The Bharatiya Janata Party may have dropped the controversial phrase “love jihad” from its political resolution in Uttar Pradesh but that did not prevent social media users from censuring the party over the term.
Twitter users questioned the marriage of certain BJP leaders with Hindu women. Especially targeted were BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain who have Hindu wives. Twitter was bustling with pictures of the BJP leaders with their spouses. “Are they Jihadi?” a user tweeted.
At the same time, BJP supporters and leaders and users bearing affiliation to the party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swamyamsevak Sangh, shared online tables, charts and posters supporting their claims on ‘love jihad’. However, they were countered by twitter users with the hashtag #lovejihadexposed trending.
‘Love jihad’ is a phrase floated by the BJP and its right-wing affiliates to refer to Muslim men marrying Hindu women in a bid to convert them.
BJP MP Hema Malini also came under attack for her marriage to actor Dharmendra. “Present BJP MP Hema Malini&Dharmendra(14th LS) were converted to Islam at the time of their marriage. Was it “Love Jihad”? Only BJP can say,” tweeted Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed.
Alluding to the case of national-level shooter Tara Shadeo, who accused her husband Rakibul Hasab aka Ranjit Kumar Kohli of assaulting her because of her refusal to convert to Islam, Sangh Parivar tweeted: “#LoveJihadExposed Love Jihad : Conversion at any cost! Muslim man keeps Hindu name to convert!”
This article has been edited to incorporate the following correction:
The report headlined “Twitterati corner BJP over love jihad’,” published on August 26, erroneously attributed certain tweets to senior journalist Vinod Mehta, who has clarified he is not on Twitter at all. The comments cited relate to someone else using the same name, even using Mr. Mehta’s image as profile photo, on Twitter. The error is regretted.