if the mistake is the worst mistake of their life. It is better that the girl speaks up at home and faces punishment at home rather than face it in the house of the Jihadi.
- Being friends with your child should not mean that the child gets so much freedom that they lose their way. Freedom works best when Responsibility is understood and followed. Every Hindu has a responsibility to keep his/her Dharma alive and honour the name and sacrifices of their ancestors and family.
- Even if the girl gets caught in Love-Jihad, if she wants to escape it, help her leave the relationship and come back home. If necessary, help her deal with her fears and trauma with the help of a counselor. After that, help her become financially independent. Make sure that she gets a clean break or divorce from her husband. Provide her all the legal help required.
It is heartbreaking to hear of the innumerable cases of deaths due to this love jihad, which has no element of love in it from the boy’s side. Our innocent girls get trapped and find it difficult to escape from it, because of various reasons such as guilt, fear, social ridicule, insufficient backing, lack of legal resources or knowledge and other various factors. As parents, it is our duty to educate our children and keep them safe from this horrible form of cheating and oppression.
The above is an article by Rati Hegde published originally on Kreately, which has been reproduced here on request of amplification by SMaRT