Kannada writer Sara Aboobacker on Saturday sought to assert that the claims of ‘love jihad’ are baseless.

Participating in a roundtable meeting on safety of women organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India here on Saturday, she pointed out at the loud talks about what is alleged to be ‘love jihad’ — Muslim men luring Hindu women to convert to Islam by pretending to be in love, marrying them and then abandoning them — asked people to “show me five women (who are victims of love jihad)”. She said she has known cases women converting to Islam on their volition but not victims of ‘love jihad’. In one case, which she was well aware of, the woman was happily married.

Supporting the views of Ms. Aboobacker, retired principal of a private PU college and writer Chandrakala Nandavar narrated the case of an RSS activist and politician, who married a Muslim woman and underwent a lot of change of heart.

She regretted that Hindu organisations had not backed her when she spearheaded a protest against rape of eight girls in an ashram several years ago though all girls were Hindus. She said she was supported by a Christian organisation and one of the girls, who had troubled life, found solace after a Christian youth married her.

Without referring to ‘love jihad’, writer H.S. Nagaveni said people converted from one religion to another out of the need to end their hunger and fulfil their love life, which she highlighted in her works, particularly in Gandhi Banda, a novel based on a true story.

‘Lack of interaction’

She and lecturer in a PU College at Haleyangadi Jyoti Chelyaru urged women to develop awareness about their rights and ways and means of protecting them. Highlighting attempts being made to divide people in the coastal region, Ms. Nagaveni regretted the lack of interaction between the two major communities.

Ms. Chelyaru wanted girls to fight back if they find men making unwanted advances towards them. Women would suffer untold miseries until men changed the way they look at or treat women.

More In: Mangaluru