“The misery is beyond description. Girl wives, pretty and sweet, with eyes half blind with weeping, distraught with terror; women who have seen their husbands hacked to pieces before their eye, in the way “Moplas consider as religious”; old women tottering, whose faces become written with anguish and who cry at a gentle touch and a kind look waking out of a stupor of misery only to weep, men who have lost all, hopeless, crushed, desperate. I have walked among thousands of them in the refugee camps, and sometimes heavy eyes would lift as a cloth was laid gently on the bare shoulder, and a faint watery smile of surprise would make the face even more piteous than the stupor” —Annie Besant, New India, November 29, 1921
Love is not a crime, and inter-faith or inter-caste marriage can promote social harmony. Can it be done in a deceitful manner, where a man hides his religious identity or marital status? Are such weddings normal if the girls are forcibly converted and trafficked to join some Islamic terrorist organisations? Is it possible that such inter-faith marriages take place only as one-way traffic, resulting in Hindu and Christian girls getting lured by Muslim boys and not vice-a-versa? These and many other questions arise when usual hypocrites deny creative freedom by blocking the release of a film named The Kerala Story, highlighting the problem of systematic grooming, deceitful conversions and human trafficking.
In the 2009 Shahan Sha A vs State Of Kerala case, the Kerala High Court had made critical observations about Love Jihad – the clandestine designs of certain groups aimed at religious conversions through deceitful means, inter alia, under the guise of love. The judgement also names organisations like Muslim Youth Forum, Thasreen Millat, Shaheen Force, PFI and its student organisation Campus Front as the conspirators behind the Love Jihad movement. Despite the court asking the Governments to frame laws to stop Love Jihad, the same denial mode prevailed.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) popularised this term through a systematic study. As per the Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance of the Church, “there had been 2,868 female victims of love jihad in Kerala from 2006 to 2009”. An American diplomat in 2011, through a cable, mentioned the disclosure by Sajan K George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), about the same.
Former Kerala Chief Ministers VS Achuthanandan and Oommen Chandy, who were leading the Communist and Congress Governments respectively, directly and indirectly, accepted the trend of young women getting converted to Islam in Kerala between 2006 and 2014. The story of Nimisha shocked the national capital in 2016 when her mother, Bindu, visited Delhi and pleaded with tears to get her daughter back from the clutches of radicals. The Hadiya case of 2017 is not dead yet, as her father made allegations that his son-in-law is missing since the PFI, a radical Islamic organisation, has been banned. As if all this was not dreadful enough, in 2021, four girls from Kerala, who had accompanied their husbands to join ISIS in 2016, and were in prison in Afghanistan, requested the Government of Bharat to allow them to return.
These are hard facts not limited to Kerala. Great Britain has opened up the grooming gang investigation. Rape and enslavement are used against Kafirs in Darul Islam, while grooming and Love jihad are disguised weapons in a multi-cultural society, aka Darul Haram? Without trying to be politically correct, if someone studies the theological interpretation of Islam by ISIS or Al-Qaida-like organisations, Love Jihad as a strategy will be visible.
Every inter-faith marriage may not be a case of Love Jihad, but that does not mean such a movement does not exist. As a film, this can certainly be viewed and critically analysed. The religion-based demographic imbalance and radicalism in Kerala are a glaring reality. In the pre-Independence period, Congress tried to whitewash the Islamic genocide of Hindus in the name of Khilafat. Communists further coloured it as a class struggle. Since then, Malabar has become the hotbed of Islamic radicalisation. Neither the film nor raising the issue of having a bearing on social harmony and national security is against the State of Kerala. Regardless of an ideological position, denying these hard facts for vote bank politics is anti-Kerala and anti-Bharat.