Yesterday night, I along with my family went and watched The Kerala Story in a movie hall with a packed audience. As a well-informed citizen and proud Hindu who closely follows the Islamist activities in Kerala, the characters and the storyline shown in that film was neither surprising nor shocking. These were the things that were going for long and now we are all glad that someone came forward to make a movie upon these tragic stories.
Critics of the film, particularly from Islamic fraternity and their Communist allies, have strange reasons to paint it as a propaganda film and not the ‘real’ story of Kerala. They argue that, the figure of 33000 girls converted and missing is plainly wrong, and in reality, only a handful of such cases of conversion and migration had happened in Kerala. Even if the actual figures are a matter of dispute, the critics have nothing else to oppose the film other than their usual rhetoric of calling it as Islamophobic and ‘promoting communal polarization’.
For Islamists, this movie hit it where it really hurts. It brings out the fact that promoting conversion to Islam is an organized and well networked activity and a large number of ordinary Muslims, including women, are actually involved in this mission as foot soldiers. This missionary zeal for conversion and the predatory behavior exhibited by these foot soldiers are a reality in most of the educational institutions and workplaces where they often interact with non – Muslims. Even if their success rates are few and far between, and the number of such conversions are far less than they would wish to have, it’s for us Hindus to acknowledge that such activities have a doctrinal justification in their religious texts and therefore are often well funded.
Critics says that the number of such cases of conversion are miniscule and therefore the things’ shown film is a fiction. However, it is not the number in itself that is a cause of worry, but the kind of behavior pattern and the Islamic doctrinal justification for such Daawa’h (conversion to Islam) activities are the real issue. It is the intention, motivation and the predatory behavior of these Islamic foot soldiers that needs to be discussed and deliberated and not the actual number in itself.
One can argue that right to propagate own religion and right to convert to any other religion are fundamental rights in our country and therefore nothing illegal in it. However, we often forget that this kind of belief in liberal values and personal freedom are coming out of modernistic way of viewing the world and therefore is a recent phenomenon. Here, we are interacting with a community whose belief systems are medieval and are clearly exhibiting a behavior pattern which is obviously not in sync with modern times. Hence, we Hindus need not offer them the privileges and freedoms which are not reciprocated back. For Islamists, freedom of propagation and conversion is only applicable when someone get converted to Islam and not vice versa. Conversion from Islam is, as per Sharia law, is an offence which is punishable by death. It doesn’t matter if the law of the land agrees to it or not, but Islamists have their own punishing mechanism in such cases. In sum and substance, Islamists are enjoying the freedoms and privileges offered by modernist values but without themselves abiding by these.
Similar is the case with marriages. Love jihad is a term coined by non-Muslims to represent this predatory behavior in the context of marriages. Here, Islamists are cleverly using the argument of personal choices and individual rights. Many such Islamic foot soldiers are roaming and scouting around the colleges and office complexes to spot vulnerable non-Muslim girls and to enter in to romantic relations with them. For many, such relations may seem to be a stand-alone, isolated cases, but on closer observation, we can see that it is an organized effort with multiple stakeholders, well-funded and armed with a religious doctrine that mandates and incentivizes such conversion and marriages.
Under normal circumstances, for any investigation agencies, it is extremely difficult to bring out evidences to prove that something called Love Jihad exists. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Because, all these activities of romance and marriages happen in a perfectly legal manner and our State and its systems are ill equipped and handicapped to deal with this menace unless they get involved in any kind of patently illegal or anti national activities. Unfortunately, Hindu society was also not bothered enough to deal with this menace and opted to see it through the idea of individual choice and personal freedom.
Government and its institutions have to acknowledge that such Islamic aggression against non-Muslims, even if it perfectly with in the ambit of law, is a social evil and is a public bad. Hence, such acts have to be declared illegal even if it seen as a violation of any fundamental right. Just like practice of untouchability was made as an illegal and punishable offence, unlike it was the case earlier, a new legal framework and jurisprudence has to be created to see that intolerant and predatory behavioural pattern of Islamists has to countered strongly and effectively. ‘Anti Love jihad’ laws passed by certain Indian states are such small steps in the right direction.
Hindu parents and girls also should understand that, given the circumstances and asymmetrical belief systems that exists, their romantic relations with Muslim boys are lose- lose proposition for them. These girls not only surrender their individual rights and identity, but also end up as a helpless, powerless household entities. Upon conversion and under sharia marriage, she surrenders her right to revoke that marriage if she wishes do so. She is also vulnerable to her Muslim husband as he is fully empowered divorce her at his will, that too, without any compensation.
The supreme irony here is that, a seemingly independent minded girl, rebelling against her parents in most cases, and also well aware of her rights and freedom, willingly chooses to enter in to an unequal relationship with a Muslim man, surrendering all her rights, and thereafter compelled to live under tyranny of certain medieval and barbaric belief system.
This movie is a wakeup call for Hindus where in which they are now of the view that enough is enough and now its time to call the spade a spade even if it is unpalatable to the Muslim community. For Muslim community, it is their time to acknowledge that ideas like Jihad, Daawah , kaafir etc , which are, unfortunately, the core themes in Islam, are not in tune with the modern times that we are living in and so had to be openly abandoned, rejected delegitimized and disdained. If not, the rest of human society have to right to defend themselves and resist any attempt towards Islamic colonialism.